Second Update: Something REALLY Bad

Still fuming about last night’s All Call.

As I said to Laura, I think it’s because we haven’t been involved since May, so all of this stuff hit us at once, instead of slowly creeping in.

It’s hard not to feel like the Festival is fucked. I know it probably isn’t, that alot of the bad stuff will only make up about 1/3 of what the patrons even notice (if that). I know that eventually, another Entertainment staff will come in (and, given the repeated statements of burn-out on the part of the E.D., I wonder how far away that’s going to be) and things will change again, as they have in the past. But still.

In no particular order:

1) If you realize that your idea of a musical isn’t working, because your cast can’t be heard, the answer is to realize that’s because you’re performing outdoors with no backing to reflect sound, and CUT THE MUSICAL ELEMENTS. Not here, though. Apparently, the answer is to use TAPED MUSIC. Disneyland here we come.

2) I can understand doing a Halloween event. It makes sense, and falls in nicely with the plan to start using the site year-round. However, having it bleed over (no pun intended) into the last weekend of the Festival is a very, very, very VERY BAD idea, for the following reasons:

  • Having the cast gradually turning into vampires on the last days does NOT belong at a Renaissance Festival, which is what your patrons have paid to come see.
  • You do not lessen the experience of 25-30 thousand people who have come to see the last weekend, by using it as a promotional opportunity to plug a show that by your own admission will only seat 100 people, and only run for a handful of performances.
  • Whatever happened to “drawing away from the performance?” The E.D. threw a hissy-fit last year about the Marriage Proposal at Closing Gate, saying that it drew focus away from the performance, despite the fact that the crowd went nuts, and it was probably the best closing we ever did. Now, though, he wants to have the entire last weekend be nothing more than an extended ad for another event entirely? WHAT THE FUCK?
  • It’s obvious that the E.D. is burnt out on the whole thing….he flat-out said so, when he was talking about how much he was looking forward to the “Feast of Blood” Halloween event. The problem is that the remaining cast (mostly die-hards and a fresh new crop of gothy teenagers) seem more interested in the Halloween event, too. Most of the questions were about it, rather than the 7-week long event that is supposed to be the entire point why we were there.
  • Running rehearsals for the Halloween show DURING the period when the performers are going to be working 14-hour days doing the Festival is going to harm BOTH shows, and I can’t believe that you’re even considering it.
  • The Merchants who are going to want to off-load their stuff on the last day are going to be fairly irritated by an event occuring on the site….but I’d almost guarantee that nobody has considered this.

3) When you’ve lost so many performers that you’re down to a little over 100 cast members and you’re having to parcel out who can do Chess Match, who can be away from their areas, one at a time, and you’re begging to fill several dozen positions in the next month……it might be time to realize that you’re losing people largely because you’re turning the Festival into something in which your most experienced performers do not want to participate. Turn it around while you still can.

4) You’re willing to do a scenario based on HUNCHBACK (which has no place at a Renaissance Festival, and the announcement of which at the first meeting might have SOMETHING to do with why you’re having such a hard time filling the cast…), you’re going to turn the cast in to Vampires on the last weekend, but you’re going to issue edicts that printed-fabric tights are not Kosher, because they’re not “period?” That’s a lot of nerve.

As I said in a comment on ‘s post about this…..I am considering it the duty of our stage show to do what we can to make up for this stuff, and to try, as hard as we can, to give the patrons what they’ve come to see….a Renaissance Festival. Not a “Disney Show”, which is what the E.D. actually said to the assembled crowd last night. Not a promotion for another event.

A Renaissance Festival.

The KCRF used to be one, and if enough of us throw our efforts behind it, it can be again.

There. I feel better now.

35 Replies to “Second Update: Something REALLY Bad”

  1. As a person who plays the embodiment of what this show was once about, I’d have to say I agree with you.

    It was once a Renaissance Festival. It has always seemed to me that people pay money to come see a Renaissance Festival.

    They should be fucking getting a Renaissance Festival.

    D.

  2. Now that you are in a stage show, you will be AMAZED at the amount of bullshit you won’t have to deal with.

    Then again, maybe you wouldn’t be so amazed…

  3. A few more years of shit like this, and I’d be seriously tempted to approach some of the folks who put in competing bids last year, and talk about launching one.

  4. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to that.

    On the other, it makes me feel disconnected, and somewhat helpless to effect any changes. Like being the band on the Titanic. You see the boat going down, but you’re still playing the gig.

    Not like I could’ve done anything from within the cast, but still….the feeling persists.

  5. You can effect the show. Do you shows, make them good, interact in quality fashion between shows with patrons in the streets.

    Be someone who is doing it right, if for no other reason, so people can see what it can be like.

    D.

  6. Mike and I had a lovely conversation with Jana about just this last night (but without the knowledge of vampiric influence). We all totally agree with you.

    And as for the starting a competitive faire…hmmm….bears to be thinking about.

  7. You preach it, brother!

    I’m sure you have just about everyone that’s non-management behind almost everything you’ve pointed out. I didn’t even know about the vamp thing until I read about it a few minutes ago. So, does that apply to stage acts then, too?

  8. You wouldn’t be the first one on your friends list who had been approached by some of thos folk quietly …careful, it’s a good way to become really unpopular in the office.

  9. Re: You preach it, brother!

    So, does that apply to stage acts then, too?

    Two answers to that one:

    1) I dunno, since he didn’t specify anything other than “cast.”

    2) Not ours. No fucking way.

  10. Re: You preach it, brother!

    I’d go ahead and call Jim to find out, but seeing as it’s the day after this has broken, I have a feeling he’s already swamped w/calls.;)

  11. Re: You preach it, brother!

    It isn’t in the contract of course, but your contract does state that you will abide by rules promulated, direction given, yada-yada-yada…and that you will provide required costumes and props.

    You should note, however, that the contract does contain language which voids the contract in case of language strikeouts by the performer.

    D.

  12. Re: You preach it, brother!

    Yeah, I know…..which probably works on performers who don’t deal with contracts every day of their professional lives.

    In my case, I’m actually enough of an asshole to take them to court if they tried to enforce that.

  13. Jim is, as far as I can tell, the freakin’ KING of double-standards, though.

    Pretty much, yeah. I can vividly remember his rants against working with faeries or children from about ten years ago, and look what we’ve got now.

  14. I Guess i missed a lot by having to work last night. The taped music thing sound so cheesy. I mean they really should cut the whole singing part. The stone church feast should have proven that. They had lots of people singing and no one could hear the song. But the singing part isn’t really the big problem. The big problem is, is that we are less than a month out till fair and we still have yet to block the 2 biggest scenes, the festival of fools and scene 6 which is the climax of the show. The reason they haven’t blocked them yet is because they are still waiting for the new stage to be built. I am just happy i am not in those scenes. As for the vamp thing i know i will probably be one of the characters that changes because that weekend the kids will be sent home possibly at 5. No kids, no reason for a nanny. I hope i don’t have to make a new costume, i am barely affording fixing my old one.

  15. Re: Jim is, as far as I can tell, the freakin’ KING of double-standards, though.

    Remember the 5 years of being in court hearing how he would never ever under any circumstance work with children again?

    *giggle*

    But then I started out wearing elf ears and thinking that was the coolest thing ever, so hey, we all change.

  16. And, with so many crazy changes it is kind of an excuse to take a few days off of costume reality, or go fully period- many ways to stand out. And, the fair will go on because of the people, which is why we go in the first place. Heck, my hair is navy blue, I might as well use this year to wear whatever I want a few times. The more I think on it, the more I am looking forward to it. :>

  17. Re: Jim is, as far as I can tell, the freakin’ KING of double-standards, though.

    And then there was his super-long speech about how Bonnie was the only faerie he would let in to the show, because she was the only one who had a “nice” persona, and the others were too dark and scary. So insert “dark and scary” into the list of changes. :)

  18. …none of which are enforceable to my knowledge.

    Now, for the record I never did return the phone call but even the rumour of the contact fuckered me in the office that whole season.

  19. Singing Outdoors

    Well, actually, you can sing outdoors and be heard; but you have to project. People these days aren’t trained to project their voices, relying on artificial aids instead.

    It’s sorta like vetriloquism, but not really. The trick is to pick an area you want to sing to, and sing to that area. Say, a passel of beautiful ladies ’bout 20 yards off.

    It’s very different than singing to a microphone and can take some practice. But give it a shot, and good luck.

  20. I don’t work for the faire, anymore. (Being 800 miles away and all). Scenario has been going in the crapper for some time, now. History according to the E.D. who, in my opinion (and I don’t work there, so I have nothing to fear politically), has been there a little too long. You’re right, it’s time for some fresh blood (or at least someone who’s read a history book).

    :-)

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