The women in the audience rest their hands in their laps as they try to suppress their laughter during Christa Bell’s moving and interactive presentation.
Christa Bell visited CU last Thursday, performing her spoken word and musical comedy, “CoochieMagik.” The event was hosted by the Women’s Resource Center.
The event surrounded the basic goal of feminist empowerment. “Coochie” (which is a slang term for vagina) was the root of all the “CoochieMagik” of the evening as Bell used her multiple array of talents to motivate the women in the audience to recognize their feminist strength.
Bell is an artist who wears many hats: comedian, musician, spoken word poet and performer. She has received national recognition for her slam poetry and performances. According to the WRC Web site, Bell’s work focuses on “the feminine divine, and empowering women in their sexuality and spirituality.”
Bell’s performance at CU included spoken word poems that were sometimes screamed, sometimes sung. Her dramatic voice and presence seemed to leave the audience in rapture as they listened.
Teresa Peterson, a 20-year-old communication and Spanish major, said she enjoyed Bell’s poetry.
“It was amazing to me,” Peterson said. “It was beautiful. Really raw and passionate.”
Bell was sure to encourage audience interaction during her “CoochieMagik” show as laughter and call and response helped further unite the crowd.
Bell explains that she found her voice through the questions that follow being the daughter of a Christian preacher.
“I grew up in a church,” Bell said. “There were a whole lot of contradictions, so I was always questioning.”
Bell says she started her own religion, “Sheism-the woman worship way.”
Her religion, as she says, focuses on “Creating time for self, based on your own body.”
Bell said ‘Sheism’ is her way for women to celebrate their own sexuality.
“Through history, women’s sexuality has been demonized,” Bell said.
Bell said that those newly initiated into ‘Sheism’ must promise to orgasm for the next 40 days.
“We’re so shut down around here (gestures to coochie). Come as often as you possibly can. Come. Orgasm,” Bell said.
This call for such a strong sexual awakening resonated strongly with the audience.
“I thought it was really powerful, really unexpected,” said Peterson of the performance.
Bell explained the inspiration for the title of the performance, ‘CoochieMagik.’
To invoke coochie magic, Bell instructs women to use a mirror to examine their coochie, and then to draw it.
“Draw your coochie as she is; not how you want her to be,” Bell said.
Next, to make coochie magic happen, Bell says women must focus on their desires with their coochie.
“Make a list of what you want to manifest in the world, take the list and put it on [the drawing of] your coochie,” Bell said.
Alexandra Engelhardt, a 20-year-old sophomore architecture major, said she attended the event to receive extra credit in one of her classes. She said she wasn’t expecting to be as impacted by the performance as she was.
“I thought it was intense for sure,” Engelhardt said. “It was funny, and surprisingly inspiring.”
Peterson said the intensity of Bell’s performance helped inspire a connection between the women in the audience.
“We are all strangers but we have that inherent bond,” Peterson said. “It’s like magic.”
View a recorded performance of Christa Bell: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOEiIvsAMe4
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Mary Rochelle at Mary.email@example.com.