I answered an email wanting me to belly dance at a New Years show at a hotel in India. When I arrived I found that they had advertised me as being "Miss Universe of Belly Dance" which then got lost in translation and I became "Miss Universe" in some media outlets. Now, there is a Belly Dancer of the Universe competition... but I had never even attended. But the agent thought is sounded marketable and that no one would ever know.
After I arrived in India I found out that Hindu extremists had issued a threat against the show saying that they would disrupt the "Western and vulgar" festivities. So I found myself personally the target of a terrorist threat. But the show must go on, so they told me, and I found myself on stage with the sounds of a riot in the distance. At one point the music stopped and security rushed the stage, ushering me to my dressing room and talking on their walkie talkies. But in a few minutes they sent me back out there, and I finished the show without incident. I just wish they had told me that there were going to be pyrotechnics since sudden fireworks made me think that I was being bombed for a minute, but all's well that ends well.
I found out later that the hotel had been totally trashed. Every able bodied hotel employee fought the rioters to keep the hotel patrons safe. The extremists were throwing water balloons filled with acid and blue dye at the patrons at they tried to enter the front door. People had literally risked their safety to see the show, which had become big news.
The next morning after I toured the shattered remains of the hotel lobby, the owner sat me down and told me that the media was wondering why I had no "Miss Universe" stuff on my website. I mumbled something about how my webmaster was just about to make the update with that info and they sighed and said that they would have to bribe their friend at the newspaper. I was quite an expensive guest, they said.
So with a stack of newspaper clippings about my riot in hand I fled the country. The money I made from the show was given back to the hotel in the form of my phone bill from calling my husband so often about all of the civil unrest I was causing.
I have been back to India 3 times for belly dance shows... and have not caused a riot since!
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