I am going to kind of wing it here today. Mostly because I am pretty sure I have some sort of frost bite and and everytime I try and hit the shift key, my left pinky starts to ache a little. It was cold last night. With a cold hard rain falling on my head and the sound of wolves and badgers chasing me up 16th Street on my way home, one can see how early colonial actors had to struggle in adverse conditions to make it to rehearsal every night.
I don't think that we the performers of the early 21st century truly appreciate the hardships endured by our forefathers struggling to bring quality cutting edge theater to the original 13 Colonies of these Americas. Character actors with names like Scotty "Two Teeth" MacCormick and Grady "Whoopsie" Witherspoon, who traveled up and down the Eastern Seaboard from Nova Scotia to St. Augustine performing high quality topical productions of American Classics like My Sister Has a Spinning Wheel and All the Boys Do Love Her and TEA PARTY! The Musical. Working what used to be known as the Hogshead Circut and filling houses nightly, these brave pioneers of the American stage and their spirit of determination as they faced cold, scurvy and rightly justified attacks by the native peoples of this continent, should serve as a reminder to those of us who whine and complain today.
There is the story of a town in the hills of what was then Western Virginia and is now West Virginia, circa 1756, who were watching a performance of a new work by that giant of American Colonial Theater, Edward Baker. A young actress comes out on stage and begins a fifteen minute monologue on butter churning. The audience rises up and immediately attacks her due to her ears being exposed in a suggestive manner. This of course being a time when a woman's ears were the most sexually attractive of her extremeties.
Without missing a beat Witherspoon and MacCormick break into a chorus of Jimmy Crack Corn and the crowd falls into a hushed silence (actually I supposed a hushed silenece is the only kind of silence you can have). Reaching the final chorus, they have backed their way to the barn doors, grabed the young actress and started to run for it. They don't stop running until they reach the shores of Lake Champlain, where they opened a little pottery shack by the side of the road and would sell medicinal herbs and clay pipes. And that is how the first head shop was born.
Where was I? Any way those were people who knew about suffering.
As I sit here in front of my magic counting and typing machine I can not help but think of the famous last words of that great comedic actor and signer of the Constitution, Timothy "It's only a Rash" Getman, "Hey I am still alive give me back my boots!" Give me back my boots Mr. Getman, give me back my boots indeed.