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Marian seems like the average 43-year-old mother of three—but her life has taken her in a direction she never imagined. By day, Marian does all the typical things moms do, from helping the kids with their homework to making pancakes for breakfast. By night, Marian transforms into "Charlie," an exotic dancer at an upscale gentlemen's club in Atlanta.

Marian says she never thought her life would take this path. She attended Clemson University on a swimming scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in tourism and management. At age 29, she got married and gave birth to three children.

When her marriage ended after nine years, everything changed. Marian was a single mom working at a tourism bureau and an insurance company, struggling to make ends meet. "The low point was when my checking account was 19 cents," she says.

Marian says she searched for a new job that would bring in more money, but the careers she looked into required extra education—and she didn't have time to waste. Then a friend made a suggestion that would change her life—maybe Marian could become an exotic dancer.
FROM: Living on the Edge: Lisa Ling Reports How Far Would You Go?
Published on February 27, 2008