This seems to be the year of nostalgia at the MN Renaissance Festival. I came across this photo on Facebook of the Royal Court from the mid-1970s. Standing near center is Michael Brandt who played King Henry the Eighth when I first began. Pictured just below the King is Tim Rudy who later became the General Manager of the Festival in the late 1980s. To the far left is the king in waiting, George Herman.
I remember auditioning before the King in 1976 at Prospect Park, which was the perfect location with its medieval looking Witch’s Tower. I began by riding my unicycle from the Witch’s Tower down the rough terrain to the Royal Court sitting at the bottom of the park. I then nervously performed my act before the King. Michael Brandt never wore a crown, but he didn’t need one because his booming voice, Richard Burton-esque charisma, and sharp wit removed any doubt who the King was.
As I auditioned I was instantly drawn into the magic of the Festival.