My creativity seems to run in sixteen month cycles. That’s about how long I traveled to write The Rucksack Letters, how long I was in Los Angeles, how long I worked on The Flow Factory, and how long I’ve been working on my latest project, The Cowboy Cabaret. The good news is that, although I’m aware of that pattern, I don’t feel beholden to repeat it.
Often, I’ll dig myself into a project, and after sixteen months, I either get bored of it or get overwhelmed with it. Then, I want to move on to something else. However, I seem to be learning to pace myself better as the years go on, and I think this one is just getting started.
Honestly, this one has been in the works for much longer than 16 months. I produced a show a few years ago called The Rucksack Cabaret, but it was quite different in tone. Although I did wear a cowboy hat for many, if not all, of the performances, the interstitials were just Steve telling his stories about the original songs that he’d written.
There were only a few performances of The Rucksack Cabaret, at Cafe Palm (what is now Classico), The Starkeeper Cafe, The Blue Owl, and The Flow Factory. I hope it isn’t some kind of sign that all of the places I performed it have since closed. Even so, the places where I’ve played The Cowboy Cabaret are all still thriving, proving that I must be on the right track.
The idea for the deck of cards came around the time of the last Rucksack show, but I didn’t start actually workshopping it until the 2016 Sarasolo Festival. A few month’s later, I debuted The Cowboy Cabaret at The Starlite Room, but felt it was more like The Rucksack Cabaret with more cards. The character started coming out while I was performing the show at The Gator Club, and the poetry started flowing a few months later.
As the show is now performance ready, having returned to The Starlite Room in the intimate upstairs setting, I’m now moving into the next phase of the show. I’ve often said that if you’re a performing artist living in Sarasota, you are here to rehearse. Now that I’m well rehearsed, I’m planning my first tour.
Michael Miller and I are currently making plans for a late summer, early fall tour through the southeast. As most musicians have told me that performances alone will barely get you by, merchandise is what keeps the bills paid. Since I’m not currently inclined to produce an album, and audiences of The Cowboy Cabaret have said how much they love the interstitials, I decided to put them all together and publish them as a book. The cover has gone through a few drafts, but thanks to Brooke Walton designing the updated logo, the book is now almost ready to go.
The next performance of The Cowboy Cabaret is scheduled for June 7 at The Starlite Room and will feature special guest Kaylene McCaw performing her one woman show, Guidance on Demand. You’re not going to want to miss this one! Plus, you can be one of the first to get a book.
The next sixteen months should be quite interesting.