The Wild West Performing Arts Society (WWPAS) is dedicated to preserving the true cowboy lifestyle, and sharing western skills with audiences nationwide.
Dr. Buck began heading the organization in 2009 under the title “Trail Boss.” “WWPAS is the newest addition to Single Action Shooting Society (SASS), all SASS members are automatically WWPAS members,” said Dr. Buck. The organization includes more than 88,500 members, making SASS is the largest Wild West group.
“WWPAS has opened up the opportunity for all the SASS members who may or may not participate in the Shooting Arena, to now learn some trick & fancy six gun spinning techniques, to twirl a lariat into a wedding ring, crack a bullwhip at the speed of sound, hit a bulls-eye with a Bowie knife, or my personal favorite, have a crate broken over your head in a realistic stunt fight!” explained Dr. Buck.
WWPAS members are “performers who believe in promoting the western arts and spirited competition,” according to wwpas.com. “The goal of WWPAS is to make workshops, seminars and performers available at not only the SASS Annual Convention and End of Trail, but to also offer it as an addition to the countless club shooting events throughout the country,” said Dr. Buck.
The slogan of WWPAS, “We aim to keep America’s Wild West arts alive for generations to come,” shows the mission of the group goes beyond each show and focuses on greater goal of promoting the western lifestyle.
“Round ups” are where the competitions take place. Each contestant is allotted 10 minutes to set up, put on their show, and take down their equipment.
Industry professionals judge on a scale form 1 to 10 on a combination of skill, style and showmanship. WWPAS describes a 1 rating as “shouldn’t have entered the competition,” and a rating of 10 as a perfect performance.
If a tie should happen, the competitors are given five minutes show-off their skills and rally audience support. The winner is determined by the reaction of the crowd.
Many members of WWPAS sell their own merchandise and sign autographs after competitions. This is a chance for the public to meet these real life gun-slinging western enthusiasts.
Jam sessions provide an opportunity for members to share tricks of the trade with one another. WWPAS.com describes jam sessions as “a place for show offs and to show off and generally whoop it up.”
Workshops are for all interested audience members to take crack at developing their own set of western skills with the pros. “WWPAS is different in regards to one major aspect of the Wild West Arts, in that we focus not only on the ‘Technical Skills’, but also teach what is sometimes much harder to learn, ‘Performance Skills,’” said Dr. Buck.
WWPAS hopes to continue to recruit members of all ages and to help everyone interested involved in hands on activities.
While all events captivate audiences, Dr. Buck says, “Throwing sharp knives at someone who is spinning around on wheel of wood is something audiences don't see every day.”
See these rowdy western enthusiasts for yourself, and maybe learn some rope throwing techniques of your own.