Pure Schmint Players
The Magic Bus Review (Star Root, May 1977)
“A Look at Pure Schmint: an interview with actor Autumn Wind, with comments by his comrade Owl Hummingbird” (Star Root, May 1977)
By Carl Miller
Shall I be honest and explain how this interview was shamelessly compiled from what I considered the best remarks on over an hour’s worth of taped interviews and candid conversations? Of course the opinions expressed from are only those of Autumn Wind and Owl Hummingbird [Al “Owl” Ceraulo] and represent no consensus of Pure Schmint opinion. Other Pure Schmint Players include Kelly Burleson, Joani Keithley [Rose], Jack Leonard, Douglas McCrady, Shelly and Steve Palestino, MaxScholts, Pat Weaver and BarryAppaloosa.
Carl: What sort of information do you want to get across in this interview?
Autumn Wind: Really the purpose of this interview is to push Pure Schmint, push our upcoming play, push all that stuff.
Owl: I never was into advertising very much. It’s like too much boisterism[sic] before the thing. I think we should show what we have and then…
AW: But if nobody comes, who are you showing it to? I want to get people to come to the play,
cause as an actor I don’t want to be playing to an empty auditorium.
O: Word of mouth you know.
AW: Right, word of mouth. This is the same as word of mouth except it’s in a newspaper. What’s the trip? It’s my interview.
O: Right. I’d like that cleared up definitely.
AW: I don’t want to be the spokesman for everybody else. I can’t talk for anybody else.
C: What is Pure Schmint?
O: Now you have to formulate an answer for the people.
AW: Pure Schmint’s a theater group, a drama group.
O: We’re a little better than T.V.
AW: That’s our slogan: we’re a little better than T.V.
C: And you’re putting on a play?
AW: Yeah, we’re writing one. We’ve written one. We’ve got a script. It amazes me. We’ve actually got a script.
O: Yeah, it’s there to look at, and we can read from it.
AW: And say “there’s my lines to remember” and “hey there’s where I’m gonna be” and…
O: It makes it easier.
C: How did you get this together?
AW: We started with a meeting of Pure Schmindt players. We sat around and rapped about what we wanted to do this time and decided we wanted a full-length drama. We’d already done one play, “Beaty and the Beast,” but that was only about twenty minutes long. We wanted to do something longer, more developed. Then we talked about what we wanted to do. We decided on stinging together a group of different ideas all loosely based on the same experience of a bus station.
C: A bus station?
AW: It takes place in a bus station, Anywhere, U.S.A.
C: I’ve met a lot of strange people in bus stations.
AW: I’m sure you haven’t met any as strange as the ones in this bus station. Yeah, bus stations are a focal point for a lot of energy. A lot of people pass through that you don’t see anywhere else in the world. They’re in the bus stations.
O: You need more juicy questions. Do you have sex in your play? Or, Do you have sex at your rehearsals?
C: Do you have sex at your rehearsals?
O: Now that’s a good question. Do we have group sex at our rehearsals?
C: Do you have group sex at your rehearsals?
O: I won’t answer that. Will you answer that one?
AW: No… I’ll tell you this much though: sometimes we start out our rehearsals doing the limbo.
O: Yeah, we’ve done that.
AW: How low can you go?
C: What happens at a typical Pure Schmint rehearsal?
AW: A lot of yelling.
O: Fighting, yelling, and people going “Where is so-and-so?” “Now I came on time again, where’s whatchamacallit?” Then it’s really funny. All of a sudden something works and it works well and that’s fine. Then somebody’s yelling again.
AW: Sometimes it gets pretty horrendous. There’s a lot of ego’s involved. Everybody’s energy has to be there for the group to function. Yeah, the creative force of the universe is flowing. We’re very heliotropic, all turning toward the sun.
O: Heliotropic, yeah, that’s a good word.
C: How do you feel about being an actor?
AW: It gets me close to the center. I get to step out of my normal everyday character and be somebody else, for one thing. But there’s also that pure moment – the moment when you step out on stage and all that energy of the audience is concentrated on you. And it’s not an ego trip. That moment’s so pure. I’m so far outside myself that, that’s what I do it for, that feeling.
O: I think it’s therapeutic. It’s kind of, it’s a lot of fun.
AW: It’s exciting.
O: It’s fun. It’s scary.
C: I don’t know. You talk about publicity being hokey, but you publicized a bake sale into a major happening.
O: A major happening.
C: If it wasn’t for those posters of your and everything.
O: I know.
AW: Nobody would have been there to see you be king.
O: No, but if we had better publicity more people would have come.
C: When is your play going to be put on?
AW: May 21 and 22, a Saturday and a Sunday.
C: What’s it going to be called?
O/AW: The Magic Bus.