America Day 19 – Barton Springs

I’m lying on a grassy knoll alongside half the population of Austin. Barton Springs. Not really wild wild swimming. A strip of cool water. Very specific places where you can jump in without someone shouting at you. $9 on the door. Well laid turf and selected trees. Laughter, chat, birds, wind and the irregular bang of the diving board as repeating lines of young men succeed or fail at ephemeral experimental aerobatics. “Did you see that?” “Nah I was thinking about what I’d do, man.”

I jumped in but not from the board. Signs everywhere saying not to but it was definitely deep enough for a shallow dive. I just had to wait for the dude not to be looking. I didn’t get shouted at but hellfire it was colder than I anticipated. It took my breath away for a moment. Then I had a good swim. Glad of the exercise, and the break. My last workshop was this morning so now it’s just the show until next week in San Antonio.

You can just about tell that these springs were once natural. As with so much in America they have been snipped and trimmed and landscaped and controlled. We are safe here. Very very safe. Our safety is important and we are having our safe interests safely attended to by safety trained safeguards in safety.

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Claire’s with me getting noshed on by black ants. The guards can’t protect us from ants. They don’t like me for some reason, but they’re loving munching her legs. I think we might have to go soon as I don’t want to do the show with sunstroke. It’s really hot. Plus I’m starving.


Not anymore. We went to Terry Black’s Barbeque and had all the meat. After all, we’re in Texas. And they really do know their barbeques out here. I’m sitting here in the wind and the sun now, reveling in the fact that I feel completely full and rested and warm and well. Last night my point of focus was how hard I can push into the physicality of my characters. It left me exhausted. Today I’m going to focus on relaxing into them and only spamming energy when absolutely needed. No time for a siesta today and tomorrow will be a long day at Winedale…


Backstage at the theatre now pre-show and Heather has just offered to drive us all into Rainey Street in her pick-up after the show. We will have to pack up the show case again tonight to take it all down to Winedale for tomorrow, so God knows what time we will get to Rainey Street on this hot Football Friday. Hopefully it won’t be too crazy out there.


Show’s over. Case is packed. Instruments are in the pick-up to go to Winedale. I was still sweating like anything when we finished the show. I’m feeling a little more normal now. Lovely shows in this recital room, with a delightful Texas audience. We are starting to move now.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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