In a world where stripping is still very much taboo, it’s inspiring to see women in the industry unapologetically being themselves. Chase Paradise, a retired dancer from Australia has turned her experiences from the club into comedy gold. Her sold out shows speak for themselves. I wanted to get to know Chase a little bit better and find out more about her past career as an exotic dancer and what inspired her to start stand up comedy.
When did you start stripping and how long have you been doing it for?
Who could forget?! I started on the 22nd of March 2010 at (now shut down) Bar 20 on King St, Melbourne. I was just shy of my 21st birthday, and I just recently officially retired so I’d say 8 years give or take. I’ve had a few breaks over the years which I think is essential to maintain the longevity of your career. Stripper burnout is real and something baby strippers should prepare for.
What inspired you to start stand up comedy?
Even when I was small, I had a passion for telling jokes. I’ve always enjoyed analyzing the set-ups, punchlines and call-backs of a good set. Comedy was always the next step for me I just didn’t really know “how” to get into it. I’d entered RAW comedy Comp and had my first time on stage but I didn’t know where it was supposed to go from there. So I’d just practice my material at the club and people started knowing me as “Stripper Comedian”, and that’s how I got my first break. I was hired as an unknown comic to host Baby Got Back, an all female revue that sold out all over the country, and BAM Chase Paradise was born!
What’s it like to excel in a pretty much male dominated industry?
Every industry is male dominated so I don’t think about it too much outside of general “Fuck The Patriarchy”. My advice for comedy is to find yourself some kind, funny women and only work with and hire them.
Can you tell us a little bit about your show “Ho Life Or No Life”?
The show is a colorful and unapologetic expression of female sexuality without shying away from the brutalities women, particularly sex workers face. Ho Life Or No Life means taking the shame that surrounds the sex industry, the double standards of female sexuality, and subverting them. Obviously the show tackles dark matter, but I never take myself too seriously. Above all, it was important to me that women would come to the show and enjoy themselves. I don’t need to harp on about how hard things are, we already know, I wanted them to have a laugh. I especially wanted sex workers to come to a show where they see themselves rather than being the butt of every joke.
You’ve recently toured around Europe, where do you want to perform next?
People always want to know if I’m coming back to the US, but unfortunately I can’t see that happening anytime soon. I’m actually dying to perform in my hometown! I’ve been based in Melbourne for 10 years but I’m originally from Gold Coast and I’d love to go back to Queensland since I’m always ripping on it in my show and see if they find it funny.
What advice can you give someone thinking of pursuing stand up comedy?
Go to the open mics in your city, find one that feels like the right vibe for you and get on stage. It doesn’t matter how bad you are, it’s all part of it. Just doing it over and over again will make you a better performer. 10,000 hours and all that crap.
Do you have any new projects coming up?
I’m going to be focusing more on my YouTube channel. I’m currently editing and about to release the video for “Fuck You Pay Me” a song that I perform in my show, and I’m working on some other fun stuff that’s being filmed at the moment. Subscribe to my channel here so you don’t miss out.
Who’s your favorite stripper account on Instagram right now?
Im a huge fan of the way people curate their IG’s so I have a few:
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