Professor reads erotic poetry at naughty bake sale

Richard Kaulbars, known by his stage name Emerson Lake, gathered a group of comedians and a burlesque dancer to preform with him as he recited his erotic poetry at Stray Dog Brewing Company in Orleans on Oct. 20. Kaulbars, who is a scriptwriting professor at Algonquin College, has had a successful writing career. Kaulbars wrote […]
Photo: Alex Campbell
Emerson Lake reads dirty song lyrics for the crowd at Stray Dog Brewing Company in Orleans on Oct. 20.

Richard Kaulbars, known by his stage name Emerson Lake, gathered a group of comedians and a burlesque dancer to preform with him as he recited his erotic poetry at Stray Dog Brewing Company in Orleans on Oct. 20.

Kaulbars, who is a scriptwriting professor at Algonquin College, has had a successful writing career. Kaulbars wrote for the comedy network for many years, working on shows such as Kevin Spencer, For Better or For Worse and Toad Patrol, the latter being popular in Japan. Kaulbars even won the top prize in a contest by Fade In Magazine for the short film category and won $1,000 and the chance to sit in on their “pitchfest,” where writers gather to pitch ideas to A-list Hollywood producers, representatives and executives. Unfortunately, the actors’ strike has postponed it.

The night was full of laughter, music and moans. Lake, as the interactive host, had participants listen to him read dirty song lyrics and moan when they guessed the song. The winner of the music trivia took home a cake with none other than burlesque dancer Tanya King’s image on top.

Participants could also purchase an assortment of naughty baked goods from the bar including nipple and phallic-shaped lollipops as well as gingerbread men decorated with kinky clothing.

King danced in her burlesque fashion very proudly. A drag performer for eight years and more recently a burlesque performer, she didn’t always find the idea appealing. After living a regular day-to-day life, she wanted more.

“I found this desire in my core to do something artistic,” King said.

She found her artistic calling and drag helped her feel more comfortable being herself.

“Drag was really the critical first part that got me out of the closet,” King said.

Burlesque allowed her to “bask in the sun” after transitioning into a woman, giving her a way to celebrate her femininity without critiquing female gender norms as she felt she was expected to as a drag queen.

Comedians Owen McGowan and Pierre Brault also preformed. McGowan took over for Glenys Marshall after the latter had to back out a short time before the show.

McGowan wasn’t too fond of stand-up but enjoyed an act while going to support a friend who was performing stand-up. “Thought I can do this, I should do this, I want to do it, so I tried my first open mic and I had the time of my life,” McGowan said.

McGowan dropped his opera classes and has been a comedian ever since.

Brault and Kaulbars tried a new sketch out for the first time. Kaulbars, as Lake, wanted to mock anti-LGBT protesters with an SNL-like skit. Brault played an angry protester who was eventually turned over in the end.

“Pierre Brault deserves a lot of credit. He is a guy who plays the NAC and I only know him because I know a lot of actors in town,” Kaulbars said. “He loves comedy.”

Kaulbars has attended many anti-trans protests to join in on the counter-protests. “It’s a party, that’s where the haters meet their Waterloo. They’re there yelling and being mean, and we’re there with Pride mix,” Kaulbars said before imitating the noise of loud music.

He wants his shows to be “transtastic.”

Kaulbars has tried his hand at stand-up comedy as well, although notes it’s a lonely lifestyle.

“I was the youngest of five kids. I loved troupes, I love being in groups that inspire me. Stand-up, I just ended up drinking too much and being lonely,” Kaulbars said. “I wasn’t writing and I wasn’t liking it anymore.”

Kaulbars hopes to expand his performances and have a roster of performers to choose from. He does shows at Bowie’s Music Club in Smiths Falls but is having trouble finding a central stage in Ottawa. On top of that, he is busy being a professor during the day and a father for his children.

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