Of Appleseeds and Albums

as Ruth in Pirates of Penzance – photo by George Caldwell

Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) was a Christian zealot who ran around barefoot and planted apple orchard in a wild, new country. Even the Puritans, with their holier-than-thou practices, were reduced to drinking cider as an alternative to water that was often lethal. I’m pretty sure they were all a tad drunk – even the children. You’d think that would have made them a bit more charitable, no? They knew how to punish, they knew how to scold, but they weren’t so great at loving each other and living off the land.

Speaking of land. I’m heading off this continent a week from tomorrow and will spend the next six months on the other side of the Atlantic, mostly on the island of Great Britain. I’ll land in London and perform in Brighton the day after Valentine’s Day, which is a big day over there as it is here, in the Great White North and in the United States, from which I’ve just come.

I was introduced to the Great White North (the album) by a friend on Christmas Day 1982, when I was alone without my family and didn’t know what to do with myself after performing 10419052_838048602901667_722093227637449311_ntwo Christmas Carol shows for heathens who would spend that sacred day doing something so vulgar as sitting in a popcorn theatre watching something as grotesque as a play.

The term, “play,” meaning “dramatic performance,” seems to have been in use since the early 14th century. For most of my life, I’ve grappled with my feelings about the term. Performing doesn’t feel like playing. Improvising does, when it’s done right, when one is with others who really “get” the great “Yes, AND,” policy of radical acceptance.

More about improv and saying YES to life soon….

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