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 someone’s Livejournal 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.

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