Cat Taylor's Mewsings

Balancing left and right brain madness…

Sheesh… How to make your Chrome extension icons visible again:

Entertainment Proposals for The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, 2014

Yes Virginia, it’s already time to start talking about the entertainment for the Great Dickens Christmas Fair for 2014. If you have a new show or group that you’d like to propose, please visit this webpage to find out more about performing at the fair.

Please keep the following in mind if you are proposing a show:

  • No fire performances
  • No prerecorded music/audio, video/animation
  • Costumes, language, sets and props must be appropriate for mid-19th century London (not Renaissance)
  • No modern performance styles (no aerial silks, etc.) or obvious modern (vs. Victorian) technology
  • Able to fit on available stage sizes

Please consult all of the information on the performer’s web page before proposing a show.
Proposals may be sent to entertainment director Cat Taylor at

Our own Phyllis Patterson, in a nice write-up in the New York Times.

GiveForward Site for Don Kelly’s Chosen Family

The Renaissance Faire, Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Northern California Pirate Festival lost a very dear friend this  week, Don Kelly. I did too.  The GiveForward site for Don’s chosen family is up and available at

 Please give what you can (even a little bit adds up) and share around.

Don Kelly at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.

Don Kelly at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair.


Did you miss the beginning of the new Cosmos series with Neil deGrasse Tyson?

Did you miss the beginning of the new Cosmos series with Neil deGrasse Tyson? We did too, but you can catch it on Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month. We just watched the first episode and it’s well worth it.

Watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey Online


Believe it or not, it’s already time to “spring forward”!


Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 2:00 AM local standard time.
Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 2:00 AM local daylight time.

Phoenyx’s Keepers of the Flame” – Now Legendary?

phoenyxOnce upon a time there was a Celtic Fusion band called Phoenyx,
I guess we’ve now reached legendary status… Keepers Of The Flame: Music.

Considering FreshBooks but don’t want to give up QuickBooks?

Check out this post from Charlie Russell on “QuickBooks and Beyond”

Integrating FreshBooks with QuickBooks
March 3, 2014 | By 

FreshBooks is a very popular online program for small business billing, and the company recently announced a feature that will post information from FreshBooks into QuickBooks Desktop. Let’s take a look at how this new feature works and mention some alternatives you might want to consider.

Dickens Fair: Innkeeper, Another Round of Auditions for Dickens Characters! 10/22

Great Dickens Christmas Fair

The next round of Dickens Character auditions will take place at pre-arranged times at Mission Alchemy Event Space on the evening of Tuesday, October 22nd.

Although we are not limiting our search to these roles, these are the characters we are specifically interested in casting:

The Book that started all, “A Christmas Carol,” is looking for several crucial cast members:

  • Bob Cratchit (hard to place the age) – Scrooge’s gentle, much put-upon clerk. A devoted family man and ardent Christmas enthusiast
  • Ghost of Christmas Present (no specific age) – Larger than life, irrepressibly jolly and loud. The condensed essence of Christmas celebrations
  • Nephew Fred – (youngish man) Scrooge’s dashing, lively and ebullient nephew, a one man PR campaign for hospitality and Christmas cheer
Additionally Other Books is specifically looking for

  • Nicholas Nickelby, the dashing, young, hotheaded hero of the book by the same name.
Although we are not actively casting for any other specific characters,Other Books is always looking for vivid, interesting people to liven up the streets of London and our guests’ experience of the Fair. If there is a role in a Dickens book or adaptation that you want to play (or simply find appealing) prepare a brief piece to read – and act – for the audition team.  It will give us a clearer idea of your capabilities and the type of character you want to play. Dickens wrote a lot of vivid characters – both male and female – that cover a broad range of age, class and eccentricity level. The books are a theatrical goldmine! There is an enormous amount of material available online to help make your search fun and interesting as well as easy.

The Dickens book character groups are ensemble casts that pride themselves on showcasing the vast panoply of Dickens’ brilliantly wrought characters. Dickens’ characters are big, bold and quirky with a lot of theatrical and interactive opportunities, plus tons of scenery to chew. Our lives at Fair are one big theatrical and improvisational banquet throughout the day, interacting with our guests and fellow cast members, and creating scenes from Dickens’ works.

NOTE: Auditioning for a Dickens character is like any other theatrical audition – preparation is crucial. When considering auditioning for any of these roles, please take the time to do some research on the character to determine both that it is a role that you would be able to play and something you would enjoy doing. Being prepared also makes it easier for you to show yourself at your best and will make the casting process move more smoothly for all parties.

Please note that the Christmas Carol characters must be able to memorize lines and follow the script exactly.
If you would like to audition for one of these roles, please email Entertainment Department Assistant Rickie Bolin at with the following information:

1. Your full name, email address and phone number

2. The character(s) you would like to audition for. (Please prepare a bit of the dialogue for that character – see web resources below – and be prepared to improvise as that character.)

3. Your first, second and third choice of audition time on Tuesday October 22nd. The auditions will be scheduled at 15 minute intervals, please be patient as we sometimes get a bit behind when auditioning promising actors.

4. Optional: A brief note of any experience you would like us to know about. We will have applications and accept resumes (not required) at the auditions.

Here’s a great page to learn more about the characters and the books:

Comic Book Art Slam on Thursday October 17th in San Jose!

cbas 10-17-13Like comic book super heroes? Like to draw?

Join us for round two of the Comic Book Art Slam, this time in San Jose at 7:30 on Thursday, October 17th at the SLG Art Boutiki.  All levels of experience are welcome! Just come and draw amazing costumed models in a fun, geeky environment! On-site art instruction will be available to help you polish up your longer poses and turn them into wild pieces of Comic Art!

Advance (discounted) tickets are available here:



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