…the one where my girlfriend was peeing in the bushes and the cops showed up.

Some memories of high school still make me roar with laughter.

cops and peeing in the bushes 01 by casey carlisle

Picture this: Alice Springs, a small outback town in the middle of the desert, nineteen eighty something.

When there isn’t a lot to do in a dust bowl of a town like the one we were fortunate to grow up in, you make your own fun. And this night it happened to be in the form of ‘cruising around.’ Where hapless teenagers would drive from the Truck Stop to the Golf Course, to the Speedway or Drive-In on an endless loop, hooting and hollering at other kids from the same school indulging in the same activity. Aimlessly wandering the streets in a car said that we were free! To have a car was a massive status symbol… and my Mum’s Mercedes Benz was the biggest statement of all – especially filled with a four-pack of gussied-up teenage girls.

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We call it cruising around because not only did we partake in the automobile activity, but it was usually accompanied by Vodka Cruisers, Goon-bags of wine, or in our case, West Coast Coolers. But before you get your fingers out to waggle at me, I was the designated driver, so no alcohol for me. If my parents had gotten a sniff of trouble, or I so much as sullied the shine of the Merc, my car privileges would be revoked until I was a hundred years old. That meant no freedom, no flaunting for boys, and nights filled with lame video marathons and grumpy parental chaperones.

As it sometimes happens when you’re driving about with a car full of four buzzed pubescent girls, someone needed to pee. Real bad. And we were ages away from the nearest facilities. Being Alice Springs, it’s just a case of pulling over on the side of the road and you can sneak into the bush to do your business – So that’s what we did.

I had to angle the cars lights off the road so my friend could see where she was walking, and while she ventured into the scrub we turned up the radio and proceeded to dance in the headlights – as you do when you’re feeling the chemical rush of half a West Coast Cooler in the middle of nowhere.

cops and peeing in the bushes 02 by casey carlisle

Just as we bust a move, hear the trickle of pee splash from behind a shrub, a cop car pulls up. Great!

One of my friends freaks out, dives into the car and is desperately shoving our coolers under the seats – yes, we were drinking under the legal age. She’s a bit of a goody-two-shoes, so to say it looked like she was in the throws of a heart attack is an understatement.

I’m a little shocked and dumbfounded to see the men in blue show up in the most deserted place in Australia, one friend gyrating in the headlights, another hyperventilating inside the car, as another stumbles out of the bush yanking up her jeans. What must they think?

cops and peeing in the bushes 03 by casey carlisle

They do what cops back then did – posture a little, have us line up and invade our space… no doubt trying to detect a waft of booze on our breaths. Luckily we all managed to pull it together long enough for the boys in blue to believe our story that we only pulled over for an emergency toilet stop. I didn’t know it at the time, but they had actually suspected that we’d stolen the car and were out joyriding (another activity of the local youth in this armpit of a town.)

Just as they were about to leave, headquarters radioed them back, a check on the licence plate number had yielded a result, and wouldn’t you know – my parents hadn’t paid the latest registration fee.

Needless to say the night ended with my father coming to collect us, screaming at the cops because they wouldn’t let him drive an unregistered car. But like hell he was going to leave a luxury car sitting on the side of the road waiting to be stolen. My friends were dumped home, and, like ninjas, my parents collected the car in the shadow of night while I kept a lookout for the police as we sneaked the car home.

I don’t know when they found the bottles of booze under the seat, the next time I checked, they were gone. But I didn’t get into trouble, or have my car driving privileges revoked… thankfully they were too embarrassed at having my friends and I hassled by the police for driving an unregistered car.

That’s what I call a lucky break! And that’s how we roll in country towns 😉


© Casey Carlisle 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – None of the Above by I. W. Gregorio


None of the Above Book Review Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, GLBT

No. of pages: 352

From Goodreads:

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?  

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I loved this simply because of its subject matter.

Although there are some mixed feelings – on the one hand, the subject matter is fascinating and heart-touching and was dealt with intelligently and compassionately; on the other, I felt there wasn’t enough going on other than the main plot. The characters could have been developed more. An arc or two thrown in.

There were some issues that had me grinding my teeth – I felt there were too many times Kristin, our protagonist, contracted a bad case of verbal diarrhoea. Only because it lost a sense of reality. Girls with secrets like this don’t go and just blurt them out. They bottle them up, let it eat them up inside, and hopefully, a very close friend notices something is up, and manages to drag out the issue before the girl ends up doing self-harm. Psychological issues like this weren’t even hinted at – and given the author is surgeon who deals with the intersex community, I felt was a big disservice.

This book illustrated a lot about bullying and ignorance. Many of the taunts Kristin suffered didn’t even make sense because the idiots bandying about awful words were – in all the definitions of the word – stupid. I was angry for Kristin, I was embarrassed for her, I pitied her, but most of all I just wanted her to open her eyes and get her to stop putting herself in the position where she needed to defend herself.

She shouldn’t have to.

But I’ve known people in similar situations and they usually keep quiet. Be it for their own safety, or shame, or a million other reasons. Again, Kristin’s actions did not make a whole lot of sense other than the author forcing Kristin into a situation to illuminate a point…

Again, some other scenes that urked me were most of the kissing scenes, which progressed into some extremely intimate touching… going from never been kissed, to a full on snog and finger insertion – in a paragraph – and was insulting and not called for. It served no purpose other than the author trying to assert a point that had already been proven. Maybe I’m a prude, but there is no way in hell I’d let a boy do that to me during a first kiss!

I know it sounds like I’m bagging this book, when in fact I think it is original and brings up pertinent points and a new type of heroine. It helps educate the reader about something they may never (knowingly) get exposed to in real life. I believe we need more positive stories about the GLBT community. This novel is amazing, I just feel the story was forced to go places it shouldn’t have and missed others that were important to Kristin and her journey. Let’s hope, that in the least, it can start a dialogue, or reach some of the intersex kids out there, so they know they are not alone.

Gregorio has an easy enough to read style, a bit clunky (but maybe it was because I chose to take issue with the story) – but a novel that lends itself to be completed in a day. I would have liked to see heavier subject matter – it felt too light (trying to be a romance novel) for the issues of a girl discovering she is intersex. I also feel the rest of the cast were overlooked and underdeveloped for the sake of this topic as well.

A valiant little book that I’d recommend to anyone.

Overall feeling: Eyebrow raising!

None of the Above Book Review Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

None of the Above Book Review Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Casey, Cancer and Cabaret

What started out as something on my Bucket List turned into a business and fundraising event that was anything but boring.

Daffodil Day CC220In the spirit of Daffodil Day here in Australia (Friday 28th of August), where we come together to raise funds to help fight cancer, I wanted to step away from the usual blog and share an old story about how I raised funds when I was in the middle of my own battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…

TLEG Promo shot 01I had launched a production back in 2004 booking dancers and variety acts in Perth, Western Australia. I’d been thinking about it when going through Chemo (the second time) and as I was slowly recovering, launched the business. You could say this was the start of my Bucket List – I wanted to cram as many crazy ideas as I could into this short life. Basically, all I had to do was take bookings and manage a marketing campaign. Most of it was done online and at weekends, so it was perfect for someone who was sick half the time.

The company grew and I added drag and cabaret performers into the mix from hairdressing and ballroom dancing contacts. Business was doing really well, and I was growing the company and getting gigs for just about every weekend. That’s when I had the fantastic idea to form a troupe and create an Australian and New Zealand Las Vegas Styled Showgirl tour…

…until I stopped responding to treatment and needed to have a number of surgeries to remove malignant lumps.

Lavender Casey Carlisle ShowgirlBut I wasn’t about to let all that hard work and money go to waist, So instead I decided to put on a charity event for the Cancer Council in conjunction with the re-launch of the refurbished Perth Town Hall. Initially it was supposed to be dinner theatre for four weekends in a row, but my publicity company dropped the ball and ticket sales were poor. In the end we produced one massive night, getting rid of the meals so we could really pack the place. In the week prior both myself and the cast managed to drum up more publicity than the company I’d paid a small fortune to…

It was all very stressful, and in hindsight I should have let it go as soon as my health started to backslide. But when you have twenty employees counting on you, it’s hard to be so selfish. My partner at the time was the Godsend who got me through it all.

If I hadn’t been so ill, I may have been tracking the publicity company more closely and our original intention realised. But that’s all water under the bridge now.

Adding to the pressure, I had three small operations scheduled in the six weeks of rehearsal time leading up to the event. One to remove cancer growing on the cartilage of my nose; another to remove lumps on my jaw (along with a wisdom tooth and molar) and the final one to get lumps on my throat. There were more surgeries planned for larger areas later that year, but given that I don’t respond well to anaesthesia, as much as could be done under twilight sedation was first off the bat.

Stupid me had re-organised the show for the single night gala, where I was basically the headline act. Not having been through surgery before, I had underestimated the recovery time. I did, manage several walk-throughs and kicked butt in the dress rehearsal… over ten years of a dancing career under my belt enabled me to wing a part of it. My stitches were removed two days before curtain up.

I have to give it to my cast mates and stage staff though, they did an amazing job amongst so much change and adversity. Especially my partner in crime, when I was drained and emotional he picked up the slack and kept everything running smoothly and placated the highly strung creative types in this industry.

Perth Town Hall Dressing Room by Casey CarlisleLeading up to the day, I had half of the cast pull out, or had to replace them (due to no-shows at rehearsals) and ended up with a number of drag performers. We combined the numbers around a Beauty Pageant theme with a comedic twist and used the variety acts as support acts in between the group and solo numbers of the main cast. What had been turning into a dogs breakfast transformed into something beyond even what I could have hoped for. So with a mix of Queens and girls it turned out to be a Connie and Carla extravaganza!

The gang pulled together and helped with costuming – with over 120 individual outfits completed, including wigs, hairpieces, feather backpacks, and head pieces… thank goodness for outsourcing!



Pageant show by Casey Carlisle

On the 9th of September, the Perth Town Hall will be transformed into the glitziest venue in the city for a charitable cabaret show to raise funds for cancer sufferers. The Miss Australia Covergirlz Pageant, brought to Perth by the Tina Louise Entertainment Group, this event asks that the audience makes a donation upon entry for the Western Australia Cancer Council.

Audiences will see six performers, Casey Carlisle, Chaise Punani, Sapphire, Gillette Venus, Elle Niño, and Cinnamon dance, sing and dazzle their way through the evening. With her signature red locks, curvaceous body and flirtatious laugh, Casey Carlisle is the founder of the Tina Louise Entertainment Group. Having survived Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma twice and just 2 week ago recovered from surgery Casey is trying to follow her passion of performing and raising money to help those who are fighting cancer themselves. The group’s high energy and extensive repertoire of shows are known for their extravagant costumes and hypnotic choreography. The group collectively has experience in acting, dancing, modelling and M.C. work for corporate, theatre, television, photographic and promotional events throughout Australia. 

Don’t miss all the action on the 9th of September 2005 at the Friends and Family for Cancer cabaret show at the Perth Town Hall, corner of Hay and Barrack Streets, Perth. Donation at the door with all proceeds going to the W.A. Cancer Council . Doors open at 7 pm.


We managed to raise just a sizeable sum for the charity and despite the difficulties and hospitalisation, it was one of the happiest and most entertaining nights of my life. Something I am immensely proud of and will always treasure the memories. And well, hey, another outlandish item crossed off the Bucket List.

In 2010 the company was wrapped up after continuing health issues and needing to relocate for further treatment. It was a sad day, but necessary. Although I had many other challenges ready to face from my Bucket List.

I was lucky to gain much of my health back (thanks to miracle-working doctors and a change in lifestyle). Many of my friends and family have not fared so well. I’ve lost some incredible people from my life. Please support this worthy cause when you can. Buy a ribbon, a pin… or do it in big flashy and glittering style. Every little bit helps.

To those no longer with us – I am truly blessed to have shared your journey. You have changed my life for the better and it has truly been enriched to have had you in it.

I miss your face.

Bucket List by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Book Review – Anything Could Happen by Wil Walton

Authentic as hell.

Anything Could Happen Pic 01 by Casey CarlisleGenre: Y/A, Contemporary, GLBT

No. of pages: 288

From Goodreads:

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend. For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world. Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained. 

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An awkward tale that is so sweet. It rings true to how we can all feel a little out of step as we battle through high school and adolescence. Even though this is a contemporary romance, I felt it had more to do with finding a happy place with who you are – accepting yourself – rather than finally getting the girl or guy; or a coming out story. Even though it’s all of those things, the undercurrent with Anything Could Happen is like a resounding boom. I loved it. It’s upbeat, quirky, and written to a familiar soundtrack. Halcyon (by Ellie Goulding) is featured prominently, and you can hear the lyrics singing up at you from the pages.

Anything Could Happen Pic 04 by Casey CarlisleWith an easy to read narrative, this is one of my favourite GLBT books at the moment. I’ve read half a dozen in this genre in the past month to experience a protagonist apart from young heroines – and it’s been fun. Walton’s book is a positive story, much like a warm hug, but oozing realism. A totally authentic account of Tretch’s journey. I particularly loved how he danced without abandon in his room… so cute!

The cast (notably Tretch’s family) are beautiful and very prominent in the story line and not in the periphery like in much of YA. And while there were some surprises around their story, the plot is a little predictable. But in a good way.

I’d definitely recommend this book for an afternoons reading in the sun – something to leave a smile on your face.

Overall feeling: I’m happy to be me!

Anything Could Happen Pic 02 by Casey Carlisle

Anything Could Happen Pic 03 by Casey Carlisle

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

She ain’t as flexible as she used to be… by Casey Carlisle

 With some family visiting for a couple of weeks recently, they were doing the usual peek through the photo albums and frames on the bookshelf. It’s funny how as your interests change, file away past obsessions into that cobweb infested part of the mind. Every now and then you pull out pleasant memories and wipe off the dust, smiling at all the fun you used to have. I wish it was that easy with dancing – just a quick buff and you’re fit and limber once more.

A combination of Auntie marveling at the number of trophies adorning the shelves from my youth (as Aunties always do, doting and squishing your cheeks in familial admiration) and some holiday weight gain, resulting in fitness as something I’ve been trying to get back into form recently. So, up before the crack of dawn, decked out in my sweats and sporting a positive attitude I began to stretch. Well, a more accurate description would be bend; and more often than not, accompanied with a grunt, wheeze or groan (not to mention an unsavory clicking or grinding in my joints). When did I get so old?


But I’m determined to get back some of that vitality! It is working, I’ve been eating clean,* working out, and “bending” a little further daily. I’m not aiming to get back to the days where I would be flying across the floorboards in a skimpy latin outfit with precision footwork blurring underneath an unwavering smile. Or even effortlessly gracing along in a massive ballgown, the long extended lines of my arms and legs defying gravity and exuding elegance and romance. I’d actually just like to be able to last a couple of song-lengths in my workout without feeling like I’m going to pass out, or puke, or pass out while puking.

ImageBack in my hey-day I’d competed in the Australasian Dancesport Championships, I was training most nights of the week and had a job hairdressing, so I was always active. Now I’m a slave to my laptop, always in a seated position (or lying down – okay, don’t judge). It’s not essential that every day I am coiffed to perfection and boasting impeccable make up. Maybe if I’d been wearing my pencil skirts more often I’d have felt the waist band constricting more and more before so many kilograms had snuck on my tummy and thighs. Curse being a writer! Maybe I should buy one of those treadmill workstations?



Pfft! Who am I kidding. I’m happy with my body shape and as long as I’m strong enough to carry an armful of books and my laptop.

*eating clean refers to a diet of unprocessed (natural) ingredients. So fruits and vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, (no mince meat, sausages, etc) nuts, eggs, etc. Basically anything that comes pre-packaged is a big no-no. Don’t add any dressings or sauces to your food. Bread is not really included, but you can get away with an occasional whole grain brand. Substitute sugar with honey where you can. There are various descriptions and for this diet, but I’ve found these general rules work for me.


© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.