The Stripper Reporter
The Stripper Reporter
Chron society writer's other job
by Richard Connelly
It sounds like a bad rom-com book and movie, which no doubt its author hopes it will be — society reporter for a big-city newspaper by day, stripper by night.
That's apparently the life being led by Sarah Tressler, who began writing society stuff for the Houston Chronicle after Douglas Britt left the paper to begin his own very odd double life.
Tressler blogs, Facebooks and tweets about her life as an "angry stripper." It's all pretty much what you'd expect — writing in the style that really, really wants to be described as "fearless" and "intelligent" and "funny" and "sexy."
Whether it lives up to that is a matter of taste, we guess.
The Web writings describe her life dancing at local clubs like St. James and The Men's Club.
Her most recent entry, on March 12, talks about how a man who was tipping her as she was dancing accidentally spit some lettuce on her. (Comic relief for the movie!!)
We e-mailed Tressler, 29, but haven't heard back. Her LinkedIn profile says she has a bachelor's from University of Houston — where she's now an adjunct professor, it says — and a master's in journalism from NYU.
She's freelanced for Us magazine and for the Chron since April. Some Chron staffers say she is now full-time, but we couldn't confirm that.
Some of those Chronsters aren't too happy, from what we hear:
Her fellow Chronicle employees have found out and they're furious. Furious because she barely bothers to conceal her identity and they're worried about the reaction from the "ladies who lunch" when they inevitably find out that they've been hosting an active stripper at their benefits. And furious because she "flaunts" her "stripper money" around the office in the form of expensive designer clothes and handbags. And furious because the Chron staff feels like she's just using them as fodder for a future roman a clef.
We've asked for reaction from Chron editor Jeff Cohen; Melissa Aguilar, the paper's assistant managing editor for features; and Kyrie O'Connor, who supervised the section before becoming an interim editor at the Chron's sister paper in San Antonio, but haven't heard back from the first two.
O'Connor said she knew "Sarah Tressler as a highly competent freelancer, but I've been out of pocket for quite a while. I understand she may be on staff now, but that's about my limit" of knowledge.
Tressler has since left the paper.
Her blog contained such things as how bad actor Jeremy Piven was at giving her head, and this item: "The 10-Hour Day Yields AN Icky Fetish":
I worked from 1:30 to 11:30 last Thursday, which is long enough to hang out with some friends, make some new contacts, eat lunch and pull down about $750. I also had a run-in with one of my least favorite of the weird fetishes: guys who like to have their nipples, um...bothered.
Foot suckers aside, the nipple guys freak me out the most. I personally hate it when guys try to reach out and rub or tweak mine; getting a dude who likes to have his...ew...stroked or pulled or WHATever, gawd, it's so gross. Sorry.
After this item appeared online and went viral, we were heavily criticized for "slut-shaming," which was odd because there was nothing in the item calling anyone a slut. Our response:
I don't get the"slut shaming" charge. If you want to be a stripper, fine.
If you want to write for a very conservative, uptight paper — covering the very powerful, very conservative and straitlaced people the paper so desperately works to keep happy and unruffled — fine.
If you want to combine the two, it's interesting, to say the least.
No Gay Plays, Theater Prof Says
By Richard Connelly
A former theater and dance professor at Beaumont's Lamar University is suing the school, saying her tenure track was derailed because she refused to attend productions about the "homosexual lifestyle."
Linda Ozmun says her religious beliefs would not allow her to see what the suit calls "an 'artist' named Tim Miller" who "is an openly homosexual man who advocates for normalizing homosexuality and homosexual marriage."
Miller was scheduled to appear at Lamar in 2010 for what the suit describes as "a one-man show...about his homosexual lifestyle using obscene language and sexual gestures."
(Miller has aroused controversy but also earned praise; our sister paper the Village Voice said he "has a gift for letting one topic open surprising doors onto a multitude of others; his works are as canny and complex as they are charming.")
The suit says Miller's 2010 performance was canceled because of "complaints from the community."
As a result, Lamar students organized a show called Coming Out Collective, which the suit says was "billed as a celebration of homosexuality."
She refused to attend the production; the department chair subsequently gave her an "unacceptable" grade at her annual evaluation. She says she filed a grievance that was ignored.
Then Miller came back to Lamar to perform a show called Glory Box and Ozmun again refused to attend. She says she was threatened with disciplinary action.
Ozmun, who taught at Lamar for four years, is no longer at the school, and is suing for lost wages, damages and reinstatement with a clean record.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.