Promos

This #Write31Days post is one in a series about the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.  You can find the other posts here

Promos.  Ah…. How I love to hate you.

One of the things that the director and the veteran performers don’t really talk about very much to new performers when they are auditioning is promos, and what exactly it is and what exactly is required.  Oh you don’t know either?  Let me elaborate.

A promo is short for promotional hours.  Think living, breathing, walking, talking advertisement for the Festival.  You go to the place that wants you there, you walk around, talk to people and hand out coupons.

If you work for the Festival, you have a certain number of promo hours that you are required to work, but it depends on what your character is, and to an extent, what class your character is.

Which sort of became a problem.  We, the singing princesses, were told before the first rehearsal that we were part of the royal court.  And then at the first rehearsal, we were told that we were part of the village.  And when our contracts came, we found out that we really were part of the royal court.

As a villager, you are required to work 35 hours.  As a member of the court, that number goes up to 45.  The king and queen have the most at 75.

It’s not a bad thing, though.  It really gives you a lot of time to play with your character.  I learned that little girls really like any princess that will take the time to stop and talk to them.  If you are with someone else, you can get to know them and their character a bit better.

I learned more about myself as well.  I learned that I can be brave, that I can talk to total strangers, that I may not have a perfect accent, but that I can be somewhat entertaining.CamelotPromo

This was one of the very first promos I attended.  This is the large outdoor theater in Kansas City, the Starlight Theater.  Camelot was coming through.  I was excited because my dress was 95% finished, and I could wear it.  This was probably the very first time I felt like a princess, and to actually attend with the queen!

Wendy, the queen, has been such a gracious person.  She has always appeared to be nice and kind, and I have only seen her angry once.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her.  She’s the one in purple on the left in the picture above.  After we finished handing out all of our coupons for the evening, she convinced Savannah and I to go with her on the backstage tour of the theater.  It was AMAZING.

Brooke is the lady in blue next to her.  She plays my older sister, Princess Isabella.  Dan is her husband, and he is right next to her.  I could go on and on and on about the both of them, and maybe I will.  But right now, please know that they have become dear friends.

Savannah is the lady in the red dress.  She plays the empress of Nubia.  Her family became a one car family over the summer, and since I know what it feels like to be stuck, we’ve become traveling buddies, bonding over Disney music.

Cinderella

I enjoyed that promo so much, I went back for another one.  This time was for the Cinderella tour that was coming through.  And since our scenario for the season is Cinderella, it was sort of required for the Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming and Cinderella to be in attendance.  Isn’t her gown magnificent?

Of course, I had to sit on the throne they had set up for pictures for the kids.Throne

Then there were the ball games.  I got to attend the first one by myself, with no clue as to what to do.TBones

Other than take a picture with the team mascot.  The team is the T-Bones, and the mascot is named Sizzler.SelfieWithSizzler

There was City Market with a large group of us.City Market

There was the UPS workers picnic.UPSPicnic

There was another game.TBones2

And then there was First Fridays.

I have to tell you about Jessica. She is such a great gal.  She actually lives in Omaha, and has traveled back and forth for rehearsals and for the season.  She plays one of Cinderella’s step-sisters, and she is BRILLIANT in the role.  She has this laugh (I’m sure it’s not her real one), that is just perfect.  She’s got a fashion sense that makes her upholstery fabric look fabulous.  And she knows how to be silly.

But under all that, she has a heart of gold.  She’s been hurt before, but she truly cares for other people.  I am so glad I know her.

And I have to tell you that before I show you her picture, because I want you to remember that it’s what is on the inside that counts.

Jessica

She was trying these new eyelashes that night.  They look like peacock feathers to match her hat.  You can’t see the whole thing in this picture.  We were fighting wind, and crowds, but we were still having a blast.  And her smile is so genuine.

FIrstFriday

We were heading back to our cars when we ran into these guys.  You can see her hat and part of her dress in this picture.  Her hat has feathers all over it.  It’s beautifully ugly.  We had to take this picture because “Grizzelda” was upset that someone had more feathers and a taller hat than her.  It was priceless and so much fun.

Well, that’s all for now.  I had a few more promos that I attended, but I seem to be having trouble locating all my pictures.  I hope you have enjoyed this small snapshot of what my summer has looked like so far.

Hugs,
Melinda
(aka Princess Sophia)

P.S.  I haven’t seen the final total, but I’m pretty sure I ended up with close to 45 hours, if not over.  I was told that as long as I was trying, that it was all good.  Which reminds me:  I need to go send an email about one more little promo, that I will tell you about later.

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