Julie Cascioppo
This international song stylist is doing her one-woman cabaret show at Thumper's (1500 E Madison, 328-3800) through the end of the month.

How widely have you traveled? "You know, I've been around the world so many times I'm dizzy. I've been, most recently, to Asia, before that I was in Paris and Istanbul, and then I was doing those cruises for a while. I went to Russia. I think I deserve to be called 'international' because I've spent so much time abroad."

What's the average age of the passengers on those cruises? "The ages are quite varied--I'd say between 40 and 65, 40 and 100. Some people know they're going to die, so they decide to go on a cruise, finally. I got a little antsy on those cruises; when you go into ports of call you only get to stay a couple of hours, then off you go to another city."

Has anyone keeled over before your eyes? "No, but I've given several people heart attacks--and that is not a laughing matter. Usually because they misinterpreted something I was doing."

Like what? "Like once the zipper in my dress broke--I was on a date--and the guy thought I was making a come-on to him. I said, 'Oh my gosh the zipper just broke on my dress,' and he said, 'I'm having a heart attack.'"

How old was this man? "Oh, he was in his 60s. He had a heart condition anyway. That was back in the early days, when I was in San Francisco, singing at a bar called the Orange Duck. In my salad days."

How old were you at the time? "I was 20, or 19. I wasn't legal."

And you were dating a guy in his 60s? "Yeah, well, I had a crush on him. He was a guy in the bar who... it was the beginning of my career. He reminded me of my father and I was homesick. He was an old Italian man."

Did he survive? "I remember I had to call the fire department. As they were hauling him away on a stretcher, he pulled a handful of money out of his pocket and said, 'Take a taxi home.' That's the story of my life."

Is that the worst date you ever had? "Well, I considered it one of the best."

Interview by Bret Fetzer