This photo was taken by my good friend Marc Norberg the first year I met him. It was 1981 and Marc was hired that season as the official Minnesota Renaissance Festival photographer.
I remember Marc would always be taking pictures at my first show of the day on Bruegel Stage, which was just inside the front gate. My show started right after the opening cannon, so the audiences were always fresh and ready to laugh.
After that season I lost touch with Marc until Rosie and I started performing together, and we needed promo shots. The first person that popped into my mind was Marc Norberg, but the phone number on his business card was disconnected, and it wasn’t possible to Google his name in 1984.
I recall driving to ProColor in downtown Minneapolis to pick-up fresh copies of Rosie’s old head-shot, and making a wish that Marc would magically appear when I arrive. As I was waiting in line I hear the door open, and I turn to see Marc beside me.
Since that day Marc has generously photographed Rosie and I throughout our 30-year career together. I’ve watched Marc grow into an extraordinary artist. His portraiture work is brilliant, and he is a true wizard with light.
I’ve always tried to stay in close contact with Marc. Even as we each gained success in our careers, and both of our lives became hectic, I would always make sure to at least get together with Marc over the winter holidays to exchange Christmas presents.
My favorite memory is sitting across the street from Marc’s photography studio outside the Bryant Lake Bowl, and watching the light show from an approaching storm. When the rain arrived Marc and I remained outside laughing, and getting soaked to the bone.
One recent holiday season I hadn’t heard from Marc for a while, so I drove over to visit him. When I arrived his studio was vacated, and no one in the building knew how to contact him. I learned later he had been evicted, and eventually became homeless. Like many professional photographers Marc’s career was deeply impacted by the brave-new-world of the digital age.
This past year my neighbor Mary Ludington, (who is a great photographer in her own right), was able to get me back in contact with Marc. The good news is that he is getting back on his feet again. He is struggling with depression, but is on the road to healing, and recovery.
In the next several days I plan to post a series of Marc’s photographs to showcase his amazing talent. Marc Norberg’s photographs beautifully document Rosie and my career. You can also go to his new website at www.marcnorbergpictures.com to see more of Marc’s incredible body of work.
I hope you enjoy my upcoming posts.