What Happened With Ryan Seacrest
The story leading up to my cry for Ryan to pay attention to pole dancing.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Ryan Seacrest and if I ever got in touch with him. Here’s the full scoop….
We stood under bright lights, in front of four people sitting in beautiful throne like chairs on a floor that was higher than where we stood. To the right, were bleachers that wrapped around us, full of people staring at us, waiting for me to speak. We were out of breath as we just finished a choreographed demonstration on our individual, small pole stages. The room was waiting for what was to come next, a room filled with about 200 people and very large cameras in all corners. So, I found my voice, knowing that I had my girls, Natalie Clark and Alethea Austin, standing behind me, helping me to feel brave. Together we prepared what I would talk to the panel about; pole dancing’s growth, the several new studios around the world, how it is now considered a form of fitness and a new form of dance, how it’s evolving, and how we should evolve with it.
They of course referred to us as strippers and asked us why we couldn’t go to the club to make the money we were asking for. I had to remind them several times, that we do not make our money in strip clubs and that we are advocating for pole dance, something completely different from stripping. They asked us, “Why doesn’t the club provide you with better poles?”. Again, I had to remind them, we don’t dance in the clubs. Under the lights, cameras and pressure and after several minutes of defending the pole community, I was beginning to crack. I had realized that we had been bamboozled. The producers of this show assured us we would be respected, that they would love us, that asking for a smaller amount for our idea to invent a new pole would almost ensure that we would get what we were asking for. They told us, “You will not be called strippers, they won’t go there”. These were all lies, they tricked me, and I knew it. I was angry and felt betrayed in a way I had never felt before.
The final straw came when one of the female panelists asked me, “You are obviously a smart girl and can figure out a way to raise this money yourself, why can’t you do that?” My response was, “I learned a while ago in business, when you are beginning a new venture, you don’t use your own money, you use Other People’s Money” (a.k.a. Investors). The male panelist replied to me “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard!”. The crowd reacted…and I said, as I raised my voice higher, “Why don’t you read a Robert Kiosaki or Donald Trump book and then tell me that it’s dumb!”. I had finally lost it. I was shaking. The host cut me off and wouldn’t let me say another thing before he cut to a “break”. When we came back I stood there as another female told me that I was disrespectful and rude. I fought back the tears until we exited the stage. Once off the main floor, I erupted and they got it all on camera. I will never do that again.
The show I’m referring to above was a reality T.V. show called Bank of Hollywood which aired in 2009. It was a Ryan Seacrest production and was featured on the E Channel. The premise of the show was to ask these four people to invest in your idea or cause. I saw a flier for the show in the dressing room of Jumbo’s Clown Room one night, and thought, why not. I gave them a call, and the producers immediately liked me. I had them at “pole dancer”. Natalie, Alethea and I decided to ask for money to patent a new type of pole for professional dancers (with no real intention of creating one, but hey, we needed something to ask for). I was told to research how much a patent was, how much the materials would be and so forth and came up with $3,000.00. They told me, a smaller amount would be better and they would be more likely to say yes. However, it quickly became obvious that the panel thought we could raise the money ourselves…in the club.
We prepared heavily for this show by practicing a routine together, going over statistics and all the points we would make. They held us in the back stage area all day and put us up last. Told us all great things before we went up, made us feel good about what we were doing, only to be berated and humiliated in front of a large number of strangers. After my freak out, I felt sick to my stomach for hours, I was devastated for days after it happened. I was mortified, embarrassed and worried for the way they would portray me on television. They never showed the clip of me losing my mind back stage, but I’m sure the panel and Ryan saw it. I looked like a crazy person. Now, I won’t mention who, but someone that was working on Bank of Hollywood, ran into me at a comedy club about a year ago, recognized me and apologized to me for how the three of us were treated on the show. They felt like they sold their soul to work on Bank of Hollywood and always felt awful about the way people were treated.
Once the show was aired, everyone seemed to be on my side. I had not seen one comment or post about me being crazy or a stripper, but found people defending the three of us, and telling Ryan and Bank of Hollywood, “shame on you”. He had put a clip of me snapping back at the male panelist, he had called us strippers, and all of you got mad, so he took it down.
Since then, I have grown up, became a bit wiser and a ton more confident when I speak about pole dancing, especially in public and under pressure. It was time to go back and revisit the “incident”. With a local Los Angeles event coming up, we needed to get the media’s attention. The following year we had been on KROQ’s Kevin and Bean, a popular rock station morning show in LA promoting the 2012 Pacific Pole Championships. This year, I wanted to get on KIIS fm, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, so I began my campaign. I made a video just for him, showed him what pole dancing really is, and asked him to pay attention.
Staying true to my promise, I woke up every morning, three days in a row, at 5:00 a.m. to call into his show. On the first day, I got through to someone and was informed to email him. Unfortunately, his email box was full and my emails were bouncing back. I kept trying throughout the day all the while knowing that some of my friends were on the move to get in touch with Ryan through someone they knew. So, I was coming at him from all sides through email, Facebook, people who knew people and phone calls.
The next day, I sent him a dozen pink roses, with a personalized invitation to the 2013 Pacific Pole Championships, one for him and one for his girlfriend, Julliane Hough, who pole danced in “Rock of Ages”. I chose pink roses because they represent thanks, admiration and happiness. The next day I thought, “he will get on air and mention he came into the office to find roses!” Lol! That was a very naive thought, but proves how hopeful I was. Needless to say, he did not mention the roses. I listened, and waiting and tried to email him again, still, they were bouncing back. The next day, I called again and got through! They answered “Hello, KIIS fm…”, and I said very quickly “Hi, my name is Annemarie Davies and I was on Ryan’s show Bank of Hollywood in 2009 and I made a video for him and I sent him roses yesterday and I’ve been trying to email him and the emails keep bouncing back saying the inbox is full and I would love to talk to him about pole dancing and the event that we have coming up in Los Angeles this weekend”…. breathe. They said, “weird, we’ll check on the email. As for the roses, you sent them to the wrong office and he won’t get them now for a week or two. What is your number? We can pass along the message.” Bummer.
They had spoken to me twice now, they had my name and number. Calling again was not an option anymore. The emails just weren’t working, the roses were in the wrong place, so I flooded his Facebook with comments, the video I made and a message. There was one last thing I could do, pick up the roses and bring them to the right place. So, I got dressed, went to the building, spoke to someone who told me the roses had already been sent to the other building. Maybe he would get them, maybe he wouldn’t. Ryan Seacrest: 2, Annemarie Davies: 0.
That night, I went to Jumbo’s Clown Room to dance away the frustration and a friend of mine was there. He didn’t even say hello, he just said, “I’ve been following you on Facebook, and you need to know, Ryan Seacrest knows who you are, and he knows you’ve been trying to get in touch with him”. “Explain!” I declared. He goes on to tell me that his friend works with Ryan on one of his many shows, that he mentioned me to this friend, who then mentioned me to Ryan. Apparently, Ryan will not take my calls and will not write me back because of my reaction on T.V. three years ago. That I am unpredictable and he won’t take a chance on me. That this whole story makes him look bad and he can’t take any chances on that either. If you try to look for any of the episodes of this show, any clips, any where, you can’t find them. I was told he took everything down because it makes him and his production company look bad. I wasn’t sure how to feel, defeated or inspired to do something else…
Oh c’mon, of course I was inspired! This story is step one, it is my closing, my “Farewell to Ryan Seacrest” and the beginning of a new venture, a new project. I want to bring you with me on this journey. If Ryan Seacrest won’t have me on his show, someone else will. This is just another step, in a series of steps to get us on T.V. in the public eye and in an interesting yet positive way. Not the news, but something bigger and better. I want nothing more than the be a voice in this community. Your support helped me wake up all those mornings to call Ryan, your comments and shared posts gave me hope and energy! Thank you for standing by my side and giving me the strength to follow through. Come with me now, as I forge ahead, stand up for what we do and be more proud than ever to be a pole dancer. Perhaps there will come a day, when Ryan writes to me. What do you think… Should I answer that call? 😉