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Archive for July, 2009

Dana Fradkin • Interviews from the Inside

2009-07-31Where in the world am I today: Vacationing  in Peru

Prologue: I just met Dana recently while performing at the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival. She and Rick Kunst were working as ‘The Privy People’ catering to festival goers needs to use ‘the facilities.’ Dana’s infectious enthusiasm for performing and creating were a lovely shot of adrenalin to my spirit and the fact that we were both exposed to the Improv Games in the Ottawa area during our high school years (about a generation apart mind you, but still) gave us lots to talk about. I’m pretty sure that she’s under the mistaken delusion that I’m a half decent improvisor, but I have no immediate intention of waking her up to the reality of my skill level. Why spoil such a lovely delusion.


Name: Dana Fradkin
Birthday: March 19th
Place of Birth: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: Started performing at 14, professional 7 years.
Discipline: Actor
Websites: comediccatastrophes.com, keystonetheatre.net
Video Link: http://www.privypeople.com/Privy_People/Movie.html
Venues Worked: Edmonton, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, Toronto and Dundas Busker FEstival, Waterloo Arts Festival, Luminto, Toronto Renaissance Fair, Toronto Fringe Festival, CNE, Misouri, Nebraska and Arizona State Fair, Kennedy Space Center, Canadian Opera Company, Sony Center, Second City Comedy Club, Bad Dog Theatre, and many Theatre Companies across Canada.

Hot 10 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? • Gold Medal Ribbon, I don’t know why, I like the caramel?  Close second Cookie dough and mint chocolate chip.
  2. Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films.Apocalyse Now.
  3. What was your favorite toy from childhood? • My stuffed puppet dog Wrinkles.  I still have her.
  4. Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started? • The Seniors at my high school.  In Theatre School in was the third year students.  Now it’s unique people in the industry who have a curiousity about the world.
  5. From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (she is a comic book character, I think it counts).
  6. Name something that scares you.Dying.
  7. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • I worked at McDonalds for 3 years.
  8. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Make a documentary film.
  9. What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • Grumpy people.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • “You make me proud.

The Nugget:

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do.  People saying that to you is usually about their issues, not yours

–Dana Fradkin

Recharging one’s Batteries.

2009-07-30Where in the world am I today?: Vacationing  in Peru

I make and effort when ever I step onto stage to give a little piece of myself to my audience. I think this is an integral part of doing a good performance and wouldn’t have it any other way. The cumulative effect of giving a chunk of my soul away at each performance can and does end up getting quite exhausting. I have vivid memories of booking myself a schedule that was so busy a few years back that by about November I was feeling incredibly burn out.

The concept of recharging my batteries was for a long time anchored in taking a break from performances, taking time off, but recently I read a post on my friend David Duchemin’s Blog that seemed to stress an additional element to the recharging equation. Not only do you need to take time off from grinding out performances to let your body recuperate, you also need to feed your creative bank account by exposing yourself to new ideas and outlets. This could be as simple as reading a book, going to see a play, listening to your favorite music, exposing yourself to visual art, visiting a museum, what ever it takes to harness, replenish and excite your inner creativity.

The trip I’m currently on in Peru is a great example of seizing an opportunity to do something mind expanding and completely off the traditional path for me during the summer. Will I come back from the trip refreshed and inspired? Who knows, but I will have certainly exposed myself to new situations, new people, a different way of doing things and a chance to perhaps tap into some of these things and bring them to an audience the next time I step onto a stage be it at a festival, on a cruise ship or on the street.

Many many moons ago now I used to make a pilgrimage to the IJA Juggling Conventions and these served as a fantastic resource for creative renewal. I’ve been looking into a couple of different workshops with a few different performance instructors as another outlet for creative growth. I also realized recently that my two boys Koji and Owen have been wonderful sources of creative energy and growth via the little games I create and play with them…

If you’ve made the choice to put yourself in front of an audience and love the experience of doing so, then you owe it to not only yourself but also the people you’re playing for to make sure your batteries are topped up and you’re able to offer a well crafted and creatively charged performance.


2009-07-29Where in the world am I today?: Flying to LA then on to Lima, Peru – Yippee! Vacation here I come!!!

There’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying, but the fine art of being persistent can often pay off in abundance if you’re clever in your approach.

I’ve been fortunate to experience things from both sides of the equation – both as a performer and as a talent booker. Most recently my experience with the phenomena of persistence came at me from the perspective of the talent booker. When I had to scramble to find more acts for the Pacific National Exhibition recently I got to experience varying degrees of persistence from a variety of performers.

I really was blown away by the response I got from a simple post on Facebook saying that the Fair was looking for Acts. With in about 24 hours I thought I had the line-up sorted out and took it to the creative director of the PNE who proceeded to throw a monkey wrench in my well laid plans by saying that he wanted to see more options… Doh!

I went back to the flurry of performers who had indicated that they were interested in the gig and crafted another possible line-up for the program. Again the creative director wasn’t 100% happy with the selections and options that I presented…

Now every time I thought I had things sorted out I sent out an email to people who were contacting me thanking them for their interest, but indicating that I was likely not going to be able to offer them a job. For may of the performers who had contacted me this was enough to diffuse their interest (or rather their persistence). But for a select few, the emails continued to flow. This persistence by one of the performers I was in contact with lead to a contract for a portion of the Fair.

All this to say that it’s sometimes worth putting in the extra effort to go one step beyond, just in case something changes with the employer and something does in fact open up. Two things will result in the extra effort.

One – You’ll get a gig


Two – you’ll be a hero to the person who’s doing the booking because you demonstrated the extra effort to keep the door of opportunity wide open.

Performer Insurance

2009-07-28Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

When I started performing almost three decades ago the thought of needing Liability Insurance wasn’t even on my radar. These days though it seems to be a requirement of many of the gigs that I do. Employers want to know that you’ve got insurance to cover accidents that may happen during your performance…

Specialty Insurance Agency may just be the answer to the question – So where do I get me some insurance to cover myself in case of incident during one of my shows. For US$200.00 a year you get the following coverage –

The 2009 – 2010 policy limits of coverage are as follows:

  • Each Occurrence – $3,000,000 (bodily injury & property damage to others)
  • Damage to Rented Premises – $100,000 (to rented premises)
  • Personal & Advertising Injury – $3,000,000 (hurting someone’s feelings)
  • General Aggregate – $4,000,000 (the most the policy will pay out during the policy year)
  • Products – Completed Op. Agg. – $4,000,000 (the most the policy will pay out during the policy year)
  • Medical Expenses – $5,000 (emergency medical)

Now the one hitch with this insurance is that it’s for performers in the United States. That being said, if you have an address in the United States that you can provide for the insurance agent and fill in on the application then the coverage is good not only in the United States, but in Canada and Puerto Rico as well. I’m sponsored by an agent in the United States who was willing to let me use his address for the application and the insurance agent was happy to accept this arrangement, so I was good to go.

A quick visit to their website –


Will provide you with all the additional information you require, and if you don’t find what you’re looking for contact Steph by email at:


Current Images

2009-07-27Where in the world am I today?: Driving from Red Deer to Vancouver Hubba-Dubba-Dubba…

In the world of promo and marketing having up-to-date images and video is pretty important. I think this is in part why I became a part-time photographer/videographer. It’s a part of the business that I really enjoy and although I know there are times to get a professional in to do the job, I still love watching and growing in my skills with these two mediums.

I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures and documenting events in my life and love doing video edits as well… The picture that accompanies this blog came out of performing at Peacefest in Peace River, Alberta a couple of weeks ago. I handed my camera to the guy who was in charge of bringing me in to do the gig and told him to snap away… He caught many great images from my time in Peace River.

More recently, this past weekend in fact, I brought my video camera along with me and had the opportunity to put together a couple of fun videos with Rob Williams and Rick Kunst. I was talking to both Rob and Rick about my enjoyment of video work and we made time in and around performances at Centrefest in Red Deer to produce two ‘Clown v. Mime’ videos which can be seen here –




Now these aren’t specifically promotional videos for any of the people that were involved with the project, at least not directly related to the performances that compose the main source of our regular income, but they were a fun side project that allowed us to noodle around with some funny ideas and get them uploaded to YouTube fairly quickly and painlessly and allowed us to get a little bit extra out of the weekend we were already spending together.

In this day and age when both still and video cameras are, financially speaking, with in the grasp of most performers it startles me that more people aren’t doing interesting things with this technology. In a world where YouTube has become a daily source for entertainment content for many people it really is an opportunity to flex your creative muscles from time to time and generate a bit of up-to-date content.

Even if it isn’t specifically related to the show you do, I think there’s a real value in putting out creative and funny content to the world. Ya never know… It might just be the next big thing on YouTube.

Woody Allen – Quoted

2009-07-25Where in the world am I today?: Red Deer, AB, Canada

I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.

Woody Allen, US Comedian/Actor (1935 – )


“Of course it’s better than when you throw up and stuff comes out your nose. Compared to that the laughter and milk seem like a far better option”

–David ‘checkerhead’ Aiken

That being said, anytime anything comes out your nose that isn’t air and isn’t intentional there’s a certain amount of discomfort to be experienced. Guess the moral here is to be on your guard for comedy anytime you pour yourself a glass of milk.

Fraser Hooper • Interviews from the Inside

2009-07-24Where in the world am I today?: Red Deer, AB, Canada

Prologue: I had heard about Fraser Hooper from friend and fellow performer Jon Hicks. Upon Jon’s recommendation I had checked out Fraser’s website and gotten a bit familiar with the nature of his work. He had also provided some inspiration for some logistical challenges I was facing with my soon to debut “Hot Dog Show,” but I hadn’t actually met the man until I arrived in Edmonton for the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival. The fact that we’re more or less the same age, both are married with two kids and both love performing gave us plenty to talk about and we quickly became friends. I’ve long been a member of the hype school of performing and I loved watching the success that Fraser has in his show by taking a completely different approach. His slow deliberate clowning style wallowed in moments far longer than I’ve ever feel comfortable with, but it was amazing to see how well he was able to sculpt these moments into pure comedy gold!


Name: Fraser Hooper
Birthday: August 10, 1967
Place of Birth: London, England
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: 1990
Discipline: Clown
Video Link: http://www.fraserhooper.com/showreel.htm
Venues Worked: Theatres, Street Festivals, Galas, Cabaret, Cruise Ships, Parks, TV.

Hot 10 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? • I usually have at least one ice cream a day, there are so many to choose from that it wouldn’t be fair to pick a favourite.
  2. Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films.Toy Story 2.
  3. What was your favorite toy from childhood? • Scalextric.
  4. Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started? • Chaplin, Nola Rae, Avner, Jacques Tati.
  5. From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Woody from Toy Story.
  6. Name something that scares you.Cheese and loosing my glasses. 
  7. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • Menswear manager.
  8. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Making hats.
  9. What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • Being away from my family.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • “Tickets please.

The Nugget:

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

“When I first started a friend saw my show and for me it went really badly which I expressed to him as soon as I had left the stage. He said “never ruin the audiences experience by rubbishing what you did”. It was obvious but a great lesson to learn early on.”

–Fraser Hooper

Messing around with my comfort zone.

2009-07-231Where in the world am I today?: Red Deer, AB, Canada

So I’m debuting a new show at this year’s Pacific National Exhibition. The idea for the show which I’ve dubbed “The Hot Dog Show” started to germinate in my head five years ago while I was performing at the Windsor International Busker’s Festival. I started telling a story about my boys which culminated in the audience joining me in making a hand gesture to represent a “Hot Dog Bun.”

I was bizarrely fascinated by how this story struck a chord with the audience and so started the journey to build a partner show teaming my experience as a street performer with the spectacular dare devil stunts of William T. Wiener, the most Fearless Flying Frankfurter the world has ever seen. There will be thrills, there will be spills there will be comedy, improvised theatrics, and lots of audience participation.

There will not, however, be any juggling in this show.

I’ve taken departures away from the comfort of working with the familiar juggling props that I’ve used for years before, but I find myself scratching my head a bit as this particular idea seems like the biggest departure I’ve taken to date and I’m hoping the audience will enjoy the show as much as I think I’m going to.

I sold the idea of debuting this show at the PNE to the creative director months ago and shortly there after started assembling costume pieces and props to pull the idea together. It’s been a wonderful adventure as I’ve watch some ideas evolve, other ideas get scrapped and ideas I never considered pop up unexpectedly.

Not since I played my ukulele for the first time at the Vancouver Ukulele Circle have I been this nervous and excited about my performance and I’m loving it. Taking a step or two or three outside of my regular comfort zone is making me re-examine why I like performing and approach things with refreshed interest which is really amazing.

I’m well aware that it’ll be a bumpy ride at the beginning of the run as bits and pieces fall into place and the show really starts finding it’s feet in front of a live audience, but the sign that I’m on to something (at least for me) is that everyone I show bits to looks at the props and stunts with the same child-like-wonder that makes me giggle like a kid every time I picture putting them in front of a crowd. This is going to be scary and it’s going to be a whole heck of a lot of fun!

Alright every one… Put your hands up above your head and pretend it’s a roller coaster… Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The PNE Two-Step

2009-07-22Where in the world am I today?: Driving from Vancouver to Red Deer… 12 hours plus in the car… Yowza!

So… I’ve spent much of the past week scrambling to get three ‘bonus’ slots at the Pacific National Exhibition filled with entertainment. I consult with the creative director of the fair on the selection of acts and piece together a line-up that provides a diversity of act and meets the budget that the fair has to work with. It’s been a great adventure since I started doing this five years and typically the selection of acts happens early in the new year with actual contracts going out around April or so.

A little over a week ago I got an email saying that the Fair had received additional funds to expand the program beyond the acts that we’d booked back at the beginning of the year. I went in for a meeting at the Fair exactly one week ago, promptly posted a quick note on Facebook and sent out emails to a few select people… With in hours I was in-undated with responses from people who expressed interest in snatching up one of the three 17-day long slots and I started the process of assembling a revised line-up for the program.

I’d make suggestions to the creative director, he’d ask for more options, I’d come up with more options but preface these with each act’s availability. Tuesday – Friday  last week I was staring at my computer screen a lot pitching ideas, responding to people who were expressing interest in the gig and scrambling to pull it all together. It soon became apparent that to get an interesting cross section of talent we were going to need to look at splitting up each of the slots in a sort of job-sharing scenario. One act handles the first part of the run and another act covers the rest. In the end we came up with six acts to fill the three slots.

The other interesting thing that happened was that the slots seemed to get filled one at a time with confirmation on each coming in on different days. Slot one got confirmed the day after the meeting (July 15) and contracting started the day after (July 16). Slot #2 got confirmed yesterday with contract information going in today and slot #3 was firmed up today.

I think I felt a bit more under the gun on this because I’m leaving today to drive to Red Deer for Centrefest and really wanted to have the bulk of the work done before I left. Right after I return from Red Deer I turn around (might have time to do laundry) and fly to Peru for a holiday during which I don’t anticipate bringing my computer or being connected to the Internet all that much.

It’s a weird little gig for me this consulting thing because I act as the middle man between the client, the creative director for the PNE, and the performers who are typically my friends. The challenge comes from not really feeling like it’s ‘MY’ program. Sure I only suggest the people who I think will work best for the gig based on my experience in this world, but the final say as to who gets brought in remains in the hands of the Fair. I’m sort of like the kooky uncle who gets to come to the party, but it’s not really my party. The big upside to this scenario is the fact that when the party is over I don’t have to do the clean up, so it’s pretty alright really.

Travel Vaccinations

2009-07-21Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

I’m off to Peru in a little over a week and along with all the other preparations I’ve been making I took a trip to the local Travel Clinic to make sure I had all of the shots and stuff I needed before traveling to that part of the world. Now if anyone reading this is like me (up until recently) you may have vague memories of getting vaccinated when you were in grade school and the memories bring up horrible images of getting stuck with a needle, but were you asked to produce a certificate documenting what shots you got when it would be quite the stretch to find it…

I know I’ve had shots in the past, but when I looked where I though that information should have been I simply couldn’t find it, so I decided to get the whole shooting match done again just to make sure that things were on the up and up.

Now, given all of the traveling I do working for Cruise Ship Gigs and other clients in foreign locations this is probably something I should have taken care of a LONG time ago, but have been pretty lucky I guess and haven’t picked up anything that’s really been all that bad… So why do it now? Well, I guess in part it’s because this trip to Peru isn’t work related. As a result I’m thinking about it in a totally different way and making lists and checking to make sure I’ve got everything all set the way it should be… It’s weird, but in a way I’m spending more time working towards this vacation than I normally do when I’m going on a job… A bit backwards, but sometimes you need to change the way you look at things to realized that for along time you’ve overlooked something (like these vaccinations) for far too long and it’s the kick in the pants you need to finally do something about it.

Long story short, I got to the clinic, got the shots, and figured that having a scan of this document on-line might be as useful to have as a scan of my passport, so I took care of that too. Some of the shots I got are good for a lifetime, some need a booster in 6 months which I will also go and get. If you’re traveling internationally making sure this sort of stuff is up-to-date is well worth effort as it may prevent you from getting sick while away from home which is always better than the alternatives.

Keep your website up-to-date

2009-07-20Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

I was out gigging this weekend a little closer to home than in recent months… I was actually out in Whiterock which south of Vancouver ‘proper,’ but is still included in the greater Vancouver area. The gig itself was for a block party/sidewalk sale sort of event and my employer was a coffee shop that hadn’t even opened yet. I guess the shop wanted to leave a good impression with the community even before their doors were officially open and brought me in for a couple of shows to do just that…

I was delighted to see when I arrived that said employer had gone to my website downloaded some of the posters I have available and had put them up to advertise my shows… This was pretty cool as I had put up the poster download page ages ago and this was one of the few times that I’d seen anyone take advantage of it… Then came the huge compliment…

“If you ever stop performing you could teach people how to stay on top of their marketing… Your website is so up-to-date and content easy to find that it was a dream!”

This was very flattering of course, but beyond being flattering it re-inforced something I’ve believed for years… Keep the content easy to find and keep it up-to-date. I’ve had some performers argue that they’d rather not post things like a tour calendar on-line because if an employer visits your calendar, sees that you’re not available they may not even contact you. Better they suggest to encourage the communication because it offers the opportunity to communicate with a potential new client… There is certainly validity in this line of thinking I’ll admit, but I’ve never seemed to suffer from having my tour calendar posted and I’ve had numerous people thank me for keeping it up to date so that they can track my where-abouts.

I make an effort to keep the tour calendar up-to-date and also keep up with this blog because the idea of marketing for me is to be reasonably diligent in keeping people in the loop and providing the information that is needed. After comments like I got over the weekend, apparently the effort is appreciated.

Bill Murray – Quoted

2009-07-18Where in the world am I today?: Peace River, AB, Canada

I’m a nut, but not just a nut.

Bill Murray, US Comedian/Actor (1950 – )


“I remember people asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up and always replying ‘HAPPY.’ I think I could have settled for a nut, but not just a nut.”

–David ‘checkerhead’ Aiken

If you call yourself a nut, people are going to draw their own conclusions, but by implying your more than what they might conclude the door is opened to a whole new spectrum of investigation… Who ever the Nut in your life is, enjoy them for their nut-ness and their nut-just-nut-ness.

Rick Kunst • Interviews from the Inside

2009-07-17Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Prologue: Rick and I became friends on the Canadian Fringe Festival Circuit in particular the Edmonton Fringe Festival where Sak Theater had legendary status. For some reason be it deserved or not I seemed to acquire a bit of that sort of status as well and as we often shared the pitch and certainly the audiences of Edmonton we had a nice commonality of experience that lead to a quick friendship. In the years since Rick has always impressed me with his ability to articulate his ideas about what performing can be and how to get the most out of a theatrical setting. He’s also a heck of a nice guy…don’t let that cheesy mustache throw you off.


Name: Rick Kunst
Birthday: March 9, 1960
Place of Birth: Saint Petersburg, Florida, USA
Started Performing/Working in the Industry: Fall of 1980
Discipline: Clown, Acting, Improv, Metal smithing
Websites: www.privypeople.comwww.menintights.ca
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GBu6lxyL04
Venues Worked: Every state except Alaska, Most Provinces, Various shows, Festivals and corporate events

Hot 10 Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? • Natural Chocolate
  2. Name one movie that would make it to your Top 10 all-time great films.Big Trouble in Little China
  3. What was your favorite toy from childhood? • James Bond Finger Gun
  4. Who were your biggest inspirations when you got started? • The Pythons, Bill Murray, Buster Keaton
  5. From the world of animation what one character do you most identify with or see yourself in? • Bugs Bunny.
  6. Name something that scares you.Extreme Heights
  7. Apart from the entertainment industry, name one other job you’ve had. • Jeweler
  8. What’s something you haven’t done yet that you’d like to try? • Get to Everest Base Camp.
  9. What’s your least favourite thing about being a performer? • The hours
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? • “Good show Rick”

The Nugget:

Pick one nugget of wisdom you’ve picked up from your career in Show Business to share with the World.

It’s an actor’s (performer’s) job to justify.

–Rick Kunst

Trip Prep…

2009-07-16Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

I’ve had a busy week one way or another. Flew home from Peace River, Alberta where I got to shoot guns after my performances at Peacefest – what a bizarre experience that was. Made it home on Tuesday and dove into the process of arriving home from one trip and prepping for another. Actually I’m prepping for a couple of different trips. I’ll be heading to Red Deer, Alberta for Centrefest on Wednesday next week, but have a couple of local shows in the Vancouver area this weekend so need to pause before packing up for that trip until after the shows are done.

The bigger prep however is for a trip I’m taking to Peru. I got a wild opportunity thrown at me to go to Peru for about two and a half weeks. Some time in Lima, some time in Cusco, a ten-day horse back riding trip along the Incan Trail and some time at Machu Picchu. This is not the sort of thing I do everyday and the company that’s leading much of the expedition gave me a list of things I should bring for the trip. Bit by bit I’m getting it all together, but I find it incredibly useful to have a sort of ‘staging area’ to lay everything out to make sure I’ve got it all organized and I don’t inadvertently forget something.

It’s no doubt part of my obsessive-compulsive nature, but the last thing I want to do is leave something critical behind. I’d likely be able to pick up anything I’m missing when I get to Peru, but there’s a certain satisfaction in showing up prepared. What’s that old boy scout motto – “Be Prepared” – well I get a good feeling when I leave for a trip with out that sneaking suspicion that I forgot to pack something really important.

This is even more important when packing up for a show because if you show up at a gig having forgotten the power adaptor for your music source or having left a key part of your costume behind you’ll have to scramble to make things work. Sometimes the excitement of having something go wrong can work in your favour in a performance situation, but if you’re making your living as a professional entertainer, you owe it to your client (even if that client is the audience you gather on the street) to walk into the venue prepared.

When I did a theatrical show which was particularly prop intensive a few years back I actually had a prop list and checked and double checked to make sure I had everything and that everything was in it’s pre-set location before each show. It was sort of meditation, or ritual that helped me prep before the show and allowed me to play more successfully knowing that when I reaches for such-and-such a prop it would be there.

Again… Walking in prepared will make you look more professional and serve you well when you step on stage to perform.

Renaissance Festivals

2009-07-15Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

While hanging out in Edmonton at the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival I got to hang out with my friends ‘The Flaming Idiots.’ I originally met the boys at the 1989 Edmonton Streetfest and loved working with them for a number of years at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Apart from their work at Street Festivals and Fringe Festivals, the Idiots spent a lot of time working the Renaissance Festival Circuit.

I’ve never actually worked at a Renaissance Festival myself but know lots of performers who have and have attended a couple, one in Minnesota near the Twin Cities when I was just a kid and lived in St. Paul, and another near Denver, Colorado when I was traveling across country in the mid-eighties.

The concept behind Renaissance Festivals is to recreate a medieval village complete with Lords, Ladies, Knights, Jousters, and activities including a pretty diverse collection of live performances – jugglers, sword swallowers, jesters, sword play shows, interactive plays, you name it. Obviously all of these shows needed to fit into the ‘Renaissance World’ created at these festivals, but most performers who I’ve talked to about this said that the modifications that they needed to do to their shows didn’t amount to a whole lot and that the environment was a pretty great one to perform in.

A quick Google Search turned up several that might be worth checking out –

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