Will Parfitt is Australia’s own Channing Tatum – and he doesn’t just look like the Hollywood star either.
If you’ve seen the movie Magic Mike, you’ll know its star, Tatum, wowed audiences not only with his good looks but also with his incredible moves. In case you haven’t seen it, the story is about a young man who stumbles into the world of male stripping and not only is he a natural, he’s also a huge hit with the ladies. Will Parfitt’s real-life story is almost exactly the same as Channing Tatum’s on-screen character Mike.
The 27-year-old ‘fell’ into stripping after he was introduced to an agency after a chance meeting with someone who was struck by his resemblance to the Hollywood actor
For the past three years, the 27-year-old South London-born, self-taught performer has been thrilling Australian women most weekends. But he revealed stripping isn’t something he ever really set out to do.
‘I was travelling, just enjoying the party scene in Australia. I met a club promoter who started calling me “Channing” as a joke. I didn’t really take him seriously – he was the one who introduced me to Magic Men.’
Mr Parfitt strips exclusively with Magic Men male strippers, Melbourne-based agency which specialises in girls’ nights out: hen’s nights, birthday parties, or one-off private events.
During the day, Mr Parfitt (pictured left) works as a removalist – a physical job he said has its advantages as keeping fit is a top priority
While the muscular performer is hired for a variety of functions, hen’s night’s make up the bulk of his gigs
It’s a job he said he learned from the ground up. He started out first as a topless waiter, then progressed to shows, learning his moves along the way. While he always has a steady stream of weekend bookings, the gig isn’t his full-time job, and he revealed that he spends his days working as a removalist.
‘The job has its advantages as keeping fit is a top priority,’ he laughed.
Mr Parfitt said although he’s hired for a variety of functions, hen’s nights make up the bulk of his gigs.
During wedding season (usually between October and April) Mr Parfitt can be booked for up to as many as 15 shows in a weekend
‘The girls get to choose what we wear,’ said Mr Parfitt. ‘They can have a policeman, a fireman or a Magic Mike show’
He said that during his busy season, which tended to be the same months that are popular for weddings (usually between October and April in Australia) he can perform up to 15 times in one weekend. They [the shows] start off pretty tame but the later the night goes on, the crazier the things seem to get.
His show runs for 20 to 30 minutes during which he will strip down to a G-string, or if it’s been requested, the full monty.
‘And the girls get to choose what we wear. They can have a policeman, fireman or a Magic Mike show. I have been a soccer player and a karate instructor, but it’s up to them really,’ he said.
Performances run from 20 to 30 minutes and Mr Parfitt charges $220 – a third of which goes to his agency.
Multiplied by the 15 shows he said he can be booked for, the side job can see him earn as much as $3,300 for just one weekend’s work.
Shows run between 20 and 30 minutes and depending on the crowd Mr Parfitt offers a slightly more restrained ‘G-string’ show – or he will go the full monty if requested
While there is no denying the money is great, and he’s adored by those who’ve seen him in action, the job isn’t without it challenges – of sorts. There’s nothing too serious the 27-year-old ever has to deal with, though – it’s more that he’s fighting off women who find themselves losing control at his shows. On the subject of behaviour, namely touching, Mr Parfitt said the rules depend on the performer.
‘They [the shows] start off pretty tame but the later the night goes on, the crazier things seem to get and it can be pretty hard to control a roomful of women.
‘And the later it gets the more “hands-on” they [the girls] get too.
‘Generally it’s the brides-to-be, definitely, who are making the most of the opportunity to blow off some steam before they get hitched’
‘Generally it’s the brides-to-be, definitely, who are making the most of the opportunity to blow off some steam before they get hitched,’ he added.
Being propositioned is also something Mr Parfitt said comes with the territory and is something he expects given he’s dancing without clothes on in front of a roomful of women. However, he said when this happens, which it does from time to time, he’ll always try to handle it as professionally as possible.
Being propositioned is also something Mr Parfitt said comes with the territory and is something he expects given he’s dancing without clothes on in front of a roomful of women
Although younger women love his shows, the dancer also said he’s been booked for to perform older women too – in fact, an 80th birthday party was one of his most memorable.
‘I do remember thinking “Oh my God” at the time, but she loved it. She was up and about, dancing and getting involved. It was great.’
For now, Mr Parfitt is pretty content to keep performing as ‘Channing’; it’s something he said he will do as long as he’s able to stay in shape.
‘Stripping has a shelf life, but I hope I still have another couple of years left,’ he concluded.