Sunday, June 21, 2009

'The Ghosts Show Up To Clear The Storm, en masse'

Here's the scene yesterday. At five o'clock in the afternoon, (three hours from the show) Boulder saw the biggest thunderstorm of the summer, with a giant sized hail storm in Lower Boulder. Dan and I went up to the theatre, still refusing to cancel the show. As the lightning and rain fell outside, (all of our equipment under tarps) we went inside Anselm's house and ran through the show, verbally speaking all the cues. It didn't look good for us. People started calling Anselm's house, to see if the show had been cancelled. We said, "NO". After this storm blew by, we went out to look at the horizon. More thunderstorms looming to the west, folks, it didn't look good. I went into my, 'what if we do have to cancel mode', but didn't stay there long. Anselm was very optimistic, and so we proceeded as if we were going to do the show, even if Mother Nature wasn't cooperating, (we'll show her!). At seven o'clock, there was still a giant thunderhead looming, but we proceeded to set up for the show, putting up our set, complete sound system, lighting, the works, folks. At seven thirty, people started to show up. Cheryl had a shuttle system set up, so the people that had no four wheel drive could get there. At seven-forty five, the skies begin to miraculously clear to the west, and the sun came out! People started arriving now quickly, and the seats rapidly filled up. Although we didn't start the show until 8:15p, it finally got underway. 

I can only tell you that the audience was so strong, and the setting was so powerful, (high up on the mesa surrounded by pinon pines) that the show seemed to come from some otherworldly place. I had the audience that I had longed for after the long struggle to find them in Los Angeles. Seventy five people spent the hour and a half with me, (it was a little chilly) and for that hour and a half, there was NO wind, NO rain, only the beauty of the sun dropping in the west amongst a few clouds. It was magical. It was 'dangerous' theatre, with a very adventuresome and 'dangerous' audience. Dan, (my brother) ran the tech flawlessly, and I was able to remember all of the new material, (spoken for the first time here). WE DID IT! The show went on! 

It wasn't until this morning that I realized how many ghosts and spirits were participating in this event. It was though a great leap of faith had to be covered before they would clear up the sky and let the performance happen. I'm not a warm and fuzzy angel, spirit, ghost, kind of guy, although I believe in them, I don't expect them to always help in a temporal world, but I can speak as a testament, that they were all there, my dad, (whose story I tell), Aunt LaRae, (always around to help) my Grandpa King, (who I evoke as a character), Jesus, (who I arm wrestle with) and even Hamlet showed up, (I take a road trip with him), and although we think of him as a fictional Shakespearean character, he is based on a real historical character, and oh my God did he come to life on this night! My Uncle Pole showed up to play some music with my father, as did all the dancing ghosts of yesteryear, to dance in the church gym for one more time. I would have to say that this performance of this particular show, changed me forever. Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen. Okay, I finally get what that means. 

This week, the process starts over again as we prepare for another show at Hills and Hollows, a country store here in Boulder. It will be a little easier to get people to, but no one is promising an easy passage, it could get interesting again, (there isn't a stage.... yet) Oh boy, here we go again!   


Jen Castle said...

Raymond, It was an AMAZING storm, everyone lost their power, computers and phones are blowed up all over town! And all I heard about today is what a FIERCE and AWESOME night it was. Bravo!!!!

DB said...

Excelent, excellent Raymond. I have been at that place myself and I know some angels and some ghosts and they do show up when they need to.

Wht a triumph for you and your buddies.

Long live theatre and its ornery spirits.


Pamela said...

Wow what a story!! I'm glad it all worked out for you all.

Ann said...

I was there...on top of Thompson's Ledge that we climbed often. Cayotes used to yip from the Cayote Caves just under the rim. I lived just west of the ledge growing up and memories flowed. Looking West, the sun peaked on my dad and grandfather's
land. My past unfurled.
The present...amazed a house, garden, a place for theatre was even there among the scrub pine and Cedar...let alone 75 people getting up there on a road made to scare the strong. Brigham Tea plants from my past are here and there. I made sandrock money to spend in the money cave off the ledge to the south. Raymond...
performer, singer, stage manager who made the towering rocks, and created lines were poetry and words of music. The ghosts were there for him.
And in that performance was the future...more creations and
music from the past..going forward. I loved it.

Kipp and Jeanne said...

We loved your performance on Saturday night. It was very moving. I (Kipp) met your father about 15 years ago when Spike Ress introduced him to me. We have watched him drive by our place over the ensuing years. He always had a friendly wave.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Kipp and Jeanne (down by Boulder Creek)

Larena said...

I'm almost through pouting because I wasn't there to enjoy this mingling of present, past and the ghosts in a high and lovely spot. They came to cheer on one of their own,gifted sons. The home town sky had to play a joke, of pretend fury just to see if you had the courage to carry on. Of course you did. Why am I not surprised?

Grace said...

Well, I remember sitting on that mountain top, late afternoon with a glass of wine. You were there, you were reading from the early writings of bohemian cowboy, I was secretly videotaping.

When I read your blog, a song came to's all I can think...

That's something to be proud of
That's a life you can hang your hat on
You don't need to make a million
Just be thankful to be workin'
If you're doing what you're able
And putting food there on the table
And providing for the family that you love
That's something to be proud of

And if all you ever really do is the best you can
Well, you did it man!

hearts and flowers!