While you were busy putting out the fires of your life (not literally I hope) you can be forgiven for not noticing that today marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s departure from England on its troubled voyage to America. For what it’s worth, several of my ancestors were on that tub, as well as several that came just before and just after, and so I choose today to launch my own leaky, overcrowded and smelly vehicle: a 13 part podcast series called Son of Paleface, which I will present in monthly installments between November 2020 (the Plymouth Landing) and November 2021 (the First Thanksgiving).
In its roundabout, rambling way, Son of Paleface will cover four centuries of interaction between Europeans and Native Americans on this continent, filtered through the prisms of pop culture and show biz, my family history, and my own life. To tell the story, I will wear many of the hats I have previously worn throughout my career, all mixed together for the first time: actor, comedian, critic, journalist, memoirist, performance artist, playwright, poet, preacher, singer/songwriter, and not incidentally, writer of history. The show itself will mix elements of the vaudeville, the lecture hall, old time radio, the poetry slam, the medicine show, the hootenanny, yellow journalism, and that most unsettling and unwelcome of freak show residua: autobiographical performance art. In a certain way, there couldn’t be worse time to do this. But seen from another perspective, this is the only time.
Stay tuned about the where and the when. I really hope everyone I know will join me for this journey.