We’re coming up on Rodeo season in Canada. These are also the same months when most Canadian film and television goes into production. For me, the two have always been related.
I grew up around cowboys and rodeo. When I started doing theatre I noticed something standing in the wings before the curtain rose.
There was the same buzz. The same adrenaline. The crowd on the other side of the velvet fabric was a challenge. They roiled with energy, excited at the possibility of being entertained.
A bull in the chute exudes the same energy, fully aware, its senses reading everything around it.
The rider is like the actor (or the writer, or the director, or the stage crew), charged with guiding that electricity through what’s to come, knowing a truth coined by cowboys but lived by every Creative person, “You can fool everybody but the bull”.
If you’re not up to the task, the bull (the audience) will know. And while the human version may not desire to stomp you into the dirt, they are more than willing to toss the unskilled aside.
As are the critics, the network execs, the producers…
You sold your saddle for this ride, neither you nor they can go home unsatisfied.
But the analogy does not end there. The comparison goes so much deeper. A depth explored by filmmaker Joris Debeij in his wonderful character study of Bull Rider Gary Leffew.
As you begin your artistic endeavors over the coming Summer, make time for a working day-off to take in a rodeo.
And Enjoy Your Sunday…