September 1, 2012
Eastward Ho…

…with Co-Creation—

Our packing list is done. Our to-do worklist is growing shorter by degrees. Our faithful housesitter is preparing to sit. And I’m having performance-disaster dreams. All of which means that it’s only two weeks before we head eastward.

It’s a more modest jaunt than the days when we headed the van down the driveway and didn’t return for three months, or when we were doing 150 to 200 shows a year all over the country. But it still feels a bit like the Old Days. We’re heading our Prius to the East Coast, full of books, dvds, our tent & sleeping bags, for a total of 22 performance readings in 27 days, after the cross-country zoom.

We’re centered in eastern PA, with jaunts to NY, NH, MA, NJ, MD, DC, and VA. On the way back home, two final gigs in Milwaukee and Boulder. Mostly being lodged with hosts, though some overnights camping and others sacking out in truckstops in the back of the car. The iPod is loaded with Brahms, Mahler, Springsteen, and Tin Hat Trio, who should waft us over the lone prairie in style.

As indicated on the calendar, if you’re in the vicinity of a private house reading and would like to attend, just email us—we’ll check with the host to make sure it’s not already full and get back to you. If the reading has a location listed, it’s a public event and you can just show up.

Best thing, certainly, is that we’ll have a chance to see old friends we’ve not seen in a long time, as well as networking with the new.

The Unnamable—

The tour comes amid rehearsals for our new show entitled … well, that’s a problem. The working title is Duo, and it may wind up as that, since it’s the two of us and it’s about being the two of us—or the multiple people contained in the two of us. But we’re still groping for something that hasn’t quite revealed itself, like our nocturnal raccoons who snuffle around, do their damage, and then disappear before capture.

But it’s evolving well. Similar to a long-ago piece of ours called Action News, in that it contains three sketches within a framing story, all having to do with the dynamics and life changes within a duo. Some puppetry, some strange object storytelling under a veil of trench wrap—well, more about the content later.

We’re planning three preview showings in our Sebastopol work studio on Nov. 16, 24, and Dec. 2. Invites will go out to locals. And then we’ll start touring in January 2013. As with our readings, we’ll do it in small theatres, but it’s really designed for house concerts, all self-contained in an 8×10 ft. space. We’ve really fallen in love with the intimacy and the intensity of these shared environments, and expect—the gods & Medicare willing—to continue exploring the stylistic range possible with cross-country home invasions.

Days in the Lives—

We’re still canning and drying apples from our one generous tree, and Elizabeth tending the tomatoes, lettuce, squash and artichokes. Fighting running battles with raccoons tearing up the moss-covered front yard in search of grubs. Going to the gym thrice weekly, and trying to get impacted junk out of various closets and shelves where it’s threatening to metastasize. And a beautiful day camping up the coast at Salt Point amid fog and ravens.

Not much socializing, though we continue to attend a quarterly Shakespeare reading group in Healdsburg, to work with the SF Puppetry Guild, and a small circle for full moon celebrations. Elizabeth usually stands downtown on Friday noons with Women in Black, and I’m still hacking away at studying Spanish.

Creatively, besides the new show, we continue to seek publication of our novel Realists and are now 3/4ths through the second draft of Galahad’s Fool. Also working on short stories and dubbing old archive videos onto DV tape for eventual transfer to DVD.

And coming in October, our dvd of Frankenstein, cover design by our son Eli, who also played The Creature. I guess most kids turn out better if you get’em the old-fashioned way.

Peace & joy—
Conrad Bishop