I've swapped acting for stripping – it saved me in pandemic but I feared being recognised says Skins star Megan Prescott

MEGAN Prescott slammed two tequila shots before heading to her first audition of the day.

While the former Skins actress treated it like any other job, it was anything but, as she was about to dance naked for the first time in a strip club.

Armed with a pair of “cheap” high-heels and a shiny sequined dress, Megan, then 22, entered the first of five London venues she’d try out for that day. 

She wasn’t nervous about dancing nude, having already performed half-naked sex scenes in her breakthrough role as Katie Fitch in the hit teen drama.

She last appeared on the Channel 4 show – famed for its wild storylines about partying, drugs, sexual exploration and alcohol abuse – back in 2010.

Megan, now 30, has continued to act and write, but when the pandemic crippled the arts industry and shut bars and clubs, she turned to OnlyFans to help pay the bills.

She tells The Sun: “If it wasn’t for OnlyFans I wouldn’t have been able to survive the last two years without working seven days a week in menial jobs.

“I started my page in April 2020 when the pandemic hit as I didn’t get furloughed for a while.

“I had zero money and was told by a friend who has worked as a stripper for years that people were guaranteed to subscribe because they had watched me in Skins. 

“I thought I may as well try and it went very well. I only do what I’m comfortable with and log on when I want to because it takes a lot out of you.

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“It’s not as emotionally draining as it was working at a strip club because you don’t have to become nocturnal, bargain with people over prices and people are shockingly polite.

“They are much kinder than people are in real life. On Instagram, I have some incel (involuntary celibate) ‘friends’ who write horrendous things just to provoke a reaction. 

“It’s really fun to ignore them because you know they are desperate for attention and I’ve been using it to inform my writing.

“I’m in a much more privileged position than some others in the sex industry but for me, it takes away the stress of paying bills and allows me to have the energy to be creative.”

Lucrative work

Megan tried out at a strip club after her close friend Heaven, who co-hosts the podcast Strippers In The Attic, recommended it.

She explains: “When I was stripping, I had already been on national television imitating sex, so that broke down some barriers for me.

“There were more things I was nervous about when I filmed Skins then there were when I started working in the clubs.

“Before my first strip club audition, I sat in a pub and had two shots of tequila. I don’t really drink, but I felt it was necessary because I was a bit nervous.

“But once you’ve danced naked your nerves go away very quickly and then it becomes quite fun – society makes it seem shameful, but it’s really not.

“I would easily make a lot more than I did working in a pub and it was more empowering than having to clean maggots off the bottom of a beer pump.”

'Being naked is normal'

Megan spent a year working in strip clubs, including Bianca Gascoigne’s Gaslight Of St James’s, but feared being recognised in case it damaged her acting career.

“I was terrified of something coming out, but at the time I wasn’t getting a lot of acting work and had no agent,” she says.

“I knew I could earn this money and try to make it work, or work full-time at a bar and hope one day that I’d be the manager – I didn’t want to settle for that.

“I didn’t say anything about the fact that I was stripping for years because of the stigma that follows sex work, especially if you’re an actress.

“It’s potentially career-ruining for a woman – despite people loving Channing Tatum when he performed in a neon G-string in real-life.”

I love the thought that men went home and days later were like, ‘Oh my God, it was the girl from Skins, I saw her giving a lap dance’

Megan was relieved that very few people twigged who she was, though some did recognise her face. 

“I love the thought that they went home and days later were like, ‘Oh my God, it was the girl from Skins, I saw her giving a lap dance,’” she says.

“I get some enjoyment thinking about that but not a whole lot of people recognised me, which I’m probably quite grateful for.”

However, one night a woman came into the strip club with a work party of drunken lads and recognised her right away.

Megan recalls: “As she got more drunk, she was like, ‘I know who you are but I’m not going to say anything'. I was relieved because they were men who were around the age that they probably watched Skins and I couldn’t be a***d to talk to them about it.”

Sticking up for sex work

Megan says she's had to face up to the fact that by doing OnlyFans, stripping and talking openly about sex work, she is "closing some doors" to other opportunities.

She adds: “The more I think about it, the more I think those are doors to rooms that I don’t really want to be in or associated with – no one should feel shame or face stigma.

“It’s ridiculous, it’s not the Middle Ages, surely we’re past the time of judging women for showing their cleavage and being naked is normal.”

Megan rejects claims that stripping is “is a piece of p***”, arguing it’s “a very difficult job” that not many are cut out for. 

She adds: “It’s not easy getting up there naked and talking to not very interesting men for 10 hours in a row, my hat goes off to people who are good at it.

“I was a terrible stripper and didn't make as much money as I could have, there are a lot of very smart women who work in strip clubs. 

“At the same time there are lots of rules, loopholes and injustices that work against you – often they are used by management to pay you less.

“There are other problems too – if you’re not careful you can end up breaking your ankle. Once I fell off a spinning pole and had to try to style it out. 

“No matter what anyone says, stripping is not easy.”

Snobby attitude

After Skins, Megan was frustrated by the acting industry because of the “elitism” she experienced, having not been classically trained.

She landed parts in Silent Witness, Holby City and several short films, alongside working on her own plays.

Speaking as a guest on the new series of Strippers In The Attic, she claimed to have been turned down for an advert because she didn’t go to acting school.

Megan also participated in three bodybuilding competitions, qualifying for an international championship, and worked a number of odd jobs to make ends meet, ranging from a security guard to nannying, before trying out stripping.

She says: “The most stressful job I’ve ever had was performing at princess parties. I was dressed as Cinderella but because I was bodybuilding, I had pecs and biceps so I got some funny looks.

“It was exhausting and kids have no pity. If you’re not doing well they won’t give you a courtesy clap, they'll shout, ‘I’m bored’ – and their parents are demanding too!”

You can follow Megan on Instagram or listen to her guest appearance on Strippers In The Attic.

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