Was Rabbie Burns right? Would we avoid more of life’s pratfalls if we had the power “to see ourselves as others see us”?
Susie K. Taylor put the bard’s theory to the test and turned the results into a play. She asked family, in-laws, friends, frenemies and even an ex-lover to write down what they really, truly thought of her.
Susie is a Miami Jewish woman who describes herself as “self-involved, loud and stubborn” and is married into a vocal and vibrant Cuban Catholic family.
The responses were vivid.
Her comedy drama Jewbana, which premieres at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is about what people said and how that has changed her approach to life.
She even plays the parts of all the people telling her their views.
Jewbana is honest, raw, fun, silly and a little sexy
She says: “I effectively put Burns’ observation to the test. It was a crazy idea but I essentially asked others to help write my script as a way for me to see myself.
“The results were not always pretty, mostly funny and often uncomfortably accurate. It’s a 360-degree perspective on a real woman – the good, the bad, ‘the asshole’. It’s also a lot about clashing cultures, complex family politics and motherhood.”
Plus there’s a dash of burlesque.
As someone who has led a vivid life, following her passions, whims and dreams Susie has her share of emotional baggage.
This has been compounded by her career as an actor. Actors spend their working lives being other people and trying to please audiences and directors. Susie feels they often also pick up additional baggage from the characters they inhabit.
All this led her to ask the question: Who is Susie Taylor? Jewbana tries to answer the question with heart, humour and some very distinctive Miami flavour.