Reasons to Revisit Texas

Right now I’m sitting in a cafe in Brooklyn, thinking about my trip to Texas tomorrow to work on The Many Apologies of Pecos Bill. the piece is about Texas and bigger ideas of home, nostalgia and how we piece together an identity from traces of the past. So I thought it would be important to take the work to Texas for a short time and try to reconnect with something and to throw the process in a different direction. Something I said in the most recent version of the piece was that seven years ago I got on a plane in Dallas and flew over the ocean and that the show is me reaching back across. So I guess I’m seeing what happens when I reach back across by actually going there.

image by Rod Farry

I’ve got a few things planned as research when I get to Dallas, which will mainly consist of embracing stereotypes and trying to jump into what I think might be an outsider’s image of Texas that I never really identified with when I lived there.

Over the next week, I will:

  • ride a mechanical bull
  • put on a pair of Wranglers, boots and a cowboy hat
  • do some sort of country/western dancing. Line-dancing, two steppin’, that sort of thing
  • go to a Texas country gig
  • go to a Texas dive bar
  • take a road trip out to West Texas, passing through Pecos, Texas to see the Pecos Bill room in the West of the Pecos Museum
  • go to McDonald Observatory in the David Mountains to interview an astronomer

Other than that, I’ll see what comes up and hopefully document all this and post it here. I have no idea what it will do to/for the piece, but that’s part of why I’m doing it. Should be fun, though.

I’ll be showing a version of the piece at Austin College on November 1st at 7.30pm. I don’t know how much of what I do this coming week will have time to influence that show, but I’m beyond excited to be performing my work in Texas for the first time. If you’re nearby, please do come.

And lastly, I just want to share with you my favorite piece of new inspiration for the project. This.

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