Monday, June 21, 2010

'Dog Gymnast'

I woke up today to a beautiful pristine Boulder morning. The first thing I have to do when I get up is go out to the water faucet, where I have a high speed sprayer, and let Baby jump backwards to catch the water. Yes, I have a gymnastics dog, who will wait for me to spray by the faucet for hours if I let her. She started this when she was just a little pup, and now that she is full grown, she gets totally focused on this one activity. We have already had three sessions this morning and she is looking at me through the screen door for more. At least its vigorous exercise. It takes me back to being young and ready to burst into a run at any moment, remember those days? Yes, it's still a wonder to have a dog. While talking to my mom she mentioned a book about a border collie that I can't wait to read, apparently there is a discussion in the book about whether dogs have souls. Well, I had never given it much thought until this little soul was standing there looking at me, waiting for the next adventure. In fact, it seems to be a soul of the purest kind. Okay, here I go with 'dog talk' again, but for now, this dog is the closest soul to me at present.

Tomorrow I start two five-minute play workshops at The Red House Farm. It will be interesting to see if I have any students, as I haven't received any calls. There seems to be a pall in Boulder this year. I can't tell if it's me, or if my perspective is correct. I think some of it may be the long winter the locals have had, it seems to have sapped lots of energy from them. I also think as our economic crisis deepens, it's slowly catching up with everyone in some form.

I have no television in Lower Boulder, and no internet, (I have to drive up town to post and get e-mail, and of course 'facebook') so I get my news from the internet while I'm on line. Mostly, I check in every few days to find out what is happening in the world. Still, mostly bad news. The oil spill is a definite metaphor for the end of the oil age, I think, its very obvious to me that this crisis will create a backlash for the oil companies that they will never recover from. We all know that technology is stalled because of the vast amounts of oil still existing, and more importantly the vast amounts of money that will be lost by so many of those in power that are connected to oil. In my estimation, it’s a no brainer, but money controls what we can do and what we cannot. And here I am, out of gas in the truck and will have to go and fill my tank. My brother Dan is here, and he has no vehicle, so he walks everywhere. I don't think his intent is to stop using oil, but he is currently a prime example of not giving the oil companies his business. Walking in Boulder is beautiful, but they are definitely country miles here, by walking he will get himself into shape.

As you can see I am writing from Boulder, obvious that my 'big call' to head back to Austin to work on a movie is in perpetual delay. Will it happen? I can't tell you that, I can only tell you that economics have also hit the independent film business, and it's more difficult than ever to get financing. I know the producer of the film is still trying. In the meantime, my film script is still being passed to producers. The consensus on my script is that it 'is really good and well written', but mostly I hear that it doesn't fit into the 'mode of genre' right now. The director who is sending it out is telling me that everyone in Hollywood is skittish of the 'outlaw' independent film, and are back doing films that they think will make money. Like any other field, the vernacular of the movie business is really kind of funny. The 'mode of genre', is a funny one to me. This particular film script I wrote came out of my experience, I didn't intend it as a genre film, and yet it's definitely got its own genre. In the nineties and earlier twenty first century, there was so much money in Hollywood that there were throwing money at everything, and now, that money has dried up. Hollywood changes everyday though, so you never know what 'the next big thing' will be.

For now, I do what I've always done, go back to the theatre and get a vision for doing another play. Although in many ways I think a play is more difficult, the economics are much less, its at least doable in tough times. When my mind starts to focus on a play project, I get a very clear vision on what it will look like. Because 'Under the Desert' is on my mind, (and I've done a really good re-write) I have a clear vision to do it outdoors on a desert landscape. I will built a small theatre space with poles and canvas. Except for having to buy the canvas, I'll find the poles to build the structure that I need. My intent is to create 'an event', and with this play, I know it can be done. There are only two actors involved, and Boulder supplies plenty of landscape for its production. I do notice, however, either a great excitement or the glazed over eyes when I talk about it to folks. That's okay, I'm ready to delve into a project which I like to call 'big art'. I love the physical labor of the theatre, and I love the excitement of 'going down the wire' with a play. The world could be being destroyed, (Oh, I guess it is!) and while on the inside of a play, nothing else really matters. It is a consuming passion. Onward to the desert, onward to the struggle of doing theatre, its what I know.

The music continues to generate some income, this year I've started to expand my horizons with it. I'm feeling more confident with the songs and music that I've created. This Saturday, I will play my second gig in Escalante at The Cowboy Blues Bar and Restaurant. It's a great little place to play, and I'm looking forward to it. Saturday, I played at the grand opening of the veranda at the church, and it was great to play for that part of the community. I sang a song I wrote called 'Civil War Blues', a story song about some outlaws heading west after the Civil War. I wrote it last summer, but it's only this summer that I feel confident to sing and play it. I'm feeling more confident all the time with my guitar playing, and for me, that hasn't come easy. I am definitely a white boy that didn't have natural rhythm. But I am finding it, and am finding a style that I feel comfortable doing. Sometimes I wish I had more rock and roll in me, but I have to be satisfied with the cowboy and country music that I grew up with. For some reason, I love the Tex-Mex sound, and have been infusing my music with that 'bumpy' kind of Spanish sound. I'm yearning for an electric guitar, but for now will have to be satisfied with what I have. My Martin acoustic guitar is the best investment I ever made, and still puts out some great sound. I know an electric is just around the corner.

Okay, time to start this day. Tonight there is a summer party at The Red House Farm where there will be plenty of musicians strumming, it should be a good night of music, food, and fun. My fingers at this point are well worn, and I should be able to play for hours, this is a good feeling…

2 comments: said...

I just finished Soul of the Dog and will bring it, send it, or something for you to read. It's a winner! You will love Rose...and all the rest of the group on the farm. Enjoyed your blog are blessed with a gymnast dog...interesting.

Gerry said...

Don't be afraid to talk about your dog. People love the antics of dogs. I have always looked for stories about animals men have trained and brought out some remarkable qualities in them, every bit as wonderful as what people do. That was the joy of living on a ranch where we raised so many different animals. Men trained the horses and dogs to work with cattle. The cattle were trained to come back to their homes winter and summer usually led by a wise old cow. Our pet razor back pig thought he was a dog and chased cars with a hunting dog we had. The big horse teams knew they had to work all summer harvesting the crops. I suppose the deer even thought we owned them as they were allowed to feed every night in the alfalfa fields. The milk cows knew what they were supposed to do, come home and get milked. The hens knew they had to lay and the roosters knew they had to crow every morning and wake people up. The turkeys had to get fat for Thanksgiving. The big pigs ate until they got fat and hauled off to market. I always wanted a goat. I wonder why I knew nobody was going to let me have a pet goat, so I missed out!
Good luck on your 5 minute play workshop. Glad Dan is up there walking. If he keeps that up he should be very fit by fall. I know Baby will keep you in trim.