Ash has several alter-egos. They have developed in a variety of ways, but take shape holistically in a top down fashion rather than being reverse engineered.
“Gustobarbit” was born in Sainsburys, Bath in 2005 after Ash had stopped drinking and needed to make mischief in what (at the time) felt like a harsh uncaring environment. Gusto has since made numerous appearances on stage, in films, and has his own websites and fertiliser delivery company. Click here to read more and visit Gusto’s sites.
SHADE AND FLAKE: THE BARDIC TWINS
These developed from two top hats that Ash made in 2006; one in black leather, the other in white leather. Ash woke in the night and put them on in front of the mirror. Out popped the poems and the characters. The poems were set to music and taken out onto the open mic scene in Bath. They now form the centre piece of Ash’s Album and have been released a s a draft E.P. Click here to read more and listen
The hermit happened for the first time in The Bath Story Telling Circle in 2007. There were very few female performers that night, and Ash, having a heavy cold was unable to sing, so he performed a poem about twilight as an old croaky voiced woman – “The Hermit” was born and soon reverted gender performing the poem “Twilight Of A Hermit” as part of Ash’s Stage act from 2008 to the present.
Here’s an old video of The Hermit getting tangled up in some Kubric and Python:
(Hoping to get a better quality version up soon)
OTHER ALTER-EGOS COMING SOON
There are quite a few that have crept out of hats and for whom the costumes are currently being created. They will be let loose in 2012.
GUSTO BARBIT: MORE OF THE STORY
There are links at the bottom of this section for Gusto’s sites. Please do read the sections below before going there (if you want to return to this site from Gusto’s pages, you’ll have to use the back button).
This is the story of how Gusto came into being in Sainsburys as performed at Emporium Arts 2006:
In response to what he considered to be an over-serious and slightly restrictive unsigned acoustic scene in Bath, Ash began busting out in bouts of Gusto during performances of serious songs. It was a phase, on the road though development. At the time, he likened Gusto to the concept of jumping genes in the area of molecular biology and named him Gusto Barbit The Jumping Meme, because he kept popping out in the middle of songs:
Moving on a year, Ash had begun to use Gusto for little cameo interludes while tuning. This one has become quite popular with some football fans:
Gusto Barbit (influences)
Ash had spent a lot of time teaching English to people who’s first language was not English, so that complex territory of what’s called “interlanguage” (language production in a process of development and influences by another foreign tongue) was intuitively available to him. He spent time in environments where Slavonic and Romance languages predominated.
There was a tramp in Bath, with a high voice who always said hello and seemed to have inexhaustible mirth. This character is probably woven through the character of Gusto Barbit.
This link will take you to Gustos pages. Please note. They are written in character. You’ll be entering another world. I’d like to say “THERE WILL BE NO WAY BACK”, but of course, there’s always THE BACK BUTTON ;o)
Message from Ash – Alter-Egos:
I know there are actors who construct their characters bottom up, and need to do so because they are constantly working to briefs. Gusto is not like that – He just happens – My alter-egos are usually driven by a focussed feeling, and in that sense, are closely related to my other stage and studio performances. This is one reason why my work is so varied. As individuals we experience a huge range of feelings, which we express differently. It seems only natural to me, that if one is “being oneself” on stage, one’s work will be varied; and therein lies the paradox. “You can be yourself through an alter-ego”… It’s a way of breaking out emotionally; another form of talismanic gateway – just like putting on a hat. And I think it’s quite healthy.
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To read more on alter-egos, see the links section.