Monday, July 27, 2009

National Cowboy Day

Sunday was National Cowboy Day--a day to celebrate the Western American icon we know and love so well here in Colorado. Of course, when we at Bonzuko think of cowboys, we think of staged bar brawls, whip work, and other skills "walk-around actors" still use in various live gigs. Ever been to the Silverton-Durango train trip? There are cowboys and wenches at each stop staging skits and fights. Last year's Denver stage combat seminar fest, the Rumble in the Rockies, was cowboy-themed.

One of Bonzuko's inspirations in the stage combat field is Dale Girard. He is one of a very few that the SAFD calls "Fight Master," and was Jenn's teacher's teacher, and still is a brilliant stage combat artist. One of the things he did back in the day (which was the inspiration for many of the stunt shows we did almost ten years later at the Colorado Renaissance Festival and elsewhere) is a Western-themed live stunt show, with his company On Edge Productions. Jenn actually still has a couple of the Western scripts from these shows, and it makes us wish we could have seen these!! Acrobatics, gunslinging, whip work, cowboy punches and bad jokes all abounded. It nearly makes Jenn want to round up the MSCD Stage Combat Club dogies and do it again! Anyone game?

Enjoy these images from On Edge Productions Western stunt shows from back in the mid-'80s. Pictured are Dale himself, along with his company performing the show "The Swell, the Not-So-Swell, and the None-Too-Cute" (had to correct the original spelling--sorry). Thanks to Dale Girard for permission to show off and celebrate these images documenting a great talent and inspiration for us still. Yee-haw!

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