“What do the Sacred Ushers do again?”
That’s my producer, Linda Balaban, asking me about the corps of energetic sensitives who I envision surrounding Radio8Ball like a cloak full of space. In a show chock full of easy-to- grasp and difficult-to-explain concepts, The Sacred Ushers are probably the most inscrutable element. On the surface they seem like Jedi-fashioned Vanna, and Manna, Whites (It’s a co-ed project) but what they actually do is hold the energetic space for Radio8Ball’s participants.
We do some pretty sloppy magick on Radio8Ball. It’s a rock and roll variety show after all. The bands are out of their element; interacting with naked synchronicity and all these people onstage with them. The celebrities are generally a bit confused; Skypeing onto our stage from their own celestial orbit. The audience are often dubious and/or stoned, and I’m usually so distracted (pulling it all together before and after) and focused (during the show) that I often come across like some kind of drowning monk, “impassioned and detached “(as Pete Townshend would say). Amidst all this jagged energy, we endeavor to engage The Pop Oracle. Though the venue be profane, our intent is sacred. This is where The Sacred Ushers come in.
I see these energy artists as mystic camp counselors who keep the vibe high while the rest of us crazies run around exploring sync. I mean, we do kind of psychically sucker-punch our audience and our guests. They come out for a show, often as fans of the musician or celebrity, or friends of mine, totally unprepared for the confronting rewards of engaging The Pop Oracle, and we just uncork that shit and see what happens. If someone has an intense reaction, it’s nice to have some healer-types around.
It’s not just a concept either. We’ve experimented with utilizing the esoteric talents of witches, reiki workers, mystics, magicians, somatic healers, self-proclaimed shaman and whores. The results have been mixed. When it works, the energy at the shows is off the charts. Yet, without the solid structure of financial stability or a long tradition to hold things together, organizing sensitive people who are attuned to higher vibrations can be as frustrating as herding the proverbial cats. And like cats, if you’re a cat person, the rewards of their presence justify the necessary concessions.
Name, location and number changes are de rigueur for Sacred Usher types, as are bouts of extended non-communication from artist types like myself. While we’ve been developing Radio8Ball for TV, the live and radio shows have been on hiatus, and I’ve been hermitting with my book, so I’ve lost touch with most of The Sacred Ushers from previous seasons. Now I’ve got, what feels like the most important Radio8Ball show in our 14 year history on Saturday, May 5th at The Oly Music Awards at The Capitol Theater with Sandman: The Rappin’ Cowboy, and I’ve got no Sacred Ushers. In a town like Olympia, I know the talent is out there but I have yet to find anyone for the upcoming ritual…er…I mean show. I trust that, either the beings I desire will emerge or I won’t require them this time.