2:41 AM - NI-shna! -
At long last, festival season 2002 comes to an end. We got lucky this year at the first annual Nishna River Renaissance Faire. Two years ago, you see, the three ladies that were cast to play "washer well wenches" for the Wybreg Village Renaissance Festival found October in Iowa as less than hospitable for an outdoor event. In 2000 there was enough rain to almost cancel the festival one morning, and even light snow flakes. This year, at the opposite end of Iowa, Nishna saw nothing but brisk temperatures. Sadly, less than 1000 people came out to play with the girls (and the rest of the excellent entertainers). Pity. They missed a great show. The last festival of the season is always full of surprises.
This year, when it came time to do our last performance of The Ring for 2002, I was supposed to break in and give Sheila the news that the fireman she'd picked out to be Mr. Sheila couldn't marry her without a three day waiting period. I was supposed to do that, anyway. It seemed more appropriate to just give in and wish her the best of luck with her new husband. I hear he's even signed the guestbook.
Some highlights of this year should be mentioned. One of the skits, The Ring, involves John-Paul and Willa's three year anniversary. The Geneseo Shakespearean Festival marked the first meeting of John-Paul (me, Allen) and Willa (Lindsy), so on that weekend, it was indeed the three year anniversary. So to speak. Also, a long running gag is that Keirra is the wench with all the kids and ready to pop out another one. For the last three shows this year, Keirra actually was pregnant and it *really* showed by Nishna. Beware of the predictive power of our skits!
What about Sheila, you ask? Well, her character is always the "let's go to the tavern, drink, and play with men" type so I guess we got that one right first ;-) (Just kidding! Although she does like Fred, she's actually a very down to earth and wonderful woman who is far from her character. Well, perhaps not far from it. There are certainly bits of Sheila in Marci, and bits of Marci in Sheila, but Marci doesn't have a line of men outside her tent. Er, house. Whatever.)
By the end of the year, it was also interesting to see how our friends played with our shows. The "Do you know what today is?" question which was always followed with "Is it trash day?" and then with "NO, that's Tuesday" became a running gag that escaped the well. By the end of the season, from the very first mention in the show, it seemed like dozens in the audience would all chant "No, that's Tuesday!" It scared me. I mean, think about it. These are friends of ours who have seen the show enough to know the gags, yet they still hang out with us. Let's just say that this throwaway gag which we hastily wrote into the story outline back at the start of the year got more milage than I would have ever hoped. Thanks, friends, for making it far too special!
And, if I have anything to do with it, trash day will sneak in to future projects.
Speaking of future projects... I don't know what's going to happen in 2003. I used to have a job that made me tons of cash, but since March I've been job seeking and collecting unemployment. Since we'd already signed contracts for all the festivals, I still had to go even though it put a bit of financial stress on the Willa/John-Paul household (yes, she's really my girlfriend, and yes we really live together). Unless we can figure out a way to cut costs, or get more money, I don't know if I can do this next year. I guess it never hurts to ask for more money.
Anyone got more money?
As Iowa turns white, there will hopefully be more projects to keep us busy. I have been requested to put together a page of all the wedding photos featuring Sheila's various husbands from this year. Sounds like a fun idea, so I'll try to get to that. There are so many great pictures from this year perhaps I will also get around to finishing off the galleries that needed to be done at the first of the year. And then maybe I'll put together the new interviews that were video taped before the season began. (There's some great "bi-ch" sessions on them that the world needs to see.)
That's it for now. Have a great holiday season, and listen to http://renradio.com for the Willa spot, and, if all goes well, in 2003 you might be hearing cuts from the "hope we get to make it" Washer Well Wench comedy CD... Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Thanks for reading.