The Casual Reporter: April 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Video: Auguste Love Burro Longtime

Several years ago Cacahuete (Peanut), a burro in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, whose sole job is to serve as character Auguste Durand Rouel's mount during his second entrance, was a "whole man". Cacahuete spent (and spends) much of his life in his own private stall backstage, alone, his breeding instinct consequently frustrated. On several occasions Cacahuete's need for love has challenged the PG rating of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but none more so than at the moment shown in the video featured here, which accidentally verges on taboo by western society's standards, all in front of an unsuspecting Disney audience.
video
The actor playing Auguste is Didier Courquet. I was performing in the Blue Moon ranch when this happened, very near the angle from which this video was taken. Shawn Hogue, who was playing Sitting Bull on the day, told me that after Cacahuete was pulled off Didier he ran upstage in front of the judges stand, stopped, turned towards the audience, and let out a loud BRAAAYYY! A few weeks later Cacahuete received an operation to remove those parts of his anatomy responsible for his amorous behavior, although a photo of Didier framed within a hand-drawn heart, complete with cupid's arrow, remained in Cacahuete's stall for years.

If somebody knows who took this video, I'd be happy to give credit. Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to The Casual Reporter so you don't miss any of the fun!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Joke of the Day: Hard of Hearing Golfers

One concern linked with hiring performers on open-ended contracts in a show with no end date is what to do with the cast as they age. What if the show runs for several more decades? Not all of us will be able to perform at our optimum capacity until age 65, nor would most of us probably want to. The Casual Reporter offers no concrete solutions, but recently stumbled upon a means of predicting snippets of the future of some of the members of our cast. Here is one revelation just revealed. I found it rather startling.

Shawn Hogue, Kave Dust, and Richard Lovelace, retired now and each with hearing loss, are playing golf one fine March day. Shawn remarks to Kave, "Windy, isn't it?"

"No," Kave replies, "it's Thursday."

Richard chimes in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Existing Wild West Show Blog Revealed!

I'd heard awhile back that a member of the management team of our dinner show, "La Legende de Buffalo Bill" (that's the official French name for Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort), maintains a blog about our show, but I hadn't seen it. When I Google'd the name of one our cast members, however, I discovered a blog that is very likely it! The blog, named appropriately "Buffalo Bill's wild west show" is written in French and contains photos and news of special events from our show including the 10,000th show celebration and the arrival of managers Eva and Cecile.

The blog is kept up to date with the addition of the recent special event at FNAC in the Val d'Europe mall featuring our Native American Indians, Mexican trick roper Carlos Barrera, and including my favorite specialty act of all time: Kave (Kevin) Dust's supremely excellent hoop dance (shown here as part of Kave's promo reel). The "Buffalo Bill's wild west show" blog is all in French, which is good since The Casual Reporter isn't, and features exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of our highly esteemed technical support team as well as the performers. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Casual Reporter Recommends "Hawk's Rest"

I got some positive feedback from my blog article It's a Small World. For those of you who enjoyed it, I thought you might like to read "Hawk's Rest" written by one of the rangers in that area, Gary Ferguson. The wilderness camp where Jesse James Townsend, currently a cowboy in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort worked last summer and fall is the closest site to Hawk's Rest and only a short distance from the Ranger Station in this book. The camp where I spent my youth is, as I remember it, about 5 miles up the Thorofare River from Hawk's Rest. My adoptive father Nate Vance is mentioned in this book both by reputation and name. It's a good read and recommended by The Casual Reporter. Click on the image for Hawk's Rest to learn more. You can buy it online from this link or, better yet, call my mom Pennie at her store, "The Book Shop" in Sheridan, Wyoming: 1 307 672-6505 or email her for a copy. I've included in "The Casual Reporter Recommends" carousel other items that may be of interest to you including books about Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, French, and CD's by ex-Wild West Show musician Carlton Moody and ex-Wild West Cowboy Ryan Bingham.

Montie Montana Jr. Owns "Buffalo Bill's Wild West"

Think Disney owns the exclusive rights worldwide to the name "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show"? I did. In fact, according to Buffalo Bill specialist Lynn Houze of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, "Montie Montana, Jr. owns the rights to Buffalo Bill's Wild West - without the word "show" as Buffalo Bill never used the word "show." The Casual Reporter contacted Montie Montana Jr. for details. According to Mr. Montana, who owns the rights to the name "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" in the United States and intermittently produces "Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World", Disney registered the rights to "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" in France only around 1989, making it technically a non-competing entity to Mr. Montana's show. Mr. Montana writes, "Since then I've taken the show to 26 countries and now have some partners with plans to get on the road. Our show has around 80 performers and 100 animals or so and is usually 2+ hours with many of the same events as Colonel Cody had." One of the performers who traveled and worked for him on many of his Wild West Shows now plays Annie Oakley in our show: Sonna Warvell.

In the mid-90's Disney officially changed the name of it's wild west show to "La Legende de Buffalo Bill" although "Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show" is still used unofficially in most English-speaking circles. The change was made allegedly for easier pronunciation by the French speaking audience who have trouble pronouncing "W's", but the change may also serve to differentiate the Disney production from Montie Montana Jr.'s show, and whether intentional or not provides protection against concerns of trademark infringement.

Boulder Home to La Plants

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, has been the starting point for many cross-cultural romances that blossomed into marriage, many of them very successful. Among the most enduring is the union of Sundore La Plant, a former Native American Indian in the show (I think from the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana? Forgive me and correct me if I'm wrong) and his wife Christie, from Holland. I think Christie started out as a server in the show and moved to the ticketing team, but I could be wrong. My memory has never been.. you know.. I forget the word. Good. That's it.


Sundore and Christie lived in Holland for a few years after leaving the show, then migrated to Boulder, Colorado where they plan to stay La Planted for as long as possible. Sundore works for the City of Boulder and Christie works for James Travel. Joss and Chris Cooper, another couple who met at the show, married, and are living the content, hard-working Ranch Life as managers of the University of Florida's Equine Operations (or something like that) recently went skiing in Colorado and hooked up with Sundore and Christie. Christie writes, "We spent almost 6 hours at the Cheese Cake Factory talking about the good old times, my cheeks were hurting, we laughed so much, we had a GREAT time!!! Hopefully one day the old cast can all come together again for a long weekend, I think it would be amazing."

The Casual Reporter could be an organizing point for just such an event, but not if nobody knows about The Casual Reporter! Get the word out! Send the www.thecasualreporter.com link to all your contacts and invite them to SUBSCRIBE, so I can keep this blog going. Thanks Christie for emailing me.

Enrique Barrera Nearly Killed on Stage

April 21, 2008. Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (La Legende de Buffalo Bill), Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort, FRANCE - In a dramatic turn of events during the roping contest of the second show, Enrique Barrera was nearly killed by a rope. The roping competition started in a spirited manner when Brice Wood, roping for the Gold Star Ranch, caught Cremelo in 2.3 seconds. Green Mountain's Scott King, the next contestant, looked good for the first couple swings of his attempt but his rope hooked a post in Red River, causing him to miss (or so he says). Chad Atwood, trying for a second flag for the Blue Moon Ranch, attempted to time his throw just as Cremelo entered the arena, but missed. The pressure was then on Chris Knecht from Red River. Although roping is not Chris's strongest event, he has caught and even won in the past on many occasions. Beating 2.3 seconds, however, would prove a milestone for Knecht. The tension was palpable as Chris nodded, releasing Cremelo into the arena. Chris swung hard and threw his loop wild. It missed Cremelo and bonked Enrique in the eye! IN THE EYE, MAN!!! IT HIT HIS EYE!!! He was instantly killed. Or knocked cold. Or feigned being knocked cold (all in the spirit of good comedy, of course). Three of his cohorts dragged him off stage, his back leaving a long wide path in the sand as Brice Wood took the winning round.

Enrique returned about 30 seconds later carrying a target for the Lance Game. His recovery was miraculous although his shirt was dirty. I mean DIRTY, MAN! A DIRTY SHIRT!! DIRTY!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kave and Jesus Tapped for Talent Show on French TV

If you are a fan of the American West, Native American culture, or Rodeo, you may likely have seen one or more of our cast members in action outside the show in a festival, rodeo, film, television program, or commercial, in the United States or Europe. Sometimes cast members of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (a.k.a. La Legende de Buffalo Bill) make special appearances in their own time or by special arrangement with the show's management team. These external gigs come to our performers in many ways including word of mouth or through established casting directors or talent agents. Wildwestcasting.com was created by one of our cast members to help organize and promote some of these special appearances, especially those associated with live performance in rodeos or Western festivals. According to my sources, a talent scout for a French studio contacted wildwestcasting.com and asked if Kave (Kevin) Dust, who plays Sitting Bull in our show, and Jesus Garcilazo, an authentic Mexican Charro and trick roper, would be available to participate in a talent show audition on April 28th, 2008. Each contestant has two minutes to display his or her talent, with a winning purse of 150,000 Euros. If you would like to contact a member of our cast for a special event, contact The Casual Reporter or go to www.wildwestcasting.com

Carlton Moody's Son Jackson Rocking Paris

I bumped into Jackson Moody, son of The Moody Brother's Carlton Moody, the other day at McDonald's in Nanteuil les Meaux. He had just finished his Saturday morning school session and was grabbing a bite to eat with a member of his band, Angel's Kiss, before heading off to rehearse with them. Jackson recently played with his band in Paris as part of the Emergenza series of concerts pitting new musical acts against one another. Several Wild West Show cast members showed up to support Jackson and help vote Angel's Kiss on to the next round. Angel's Kiss doesn't have any music to download just yet, as far as I know. As soon as they do, I'll post a link. In the meantime, check out Songs from Americana Street featuring ex-Wild West Show cast members Carlton and Dave Moody (The Moody Brothers) as well as ex-Wild West Show Cast Member George Hamilton V

Sunday, April 20, 2008

WWS Cowboy Ryan Bingham Appears on Jay Leno

Ryan Bingham played Cowboy in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, Disneyland Paris Resort a few years ago on his way to becoming an internationally renown country music artist. Bingham had already been writing and singing his songs before he came to France to play in our show. After a few months on theBuffalo Bill's Wild West Show stage, Bingham left the Wild West Show and headed back to Texas to continue his journey as a new voice on the American Music landscape. Recently Bingham was featured on Yahoo! Music, in a 3-page feature of the Sunday L.A. Times, on Variety.com, and as the featured music act on Jay Leno April 10, 2008. Click on the image above to visit Mescalito on iTunes USA, where you can listen to tracks and download the CD. Ryan's MySpace Page has reviews like this one:

"Mescalito (Lost Highway) arrives with a bushel of expectations, and it doesn’t disappoint. With a voice worn weary far beyond his 26 years, Bingham sings what he knows: Both a boyhood marked by one eviction after another and a career as a bull rider on the Southwest rodeo circuit seem to inform his every word." Texas Monthly

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Casual Reporter Glossary

The Casual Reporter Glossary is meant to provide some of the definitions, some of the time, for articles presented herein.

Brushed up: Come out of the thick brush, probably after you.

Swamp Brammers: A local name for mean Brahman or Brahman-cross breed of cattle that live in the swamps of Arkansas. Cattle Today lists many breeds.. guess for yourself!

Clay Smith: Before and After the Wild West Show

Clay Smith, a former Cowboy in our show, emailed The Casual Reporter an outline of some of the differences in his life before and after working at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Clay's prose is written in the Arkansas-rancher dialect. I only speak broken Arkansas-rancher, so I've provided links within the article where possible to aid the uninitiated and started The Casual Reporter Glossary for terms still undefined among several billion web pages. Here's Clay's email, edited slightly to enhance readability.

Life Before And After The WWS
Everyone who has worked at the Wild West Show has probably realized that the Show has been a milestone in his or her life. Here are just a few things that have changed for me.
Before: I worked at S&S Farms (Dad’s ranch), about 5000 acres in size
After: I work at Lazy Colt Ranch (same place), 1000 acres in size.

Before, at S&S Farms: When you went to pen cattle, 1500 head, you needed to prepare for half a day's work, be riding a good horse, have 3 leapord cur dogs, and be carrying 2 ropes, 1 short tie down rope, chinks, hat, gloves, boots, spurs, brush jacket, hobbles, and a bull whip. Gathering the cattle would require swimming your horse, fighting the brush, and roping and tying to the ground any “Swamp Brammers” that had brushed up.

After, at Lazy Colt Ranch: We only have 250 head of Angus cows, all gentle. To pen them you need 1 horse, (you won’t be gone long) 1 Blue Healer (yapping punching stick - no tough dogs needed), any kind of saddle, no roping necessary on Angus cows. You ride into the pasture after sunrise - no need to hide from Angus cows like Swamp Brammers, You just spread out behind the heard and they walk to the lot. Instead of cattle ranchers we have become cow farmers. Now, I still wear my hat, chinks, boots, spurs, ride a good horse, and carry a rope. Sometimes I feel it’s a costume. Very little of the gear is really needed. This is just one aspect of my life that has changed, more to come later.
Clay Smith
CR: Ironic that when the outfit was "ranchy" it was named S&S Farms and now that's it's more farm-like it's named Lazy Colt Ranch.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Steve Rally Cast in Charlie Valentine

Steve Rally played supporting roles in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Disney Village, part of the Disneyland Paris Resort complex, before being cast as Buffalo Bill on and off for several years. For the past couple years he's been playing the role of Sebastian the Black in Pirate's Dinner Adventure in Southern California. Here's a video excerpt posted by Steve:



Here's a video Steve posted of himself as Buffalo Bill:



And finally, the skeleton that haunts Steve's closet, the video he might have been able to distance himself from until YouTube came along, and my favorite video of his, dating back to the 80's when he was a Playgirl model. Not just a Playgirl model, THE Playgirl model: Man of the Year, Man of the Decade and Man of the Millenium. Steve didn't load this one up to YouTube but it's possibly his most enduring work and truly entertaining. WARNING: THIS VIDEO MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR MINORS.



I had the pleasure of getting to know Steve better on his last visit to the Wild West Show. Don't let his shameless self-promotion fool you - he's really a nice, humble guy just trying to make a living in show business. His enthusiasm, passion, and perseverance are to be admired by all. He's a "can-do" kind of guy that just keeps driving his career forward with relentless and dogged determination. Recently Steve announced that he was cast in a Tom Berenger film. Judging from Steve's IMDB pages, I assume the film is Charlie Valentine to be released in 2009. Hats off (Cowboy and Pirate) to Steve for keeping it going.

Scott Bramble Producing for Television

The Casual Reporter didn't have to search too hard to find out what Scott Bramble is up to. Scott was a stunt man in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Disney Village, part of the Disneyland Paris Resort, for several years in the late 90's. Here's a photo from 2004 of Scott back in the states alongside Hodge Amans, a professional Rodeo Clown who was also part of our show for awhile, when Scott appeared in "No Opportunity Wasted," a TV Program pushing people to live their dreams - in this case, Scott's dream of riding a bull.He, some other folks from the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show cast, and I made a little Western Comedy video-short-film called "Fool's Gold" when he was here, divided into 2 parts so I could upload it to The Casual Reporter Channel on YouTube. It's been viewed many times and has even received a 5-star rating. View it here or watch it on YouTube.



When Scott went back to L.A. he became a professional video editor and since then has amassed a handful of production credits. I assume he's still doing much of the same.

Speaking of chance encounters, here's another good one: Shawn Howard, one of the few cowboys still in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show since the beginning in 1992, was back in the San Fernando Valley in the L.A. area a year ago, probably trying to put together some project of his. He stepped into Jerry's Famous Deli for lunch and as he did, he literally ran into Scott Bramble, who was walking out. Neither had any idea the other was there. L.A. is big and has a lot of restaurants. The chances of those two having lunch at the same moment in the same restaurant by chance is very small, but literally running into one another at the exit seems almost impossible. It is a Small World.

Clay Smith Brands Cattle

Clay Smith sent me some photos of he and his little family participating in gathering cattle for a branding. I've asked for more details about what he's been up to, which I'll post if I get a reply. Clay was with the show for several years on and off in the 90's. I believe he met his wife here at the show as well. Clay was one of those Arkansas guys with considerate social manners and a strong southern drawl who always had a good story to tell. I hope he'll share some of them here.


The Disney Frontier Reads The Casual Reporter

I just received notice in my Inbox that Alexandri Chilo from The Disney Frontier, a widely visited website for fans of Disney and Disneyland Paris Resort, has read The Casual Reporter. He left a long an very complimentary comment which you can read for yourself here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Napoleon's Tomb and the Musée de l'Armée

Sometimes I forget how cool it is to live near Paris. My 10 year old son is doing a school report on the subject of his choice - WWII Weapons. No better place to research WWII than France, where much of the war took place. How cool to be able to say, "Let's go to the Musée de l'Armée in Paris and we'll take some pictures of some WWII guns and stuff. And we'll go visit Napoleon's Tomb afterwards." The Musée de l'Armée, situated on the site of the Hotel des Invalides, hosts a staggering quantity of war-related items including swords and hand-held weapons from all eras, Jousting Armor (including for Children), beautifully crafted flint-lock pistols and rifles of all types and sizes, an army of armored knights, cannons real an miniature, an excellent section on the two World Wars, and much, much more. Your ticket, 8 Euros for adults and free for kids, gets you into about 5 different sections plus Napoleon's Tomb, pictured here inside and out. (I guess the architect felt Napoleon, being a person of small stature in life, would feel more comfortable with people looking down on on him for eternity.) Definitely worth a visit.

Red Skelton's Perfect Marriage


Here's the late great comedian Red Skelton's recipe for a perfect marriage. Good, clean, old-school stand-up comedy. And still entertaining. He ended each performance with "God Bless."

Two times a week we go to a nice restaurant, have a little beverage, good food and companionship. She goes on Tuesdays; I go on Fridays.

We also sleep in separate beds. Hers is in California, and mine is in Texas .

I take my wife everywhere....but she keeps finding her way back.

I asked my wife where she wanted to go for our anniversary. 'Somewhere I haven't been in a long time!' she said. So I suggested the kitchen.

We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops.

She has an electric blender, electric toaster and electric bread maker. She said 'There are too many gadgets, and no place to sit down!' So I bought her an electric chair.

My wife told me the car wasn't running well because there was water in the carburetor. I asked where the car was. She told me, 'In the lake.'

She got a mud pack, and looked great for two days. Then the mud fell off.

She ran after the garbage truck, yelling, 'Am I too late for the garbage?' The driver said, 'No, jump in!'

Remember: Marriage is the number one cause of divorce.

I married Miss Right. I just didn't know her first name was Always.

I haven't spoken to my wife in 18 months. I don't like to interrupt her.

The last fight was my fault though. My wife asked, 'What's on the TV?' I said, 'Dust!'

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hawk Hunts Sparrows Backstage

I first saw him last Wednesday during the horse warm-up for the Renault privatized show: a larger-than-normal bird in the rafters of the Wild West Show Arena. I only caught a glimpse so I couldn't identify the species, but it seemed a bird of prey - I thought perhaps an owl.

Saturday I think it was, on the way to warm up my horse, I noticed a dead sparrow in the corridor near the Gun Room. I jokingly remarked to Mike that it seemed an ominous sign and went about my business, leaving the bird where it lay. Later that night I learned that one of the handlers had picked up the sparrow. Apparently it wasn't dead, for it fluttered to life and flew away. At that moment a small bird of prey, possibly a Kestrel, swooped down from its perch among the water pipes above the Gun Room and snatched the sparrow in mid-air. Unfortunately for the Kestrel, when it swooped upwards with its prey, the Kestrel bounced off the netting stretched above the horse stalls to prevent bird nesting and dropped the sparrow. Later that evening the Kestrel was seen consuming a sparrow so he apparently was successful in making a kill. I guess that's a thumbs-up for the dinner portion of our show but I wonder what he thinks about the show itself? Is it too for the birds?

The Pinkie Chronicles - "Run Pinkie, Run!"

Red River already had a flag. Apparently Pinkie, a Gold Star cowboy that night, thought he'd take action to prevent them from winning another. As Scott, the Red River cowboy, raced around the arena for the final lap of the Pony Express Race, Pinkie grabbed the mail box and ran it downstage between Blue Moon and Green Mountain. Scott dismounted and ran towards the mailbox. It was way downstage, which may have influenced his decision to make Pinkie pay. He gunned for Pinkie. Pinkie ducked and ran upstage towards the judges stand, counting on his teammates to help him. They didn't. Chad joined Scott and Pinkie new he was beaten. Pinkie braced for the inevitable as Chad and Scott dogpiled him and shoved arena sand that hasn't been changed for several years down his pants and shirt.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Pinkie Chronicles - "Burnt Frozen Roast"

The following story is true but may contain inaccuracies.
In the middle of the night, Scott awoke to a loud banging noise and went downstairs to investigate. Through a haze of smoke, Scott found Pinkie in the kitchen in his ski coat, excessively intoxicated, stabbing a large frozen roast with a butter knife as the roast sizzled on high in a frying pan. Hot oil from the frying pan splattered across the other three burners which were also glowing on high for reasons unknown. Pinkie's coat sleeve hovered only inches from the burners, his concentration focused on the difficult task of remaining standing, staying conscious, and stabbing a frozen, burning roast with a butter knife. Scott turned off the three elements that threatened to start Pinkie on fire and went back to bed.

The next morning Scott found Pinkie sprawled across the couch, still in his ski coat. The roast, still raw except for one charred side, lay on the coffee table, some of the charred meat picked away.

God bless Pinkie.

I want to create "The Pinkie Coat": well-insulated, reflective in headlights, fireproof, padded for safety, convertible into a sleeping bag, embedded with a homing device, with one pocket designed to hold beverages and another to use as an ashtray. Useful not just for drunken nights out but also as a shelter for homeless people.
The Casual Reporter encourages responsible living. Please don't drink and drive. And maybe think twice about cooking while intoxicated.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Regis Goes Skiing

I received this via a long list of email forwards. Confidence without competence is a dangerous thing.

Thanks Regis, whoever you are.

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Karl Holz is Out, Philippe Gas is IN as DLRP Chairman

According to an article distributed by CNN Money, from the Thomson Financial News Limited news service: on April 11, 2008, EuroDisney SCA reported that Philippe Gas, 44, a 17-year veteran of th Disney group and currently Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, will replace Karl Holz as Chairman. Gas will work alongside Holz until Sept 1, when he will take over his new role. Holz has been appointed President of New Vacation Operations for Walt Disney Company's Parks and Resorts division. Read more.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The "Gîte les Nymphéas" Offers Accommodation

A "Gite" is a private, self-catering rental accommodation. To my knowledge, all gites have their own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, etc, either as a self-contained section of someone's home or as a completely separate guest house. There are a handful of Gites near Disneyland Paris, one of which is owned and operated by the Galindo family, friends of mine: Gîte les Nymphéas. We dined at the Galindo's but didn't tour the gite. Here's a photo from their web page on Top Rural, a website dedicated to finding gites in a country setting:


The gardens are beautiful and the Galindos are nice folks. Gîte les Nymphéas is located in the heights above Crécy la Chapelle, just down the street from Kevin Dust, who plays Sitting Bull in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, about 2 minutes from the A4, 10 minutes drive to Disneyland Paris Resort or (in the other direction) the medieval French village of Meaux, and about 30 minutes from Paris. Check it out if you require accommodation for yourself, friends or relatives, as an option to a hotel.

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Video 3 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show c.1999

Here's Jim McMullan in the starring role and I think Kevin Dust as Sitting Bull.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Video 2 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show c. 2004

Of the many I've found, this is the only one that features yours truly. I couldn't resist..

Interesting to observe the differences between this one and the one c.1992. Watching those older performers like the late Peter MacLean, H.M. Wynant, Ivan Naranjo, and Ned (last name?) always humbles me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Video 1 - Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show c.1992

A number of videos of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show are floating around on the web. I'll post some of my favorites, starting with this one. (Don't worry Tim, Shawn, and Devlin - I'm getting to yours!)

Circa 1992/1993

A blast from the past. This video features the late Peter MacLean and most of the original cast and the original entrance to the show back when "Disney Village" was called "Festival Disney". A warm-up pen and stables existed where Gaumont and Planet Hollywood now stand. French patrons review the show. Recognize anyone? Leave a comment! Reserve places by phone at: +33 (0) 1 60 45 71 00 or buy tickets online at France Billet or FNAC Spectacles.

Chris & Joss Cooper Living Life to the Foal

Chris Cooper was a cowboy at the Wild West Show for several years before returning to the United States with his wife Joss, a lovely English lass he met here. After a few years in the Florida Keys, Chris teaching SCUBA and Joss owning/operating a cyber cafe, Chris secured a position with a University in Florida managing the horse operation there. They seem to be doing well, although working hard during foaling season. Joss writes, "we're STILL foaling 55 mares but on the last 10 now THANK GOODNESS. Breeding season has been a ball and we've scored the top sires in Florida as season donations to bring up the value of the herd. We're rockin' it baby!!! Wish we had an easy life again though!!!"

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Recommended Restaurants – Lebanese Cuisine

One day I got bored with the food in Wyoming, admittedly not that difficult in a land where steaks are the feature of most menus and ethnic restaurants are sparse. Here in France my desire for a new culinary experience has been fulfilled many times, most recently in the form of Lebanese cuisine - refreshingly different and fun to eat. At the restaurant Loubnane, where I first ate Lebanese cuisine with my wife, our meals arrived in the form of about 20 small dishes filled with brightly colored sauces and concoctions that were completely unidentifiable to me, and a stack of pita-like bread. Directions: fill Pita and eat. Simple. Delicious. Tastes and textures I’d never had before. Nearer Disney, Noura in the Val d’Europe Mall serves authentic Lebanese cuisine. They also have a take-out section for those who want a faster lunch. The people are friendly and the food refreshingly different from any other cuisine I’ve tasted. Reserve a table now!

Photos and Videos Coming Soon

Marc Veillard, our very kind and highly esteemed photographer, has agreed to let me use his photographs of Disneyland Paris Resort’s “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show”. I plan to use them in some of the articles and propose creating sections or pages for each member of our full-time cast. Pete Thias, one of five cast members who have been with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show since opening day on April 12, 1992, has also agreed to take some video footage of cast members in the show, which I plan to feature here.

Joke of the Day - Four Worms

A minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon. Four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a container of alcohol, the second into a container of cigarette smoke, the third into a container of chocolate syrup, and the fourth into a container of good clean soil. At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results: The worm in alcohol - Dead. The worm in cigarette smoke - Dead. The worm in chocolate syrup - Dead. The worm in good clean soil - Alive. The Minister asked the congregation, "What can you learn from this demonstration?" Maxine, sitting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said, ""As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!" That pretty much ended the service.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Schuhmacher to Perform in "Antigone"

Francis Schuhmacher, one of the actors who plays the role of French impresario "Auguste Durand Rouel" in Disneyland Paris' Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show will be performing an extended excerpt from Jean Anouilh's tragedy "Antigone" at the Theatre du Point du Jour in the 16th arrondissement in Paris on June 12-13, 2008. Francis describes it as a very emotionally challenging piece, with, among other things, two, 2-page monologues and two extreme emotional crescendos in the short space of about a half hour. Judging from the reaction of Jean-Philippe Delavault, our Artistic Advisor, performing "Antigone" is an impressive undertaking for any actor. Go see him if you can! I'll post a link to the theatre and ticket info when I can find it. To Francis, "Merde!"

Joke of the Day - The Mirror

Told to me by Nik Rimmer, a stunt man in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Adapted here for the wider Disneyland Paris audience:

Biff and Bouf, two simpletons, are walking down the street. Biff finds a mirror laying on the ground, picks it up and looks into it. "Hey! I know this guy!" he says. "I just.. can't.. quite remember his name.." Bouf snatches the mirror from Biff and looks into it. "You twit!" he says, "it's ME!"

Friday, April 4, 2008

It's a Small World

I spent my teenage summers working for our family business, Teton Wilderness Outfitting. We offered guided fishing trips in the summer and hunting trips in the fall, in the heart of the Bridger-Teton Wilderness, a protected area bordering the South East corner of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the second most sparsely populated state after Alaska. Stringent rules regulate land use in a Wilderness Area: no roads, no motors of any kind, no hard-walled structures - just tents, no corrals, fences, roads, electricity.. it's wilderness, and not just any wilderness, but the one featuring the most remote point in the lower 48 states. Our camp, only a few miles away, was by our calculations the most remote camp. Getting there from Cody, Wyoming (already "the wilderness" to city folks) requires a 1 1/2 hour drive up the South Fork of the Shoshone River to the Deer Creek trail head followed by a 10-12 hour horseback ride traversing steep canyon walls and raging rivers, climbing over 10,000 foot Deer Creek Pass, then gradually winding down into the wide valley of the Thorofare River. Work days started well before sun-up and ended long after it set, but in some of the most beautiful country there is.

The reality of my teenage summers is so removed from most folks' realities, even those who live "normal" lives in Wyoming, I rarely find much satisfaction trying to explain what it's like to live and work in the Wilderness. That whole world is 2000 miles, another culture, another life, and 25 years in the past from where I am now, playing the role of Buffalo Bill in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, only a half hour from Paris, France. Those days have become distant memories and I've accepted that I won't likely meet anyone else who can relate to them.

But it's a small world after all.

I arrived at the Wild West Show today and overhead in the cowboy dressing room our newest returning cowboy, Jesse James Townsend (his real name), telling another cowboy he'd spent last summer and fall working in a hunting camp in the Wilderness in Wyoming. The Bridger Teton Wilderness. A couple miles from Bridger Lake, just across the Thorofare from the very camp where I spent my teenage summers. He even knows Nate Vance, my father (legal guardian, to be more precise). Wilderness Guiding and Packing is not a common occupation. Being one in that specific part of that particular wilderness and then somehow ending up on the other side of the world in Paris, France in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.. I find remarkable even in the age of globalization. It was a real treat to talk to someone about those days. He seems a good guy too, Jesse. It made my night.

How about you? Ever cross paths with someone somewhere sometime when you never expected? Actually, I've got another one.. maybe I'll share later.

About Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, or "La Legende de Buffalo Bill" as the French call it, is a Dinner Show that takes place in a large, custom-built and climate-controlled indoor arena in Disney Village, the nightime entertainment area of Disneyland Paris Resort (EuroDisney). Dinner includes chili con carne, BBQ ribs, cornbread, veggies, apple crumble dessert, coffee, and free-flowing beer and soda. (Vegetarian, non-pork, and other special menus available on request.) Our show features authentic cowboys and Native American Indians hired directly from the United States, bison, longhorn cattle, chuckwagons, the Deadwood Stagecoach, "rodeo clowns", music by award-winning composer Alan Menken, state-of-the-art lighting and sound effects, and a rubber chicken. Or two. Pure family fun not to be missed. Nothing like it exists anywhere else on the planet. COME SEE US! Click on the image below for an independent website's write-up of our show. Reserve places by phone at: +33 (0) 1 60 45 71 00. You can buy tickets online at:
France Billet: Buy Tickets Acheter des billets
FNAC Spectacles: Buy Tickets Acheter des billets

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

ATTENTION: DUE TO THE ANIMALS AND DUST, OUR SHOW IS NOT SUITABLE FOR SUFFERES OF ASTHMA. PLEASE READ THE NOTICE POSTED AT THE SHOW'S ENTRANCE OR ON THE WEBSITE BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR TICKETS.

The Casual Reporter Returns!

After several years on hiatus, The Casual Reporter has returned, this time online! The Casual Reporter was a DAILY newsletter I wrote for several weeks many years ago. Although the run was short, it was a hit among my fellow American cast members. (We perform in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, now called La Legende de Buffalo Bill located in Disney Village outside the Disneyland Paris Resort.) I had ambitions at the time of being a writer and I'd read that although reading books and studying writing were all fine, "writers write". With that in mind, I concocted The Casual Reporter to inspire myself to write regularly and frequently while at the same time entertaining and informing my cohorts. I also felt that "a group of authentic cowboys and Native American Indians living and working together near Paris" was something that somebody had to write about, to document if nothing else. So I wrote about it. (For anyone interested, I'll post the old copies when I get a chance.) For several reasons, mainly lack of sleep, I finally gave up. But now I'm back! I'm still near Paris and still working at Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show (in fact, now I play Buffalo Bill), so I decided to revive The Casual Reporter, this time online. Much simpler. Eventually I will produce a variety of media, including videos featuring bloopers and other interesting moments in the show and videos of attractions local to Disneyland Paris Resort. For now, though, I'll just get in the habit of blogging.