My project Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, written by Janelle Meraz Hooper, is a one-man show based on Geronimo's final stop after his last surrender. That stop was the Fort Sill Indian Reservation in Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he spent the final 20 years of his life as a POW.
My plans for the show, to be directed by actor Steve Railsback (Helter Skelter, The Stuntman, Ed Gein), are to premiere it in Tucson, Arizona March 22, 2014 at The High Chaparral Reunion. In April and part of May I will be touring for 6 weeks starting in Albuquerque, N.M. I am currently in discussions with venues in Lawton, Clinton, Muskogee, and Oklahoma City in Oklahoma and Weatherford, Clifton, Winnsboro, and Dallas in Texas. After the initial tour I hope to have created enough word-of mouth buzz to continue touring in small venues all over the United States; wherever people want to hear Geronimo's story and wherever we are welcome.
I was born in Lawton, Oklahoma which adjoins Fort Sill. Geronimo was one of my boyhood heroes, the other being Mickey Mantle, the baseball player, who is also from Oklahoma. When we played cowboys and Indians as children I always had to be Geronimo. I have had many wonderful roles in my 43 year professional acting career but this is by far the best.
Geronimo is "the most interesting man in the world" and I am honored to play him. Although it is common belief that he was a "savage killer," that is only one side of the story. The white man's story. He was in fact fighting for his land, his people, his life. As a young warrior his mother, his wife Alope, and his three children were brutally killed by Mexican troops who raided their camp while the men were away trading. He was so sad that he went into the wilderness to be alone. There a voice came to him and promised "No gun can ever kill you. I will take the bullets from their guns so they will have nothing but powder and I will guide your arrows". He was determined to fight for his land and his people until he was the last man standing.
The idea for this show came 30 years ago from my friend Michael Martin Murphy, the songwriter ("Wildfire", "Geronimo's Cadillac") who suggested that I write a one-man show and play him myself. The only problem with that was, I am not a writer. I have a script now and it is almost a reality. And with the help of the Kickstarter Program it will become a reality!
I'm including a clip of a reading I did at the Memphis Film Festival of Scene One from Geronimo, Life on the Reservation to give you a taste of what the full production can become.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk and challenge I see is not being properly funded for the tour and running out of money. My goal of $12,000 is a minimum projection of funding for this project and tour. If I were fortunate enough to go over my goal amount that would solve that issue. If I met that goal but not much more and money is becoming an issue I would still carry on by supplementing my budget by putting any money made on the tour back into the tour. If that were not quite enough I would assume all my travel expenses personally.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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