The Stripper Next Door by Emma Lea Corbett (aka Suzie Q)
Review by Ally Cat aka Alessandra Izzo
I have been following the pole career of Suzie Q aka Emma Lea Corbett since around 2007 when I first saw her perform. It was for Miss Pole Dance Australia, and she did a superbly entertaining take on a sexy robot who struggled to do anything on the pole – until she “loosened up” with some “WD40” spray (actually hairspray) and suddenly became a pole maestro.
I was always transfixed by her ability to command an audience, and ever since then she’s been a performer I consider as one of my all-time favourites. Thus, when I saw she had written a book of her personal memoirs I was instantly keen to get my hands on a copy.
I have to admit that I’m not usually one to read memoirs. However, the Aussie sex industry and pole industry have produced several memoirs that I’ve really enjoyed (In My Skin, Two Decades Naked), not to mention the grand adventures of T-Mac & Filly (Don’t Even). After reading The Stripper Next Door I’m now convinced that both the sex industry and pole industry attract some of the most interesting, driven, and talented women in the world – whose lives are as riveting as their stage presence.
What I found unique about The Stripper Next Door compared to the previously mentioned books, was Suzie’s transformation from stripper to yogi. Not, that those labels mean anything – but while the book traverses her experiences from one point to another, the self-reflection present at various times seemed to similarly reflect her self-awareness (or sometimes lack of it) along the way.
It was as though she had, through her own process of self-discovery, been able to gain a birds-eye view of her own internal landscape over time and on writing, was able to “regress” – letting the reader truly feel who she was at the start of her journey, and somehow participate in her personal growth through the years.
Then, following certain experiences and as the book progresses, the window into whom she has become gains clarity, giving the reader the sensation that they have walked alongside her physically, emotionally and spiritually – from the time she first steps foot into a club, to where she ends up at the close of the book.
For those of you in the pole community, this book is undoubtedly worth getting your hands on. It documents some of the early days of our pole history, from one of the pioneers of the industry. You will recognise some, if not many, of the characters – and get a behind-the-scenes experience of what it was like to actually be at some of the most historic moments in the creation of the pole industry as we know it now.
However, beyond that it is simply an engrossing read about an extraordinary woman who has led an exceptional life. Suzie’s almost obsessive drive is clear through the whole book and it’s eye-opening to see what it can take to achieve the kind of life she has created for herself. She’s also able to hold herself up “naked”, and openly bare her shortcomings, her pain, her fears, and some of her greatest difficulties – even those that perhaps she’s still working through now. It’s a wonderful insight into a remarkable woman, and a fascinating industry. Highly recommended.
Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book for us to read.
You can purchase the book via Booktopia here.
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