Guest Blogger: Susie Caboose

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Caboose.

A delightful pseudonym conspicuously chosen for a lady with a rear-end of particularly ample proportions. It took me awhile to decide on a name which would represent my alter-ego; which would pervade the dirty, delicious ass-pects lurking in the perverted corner of the brain, located in part of the hypothalamus (You know, that part...responsible for sexual behaviour. See, I knew we were on the same page!)

It didn’t always occur to me that my name should focus on an epic region of my body. After all, it is behind me. I also wondered if that was the message I wanted to send out. Did I want to use the art form as a tool of manipulation against hyper female objectification or did I wish to flaunt it with a splash of liberation in a pool party of emancipating exhibitionists?

Burlesque has caused me to have several feminist debates with myself. I can go in circles for hours (but at least I always win.) The point is, you can do both, or neither. Burlesque is like the clay of theatre genres. You can shape it into whatever you desire. No pun needed.

Once I chose my angle, my roommate and I practically went through the entire directory of cutesy monikers for ones bottom.

And that’s where the tale begins, of a little ol’ bootylicious-betty who takes her rump to the stage. Since then, the Burlesque Sea has raged with many perils. As many of us sexy sailors have lived to tell their stories. A gig will probably never turn out exactly how you planned. Unless you have super powers (like in my next show! Wink, wink!)

A great example of that is the night I hosted my first show. After a ridiculous amount of time fussing over a self-edited track for one of the nights performances, I decided last minute it would be easier to literally just bring my computer to the venue. And this is no portable laptop. This is a heavy G4 Mac desktop wrapped up in Styrofoam in a massive box. I entered the bar looking like I brought my entire apartment with me.

Fortunately, I was able to set it up on the bar without much of a problem. No, because those came later. After disregarding a lot of odd behaviour from the bar manager and the bartender (I’m talking excessive laughing, weird comments etc.) the show went on relatively smoothly. Until one of our lovely guest performers was on stage in the middle of her routine and the music just cuts out! I turn in a snap to see what happened.

When I hear someone inquisitively murmur, “Why’d you unplug it?!” The bar manager had accidentally unplugged the computer. How could that be, I wondered to myself. Luckily, the dancer on stage did an adorable and compelling job of keeping her poise in the face of Oops! Shortly after that little doozy, the bar guy pulls me aside, and asks me if I’d like some mushrooms. “What?” I reply. “You know, some ‘shrooms! The bartender and I have some.” “You’re on ‘shrooms?!” Persistent laughing. Oh my. And then it all makes sense. Hallucinogens. Right. Okay. I get it.

After that, you just learn to roll with the punches. And there’s quite a few. But this isn’t boxing, this is burlesque! And I’m going to look pretty darn it! No matter what happens.

Susie Caboose is performing with The Dirty Dollar Dollies at Good Handy's in Toronto on the evening of July 10th, in aid of Women's Shelter.

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