ORIGINALLY POSTED Dec. 2011
I recently got hired as a Pilates instructor at a tony health club. The management asked me if I could offer free demos to introduce their members to Pilates, and to meet me.
Clearly this would be for their members who have been living under a rock for the last ten years. I’m saying ten just to be nice, because those in the know, knew about Pilates in the early 90’s.
Who doesn’t know what Pilates is? Madonna, Gwyneth and Tiger all do Pilates for crying out loud.
I’ve given so many friggin’ demos since I became an instructor. Sometimes it feels like a real soul killer to have to continuously sell myself.
That being said, I decided to suck it up, adjust my attitude and sell, sell, sell. It’s been a tough work year. I lost several clients back in March, and I haven’t picked up new ones. I did leave the country to teach Pilates in Dubai for two months last summer, so that couldn’t have been good for building a client base and continuity.
I believe that I deliver quality Pilates instruction, with the added bonus of a kick ass personality, but the evidence doesn’t lie and I wondered if I might be doing something wrong.
Maybe it’s my laissez-faire attitude towards beautifying myself for my clients. As unimaginable as it may be, perhaps my winning personality isn’t enough. I know, I can’t believe it either. Could my client drought be because I don’t wear make-up, or blow dry my hair before I hit the Pilates studio?
I never felt that I should have to succumb to shallow and superficial practices. I choose to sit comfortably crossed legged on my high horse, espousing ditties such as, “Like me for who I am, and how I can help your Quasimodo posture. You’re not here because of my long and luxurious hair.” Aren’t I adorable and misguided.
It was the same when I lived in L.A. and auditioning. I believed that my talent alone would get me hired, not my fuckability. I think we can all agree that my strategy was both flawed and incredibly naive.
What’s wrong with putting on mascara and showing a hint of tit (men do Pilates too ya know) if it’s going to get me clients? As an experiment, I wanted to see what would happen if I made an effort. Would I attract more clients?
I had my first Pilates demo last night. I put on make-up, as if I were going to a wedding, and I changed my clothes a half dozen times, finally deciding on a head to toe Lululemon ensemble. My Astro pants gave me a camel toe, and a wedgey. Perfect. I went with a tight purple Define jacket, wearing only my bra underneath. I smoothed out my hair, and flat ironed my ponytail. However, I did not shower. It was my little secret. Between me and… me?
After two long hours, several women and men asked to see exercises on the Reformer. I can’t be certain what brought them over but, unlike the proud, naive, and stubborn girl, who wouldn’t sleep around in Hollywood, I now have no problem showing skin and combing my hair.
Even if the superficial brings me potential clients, keeping them is where the true talent lies. That, or I can offer to sleep with them. You don’t have to tell me twice.