Friday, November 14, 2003

Brush offs with Fame

In 1993, I was working my second year at the Bay Area Renaissance Festival as part of a 4 woman singing group named Faire Falderal. We'd met the previous year on site, joined forces, and spent the following months perfecting our act. In in the Ren Faire scale, we were damn good and pretty doggone impressive. We were also dedicated to making a "name" for ourselves in our tiny world. We we ambitious. We had Dreams.

So, we took every opportunity to perform we could get -- we nabbed a feature spot during Court, and we were always up for a spot in the end-of-the-day Pub Sing, where we could also get a feature spot. Being willing to do such things was a way to move from a "hat only" contract to an actual paid contract (for not a lot of money, but, HEY!) So we were young, eager, talented, and very, very focused.

Some time about halfway through the 6 week run, on a Sunday, we were performing a last set in the tavern for a group of senior citizens. They had gotten around to asking us to sing "Old Rugged Cross" (no) when we noticed an addition to our audience. A kind of short guy, bearded, clad in biker cliche demins and red bandana, dropped a $5 into our hat. He was accompanied by a leggy, spandex clad, gold chain blonde who was, even without the heels, little taller. Hey, Ren Faire attracts all kinds, and a $5 tip is a nice thing. Cindy, our offiial meet-n-greeter, was chatting with him when the rest of us heard the cheers and drum banging that usually announces Pub Sing. Now, if you aren't at Pub Sing when they call your name to perform, you lose your spot and you lose points. Biker dude was still trying to talk to us, so we said thanks, started walking, and essentially brushed him off.

We arrived at Pub Sing, did our bit, and retired to mix with the crowd. One of the security guys was partaking of a mug and turned to talk to us.

"Hey, Bob Segar bought us a beer today. Did you see him?"

We all paused. Bob....Segar?

"Yeah. He's performing at Bike week and stopped here for the day. Nice guy."

Bike week. Bob Segar. Dark, bearded, denim...brush off.

And, at that moment, I heard the flushing sound of a potential music career swirling down the drain.

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