The final weekend of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival was ahead. Anyway, renfest ended with more of a whimper than a roar. At least to me. There were no grand celebratory moments, nothing really exciting happened, it just happened. Steve said he really appreciated all the extra work I had done to get things ready for the year. We talked about a few things concerning the structure of the Tower. It’s fallen into disrepair because of the lack of maintenance done by KCRF. This is now not a surprise since we found out they thought the Tower belonged to us. We will probably spend some time and money next summer to remodel at least part of the Tower stage (the extra bit on the side) for storage. Next year will be his 40th year so he wants to do something big. I already emptied all of my gear out of the tower since I had a gig the following weekend (see below) so the only thing left is to take down the follies and the canvas over the stage.
Not quite Medieval Times…
We (Pastmagic Productions) were contacted several weeks prior about doing a Mother/Son Medieval faire like event in Columbia, MO. After my wife negotiated with me, we accepted. There were some changes along the way like they wanted me to do three 15 minute shows per session as opposed to my 45 minute show. Three sessions over a day and a half. We arrived Friday evening and it was an “event”. Held at the Boone County Fairgrounds Building, the planner had gone all out creating the atmosphere of a great hall in a castle. As the patrons entered the front doors they walked in to a smallish foyer made to look like the portcullis and drawbridge into the castle. Each child was given a gold bejeweled goblet filled with a drink. At first we thought it might be tea, but never found out what it actually was. It might have been Kool-Aid or Gatorade based on the color. Beyond that was a “lounge” area, with circular velvet couches and tables set up. This was also where the main stage with a gold throne was. This was also the stage for the two variety acts, myself and the sword swallower. When we weren’t on stage it was also a photo op.
To one side of this area was the feast area. Two long buffet tables with all sorts of kid friendly food down the center and tables with red satin tablecloths and gold candelabras on either side. At that end of the building was also a “snack” table filled with pre-packaged goodies like fruit and vegetable sticks, brownies, fruit snacks, etc. To the left was the “bar”. Water, soda, juice were all available. To the right of the feast area they had a photographer doing fun green-screen photos of anybody that wanted them. they even brought a green cloak so that, if someone wanted, they could do a disembodied head shot.
On the other side of the “lounge” was the dance floor with DJ playing all sorts of modern dance music. A little disconcerting after coming from KCRF for seven weekends, but whatever. They also had stations for the kids to make stuff like a catapult out of rubber bands and craft sticks, writing a scroll, or decorating a crown. Then they had Skee-ball machines, foosball, and a bar shuffleboard table.
Outside, they had several vendors with kettle corn and funnel cakes. There was also an outside lounge area with firepits and couches as well as inflatables for the kids to play in. There were also pony rides and suction cup archery.
They even had a joust. Joust Revolution from Des Moines was there in the small arena and did one joust per session. We talked to them for a bit and they are down to earth people. The lead jouster is about our age and talked how, for some kids, this will be their only experience of this kind and he wants to instill in them honor and a sense of right over wrong. he talked about how their “bad” guy in the show isn’t really bad he just bends the rules in his favor. Good guy.
I learned a few things about my show from this event, the biggest is that I have routines that are way longer than I thought they were. I’ll work on tightening them up over the off season and hopefully I’ll actually script my show (or at lest all the routines) so I know what can go where.
And here we are…
The following weekend (Halloween weekend), we were back at the festival to take down the canvas and the shades. We talked again about repairs and updates we’d like to do, but not sure when or if they will actually get done. Again Steve thanked me for doing so much to get everything ready this year and we parted ways.
My wife and I took a small vacation in November and then Christmas prep began soon after. I had a good friend stop by the house and gift me several boxes of magic books and a couple of collectable magic posters. I’m already short on shelf space so it looks like I’m going to be doing some rearranging soon so everything has it’s place.
So as Christmas fast approaches and New Years is just around the bend, I want to wish all of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope next year finds you healthy and better off then you were this year. May COVID finally be controlled so that performers like myself can get out there, without worry, and bring a little joy into our audience’s lives.