Eakulu and the Island Sounds of Re-Appearance: Interview with Creator JR Beardsley by Willi Paul
Eakulu and the Island Sounds of Re-Appearance: Interview with Creator JR Beardsley by Willi Paul
The Last Rainforest A Rocking Reggae Adrenaline Rush
An original musical by Will Rose "Live" with the Eco-Freako Brothers
Character and story development by J.R.Beardsley / Touche International.
Designed to Save man from himself.
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The Band timidly enters with percussion instruments, they discover the stage and sounds for the first time. The life of the Last Rainforest becomes apparent behind the percussion players very subtly - brief silhouettes. Percussion is joined by many indigenous instrument sounds such as: didgeridoo, rain stick, talking drum etc.
Three natives appear - Seductively they blow Conch Shells exotic and mysterious in delivery. Suddenly swinging down and repelling from the balcony the tree is slowly coming to life and filling with creatures. They begin to chant the EAKULU, EAKULU encouraging the audience to participate but without speaking and perhaps speaking in gibberish, being able to understand each other. When they hear City Sounds they disappear.
News broadcast 2008. The screen will go from Newscaster to footage of a lush Rainforest, perhaps some indigenous people. Switch to heavy industrial footage. Switch back to Newscaster.
Good evening and welcome to tonight's headlines.
The new world order has declared the world a disaster. Weather patterns have been out of control for the last decade. The United States is in military lock down with the dollar collapsing and depression world wide and FEMA Camps are now over flowing. The US is urging the New World Order to stand down.
Rainforests, we now believe, are extinct. Oil wells are thought to cover 45% of the government-owned land in the United States and with it a great number of our precious wildlife that….
Wait!… An important bulletin has just came in.
It appears there has been an…
Close up of Mother Nature.
A large beautiful black female singer radiating beauty with a strong and unusual voice with a magical quality. (rustling bell MOTHER NATURE is invisible to all but EAKULU)
Once there were many places, far away and not so long ago, where creatures and men lived in harmony. As the rest of the world and many of its people faded into an immense shadow land, there remained The Last Rainforest. The shaman EAKULU is a pilgrim - like us all. Listening and praying to God.
Rain forests and rain.
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The piece is Total Immersion. Start to finish. Like a rock concert (setting). How do you want to blend art and politics in EAKULU? What are the hazards of this approach?
This concept was first conceived by Will Rose, an old Rock and Roll musician who toured the original HAIR production for seven years. Will has a real talent for telling stories with his music. I first met him when he wrote the music for a show we produced, “Frankenstein, The Monster Musical". (That is another story but to summarize, The Monster came to the wild west, fell in love with Kitty and after a Vision Quest in the desert and finding the Gold, he goes to the saloon to fight to protect her (bar room brawl with a monster). Will and his wife, Sherree, had performed the music which is now EAKUL in Vegas as a workshop with and for children. After working with him, I saw his talent, and when he presented me with this idea, I thought it rough but loved the music. So, with his original concept, I created the storyline and characters. We produced this as a live Rocking Reggae action musical in Reno, Nevada at the Eldorado Casino Theatre. It is now a work-in-progress for it to become a graphic novel, cartoon and a live touring production.
I grew up in Kansas on a ranch, lived in Colorado in a cabin during my last two years in high school, have been a survivalist and lover of the earth all my life. I have had the fortune of living all over the world while always in touch with the nature and people. When living in Norway I did a vision Quest, in the middle of the winter, on a Fjord, which was a king’s burial ground, to connect with the spirits. I think they knew I was from the U.S because they gave me a miss! I have also spent time with the Sami and Maori in New Zealand. So that also has perhaps an impact in my interest.
Politics are not really an issue with this because I don’t believe in the right/left paradigm, nor do I believe in racism and the right of men to manipulate others in their greed and lust for power. But I do believe we are in a dangerous time for the people of the world and we must do all we can to save man from himself. EAKULU is not a political statement but rather a vehicle to point out the down side of greed and deception and how it is prevalent in today's world. The focus is on the celebration of the fruits of the earth and all the creatures and fauna that inhabit this great planet. It is also entertainment: that is what I do for a living.
What is basis in mythology of the Rasta tree? Do you know such a tree?
I must laugh because it is not really a deep answer. I spent a year in The West Indies and created a Swashbuckling Pirate tourist show and engaged many island children in the actual production. I taught young island boys how to sing, dance, act and sword fight; got to know the people of the island and “the island way, Mon”. That is where Marumba came from. He is the rainforest, home to all the animals of the forest. I also thought it a cool set piece with a personality that can move, sing and has a lovely accent. I have since looked for tree’s to become Marumba but ultimately will leave the creation to my graphic novelist and team and my set designer. He will be a very huge part of the story and we must love him very much.
The staff is adorned with crystal, feathers and a leather strap. The staff is removable and takes on magical characteristics - with laser capability - and is also functional as a weapon. This the Staff like a Wand? Please give us some background. What are the magical parts!
The staff opens the production stuck in the stone, UGA UGA, who is Marumba’s side kick, and has an animated face. It is a legend type of thing when Eakulu pulls the staff out the stone (Arthurian legend). We have an illusion to accent this where Eakulu reappears at the rear of the audience and reenters with his “People of the Forest’. singing. The staff is a logical extension and a weapon I am trained in. I also am a Fight Choreographer and director so, like a Samurai movie, all works that I do have that type of movement. The crystal is a magical stone. The lasers look cool, allowing for some nice special effects and pyro-action, moving the storyline forward. These also allow EAKULU to do some illusions in the show that give him mystical powers and help the story to appear more magical.
What is a shaman? Are you a shaman? Other examples?
We are all shamans. To what degree depends how well you listen to the energy within and the energy without. It is an ongoing process as is life and after life. I am called a fight master but I am a student of life. That is a name that was given to me by others not a name I gave myself.
You might say, I accidentally Zenned in the art of the sword thru the study of history, physical application of movement, which is a moving meditation, and the gifts bestowed upon me by others: Sensei’s, martial artists, actors, directors and students; I learn from all that I do.
SHADOW LAND – where did this come from? How deep into our psyche does this go?
Shadowland is the opposite of the innocence of The Last Rainforest, It is “The Land of Greed and Deception” that has been created for us from dark powers, destroying all that is good, innocent and holy and inserting power-blinded, lustful, decadent, corporate banksters (among others) to steal, rape and manipulate the world for their own benefit and pleasure, while at the same time enslaving the rest of the world in the name of world government. This scenario is established in the seedy Oxygen Bar, full of these demonic characters, that “Suck Air” to get high, disco dancers that magically turn into Leopards and then back into Leopard coat. It is a time when we see the animals in the Land of Oz which we are all a part of. How deep? You don’t want to know... it is not pretty.
“Magical cures from its gorgeous red blossoms.” Tell us more!
Ah! Mother Earth provides us with incredible abundance and natural healing powers thru her fruits and vegetables. How did the world ever exist before Big PHARMA? Do you think that there may be a hidden agenda behind that industry? Can you say Eugenics? Do you think our body’s were not made to heal themselves with a little help from what has been made available from above here on earth? Or maybe I am wrong? I mean it is hard to think man existed before Viagra... Now that is a great contribution from science!
Describe your personal spirituality.
I am an old world Irish Catholic, meaning my family has been Catholic for centuries and my beliefs center around the sacraments, celebrating Christ’s eternal sacrifice for the salvation of man. This is not the Catholic Church of today which officially began of its great apostasy in 1958 when progressivists, Communists and Freemasons took control of the apparatus from within and who subsequently enthroned Satan in the Vatican in 1963. My faith and my spirituality can be traced back over 2000 years throughout the great saints and mystics the Faith has produced, numbering in the millions.
What green songs, symbols and myths are you using in EAKULU?
All of them! Please listen for yourself on my Eakulu website.
What did you learn from Avatar?
Nothing. I have not seen it yet but my friends say it is marvelous! I live in a very remote mountain area close to the Colorado border in New Mexico, so when not working on a production I spend my time with the earth, tending my gardens, and critters and living a very monastic life (Benedictine comes to mind). I don’t believe in or listen to the mass media news or entertainment hype and when I do I take it with a grain of salt. So, in closing, I have no agenda with this except to celebrate the gifts from nature and to be aware of the darkness competing for control of everything. Oh - I do plan on enjoying some good music and having a fun, entertaining moment.
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John Robert Beardsley Bio –
John Robert Beardsley is a writer, actor, director and Fight Master. He has worked in the West Indies, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, Spain, England, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
Theatre, TV, video, Theme Park and Casino Entertainment have been his career for over 35 years including Artist-in-Residence appointments at universities and professional acting schools internationally. His theatre and opera credits include: Berkeley Rep, American Conservatory Theatre, P.C.P.A. California Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Marin Repertory, Tiffany Theatre, Beverly Hills Play House, San Francisco Opera, L.A. Music Centre, and the Aspen Music Festival.
His Casino/Theme Park entertainment credits include: MGM; Universal Studios, Hollywood; Universal Escape, Florida; Universal, Japan; Target; Burbank Studios; Fox Studios; Caesar’s Palace; Harrah’s, New Zealand; See Productions, Las Vegas; Farrington Productions, Las Vegas; Space World, Kitakyusyu-shi, Japan, and Channel 2, Tokyo.
Mr. Beardsley’s teaching credits include over 300 Artist-in-Residencies worldwide; Associate Director, Drama Studio of London; Trainer at American Conservatory Theatre; Founding Member of the American Society of Fight Directors, Nordic Society of Fight Directors, and New Zealand Fight Directors. He has worked with over 250 film and live theater producers and directors nationally and internationally and participated in the American College Theater Festivals for many years.
He is a winner of Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and Dramalogue Awards. The many artists Mr Beardsley has worked with include Placido Domingo, Vincent Price, Forrest Whittaker, Linda Pearl, Annette Benning, Peter Coyote, Colum Meany, Milton Katsalas, Ronald Reagan, Jr., Mary Cosby, Joni Mitchell, Takahara Sawada, Jim Perri, Karen Shepherd and Mark Dacascos.