In the fall of 2011, a stylist came into Bellydance America looking for a costume. Jehan and I were assisting her and asking the usual questions so we could help her find what she was looking for: Who is the costume for? What is the occasion? What is your budget? Do you want a traditional or more modern look? And so on.
The stylist was extremely friendly and easy to work with, except she couldn’t tell us exactly what the costume was for. It was a secret, we were told, at least for the time being. This meant that whoever had to wear the costume was forbidden to reveal his identity by coming in to the store to try it on. All she told us was that there was a new show on TruTV, a hidden camera sort of thing where a guy had to do what his friends told him to do. The joke was mainly on everyone else who happened to be around.
The items purchased led to a fun, kitschy costume, perfect for a show: Red harem pants, a red bra with coins, finger cymbals and a hip scarf. The final piece was something we had to search for in our vast treasure room (aka: storage) – a fez to complete the outfit. The stylist inquired if we could add a face veil that was removable. Jehan said “Absolutely!” and got to work, hand sewing a red face veil to a fez she pulled from her own company collection.
We were told that the skit would be filmed at Tagine Dining Gallery in Hells Kitchen. Tagine was the first restaurant I worked at as a belly dancer so I was tempted to go down there and check out the scene. Some things came up and I was unable to go, but now I wish I was there! Earlier this year, I searched on TruTV for the show that fit the elusive details given to us, ever so hesitantly, by the stylist searching for a harem outfit fit for a man.
It wasn’t long before I started watching Impractical Jokers on demand. I watched every episode available, in a row. I thought it was the most clever show I had ever seen. Unlike other hidden camera shows, the guys have an ear piece where their friends, hidden in another room, feed them what to say and do. There are several challenges per episode and whoever doesn’t do what they’re told and loses the most challenges must pay the price by executing whatever embarrassing stunt their winning friends devised for him. These final stunts range from giving presentations without seeing the hilarious content ahead of time, singing a lame song at a baseball game or….belly dancing in a packed hookah bar.
The episode where Joe Gatto wears our costume aired in April so be sure to check out the show on TruTV. They play reruns often and even if you don’t catch the belly dancing, you are guaranteed to laugh! Just like belly dancing, comedy is wonderful for the soul.
Even though I can’t decide who my favorite Impractical Joker is (because they are all awesome), I will have to say that there is no better guy in the cast than Joe to wear a costume from Bellydance America!