In 2009, I owned a staffing agency called "Hot Under The Collar". One day I received a phone call from a bridesmaid named Jess who was enquiring about entertainment for a hen's party. Specifically, she wanted a trained male dancer to re-enact the 'nobody puts baby in the corner scene' from Dirty Dancing with the hen, who's name was Jasna. She explained that there would be a lift involved, and Jasna really wants to be lifted in the air, she also said kept saying "watermelon", I had no idea what she was talking about but said "yeah we can do that". I immediately called one of my male dancers, Alex, and luckily he knew exactly what I was talking about, so I booked Alex for Saturday night.
On the Friday night, Alex texted me and said he couldn't do it because he'd pulled his hamstring (true story). Alex's hamstrings had let me down. So I frantically started calling and texting all of the males dancers on my books, but sadly they were all booked for Saturday night (Saturday nights are prime time for a dancer). I didn't know what to do, but luckily I have a real business degree... so, I came to the conclusion that I would do the Dirty Dancing scene, I mean, how hard could it be?
I spent the following morning watching YouTubing clips of the watermelon scene, and rehearsed it in my bedroom (I still lived with my Mum). I explained to my Mum that my business was going well and that I had a big job that night. I also didn't tell Jess (the bridesmaid) that Alex couldn't make it, and thought I'd just pretend that I was Alex for two reasons: i) The bridesmaid has never met Alex, so she will never know ii) It makes Hot Under The Collar look like a small company if the director is doing all of the jobs.
So I turned up to the job and unbeknownst to me, they had booked two topless waiters as well, through a competing agency. I recognised the first topless waiter straight away and he started walking over to me...I was praying that he didn't blow my cover, and he says "hey Ash, how are you?", I said "hey man, I'm Alex, Ash's brother", amazingly he bought it! An hour goes by and everything is going well as Alex until I see a girl that I know, she comes over and says "Ash! what the hell are you doing here?". I said "hey, yeah I'm Alex". She said "what? no you're Ash". I knew she knew, so I whispered in her ear "yeah ok, I am Ash, but please keep it to yourself, the bridesmaids think I'm Alex, and I need to maintain a professional image for my business" She literally didn't say anything and just walked off laughing... I hoped she would stay quiet.
Then, the music comes on, and it's time for the dance. I go over the dance moves in my head, the bride approaches glowing and juiced up on champagne. And then we start, I do some basic interpretive stuff in the corner, and then I go for it... I lift up Jasna, as I raise her over my head I realise I've over-estimated my shoulder strength, my shoulder gives way and I suddenly drop Jasna on the dance floor... she lands with a thud... everyone gasps. But then... everyone laughs...and Jasna is laughing too, she kisses me and says "thank you", I said "you're welcome".
The bridesmaid, Jess, came over and said great job Alex, and I said "look, I'm going to come clean, I'm actually Ash" and she goes "yeah I know, I've known the whole time, we've met before!" we laughed and shook hands on a successful business deal.
See some of the actual photos fro the night below (scroll right):