The year is 1984. It’s 7 p.m. at a nightclub in Arizona. From behind the curtain, Greg Kaiser hears the screams of hundreds of women. The speakers begin to shake with the track he rehearsed to. The announcer introduces him, and he enters wearing a police uniform. Screams amplify, lights begin to flash, and Kaiser feels like a rock star as the cue in the music initiates his routine.
For two years, this was reality for Kaiser as a dancer for US Male Talent, an all male strip show for ladies that traveled across Arizona until the company retired in 2008.
“I had the look, the body for it, and I could dance,” Kaiser said. “Just call me Michael Jackson. I can still do the moon walk.”
Most nights, he would make anywhere from $100 to $200 per two-hour show.
By day, Kaiser loaded semi trucks for companies like Roadway and Northwest Transportation Services. When his shift was over, he would hit the gym with other dancers and rehearse for the evening show. Typically, each routine required four hours of rehearsal time each week. When show time rolled around, backstage was strictly serious. The dancers were only allowed a couple drinks and penalized for not being on time.
In those days, touching was permitted among the audience. “Girls would grab your hand or pull down your pants,” Kaiser said. The women in the audience ranged ages 18 to 40. Groups of bachelorette parties on their first stop of the evening were as common as married women looking for a thrill, only to return back to their husbands after the show.
For Kaiser, being a male dancer was the first of many successes over the next 30 years of his life, each attained by simply doing what he loved.
Before he started dancing, Kaiser moved from Michigan and bought his first house in Arizona for $76,000 at the age of 21.
“I rented a U-Haul and I put ‘21 or bust’ on the back; it was a huge cardboard sign,” Kaiser said. “It was a week after my 21st birthday.”
After a continuous struggle of losing jobs and not making enough money to pay off his mortgage, Kaiser found himself at a dead end. His brother came to him with the question:
“What do you like to do?”
“I like to dance,” Kaiser answered.
From there, Kaiser followed his passion. He was interviewed and recruited into the US Male dance group, and began performing from city to city across Arizona.
Christian Chase, then-owner of US Male, recognized Kaiser as an entertainer. He says it was his personality, smile and kindness that made him different from the other guys.
“He danced and he did the choreography,” Chase said. “His stage presence was excellent. That’s what he was best at.”
Each dancer had their own moment in the spotlight and a signature move. Kaiser dressed in an all-white gentleman’s outfit and danced to a slow song. “They would line up for that,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser says he found that the women were relentless for his attention. They would score intimate moments with the guys just about anywhere: bathrooms, pool tables, you name it.
“Every time you go, you take a different girl home,” he confessed. “They hated you for it. I had to get out of there.”
Although dancing on stage in front of hundreds of screaming women gave Kaiser a kind of high, he did not enjoy every aspect of his role. When it came to dating, he rarely, if ever, found a woman he felt was worth his time. He met a few nice girls, but when they discovered his evening carousing, he was never introduced to the parents.
“You wanted to have a nice girlfriend, but you knew you were never going to meet your wife,” Kaiser said.
With two years of dancing under his belt, and his mortgage already paid off, Kaiser decided it was time to settle down and find the right woman.
“You can’t dance forever,” he said.
Kaiser quit dancing, and two years later he met his wife. They have been married for 25 years.
At the age of 25, Kaiser began his journey into auto transmissions with AAMCO. Out of 130 applicants, he was chosen for the position and he immediately thrived.
While he working for AAMCO Glendale, numbers skyrocketed to $25,000-$30,000 a week. “We smoked every store,” Kaiser said. The owner told Kaiser he was making too much money and handed him a contract that would deduct his pay.
“I said ‘I am not going to sign that because I could make more money at McDonald’s across the street,’” Kaiser said. “I quit and sued him and won, and he wrote me a big check.”
Following the lawsuit, Kaiser was hired on to work for Lee Myles Transmissions and Auto Care. He was averaging $1 million in sales annually when the company advanced him to an owner position.
He spent a year searching for stores and purchased his first one for $135,000. He remodeled the whole place and fired the only mechanic at the time, working the first week on his own. Within the first year he made $700,000 and by his third, he was reaching $1 million in sales.
After purchasing another Lee Myles property, Kaiser made the decision to work for himself and tore the company signs off the buildings. Although he faced some consequences in the process, he made it out with one shop and continues to work out of it today.
With 30 years of experience in the business, Kaiser knew how to run an automotive shop. To this day, he wakes up at five in the morning, six days a week, and works from open to close with his crew.
Kaiser’s successes have been varied to say the least, but one thing holds true. When it comes to his work, whether it’s running a business or dancing on stage, Kaiser’s philosophy is the same:
“Work hard, work hard, work hard.”