All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
This one is gonna hurt a little, not a lot, just a little and at the end it will feel good like a sliver that has sat for a few days festering to be pinned out with a poof of yellow puss, the wooden sliver releasing, and a tiny tear. That quote is an old idea, obviously, but it still runs true with the ‘stage’ applying to many facets in life. I remember my high school english teacher, his balding head, his fondness for the female students, the corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows – I recall those dead brown eyes, dead after years of life’s abuses in the penal system known as public education; I don’t judge him, I feel his pain of life that should have been one thing and was another. The pain that I don’t understand is trying to teach concepts beyond the grasp of syntax and cultural context, but here I am doing the same thing. However, the stage of Shakespeare’s time is our stage, it yours, its mine, its Cowpunchers. Maybe you are some small town girl moved to some big city, intimidated by the size, working for some corporation anywhere, looking at your superiors thinking that some favours will produce reciprocation from the management – its always the same story, the answer is no. Maybe your the young guy at the company with a masters and Phd in whatever, maybe you know a lot, but you don’t know don’t know as much as Gord who has worked there twenty years and just wants to hit retirement with some sort of dignity in tact; there are two roles, the young go getter, the old coot, the disparity of age and Gord is gonna get it without a severance thanks to your accounting technique. There is nothing wrong with this, it is the way that it is, the way that it always will be. A band is full of actors. I am an actor. The literal concert stage is our stage where upon we act out roles out in the view of whatever audience we have.
I wear a mask sometimes. I grow mullets. I have no tattoos. I study music constantly in preparation for musical problems that may or may not come to fruition; then I play on stage, and, the culmination of all those things create my part. It is as if all my little bit parts lead to that one moment where all the stage stars come into line to create that one moment, an engagement, a gig. Even as I write this I am playing a part, I am living out an actor’s role. You are too, right at this moment reading this, your part in this drama is being lived out. How the hell does this apply to music? Well, the role of each of the band is a casted piece that creates a puzzle, that then forms the picture of the whole. Just like in a play without one of the characters when one of our characters is missing the whole story does not live out fully. I am not going to go into the specifics of each persons roll in the band and how I see each person; I think that you need to see about five or six shows and then piece it together for yourself, get to know us a little and say hello.
All around us are actors, there are two kinds of the worst kind of actors, the first are the ‘users’, those people in our life that use us as stepping stools to advance their own careers, social standing, or whatever they use us for. I have found they are the ones that have the most promises, too many big words to hide meaning in language, and then can’t live up to their talk, maybe I am one, I sure as hell hope not. There are none of those types in Cowpuncher. There are no promises in this band, which is beautiful, there is only action – do and do not, no in between.
So the question comes to mind: what is that send type of ‘worst actors’? In my opinion (uhhh how post modern) I would surmise that the second worst type of actor are those that over-act their part, they have stupid looks on the camera, or in the play; extra shit on the bun when all that was needed was some beef. You know the girl or the guy that is always trying to make themselves the king or queen of it all. I fall into that category at times, I overact my part. I am not saying that I am a bad player of my chosen instrument, it is just that I go overboard sometimes and for that I am guilty, guilty, guilty. Sometimes I just can not help it, the exuberance of the situation draws a character from my mind that seems frightening and fiendish, but loving and caressing all at the same time. I am not playing the part, the part is playing me and I can not help it; but, it is that lack of control that astounds me and leads me to this self-deprecating conclusion.
Why do we do anything that we do? Why did you take a shit in the urinal at the Denny’s? I don’t know, you were playing out a part. Why do I where a mask and trudge around? I am not really sure yet. I guess the greatest part about life as a stage is that at the end, upon reflection, we can look back and laugh at the many roles that we got to play and then with wrinkled old hands we turn our pillow and embrace our last curtain.
I love you,