Monday, 30 Nov 2020

Stripper forced to sell his parrot to make ends meet after lockdown shut clubs

A stripper who lost all his income due to the pandemic has had to resort to selling his pet parrot because of difficulties making ends meet. 

‘Romeo’, 31 – one of the ‘Dreamboys’ of Manchester – saw his work dry up overnight when social distancing rules made his profession almost impossible. 

Since then he has had to live on his savings, only managing one ‘virtual cabaret night’ in which he stripped at home in front of a camera.

Romeo – real name Jason Romero – has had a tough few months which has been made worse by the death of his beloved grandmother recently.

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He said: ‘To be honest, it’s been really s**t. I have been going through a lot of trauma.’

Along with nightclubs, adult entertainment venues never managed to reopen in between the first and second waves of the pandemic and remain closed under all three tiers of the new lockdown system.

Before the shut down came in, Jason, who only started stripping last year, said business was going ‘great’.

‘Then it just happened – everything closed. We thought it would be temporary, with the lockdown.’ he said. 

But due to strict coronavirus guidelines, Dreamboys decided to postpone events at their residency in the Impossible night club until the new year.

‘They wouldn’t make money having six people to a table. There would be no point, (customers) wouldn’t enjoy it.

‘When you go out it’s not the same – it’s like people are doing their homework. We aren’t getting our hopes up,’ Jason added. 

The company has offered Jason the odd shift to do stripograms at homes – where social distancing rules allow – but the timing has never been right and he prefers to perform on stage anyway.

He said: ‘I don’t feel comfortable. Especially with my mrs. I know she trusts me but it’s not right, going to a house with four girls there. Some of them are a bit crazy. It’s not for me, I’d rather be on stage.’

He did perform in ‘Adonis Unzipped Live and Online’, a virtual show which he described as ‘strange’. 

‘I was in my own front room. It was hard without the crowd. You can’t get a girl and ask them to come on stage.

‘It’s about eye contact with the camera. Cos I’m a bit confident with it, when you get going, that’s it, you’re in the zone. It was just funny, it was strange, crazy. (At the end) I thought “finally, thank god for that”.

‘I miss the stage, I miss the lads. The banter, having a laugh. I have ADHD, for me it’s like using my energy.’

For the time-being Jason is working as a part-time personal trainer and doing sports massage while having to dip into his savings. 

He says he plans to do a business degree and may do a plumbing course. But he is struggling financially, the situation is so tough that he recently decided to sell his pet – an Amazon parrot named Blue.

He said: ‘I’ve had him for about six years. He was great, always chatting and laughing and all that. My grandma loved him. It’s just hurtful, I sold him about a month ago.’

The lack of work has had an impact on his mental health, especially during the height of the lockdown, he said.

He began drinking and smoking a lot more and became depressed but the gyms reopening again has helped and he’s also started a new relationship with partner Eleni.

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