A lavender hued sky reflects on the ocean. A young woman walks down a street, looking at the city overhead. Clean Bandit sits in a booth. Sean Paul sits at the counter of the bar. Anne-Marie sits on chair on the stage.

The bartender puts the glasses on a shelf. Anne-Marie stands behind the bar, her arms spread out on the counter. At home, the young woman wakes up her two-year-old boy and holds him in her arms.

Anne-Marie takes an empty pitcher from a table and asks some men if they are doing all right. The young woman looks out the window on the bus on the way to work. Clean Bandit perform on stage at the club. The young woman taps Anne-Marie on the back. Anne-Marie smiles back.

On stage, behind a red curtain, the young woman slinks on a pole in her white sports, white fishnets as men watch her.

The curtain opens to a view of the ocean. There, in the middle of the forest, the young woman performs on the pole. Clean Bandit perform on the cliff. The men lip sync Sean Paul’s lyrics. Sean Paul then dances in the center of the bar with two female dancers.

At home, she reads to her six-year-old boy. They take the bus and have a day together on her evening off. She leaves work at 6 a.m., holding her jacket tight to her chest, ignoring the leers of the male patrons who are lingering outside.

She and her six-year-old boy hang out at the park and swing. She performs on the pole in the forest, with Jack and Luke playing their instruments. She swings on the pole alone in the forest as the red curtain closes.

Rating: 5/5

With the red curtain, it’s a modern opera based on the current society today, dependent on two to three jobs to survive. For some, it’s two part time jobs in retail while the fortunate ones have a job in retail and one in an office. Others work odd jobs when they can to make ends meet.

The young woman is doing what she needs to do to provide for her children. She wants a life where they can choose whatever college they would like and work only one job in which they earn a salary. They are her children and if it means stripping on a pole to do it, she will.

The stripping at the bar, is plain and awkward. The clientele is mainly older neighborhood men indulging in their lust. In the forest, though, it’s an art as she stretches and bends her body in unusual shapes, showcasing a dancers’ body and giving a glimpse of the who she might have been before she had children.

Nonetheless, in the video, each person is living paycheck to paycheck. From the bartender behind the counter, to Anne-Marie who fronts the band and waits tables, to even the patrons who are stingy with their singles. They prefer to watch, not to tip. The young woman becomes a symbol of the average citizen trying to get by.

Director: N/A  Year: 2016