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LIFE Yoga, 7AM
An intro course from Zen teacher Thich Thien Tri
Adler's New Orleans, 11AM
Hollywood legend signs copies of 'I Loved Her in the Movies'
Local Brass Band brings a mix of standards and new creations
Marriot Convention Center, 6:30PM
Day one of the inaugural Bourbon Fest
The Broad Theater, 7PM
Short film showcase
Blue Nile 7:30PM
Friday nights with Kermit on Frenchmen
House of Blues, 8PM
Hebrew hip hop
Cafe Istanbul, 8PM
Preview of Merman's new show "Bad Heroine!"
Joy Theater, 8:30PM
Celtic punk, feat. Skinny Lister
One Eyed Jacks, 9PM
Artist mixer before Saturday's Edwardian Ball
Maple Leaf Bar, 10PM
Chapter Soul hosts a Kanye West dance party
Bar Redux, 10PM
All-British dance party
Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM
Party like it's 1999
Crescent Park, 10AM
Eat to benefit LA/SPCA
Fair Grounds, 12PM
Family day at the grounds
The Yum Yum, 6PM
NPR faves come home from tour
St. Mark's Church, 6PM
Caravan Cinema screens this Natasha Lyonne comedy
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
Feat. Fantasia and Johnny Gill
The Saenger Theatre, 7PM
Comedy superstar brings his "Total Blackout" tour to NOLA
House of Blues, 7PM
80s vs. 90s - decades collide
One Eyed Jack's, 8PM
FdT stages "Alice in Wonderland"
The Howlin' Wolf, 8PM
NOLA's underground art show, plus free pancakes
The Willow, 9PM
Masquerade ball with live music
The Circle Bar, 10PM
Sweat to the oldies with DJ Matty
Le Bon Temps Roule, 11PM
Free show to move and groove
Howlin' Wolf, 12PM
Over a dozen NOLA spots offer their best bloodies, plus food
Magnolia Yoga Studio, 1PM
Free female-led discussion and open house
Playmakers Theater, 2PM
Final staging of drama about painter Mark Rothko
Maple Leaf Bar, 3PM
5th annual boil commemorating the life of the beloved chef and musician
Woonderland Production Studios, 3PM
Live music, drinks, water slides, more
Audubon Park, 5PM
LPO Woodwind Quintet performs
Local trad jazz masters
Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, 6PM
Bring games, or join one at the store
Howlin’ Wolf Den, 10PM
Mix of brass standards and funky covers
Spotted Cat, 10PM
Boundary pushing fusion jazz
Maple Leaf, 10PM
Krown on the B3 with Russell Batiste and Walter “Wolfman” Washington
Filmmaker & Sex Worker Talks Documentary Filmed Partially in NOLA
American Courtesans tackles the sex industry from the workers' perspective, offering a diverse range of experiences. The documentary was filmed in New Orleans, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., and a number of undisclosed locations.
Kristen DiAngelo interviewed ten fellow sex workers for the film. Emma Dupree, Erin Marxxx, Gina Robinson, Gina DePalma, Hilary Holiday, Juliet Capulet, Pearl Callahan, Tamsen Crown, Norma Jean Almdovar, and Skylar Cruz shared their stories.
Cruz works in New Orleans. DiAngelo said that both her interviewee and she have spent a lot of time in the Crescent City.
“I’ve been working there close to 15 years. There’s a lot of history for me and Skylar,” said DiAngelo.
The producer explained that Cruz began working when she was still in high school, as a way to support her family. In the film, Cruz gives a tearful account of her beginnings in New Orleans.
“Skylar had to make very adult decisions to keep the family together,” said DiAngelo.
However, the film offers lesser told stories of women who enter the sex trade in less desperate circumstances.
Emma Dupree shares her story with DiAngelo. Her journey strays from the typical narrative surrounding the sex industry. Dupree had a four-year degree, and she was working in real estate when the recession hit. After bar tending and balancing two jobs to make ends meet, Dupree decided to give the escort industry a shot. The experiences she shares with DiAngelo in the film are overwhelmingly positive.
DiAngelo explained to NoDef the difference between “survival sex” and a career in the sex industry.
“Many people who are on the lower end, no matter what it is they are trying to survive from, their choices in life are limited,” said DiAngelo. “They may have no resources in this whole world. [These are often cases of] gay kids or transgender kids who are kicked of their homes. I could go on ad nauseum,” said DiAngelo.
Oftentimes, DiAngelo said, teenagers and young adults in such situations are arrested, which further limits their choices.
DiAngelo is a case of someone who “started out as a kid,” as she puts it. “I myself was a victim of a horrible attack. Any day I’m alive is good enough for me. I fought my way up. The difference is that this has become a profession for me,” said DiAngelo.
According to DiAngelo and accounts from American Courtesans, people working in the industry create a support system for each other, a safety net in the absence of legal protections.
In many cities across the United States, police use condoms as evidence against sex workers. DiAngelo said that she knows people in the industry who have been locked up in New Orleans due to the “condom law.”
“It really is an issue of human and civil rights,” said DiAngelo. “The condom law is, sex workers aren’t allowed to use condoms, or they’ll be used as evidence of your intent [to engage in prostitution]” DiAngelo explained.
The advocate further explained that the law is primarily, but not solely, used against workers in “survival sex” situations. “It’s the people who aren’t going to fight it. It really is a violation of your rights,” she said.
DiAngelo’s overarching goal with the film is to tell untold stories about the sex industry. DiAngelo and the women she interviews emphasize that the industry is flawed primarily because it is criminalized, not because it is inherently dangerous.
“It’s a job. Most people don’t jump up and down about going to work at McDonald’s every day,” she said. “But the difference is that once we get here, we’re pretty beaten up by the world. We have no 911 number, and predators target us,” she said.
The film was released in July 2013. Those interested can purchase a physical copy of the documentary online, or they can rent or buy the film on iTunes.
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