Hamilton man returns to stage male revue
A Hamilton man has swapped the rugby strip for the Las Vegas strip after joining internationally renowned male revue show Manpower Australia.
Aiden Te Puke was nursing a broken leg after scoring a try for the Fraser Tech rugby club in 2008 and doing a bit of topless waitering when he was approached - for the second time - to join the strip show.
He agreed that time, but five years earlier it was a different story.
At the time he was 21 and living on the Gold Coast.
"I was like, hell no, I never want to be a stripper."
Mr Te Puke, 30, grew up with Mormon beliefs - being schooled at Church College - and getting naked in front of women for money wasn't part of that picture.
"So the fact that [already] I was playing rugby and not going to church, the stripper thing was too far fetched."
But not long after that, he moved back to Hamilton.
He worked a bit as a topless waiter and then, aged 26, he was asked to join again.
He's looking forward to catching up with a few of his old rugby mates when he comes back to Hamilton to perform.
Now, he's performing in front of up to 5000 women at some shows.
"Women are definitely worse than guys [at a strip club]. I think because we're guys, women just feel like they're allowed to do whatever they want . . . but we have to deal with it, it's part of our job."
Asked what he's looking forward to the most when back in Hamilton - which is the first stop on the 15 show tour - "food", he said.
"The food over here [America] sucks. We get used to it but it's nothing like back home. There's just no flavour, everything's bland."
He'll also have plenty of time to catch up with Hamilton-based family as he's got about nine days in town before the show, after flying in from Las Vegas.
And yes, ladies, he's single. Manpower perform at Hamilton's Founder's Theatre on April 9. Tickets available from Ticketek.