This is the church I go to in Brooklyn, when I’m not riding a bicycle around the US performing Shakespeare. I love these folks, they’re my family. They meet Sunday mornings, at Noon, at St. Johns Church, on 155 Milton st. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and Sunday nights, 6pm, at a at the Trash Bar on 256 Grand st.
Uhh… turns out I actually AM going to be in Odessa after all… Nita, if you can read this, shoot me another mesg within 24hrs and I will do performance just for you wherever, whenever, and for whomever you like.
Hi, We would like to learn more about you and the original motivation for your trip? will you be going near Midland/Odessa Texas and if so when? I pray you have safe travels :-) Nita
So sorry it’s taken me this long to respond to you. I got your message long ago, but I could never work out if I could make it to Odessa or not. Now I’m in San Angelo, TX. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will end up making it to Odessa. No matter what route I try it takes me off course, I’m sorry.
I will do my best to answer your original question:
On the surface there is this issue of being an actor in NY, feeling really stagnant, and wanting to take the reigns of my career. I’m always preaching to my peers about being proactive, so this is my way of stepping up to the plate I guess.
My main motivation is being of service, and delivering to all people on my path the most exciting, engaging, free Shakespeare I can. I’m inspired by the mission of Joseph Papp, the founding father of the NYC Shakespeare festival, whose mission was to bring world class Shakespeare to the people of NY for free. This trip is also a lot of firsts for me, it’s the first time I’ve ever left the east coast of the US, which I’ve always wanted to do, it’s my 1st long distance bike trip which I’ve always wanted to do, it’s pretty much my 1st time camping out doors, it’s my 1st performing Shakespeare alone, which was the kind of challenge I was looking for…
Finally without getting to sad or personal, my best friend in NY passed away almost a year ago, and I’m pretty sure his passing had a lot to do with my decision to take this trip. It’s the kind of thing he’d have encouraged me to do without hesitation.
No posts lately because I’ve not found any reliable wifi, and I’m gearing up to cross the desert, but LOTS to come soon. In the meantime, if you can find it in your heart, please continue to pray for me, and if you can find it in your wallet, please hit the donate button at the bottom of this page.
Saw you at the F’burg Walmart before they booted you from the stage. I thought you were pretty good, though. Those corporate shmucks have no idea who they’re dealing with!
And now, the Hokey Pokey, done in the style of Shakespeare:
O proud left foot, that ventures quick within Then soon upon a backward journey lithe. Anon, once more the gesture, then begin: Command sinistral pedestal to writhe. Commence thou then the fervid Hokey-Poke, A mad gyration, hips in wanton swirl. To spin! A wilde release from Heavens yoke. Blessed dervish! Surely canst go, girl. The Hoke, the poke — banish now thy doubt Verily, I say, ‘tis what it’s all about.
I’ve resisted saying so until now, but Austin has broken me. I’ve got to get married. To a strong, brave, compassionate, God-loving woman. I hate being single, and going it alone. Life is proving to be gargantuan. I need someone to share it with.
Got to meet Diesel and Dixie, a rowdy, bluesy, southern rock quintet, are the most fun-loving, most sincere bunch of backwoods boys you ever met, and see them play at the Frontier Bar, after I got to perform some Hamlet for the crowd and freestyle with the metal band who went on before… and I’m an asshole for forgetting their name. And Diesel and Dixie melted my face off.
Met True’s roommates, all the coolest.
True gave me mutilple, fractal, wonderfully informative tours of Austin.
At local bar/resteraunt/performance space the Whip In, True introduced me to LeeAnn, whom he had only just met. She invited me to perform in front of her food truck, The Coffee Spot, in The East Side Food Park, which she also manages.
True, his roommate Ray-ann, and myself have food at the Whip In, before we take Ray-ann to the airport, including Ox-tail hash, which is interesting.
Attend a comedy/burlesque show at a local improv theater. Austin only has a burgeoining scene. I’m not floored, but am compelled by the creativity and receptiveness to creativity in this town. The humor however is a bit cynical for me.
Made it to my gig at the Coffee Spot, and it’s a bit slow, and all of a sudden out of nowhere, presumably in town for SXSW, Ethan Hawke, a nice lady I’m assuming was a friend of his, and two sweet little girls in tow show up. I remind Ethan we’d met once before at a show in New York, and he even seems to vaguely remember me. I’m freaking out a bit but manage to convince them to stay for a Romeo and Juliet scene for. It’s finished and Ethan takes my card, and they rush off to catch their flight. I do a few more scenes for the remaining crowd who is kind enough to stay, and quietly freak out inside.
True and I have Chicken and Waffles. It is glorious.
Attend a Diesel and Dixie photo shoot, shot by Rachel, the talented wife of Diesel and Dixie’s monolithic, and kind hearted drummer Adam. Have a great time. Love hanging with these guys, their raucous antics, and open hearted comradery are infectious. They head off for a tour of the southeast at the tail end of the month. http://www.reverbnation.com/dieselanddixie
True and I have cuban sandwiches.
I take every opportunity to try my best to resist the urge, and then finally succomb to the urge, to tell everyone I know I performed for Ethan Hawke.
I hear from one of my on-again-off-again riding buddies Brent that he wants to stay another full week. I am not sure if I should stay that long. A bit anxious about being off the road for so long… But I would like to experience SXSW fully, and make some $$ performing. Perplexed.
Recieve draft of feature written about my project for Brookshire Times Tribune, in Weller County, Texas. Love it.
We all watch Best In Show, and Anchorman, and Arrested Development back-to-back at the house. True’s new roommate Sandy has an incredible comedy collection.
I go back to Coffee Spot to try to perform. At this point I’ve got an informal residency going on there. I do one scene in two hours, so the day is largely a bust.
Meet back up with my riding buddy Wilson at the Coffee Spot, after going our separate ways for a week or so. Good to see him. He takes me to Mellow Johnnies, the local, Lance Armstrong founded, bike shop. Kill some time there.
Wilson heads back to where he is staying. I scour the busy, SXSW buzzed downtown for places to perform. The line for the premier of “21 Jump St.” is two blocks long and not going anywhere for a while. So I go down the queue performing different scenes for different sections of the line. People are super receptive to my surprise. I make $20. Guy rushes out of the line to hand me a card and ask if he can make a documentary about my project.
Stop at a Starbucks to recharge. End up chatting for 45 min with a beautiful Serbian filmmaker living in Italy who’s name I think was Sanjja, I can’t be sure. Realize that when I’m chatting up a woman I find appealing, I tend to eye them and lick my chops like a predator eager to devour his pray. It is quite involuntary, and I wonder if it is disconcerting. Eastern European women put a spell on me. I hand her my card but forget to ask for her number. Half of brain still in Shakespeare-bike mode. Feel like an idiot.
Outside of Starbucks I grab my glasses to clean them on my shirt before I hop back on my bike. The frame snaps completely in half, bewteen the two lenses, at the nose bridge, in my hands. My first thought “thank God this didn’t happen in front of the girl.”
I ride home barely able to see, racing the setting sun, against the busy, Sunday SXSW traffic. I make it back alive.
I thank God I made it back alive.
I email the dude who wants to make a doc about the trip. With my info but no response to his offer.
True and I have an intense, and affirming conversation about life, and spirit.
I daudle about, make some inquiries about fixing my glasses.
The documentary guy replies and reiterates his seriousness. By the time of writing this I still have not replied.
Also contact Ursula Mann and Ted Evans, two of my closest friends from college, who may or may not know each other, when I realize they are both in town for SXSW. Try to coordinate with them. Plans to meet pending.
I finally find an Eye Center nearby that might be able to help me. I go there. Turns out they do have a match for my lenses that only cost $30 (instead of the original $70 they quoted). Glasses fixed. Praise God.
Do you ever worry that you just end up making work for other artists?
… In these hotbed areas that are just saturated with art, and other artists, do you ever worry that you’re completely out of touch with NORMAL people? Dishwashers, people who work at factories/plants, nurses, cab drivers, short order cooks, grocers, receptionists, plumbers, ranchers, teachers, bankers, people who work for the city, for the electric company, for department stores…
Does your art get to those people? Does it matter to them? Does it make a difference in their lives…?
Are people besides other artists getting your art? If not, is it even worth it?