Difference Makers - Stephen Dick Jr.

  • Aired:  11/08/12
  •  | Views: 38,218

New York State slams an exotic dance club with back taxes, but owner Stephen Dick Jr. petitions for an arts exemption. (7:43)

BUT ULTIMATELY, FOLKS THIS ELECTION ONLY MATTERS SO MUCH.

REAL CHANGE COMES FROM PRIVATE CITIZENS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITIES.

THE WOMAN WHO RUNS THE SOUP KITCHEN.

TEENS WHO CLEAN UP A VACANT LOT.

THE GUY WHO FISHES GOLF BALLS OUT OF THE POND AND SELLS THEM BACK TO YOU AT HALF PRICE.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

AND EVERY SO OFTEN WE CELEBRATE THOSE HEROES ON MY SHOW.

AND IN A SEGMENT WE CALL DIFFERENCE MAKERS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) AND TONIGHT FOLKS, WE'RE DOING IT AGAIN.

IN OUR WAENINGED ECONOMY THE NATIONS ART FUNDING IS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW.

LEAVING MANY AMERICANS TO ASK WHO CARES.

BUT HERE IN NEW YORK'S CAPITAL OF ARTS AND CULTURE.

>> AN AMAZING DISCOVERY.

>> THERE IS CONCERN BECAUSE AN ALBANY ARTS INSTITUTION IS UNDER ATTACK AND ONLY ONE

MAN CAN SAVE IT.

>> I FEEL THAT ALL ART NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED.

THIS IS ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

I BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION.

I BELIEVE IN OUR COUNTRY AND WHAT OUR FOREFATHERS SET FORTH FOR US.

>> WHICH IS LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

IN OTHER WORDS,.

>> FULLY NUDE, EXOTIC ENTERTAINMENT.

>> HE IS A PATRON OF THE ART OF EXOTIC DANCE.

>> I'M THE OWNER OF NIGHT MOVES.

>> AND YOU, STEVEN DICK, JR., WAIT, CERTIFICATE QUUSSLY, STEP ENDICK IS YOUR NAME.

>> MY REAL NAME.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT THEN, YOU, STEVEN DICK IS ARE A DIFFERENCE MAKER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) FOR YEARS THIS DICK HAS BEEN PROVIDING ALBANY CULTURAL ENRICHMENT THROUGH HIS DANCE

THEATRE NIGHT MOVES.

>> I AM THE LAST REMAINING ALL NUDE CLUB IN ALBANY.

>> Stephen: BUT NOW THE COMMUNITY MAY LOSE THIS TREASURED INSTITUTION.

BECAUSE NEW YORK STATE HIT NIGHT MOVES WITH A BILL FOR ALMOST A MILLION DOLLARS IN

BACK TAXES.

SO STEVEN DICK DID WHAT ANY PATRIOT WOULD DO.

>> WE DIDN'T PAY THEM.

>> AND WHY WOULD HE?

BECAUSE STATE LAW HAS AN EXEMPTION FOR MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC PERFORMANCES.

THIS IS ART ROSEN, FORMER DEPUTY COUNCIL OF THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE.

HE SAYS IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ONE QUESTION.

>> IS EXOTIC DANCING ART.

SURE, BUT HOW WOULD STEVEN DICK PROVE IT IN A COURT OF LAW.

>> WE HAD AN EXPERT WITNESS, DR. JUDITH HANNA.

>> DR. JUDITH HANNA IS A SENIOR RESEARCH SCHOLAR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.

AND THE AUTHOR OF EIGHT BOOKS ON DANCE AND SOCIETY.

>> SOME PEOPLE WILL SAY IF IT'S NOT WITHIN THEIR OWN GENRE OR FORM OF DANCE THAT

IT'S NOT ART.

BUT I USE THE DICTIONARY DEFINITION AND HAVE DISTILLED FROM THE LITERATURE ON WHAT IS ART TO

COME UP WITH THE DEFINITION THAT IT IS A LEARNED SKILL, THAT IT IS CREATIVE, IMAGINATIVE AND THAT IT COMMUNICATES.

>> OKAY, I DID NOT CATCH ALL OF THAT.

BUT WOULD DR. HANNA'S TESTIMONY STAND UP TO THE HIGH COURT'S DEFINITION OF ART?

>> ONE OF THE JUDGES IN OUR MOST RECENT CASE HIS QUOTE WAS --

>> CAN WE GET PAST THE IDEA THAT HOW THIS WAS THE --

>> THEY HAVE BEEN COMPARING TO US BALANCER INAS SO MUCH AND THAT PEOPLE PAY SOME OF

MONEY TO GO TO A BALLET AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS SO MUCH DIFFERENT FOR US

HERE JUST BECAUSE WE TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF.

>> I THINK IT'S CLEAR IN EVERYBODY'S EYES THAT A BALL ERINA IS PERFORMING CHOREOGRAPHY.

AND THE QUESTION HERE ARE THE MOVES THAT ARE DONE BY A STRIPPER ALSO CHOREOGRAPHY.

>> DR. HANNA?

>> JUST LIKE YOU HAVE TERMS IN BALLET FOR PLIE, THERE ARE TERMS FOR A MOVE, SPREAD

SHOW, GO PINK, SPREAD EAGLE, THE BIG BIRD, PINK BUY CASE, THE BUTTERFLY IS A MOVE

WHERE THE DANCER PUTS HER KNEES TOGETHER AND APART.

>> SHE MAKES IT SOUND LIKE ART BUT EVERYBODY KNOWS THE LADIES LOVE STRIPPERS.

TO WIN THIS CASE DICK NEEDS A MAN'S OBJECTIVE OPINION.

STEVE BARNES OF THE ALBANY TIMES UNION IS THE AREA'S MOST ESTEEMED ART CRITIC.

WE ASKED MR. MR. BARNES FOR HIS PROFESSIONAL REVIEW OF THE SHOW.

>> IS EXOTIC DANCE, ACT ONE IS THE DANCER COMING OUT, PERFORMING ON STAGE.

>> DURING THE COURSE AT WHICH SHE TAKES OFF HER ALREADY SKIMPY ATTIRE TO NOTHING AT ALL AND SWIRLS

AROUND THE POLE.

>> THE PERFORMERS HAVE SOME SKILL, THEY HAVE SOME CREATIVITY.

>> IT'S ALMOST A SIMULATE RODMAN PARTICULAR EXPERIENCE.

>> WIN DESK ON THE POLE, UP AND DOWN THE POLE IN A SUGGESTED MANNER.

>> SHE MIGHT INTERACT WITH THE PATRONS WHO COME UP TO TIP HER.

>> PUT IN IN HER CHIEFAGE, SOME HAVE A G STRING, THEY ARE PULL IT OUT AND OTHERS

JUST STAND THERE WITH THEIR HAND OUT.

>> AND ACT TWO WOULD BE THE PRIVATE DANCE.

>> THERE IS MORE THEATRE INVOLVED IN THE LAP DANCE THAN THE STAGE.

>> THE GIRL CAME UP AND CLAM PERED ON TOP OF ME AS IF I WERE A JUNGLE GYM.

>> SHE'S CONVEYING A MESSAGE TO THE PATRON.

>> SHE PUSHED PIE LEG AS PART AND SAID RELAX, GET ME GET DOWN IN THERE.

>> SHE MIGHT TOUCH THE PATRON'S SHOULDERS.

>> SMASHED MY FACE INTO HER CHEST, MY GLASSES FROM A COUP.

>> THEY MIGHT TALK.

>> BREAST SWEAT ON MY GLASSESES, FIRST TIME ON THE JOB.

(LAUGHTER)

>> Stephen: AND THE REVIEW IS IN.

>> I WAS ENTERTAINED BY IT.

BECAUSE I'M GAY I GET ABSOLUTELY NO-- .

>> Stephen: YOU'RE GAY?

>> YES, OH, WELL, ANYWAY, ANSWER THE QUESTION.

IS EXOTIC DANCING ART?

>> IT'S SOMETHING CREATED WITH AN AESTHETIC INTENT.

WHEN YOU-- THE AUDIENCE COMPONENT, THAT'S IT, IT'S ART.

>> Stephen: SEE EVEN THE GAY GUY SAYS IT'S ART.

>> IT'S LOUSY ART, THOUGH.

>> Stephen: HOW WOULD YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GAY.

THE POINT IS IT'S ART AND STEVEN DICK IS FIGHTING FOR IT.

>> I REFUSE TO BACK DOWN TO THE STATE WHEN EVERYONE TOLD ME I COULDN'T WIN.

>> Stephen: WELL, GUESS WHAT, EVERYONE, YOU WERE RIGHT.

>> LAP DANCE IS APPARENTLY AREN'T HIGHBROW ENOUGH TO GET A TAX BREAK CORDING TO

NEW YORK'S HIGHEST COURT.

>> Stephen: BUT THIS DIFFERENCE MAKER WON'T QUIT.

HE IS TAKING HIS BATTLE ALL THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT.

>> THIS IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR.

IS SOMEONE THAT FOUGHT FOR PEOPLE'S RIGHTS.

>> Stephen: MAKING HIM THE MARTIN LUTHER KING OF EXOTIC DANCE.

>> I DON'T KNOW IF I WOULD SAY HE IS THE MARTIN LUTHER KING OF EXOTIC DANCERS BUT

HE'S DEFINITELY MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

>> I THINK STEVE DICK IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

>> I THINK HE'S PROBABLY JUST TRYING TO SAVE HIMSELF A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY.

>> Stephen: MAYBE SO.

BUT ANY MONEY HE GETS IN A SETTLEMENT WILL GO STRAIGHT TO THE DANCERS.

>> THE DANCERS WILL NOT BE RECEIVING ANY OF THE SETTLEMENT.

>> Stephen: NOW THAT'S A REAL DICK MOVE.

AND YOU, SIR ARE A DIFFERENCE MAKER.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) S.

>> Stephen: WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.