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In the evening, our Technical Director, Grace, also a recent graduate of CTP, set up the technical equipment outside with Jose. This helped me to visualise the show at the approximate time of day in which I would be performing it. I was at this point a bit of a ‘diva’, making sure the space looked as good as possible, but hey, in the words of Fairground Attraction, ‘too many people take second best, but I won’t take anything less, it’s got to be-e-e-e-e-e-e perfect!’.
Wednesday soon flew around and next thing you know, show one was upon us. I put on my cowboy costume, picked up my hobby horse and headed out to the streets around the corner in a busy Evorian district where I awkwardly waited for my music que to ride in to. I waited on the corner for a good fifteen minutes looking like some elaborately dressed and overly eccentric prostitute.
The embarrassment at least distracted me from the nerves, I even started to play upon it; striking stereotypical cowboy poses. Innocent Portuguese passers by didn’t know what had hit them when they turned the corner to find a cowboy saying ‘yeehaw’ or playing his harmonica, I enjoyed it though.
The show, which was a real surprise to me, went swimmingly and seemed to be very well received. Through the performance I had managed to gather a substantial crowd of passers by/holiday makers who were intrigued by what this cowboy had to say. They took a short while to warm up but soon began enjoying themselves and playing along with the interaction in the performance. It was also great to have close friends there supporting me too.
My fondest moment of this performance came from the strip tease section, in which I gave a grumpy Portuguese lady, sat on a table of her own, a lap dance. She didn’t seem to be as enthused as the rest of the audience was, but, rumour has it, even she poked a little smile out after I moved on from her.
So, show one seemed to be a success, all I had to do was repeat it. But with a piece such as ‘So Far West’ which is dependent upon audience interaction, repetition isn’t so simple. The Thursday audience were much more troublesome and cheeky, which was stimulating for me in the moment. I had to fall back on some of that ‘improvisation’ stuff!!
Luckily, I had some of that stored up and ready to fire, so in fact the problems the audience threw at me just added to the humour of the piece. For example, when one man called out ‘I’m the only cowboy here’, I turned around to him and said ‘This town aint big enough for the both of us’… and he knew there and then that this cowboy wasn’t to be messed with.
The two performances came at a fantastic time for me and each of the students involved. Bringing work, which we hope to continue to tour in England, to this event, gave us a lot of faith in our performances. We know now that it can work to an audience outside of our group of friends whom we had only performed it to before. From the success of our work in Evora we know that the performances translate to a ‘foreign’ audience… and in this case it was to an audience as ‘foreign’ to us as ‘foreign’ could be.
On top of this, it was an incredibly fun holiday, shared with great friends, with memories that will last a life time. Special thanks to all those who made it possible and all who I shared this experience with.
Prostitution crackdown leads to 10 arrests.
Police: Suspects trying to pick up prostitutes.
A crackdown in an area that neighbors say is plagued by prostitution has resulted in the arrests of 10 men, the alleged would-be customers.
San Antonio police conducted the sweep along N. Zarzamora Wednesday afternoon after receiving complaints from neighbors, according to Officer Matthew Porter, spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department.
All of the men who were arrested were trying to hire prostitutes, Porter said.
Blanca Martel, who has lived in the area for decades, said she had noticed the problem at all hours of the day.
“The car’s passing and then they stop and it’s very obvious they’re not working,” she said. “The people are walking early in the morning, in the afternoon and the nighttime. They don’t have nothing to do in there. This is a neighborhood.”
It’s a neighborhood in which police have conducted these types of crackdowns before.
Last November, SAPD along with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, conducted a similar sweep along N. Zarzamora and made 64 arrests.
Chief William McManus said at that time that his agency would follow up with more operations like that in the future.
Martel said with each crackdown, she has seen the activity subside, but then eventually pick up again.
“The people keep doing it, steady,” she said.
The people who were arrested Wednesday are: Juan Cordova, 39; Santos Bishop, Jr., 49; Jacob Gutierrez, 25; Javier Hernandez, 39; Julian Mata, 17; Isidro Ledezma, 42; Jose Evora Guadron, 50; Saad Al Talibawi, 32; Francisco Tepil Lopez, 21; and Eladio Lopez, 30.
All of them are charged with one count of prostitution.
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