Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two Weekends of Sterling

Greetings all.

I hope this "blog" finds you all well and delightful.

I've been truly enjoying the Sterling Renaissance Festival. We've been here for 20 (twenty!) years now and it is very much like coming home. The crowds for the first weekend were good. I think the festival on the first Sunday ended with one of the best Final Pub Sings in a very long time; from the very beginning witht the "Beggars" leading the opening song, to Hey Nunnie Nunnie's rendition of "Chastity Bell", to everyone joining in on verses for "Drunken Sailor" (from the fans verses that were, thankfully, not salacious), to the delight of the Sheriff's leading of a song and being kissed by his many "illegitimate children" (I think around 25 fans and performers gave him a kiss on the cheek), to everyone, perfomers and audience alike joining in on "Auld Lang Syne" - twas a true delight. You know, I do love this event at Sterling. It is unlike any other in the country. (that I know of) In this Pub Sing the line between the "actors" and "audience" really blurs; it feels more like sharing "Christmas" carols to me, than pub songs. More raucuous in a way, but the same sense of memory and sharing. Sorta an homage to the time we spend together and and homage to Summer herself. It's cool.

I wanted to take a moment to address some concerns some fans have been having about Sterling, and perhaps answer a few queries. No, the festival has not yet been sold. (as of this posting) and yes, there are potential buyers looking at it. Last year was a great blow, financially, to the festival; what with all the rain and rising gas prices, etc, we just didn't get the numbers we needed. We hope to make it up this year. Literally EVERYONE involved with the Festival is pitching in (taking a cut in pay, etc.) to help insure that Sterling will remain a strong and viable festival. It is, in many ways, the gem of Renaissance Festivals. The atmosphere, the food, the high quality of NON-IMPORTED crafts, and the stellar performance program still make this festival one of the best in the nation. (And a hell of a lot of fun!) We (I) invite you to help be a true Patron of The Arts and come out and support us. If you've not been in years, come back home to us, if you've never been - this is an experience you should have. This coming weekend's theme is Romance, should be fun! PLEASE COME.

Hey Nunnie Nunnie's "docu-comedy" "Pull My Finger" will finally be out this weekend. It's a blast. Go to the Wildwood Stage at the festival and see them and get a DVD of your own. This new DVD is a delight!

The Don Juan and Miguel® documentary - "An Inside Look" - is in the works. Last night Don Juan (Jose) and I went to Dr. Jule's and worked on editing the (revealing) interview section. I think it is fun, funny, and informative. We show glimpses of our upcoming film and, plus, there will be a VIP Pass on the DVD allowing you access to backstage and some of our performance "secrets". I think you'll all enjoy it. Should be available in about six weeks.

Other deadlines.....The Lost Princess gets distribution July 24th. Check out your local independent movie rental stores - this is really the "Director's Cut" - Duncan Pace (the director and editor) re-edited it and Jim Hancock has cleaned up the sound quite a bit. Please let us know what you think.

Our New Movie: "The Adventures of Don Juan and Miguel; I Sense Danger" is still in post. We hope to have a picture lock by the end of the month. This means Jim Hancock (www.jimusic.com) and I will be able to start working on the sound and foley, we can also begin to create the score and Louie Skaradek can create his wonderful digital magic in his CG world. Lot's of folk have been asking about the release date. We are not dragging our heels on this, we just want "Danger" to be better than anything we've done up to this point. Dr. Jules did some amazing cinematography, and Duncan has never directed better - even the script is superior (I think) to our earlier productions, so please be patient with us. We are looking at a mid-January release.

Lastly. I love the summers up here in Oswego. The weather, the rich green of the trees, the beautiful lake, the stunning sunsets and Oswego itself. Thank you.


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Almost Sterling Time

Hey friends, fans and folks - happy greetings to you all!

It is a mere few days before the opening of the Sterling Renaissance Festival and boy, are we busy readying ourselves for a fantastic and fun season! Esmeralda will be with us!

We've been getting the archery and maze together, as well as my (Doug's) work with Sterling's professional acting troup - the BTM (Bless The Mark Players). If you've never heard I have been the assitant artistic director here for years - I love working with these creative and talented actors and with my good friend Gary Izzo (buy his books). This year my tasks have been focusing on coordinating the Final Pub Sing (an event I love), directing and assisting in writing the new Washer Show (with two fabulous and lovely washer wenches) and putting an eye to the Mud Shows. The guys are doing a show they've done in the past, I'm just there to give a hand if needed. It's been fun - even though a bit briefer of a rehearsal period this year.

We are also excited about getting Hey Nunnie Nunnies' new (and first) DVD together. It is a "docu-comedy" called "Pull My Finger!" It features their show, an extended interview with the actual persons who have created Mother Redempta and Sister Philomena, a cute short piece called "Hey Thumbie Thumbie" (which comes from the mind of Dana McCain - Philomena), a slide show and a sneak preview of our upcoming film which I believe we are calling The Adventures of Don Juan and Miguel: "I Sense Danger"! The sneak preview is the new song "Chastity Bell" The DVD will be available by the third weekend of the Sterling Festival directly from our favourite nuns!

Don Juan and I are also preparing our own documentary "A Weekend with Don Juan and Miguel" - hopefully It'll be available for you by the fifth weekend here. Our good friend Dr. Jules - who filmed "Adventures" for us was the cameraman for both the Nuns' project and ours. He has a wonderful eye - I think you are all going to enjoy these.

On a personal note: Those of you who contact me through AOL, please just use the Don Juan and Miguel website - not even the Blind Dog Website - I'm having difficulties with them. They have accused me of fraud. If I can get the account back, fine. I'll probably cancel it anyway, but I may keep it - I've been using AOL since it's inception (just about) but this past action on their part may be too much for me to handle. I'll let you know.

Well, gotta run. I'll be in touch again after opening.

Live Well, Do Good!

Tu Amigo,


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