Note: This Event was part of my “Secret Experimental Event Series” for Big Weekend Calendars and The Austin Events Wall Calendar. You can read more about the event series in this post.
Santaur Origin Story
In the early 2000’s I used write and record a holiday/Christmas album each year and send it out on CD to my friends as a gift. One of the hardest things about creating holiday song is that it’s all been done before. Coming up with an original concept around Christmas is nearly impossible.
So I was ecstatic to see that when I searched for my idea of “Santaur” and there were no google results that matched my vision.
Santaur is a wordplay on “centaur”, the half man half horse creature from greek mythology. But instead of half man and half horse it’s half santa and half reindeer. I built a whole concept album around Santaur that year.
The Experimental Event Series ran through December and I felt like having some Christmas themed even would be a good idea. The previous year, some friends and I put on a holiday party of curious happenings and Santaur had made a return after a 15 year hiatus.
My friend Matt sat in a red chair, dressed in a santa suit and a rubber reindeer head. His wife Vianca greeted guests and welcomed them into the room through the curtain. Matt sat still so people would think he was an inanimate prop. The lights were low and the music was a creepy slowed down version of my song “Santaur”.
Vianca invited people in close to take photos with Santaur. When they got closer, Matt would move a little and people would freak out. It was very creepy David Lynchian and delightful.
Sadly, Matt had retired from his role as Santaur (always good to go out while you’re at the top of your game) and I needed to find a replacement. The vision of the event was Santaur interacting with the crowd, handing out gifts and dancing around wordlessly. I had two people in mind that would be perfect for it. They both said yes.
Should we have two Santaurs? That seems odd. I mean, it’s already odd that there’s one, but won’t that sort of water his magic down? My solution was that, since Santaur was half reindeer and half santa, one person could be the santa head and reindeer body (Matt’s version) and the other could be the reindeer head and santa body (my original conception).
The Event Posting
Here is the event as it was posted to the public. You can see the entire original post here on Big Weekend Calendars website.
Santaur. One Night Only!
This event is part of the Austin Events 2020 wall calendar’s Secret Unpublished Event Series.
So he’s like a centaur, but instead of being half-human and half-horse, he’s half-Santa and half-reindeer. Can you guess which half is which? You’ll have to go to find out.
Every 15 minutes, he comes out of a magic box and runs around to collect flowers and coupons. This is his only Texas appearance.
Things to know:
- This is for real.
- You really should bring flowers and coupons.
- Don’t ask about his parentage.
- Might not be good for kids or adults that believe in Santa.
I wasn’t sure what I meant about the flowers and coupons, but it sounded like a good idea when I thought of it, so I put it in the description. Hopefully the attendees would bring flowers and coupons. I would bring some just in case they didn’t.
I also made a video. After I finished it, I wasn’t sure if this was an event for kids. Or even a video for kids. I could see it being kind of disturbing. The event would have to be at night. Here’s the video:
Planning The Event
I talked to Zach at the Museum of Human Achievement, and he agreed to let us do the show in the parking lot before his annual holiday show inside the building. This would pretty much guarantee us a crowd.
My vision of the set was: EZUp with sidealls, cardboard box as big as an armoir that would have a door to the audience and a fals door that would back up to the tent. This way the Santaurs didn’t have to actually wait in the box between showings. Also there would be a PA system pumping out the Santaur jam, flashing colored lights and all the lasers I could get my hands on.
Most of the event would exist in anticipation. The performances, of which there would be just 3 or 4 would last just a minute or two. The rest of the time the audience is just waiting in anxious anticipation thinking “holy shit I can’t wait until Santaurs come out of the cardboard box again!”
Like many events in this series, it had to get postponed. Perhaps in 2021 Santaur will return to Texas again. Please stay tuned and continue to clip those coupons.