Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Pole Dancing" Recap

When I first decided to perform "Pole Dancing" in public, I was full of the kind of swaggering bravado sometimes found among the "seriuosly ill."

"Have you ever done anything like this before?" my husband queried.

"Nope, never done it," I answered.

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he further questioned.

"Yep, I'm sure about it," I assured him.

"It's all about taking personal risks," I boasted. "That's the upside of having a serious illness."

But as the day of "IWOSC Reads Its Own" came closer, the air started to seep out of my puffed up self assuredness.

Yesterday, I had a stomach full of out-of-control butterflies. Today, the creatures were practically choking me. "I can't do this," I cried to George and Cynthia. "If you're sick, you don't have to," they assured me. After all, I was on the record with flu-like symptoms last week and could use the oldest excuse in the book ("I have a tummy ache") to get out of my commitment. And if that didn't work, I could always pull out the ol' cancer card.

On the drive to Dutton's, I still wasn't sure if I was able to follow through. I fretted that my performance would bring shame upon myself, my family and the entire IWOSC organization. (That's the Japanese in me coming out.)

In the end, I forced those butterflies to fly in formation and went on "stage" at the courtyard at Dutton's. Among the crowd were 22 of my Cancer Banter buddies. 17 of us crossed the street to the Early World Cafe for an early dinner after the show.

To my delight, the crowd laughed and cried in all the right places. Everyone said that the pole, borrowed from the Convalescent Aid Society of Pasadena (thanks, Carolyn and Bruce) added a lot, but I forgot to pack my red feather boa.

Paula had suggested that I videotape the reading, but I'm sorry to say that I didn't get my act together to make that happen.

I've been asked to read at the upcoming West Hollywood Book Festival on September 30, and, if I'm not at Hotel Hope having a stem cell transplant, I'll once again pull out the pole (and the boa) for another round of public pole dancing.


denise said...

Thanks, Susan, for a wonderful afternoon. It was a beautiful day, great stories, poems, etc. So nice to have put some faces to a lot of names.

You brought the house down :)

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Yayy! I'm glad it went well:) Good for you!

Lisa C.

SAMO Calling said...

Susan -
Do I sense a tour in your future? Sounds like you're going to need some roadies for the props, a cameraman, craft services.
Lovely meeting the team!

Desiree said...

go susan go susan go susan!

Margaret Finnegan said...

So glad it went well. How could it not? You are brilliant, smart, sensitive, and beautiful. I want to be you when I grow up.


Suzy Keleher said...

That was so much fun, Susan! I had butterfies for you as you waited to go on after several we could all get to see you perform. And what a performance it was! You were animated, had great tones and pitch, had us all in stitches and, well, yea, brought the house down. You were the best. I could have listened to you for a lot longer. I am so glad you were asked to do it at another venue...who knows where this could take you, Susan...Just remember us little people! It was fabu to meet some of your great friends, too. I feel blessed to be among such company, y'all! Love you, Suze

Carolyn H. said...

Sunday at Dutton's was great fun! You were terrific. I enjoyed all the readings, some of them a great deal, but I still thought you were the best! I think you brought a lot of sensitivity to your situation and found a very effective way to let us in on your experiences. It makes it easier to remember that we're still the same people inside even when we are stuck in difficult and alienating situations. I'm so glad you'll be sharing this with other audiences! And it was great to meet (and re-meet) some of your wonderful friends.


David said...

Susan, your reading was the highlight of the afternoon for me. Really. Truly.