Discussion Post #2
Christiane Campbell 3/4/2020
CCNY | ENGL 21002
Discussion Post #2
In “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler, the nightlife of Manhattan’s white-collar men and strippers are exposed. Some main names to keep track of are Roselyn Keo, Samantha Barbash, Marsi Rosen, and Karina Pascucci. They, along with other women, stole from rich Wall Street men by luring them into strip clubs, drugging them, and then running up their credit card. In this article, Pressley conveys the shared beliefs of the women, carefully selecting background information to help the readers in understanding the story and bringing her informants to life with her vivid descriptions.
The driving belief of the women in this operation was that the white-collared men that came to the strip clubs were indecent scumbags, and they were filthy rich anyway, so they deserved to have their credit cards wiped clean. This is conveyed when Pressley includes quotes from Keo and Barbash (respectively) where they say, “The men were mostly assholes” and “They had history. They’d been to Hustler, they’d been to Rick’s, they’d been to Scores. They all walked in ready to party.” Another quote by Keo further portrays this shared belief when she says $10,000 was “nothing to [the rich men]”. In other words, these wealthy, white-collar men deserved to have their money stolen because they were morally degraded and being robbed of a couple of tens of thousands would not financially destroy them anyway.
Also, Pressley included background information to help the reader’s comprehension of the story. This is obvious through the background information she includes on the women in the scam and the men involved in them. From Rosie, a high school dropout who realized the financial advantages in the strip club industry from a young age; Samatha Barbash, another stripper who later became the leader of a strip club pyramid scheme; Mari Rosen and Karina Pascucci, who were both strip recruits of Barbash. Background information on the men were also included, such as that of an employee at Guggenheim Partners that spent $100k every time he was at the strip club; Brian, a white-collar professional who let his fiancee’s visa expire in hopes of being with Roselyn; Dr.Zyad Younan, a cardiologist who racked up a $135k bill from the women. This background information helps the reader understand the story because it magnifies the relationship between the women’s backgrounds and the high profile clients they were dealing with, emphasizing the “these men are rich scumbags, so it doesn’t matter if we steal from them” mentality. Lastly, Pressley brings the informants to life with her vivid descriptions. For example, she described Barbash as “Jessica Rabbit curvy, her lips Angelina Jolie puffy; her hair, which concealed tattoos of a cascade of stars running down her neck, was Cleopatra black”.
As one can see, Pressley is successful in ensuring that the audience understands the story and keeps them engaged with evocative descriptions.