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A former exotic dancer finds her voice and tells her story

The New Story Is with Dave Ursillo

Jun 13 2023 • 48 mins

Christine Macdonald lived a drug- and booze-fueled fast life as an exotic dancer in Waikiki, Hawaii in the 1980s and 90s.

Before you think that you can't relate to her life, think again: Christine's story is one of survival, struggling with feeling "less-than," craving acceptance and fighting to fit in.

She says you have a lot to learn from a story like hers.

Christine Macdonald is the author of Face Value: From Working the Pole to Bearing My Soul (2022), a memoir that, with characteristic humor and biting truths, chronicles her life working as an exotic dancer—and the childhood and teenage traumas she was running from. Christine was diagnosed with a rare, severe skin disease called acne congloblata at age 13, which left over 80% of her face scarred. The trauma she endured in her young life led her to the underground world of adult entertainment where Christine spent nearly a decade trying to find her self-worth.

Her work has appeared in Salon, The Good Men Project, and Anaheim Examiner, among other publications.

In this interview, Dave and Christine explore:

  • How the initial "vanity project" that was telling her story evolved into an opportunity for real healing
  • Why stage work appealed to someone who was overcoming traumas and chronic feelings of powerlessness and rejection
  • The power of personal therapy to guide her healing journey, which allowed Christine to finally tell her story

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