A Mirror into Ken's Past -- 2001

We didn't go to Disneyland this year. Too much going on, and Disney was opening their new theme park "The California Adventure", which means lots of hype, lots of insanity, too many people. We decided to avoid that ...

The landlady also jumped our rent by 20%! That was a bit rude, but she could legally do it. Unfortunately we didn't really have the money to move again, or we would have. We decided to do another year in that house.


In August of the previous year, at an event (Arts and Sciences), some of us came up with the idea of doing a Quest, sort of like things that had been done in the long-past history of the SCA. This was a cool idea, and we spent a lot of the spring working on that. We actually did the quest in early June. Many members of the Golden Stag Players were involved, but not all. Combine that with the following, and we had some burnt out folk by the time it was all over. The Quest itself was a hit by those who attended it, and everyone had a grand ol' time.

Since the Golden Stag Players planned on going to this international Commedia Festival in Austin, Texas, we had a lot of work to do. The Festival was scheduled for September, which mean we had to go into rehearsals three months before we normally do.

We decided to do a play we had already done, which meant not trying to work up a new script. We had a couple of actors drop out on us due to life, so we re-cast a couple of parts. This is the play we had done two years earlier, so we already had the masks and costumes done, as well as the script. (We ended up making a new mask for John, but everyone else was able to use the masks from the first time around.)

We had some serious illnesses in there, but everyone pulled together. Tim, Jeff and John worked up some new sets. We made sure the masks worked. And all summer long we rehearsed hard.

Tim and Jeff worked with John and came up with some good solid wood sets, had a lot of fun painting them ... we didn't actually get to work with them a lot before we went to Austin, but they are really the best sets we've had to work with.

We also had to get housing arranged while we were there, all the logistical stuff. It all slowly came together on our end. I collected money for housing, paid the good folk for that, deposits, all that kind of thing. It came together on the Texas side of things. We arranged for Eric (one of the troupe members) to drive to Texas (he was going to anyway), and take the sets and whatever else people wanted to send.


The Golden Stag Players got to Texas, and we got ready for the festival. Most of us didn't go into town from the condos we rented outside of Austin for the Saturday evening performances, as we were trying to do some relaxing while there.

We did do Sunday and Monday parts of the festival, including our performance. Then Tuesday happened -- September 11, 2001. Terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center, did serious damage to the Pentagon. It was horrible. On top of it all, Laurie's father works in the Pentagon, her sister works in Manhatten, and she didn't hear from them (since the phone lines were tied up) for hours and hours. Of course she got worried, and then when she FINALLY heard from them (they were both late getting in to work, and weren't anywhere near the problem areas), she was emotionally drained.

Most of the troupe decided to go into Austin and continue with the festival, but our performance didn't happen that night. We went to workshops in the afternoon, and in the first workshop we got a call from Laurie letting us know that her family was ok. They weren't going to come in for the festival, but we pretty much expected that.

The rest of the festival continued, although Tuesday was a bit subdued. It was a good festival despite it all. We met another SCA acting troupe and had a great time hanging out with them (they're from the other coast, which was fun). The two instructors from Europe were phenomenal.

Photos and such from this trip can be seen at: Commedia dell'Austin Trip

The trip was worthwhile. When we got back home, we took a break. We went back to work, and life continued. Note that when I state the trip was worthwhile, I do mean it. I think that all of us learned a LOT about Commedia and performing in general. This had a major impact on our performance in January, and despite being fried, people were already thinking ahead to the next Commedia.

November rolled around and we started rehearsing again to get ready for the January performance, but we modified the script based on things we learned in Austin.

Other than that, not much to mention (at this time ... some job weirdnesses, but I don't want to go into detail until the company is back on its feet and that's all straightened out ...).

I did get the "brilliant" idea to put all of this (the autobiography that you're reading) together in November. It's been a long haul, but I'm feeling that it's in pretty good shape finally. I need to stop editing it constantly, and work on actually putting it up on my website.

Actually, I keep coming back to it and adding things, but I'm glad I finally put it up on the web. I've heard from folk (my mother, some "long-lost" friends ...) who found it and have given me corrections, filled in some details (which is great with a memory like mine -- more like a sieve than anything else sometimes ...) and more.

A Few Photos

Golden Stag Players Troupe Bios and Photos for the Commedia dell'Austin trip.

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