KCRF Second Weekend: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

The Bad:

  • Pathetic crowds. Worst I’ve seen. I didn’t get an official tally from Front Gate, but I’d be surprised if we saw 3,000 people per day. The lanes were empty, and we even had to cancel a show on Saturday (the 1:20 on the Robin Hood stage) due to ZERO patrons in the area.
  • The people that were there were really low-energy, which made it difficult to really “pop” during the performances. It really made the patrons who were excited and participatory stand out, though, which was neat.
  • The cast is still losing people every weekend.

The Ugly:

  • Getting lectured by one of the Stone Church Clique in the lanes for using the word “Maestro-bation” in a coversation with another performer. “In Sooth”, she warned, “We will not use that word again, for it is ill-willed.” No, dumbass. It is a bit of friendly teasing of somebody I’ve known for years, for a tendency that he himself admits (committing “actorbation” ). If I was going to be “ill willed”, I would’ve said something about how his tendency to craft scenarios and characters almost entirely for the amusement of his friends is a big part of what is making this festival a pale shadow of what it once was. Now fuck off and go back to being a princess of an imaginary country. (Yeah, it pissed me off, but I was so stunned that she’d break character for such bullshit that I let it go by without responding.)
  • Watching the E.D. publicly criticize “Get Shrewed” in Morning Meeting for cancelling one of their performances on Saturday. Huh….let’s see: Get Shrewed, Chess Match, Robin Hood Scenario, Swill Pond fight, The Jolly Rogers and Fight Direction for scenario….yeah, it’s a really smart idea to piss off people who are responsible for a huge chunk of your entertainment. I don’t know what the hell he was thinking.

Here’s hoping for an upswing in attendence, and more energetic patrons!

18 Replies to “KCRF Second Weekend: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”

  1. Wow, you got haranged for that word? Did she know that you didn’t at all come up with it, and had just heard it the night before from the Prince? He was the one to come up with it!

    Love the pic of you with Madame Red that is excellent!

    Loved the show too- I will *gasp* even watch it again!

  2. Yeah, she knew. Apparently, it has caught on, and she’d heard it several times. He told me later that night that she pulled him aside after cannon and literally screamed at him.

  3. She’s needs an excruciatingly large reality check.

    Now, with regard to Sunday’s lack of crowd, if anybody thought we’d have any patrons on a 90+ degree day, which was the Chiefs home opener, on the anniversary of 9/11, they were wholly fooling themselves.

    Are we down this year beyond normal, yeah, a bit, but it has also been stupid hot, and patrons don’t come out when they don’t have to when it means being physically miserable. You only get die hards, and then they’re fucking pissy about it.

    If it cools, we’ll see more people, but I do think we’ll be somewhat off the entire year. I have seen almost no marketing, the promos this year were only in schools, churchs and parades and the City Market for fucks sake…


  4. Watching the E.D. publicly criticize “Get Shrewed” in Morning Meeting for cancelling one of their performances on Saturday.

    I’m with him on that – if there is ONE person who wants to see your show, you go on. No exceptions. We played our hearts out at 1:30 for 2 people and those two people had a great time. Anyone who pays to get in the gate deserves the same show that anyone else can get, whether they are in a large group or not.

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine – I consider canceling a show because you “don’t have enough audience” to be arrogant and disrespectful of the people who ultimately pay your rent.


  5. The note should have been given, but it was uncalled for to call them to task in front of the entire cast. It’s specifically that sort of behavior that is losing him performers.

    In this particular case, there have been a couple of occassions that the Get Shrewed show has opted to literally lead a tiny audience over to the Chess Match next door, most particularly as they are the directors of said show, with the suggestion to return to their next show time. As the Chess Match is a one off each day, it allows those patrons to see something they would otherwise miss.

    However, generally I agree with you. If you have a patron sitting, they deserve a show.


  6. Hmm, well do you have a line at *zero* audience? I am certain all of the shows that cancelled hawked their hearts out for quite a while before giving up.

    I was treated to a fantastic show by Queen’s Gambit on Saturday, for most of which Mother Pockets and I were the entire audience. They performed for a full crowd, but just for the two of us, and it was grand indeed!

  7. If we have no one in place when we’re set to start, we play quiet instrumentsals until somoene sits down, then we do an abbreviated show. While not all acts can do this, I think that some kind of modified show is appropriate for this kind of thing. Patrons wandering by should not see empty stages.

  8. Heh, I have faith in your Wit and Acidity.

    If you meant Ill-will, which I do not think you did then, I’m sure you could have been Much Meaner – on Stage, couched in terms that only the CAST would get.

    Esp. if you stuck to the Words of the Bard ONLY, you could be Deadly Rude and Vicious.

    Tempting, or it would be to me…

  9. See, I have no problem with that sort of note being given in front of the entire cast. I’d be a bit more reticent to a first-year performer or a volunteer, but a supposedly seasoned professional should be able to take that sort of criticism, and giving it is a director’s job.

    While I never thought I would agree with Jim on anything, the way it happened (asking AD for clarification, finding out why the note was there, then clarifying it for crowd) was clumsy but I saw nothing inherently wrong with it.

    I’ve seen the exact thing happen at at least 2 other faires we’ve performed at, and in one case I’ve seen an act fired for it. (Danny Lord @ Kings Island). While that may be a little harsh in some cases, it’s within the rights of a contractor. (The other group I saw do this was the Tortuga Twins who refused to do a show for only 11 people). Your contract says you do x number of shows a day, you do them.

  10. The note should have been given, but it was uncalled for to call them to task in front of the entire cast.

    Exactly. There are plenty of times where he says “so and so, I need to see you up here when we’re done.” That’s how it SHOULD have been done, especially with people who have saved your ass by providing you with most of your large-draw events.

  11. Thank you, dear, and it *was* a lovely audience…you and MomPockets and a few other folk who were drawn in.

    For myself, and I know I can say it for Bruce, too, we *love* the music for it’s own sake, yes, we’re that dorky, and can even be drawn into the beauty of harmony for it’s own sake on such a hot day.

    One or two friends *ARE* a wonderful audience.

    And that is a *FABULOUS*ly breathtaking picture of you…absolutely gorgeous!

  12. For me, the appropriate manner to handle it would have been to speak to them directly and give the general note of “if you are contracted for x shows, perform x shows, even if you have no audience.”

    As he generally holds negative notes to be given privately to performers, it was done in this instance to be rude…having worked for/with Jim for years, I’ve watched him do this in this manner specifically to “make the point” with the particular performer and “make an example of them”. It is solely pettiness and unprofessional behavior on his part.

    There are ways to get the information out there, instruct your performers, and deal with issues without being a dick about it.


  13. “In Sooth”, she warned, “We will not use that word again, for it is ill-willed.”

    Thank you for that story, I needed a laugh.

    I’m Tess/Mistress Azure, I’m finally adding you to my FL.

  14. Yup. And given how he usually trys to avoid any confrontation, pro or con, JS was *definately* making a point.

    This is not the first time acts have dropped a show (P&S packed up & left before their last show, on the last day, last year but they will be back of course), nor was GS the only one last weekend to drop a scheduled show.

    I wonder if it could be because Chess Match was involved. It is the largest show out there, aside from ‘scenario’, and he has no control over it, other than the cast he said he had to pull this year because he was short people in the lanes.

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