Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sander Interviews The Last of the Live Nude Girls: Sheila McClear

A Quick Interview with Sheila McClear
Author of “The Last of the Live Nude Girls”

Three Questions from Sander Hicks
 OK, so Sheila, in your book Last of the Live Nude Girls, you write about becoming a peep show girl in the rapidly changing Times Square. The idea was to report from the inside?  Or to make some fast money? And you ended up staying longer than you planned?
The idea was to make some fast money for two weeks. I ended up staying much longer than I meant to. At the time, writing was the furthest thing from my mind.
How then did you become a reporter, first at the New York Post, and now at Daily News?  And what experiences from the red light district in Times Square taught you something you used, as a reporter?
I was a reporter in Detroit before I moved to New York, and I freelanced my way into the Post after working at Gawker and doing some internships. Now I work at the Daily News. I'd say the best trick I learned hustling in the peepshow that I also use hustling as a reporter is how to call someone's bluff. 

This night you are joining on April 18 (Old School Soft Skull) is itself a living document of how much New York has changed. Twenty years ago, there were a lot more radicals living in the Lower East Side, now it seems we are (almost) all in Bushwick, or in Beacon. Were the changes in Manhattan natural, market forces, or a deliberate political program?

I think the changes that pushed most of the peepshows out of Times Square were started by the political programs and motivations of the unlovable mayor Giuliani. While he's responsible for most of it, I think market forces - and the Internet - did the rest.

New Soft Skull Press writer Sheila joins the gang at “Old School Soft Skull” on Thursday, April 18.


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