Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Look Ahead, Look Astern - the year in review...


It was a good year for Don Juan and Miguel® in 2007. We had some good times, ran into old friends, made some new ones, played in the sunshine, rain and in the snow (Scarborough Faire opening day! – can you believe it?) We ate some fine dinners, golfed, played some bocce, laughed a lot, cried a little, and even got some good stuff done. Yes we, with the help of many very talented folk were able to make some notable and cool accomplishments this past year…

“The Lost Princess” got picked up for national and international distribution by Echelon Entertainment (www.echelonent.com) and is now available on Net Flicks, Amazon.com, EZ-Takes.com, and SuperIndieTakes.com. We’ve even received reports from friends and fans about “Princess” being available at their local movie rental place! We’re really pleased that “Princess” is getting distribution. Now people from everywhere can get a peek into our wonderful and wacky world. It’s so cool!

On the DVD front….

We, as Blind Dog Entertainment® released two new DVDs; both of them “documentaries” of a sort. We love the way these projects have turned out and are planning more for some of the other acts on the Renaissance circuit. We think it’ll be fun to share the lives and talents of our community with everyone.


Our first DVD release was “Pull My Finger – A Docu-comedy” for our dear friends “Hey Nunnie Nunnie!”. I think that the DVD turned out really good. The liveliness of their show is captured, the interview with Shannon and Dana is a (revealing) delight, and the “extras” are a must-see! I recall filming the short “Hey Thumby Thumby” with Shannon, and Dana, and the gang. It was a weekday at Scarborough, the weather was wet, gray and drizzling but we were laughing a lot. We were laughing so hard that at one point Shannon fell on her backside into the mud, which made us laugh all the more! We hope you have some laughs when you watch it. Such a fun project, everyone worked so hard.


Our second DVD release was “An Inside Look – a documentary of comic proportions” In “An Inside Look” we set aside the public persona of Don Juan and Miguel® for a while and let you see who we are and how we got together while sharing anecdotes and telling stories. There is a fairly in-depth interview with each of us and with both of us together. Plus we interview Dakota (“Esmeralda”) and one of the hardest working members of the Blind Dog Family –Linda Granados (Jose’s wife and Dakota’s mom). Its all fun – and its who we are.

We also share a day “behind-the-scenes” at Scarborough Faire with clips and cuts from our live performances. With the “Backstage Pass” you get a major peek inside the preparation and action backstage during an actual show. Have you ever wondered how Pete the Pickle was chosen? The Backstage Pass reveals all. Also on the DVD we include a scene from our upcoming film “I Sense Danger”! “An Inside Look” was fun to make. We tried to answer all the questions we’ve been asked (that we care to answer). We hope it will be as fun for you to watch.

In 2007 Blind Dog Entertainment® released two excellent cds by two very talented and diverse artists.

On the Music CD front…


Our first music release in 2007 was “Heartstrings – Music of the Harp and Cello” by Harpist Martha Gay and Celloist Max Dyer. Some of you will recognize those names as being associated with the premiere early music ensemble “Cantiga” (www.cantigamusic.com), and with festival favorite Owain Phyfe and the “New World Renaissance Band”. We know them as very talented old friends from the hot summer days at King Richard’s near Chicago (now Bristol). We are pleased as punch and honored to bring to you the awesome and beautiful music of Martha and Max!

“Harper’s Bizarre”

Our second music release of the season was Sarah Mullen’s long-awaited “Harper Bizarre”. This is Sarah’s third project with Blind Dog Entertainment® and, I think, her best. There is, of course, some great traditional music on the cd with some top-notch musicians adding to the delight. For the first time, though, there is the beautiful bonus of some really excellent original music by Sarah, and by Cyrus – who was also the cover artist. You will love this cd!


I want to give a quick thanks to everyone involved in our Blind Dog Entertainment® projects. I would mention each person by name and action, but I’m afraid of the sin of omission! But thank you all! And sincere thanks to everyone who buys our stuff and makes it possible to capture more music and bring you more silliness!

“The Bells”

We do work with very talented folk – one of them is Frank Della Penna from “Cast in Bronze” Frank wrote a new (great) musical – “The Bells”. I had the privilege of directing (with the help of Martha Gay) the first staged reading of this emotional and lyrical piece. Some of the songs linger still… Along with the help of the great Scarborough Faire community we held an evening of music, wine and conversation. A memorable night, I can’t wait to see a full-blown production of “The Bells”


“I Sense Danger!”

“I Sense Danger was filmed at Sterling in 2006 and is now being heatedly worked upon in post! Duncan Pace is our Director/editor. Kelly Stallard from Sterling is creating the score. Sound design, foley, etc., is being handled by Jim Hancock and yours truly with inspiration from our director. Louis Skaradek is working magic on Special Effects with assistance of Steve Parke. The whole project is finally coming together. This is the time of the hardest work. We look for a 2008 release date and we’ll certainly keep you updated on our progress regularly.

But mostly, about 2007, is that we are grateful that we had the opportunity to make folks laugh, tell some stories, share some music and share some time together. And we look forward to a year of true delights! Which brings us to…


And now, I guess, 2008!

Well, lets see. Other than working on “I Sense Danger” we will be performing at the Arizona Renaissance Festival at the Palace for our 20th season! The festival runs weekends February 9th through the end of March. And we’re open President’s Day. Come Celebrate with us!

We will be performing at the Crown Stage at Scarborough Faire for, I think, our 23rd season! It’s like coming home to party. Scarborough runs (weekends) April 5th through Memorial Day Monday May 26th. Come out and play with us!

Onto the Sterling Renaissance Festival. As you may know there have been some core changes at Sterling. There will now be a new owner – Doug Waterbury. I have been in close contact with Gary Izzo and I’m told that Doug is a really upbeat, positive guy who really wants to do well by Sterling. He is a local man with strong community ties. I know that change is oft times frightening because it is an unknown. Change is also a door opening, opening to new creations, new delights and new discoveries. I think this will be true for Sterling. Don Juan and Miguel® will be back in 2008. Many old friends will be returning, and there will be opportunity to make some new friends. It will be an interesting and fun change. Come share it with us!

Speaking of change: we will not be performing at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival in 2008. We will have our Dungeon Museum in operation though so we will maintain a presence with our old friends. This is an amicable choice. We want to thank PA for 6 good years and a special thanks to all you good folks who enjoyed our shows and shared some laughs with us! Thank you so much! We’ll see you down the road.

As for that time, well, we are looking at some options and invitations. Who knows, we may be seeing old friends in Michigan or Kansas City again. We’ll definitely let you all know!

And you will definitely be seeing us at the Carolina Renaissance Festival in the fall. We got a lovely new stage last year and look forward to sharing some laughs. It’s such a lovely time if the year to be in Carolina.


We look forward to another year of supporting R.E.S.C.U. (Renaissance Entertainers, Service, Crafters United) – a terrific charity doing great things for those in our community who cannot afford medical assistance. We look forward to a year of more support from the generous patrons who come and play in our community. Join us in making our Rennie friends healthier. RESCU can be reached at www.rescufoundation.org.

But mostly we look forward to and wish a year of health, laughter, successes, love, discoveries and delights for us all.

Thanks for everything,

Don Juan and Miguel