Monday, June 22, 2009

Intrepid Investigative Guy Bill Hageman Recommends Jane the Phoole!

"Ann-Elizabeth is a detailed-oriented manager .... no, wait ... she is a fun, entertaining person who I highly recommend."

(Bill Hageman says he's the Morale Officer for the Chicago Tribune.  Keep fighting that good fight, Bill!)

Evil Genius Ivanovich the Impossibilist Shows Mercy!

"Ann-Elizabeth rolls the essence of street theater, stand up comedy, and wacky non-sequitur and tempers it with the ability to listen to each individual audience member and inserts a dash of humanity and comes up with the essence of Fool... She provides customized humor to cause the audience to laugh with her at life, and to look at themselves for what is right and fun. This skill is tragically short in today's world. 

"We need more fools like A-E. And we need to see A-E out there working for us more.

"I can't recommend her highly enough."

(Chris Ragaisis is also Chris Ivanovich, master of the Impossible and of BLOWING YOUR MIND. His magic illusions will unsettle, perturb and rattle you. And you will LOVE IT! Ivanovich Ivanovich Ivanovich!)

Immense and Articulate Kindness from Patti Lahey!

"Ann-Elizabeth has a keen sense of communication and is brilliant with language. Her command of vernacular phrases and ability to connect with the layman or the genius is a talent we can only hope to possess. I would recommend her for any public speaking engagement where you want to impress your audience. She is unique and genuine in both her work and personal life. Her administrative support is unparalleled do to her attention to detail and professional poise. Every city needs a spokesperson of her caliber."

(Patti Lahey is the very reason I began my career in interactive environmental theater. Without her encouragement, none of this would be happening. Thanks, thanks and ever thanks, Patti!  Now to convince the City of Milwaukee that I mean them no harm...)

The Indomitable David Hoshko Shouts Out!

"Ann-Elizabeth was always a joy to work with. She always brought the 'funny' or at least knew where to call to get some. She's a performer who never knows when to stop, or even that she's allowed to from time to time."

(David Hoshko was a Production Stage Manager for the Bristol Renaissance Faire for many years. During Bristol's first Feast of Fools in 1997, he was immortalized when his surname was incorporated into this mad little battle-cry the Fooles bellowed constantly:  "Bando! Fassl! Hoshko!" Many heartfelt thanks, David!)

Genius Stephanie Draus drops some science!

"I have known Ann-Elizabeth for decades, and have had the pleasure of working with her on many artistic projects. She is a fount of creativity, able to birth new ideas and bring them to wonderful reality without visible strain. She is probably the hardest-working woman I know, eminently trustworthy, and unafraid to chart new territory. I hope to work with her again, and am inspired by her daily."

(Stephanie Draus is a teacher, dancer and naturopathic physician who owns Stellaria Natural Health in Chicago, and she and I have been friends and sisters for about a hundred thousand brazillion years.  Cheers, Drausie!)

Julie Perkins shares praise, and by the way, she is an Empress!

"Ann-Elizabeth hands down is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met. Besides that fact that she is outrageously funny, she is smart, witty, creative and truly genuine! I have found that working with her, she is supportive and encouraging. She is a natural teacher, a great listener and a gracious performer."

(Julie Perkins is the Assistant Guildemistress of the Bristol Renaissance Faire's Guilde of St. George.  She's an amazing, powerful woman who should pretty much be in charge of everything in the whole world.  Thanks, Julie!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mighty bushels of kudos from Efry Ayala!

"Ann-Elizabeth, or AE, as we often refer to her, is quite possibly the most energetic, motivating, and passionate entertainer and teacher I have ever had the chance to work with. While being engaged with work as a costumer and actor at the Bristol Renaissance Fair, I first came into contact with AE as a student of hers. Her activities and coaching were critical to my success, but really it was her highly engaging entertainment style that makes every student be attracted to her a mentor and leader. I am a Corporate Trainer professionally and the skills she taught me for acting have also greatly influenced my professional classroom style.

"Her biggest quality by far is that of being a larger-than-life entertainer. AE's ability to transfor a miniscule hitorical character into a regional celebrity is fodder for legends. She is never one to miss an opportunity to engage a patron, especially big and little children, or a fellow actor. Her presence is so bombastic that even if all the lights were to go out of the world, her laugh, physcial characterization, and persona would light up the room, theater, parade, or forest preserve she performed in. One never knows how the world will turn when interacting with AE, and that is the best part."

(Efrain "Efry" Ayala is the Senior Learning and Development Specialist at Panduit, and he's also the Founder, Designer and Dressmaker at AyalaMurano, Inc.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ginger Breo Heaps On Niceness!

“Saying that Ann-Elizabeth is an exemplary fool sounds unintentionally like an insult; it could not be further from it. In a world that disdains the ridiculous, A-E transcends the mundane and raises foolery to an art form. She has frequently made my sides hurt in the best way; if laughter is indeed the best medicine, then she is my general practitioner of fun.”

Designer Bob Stotts Gives a Shout-Out!

“I'm an artist and designer who, for several years, had the good fortune to study, and then perform with, Ann Elizabeth at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. The Ren Faire is a extraordinary entity; a, primarily unscripted, continuous, free-form participatory play which provides a fertile and challenging ground for performers to hone their skills and, of course, provides unique entertainment for the many thousands of visitors every year. Joining the troupe allowed me the opportunity, happily, to participate in a lengthy and rigorous training with the ensamble player cast prior to actually performing for visitors. The directors of the Faire, not surprisingly, entrusted Ann Elizabeth with, probably, the most ethereal and challenging part of the player's training, and something for which she is a bona-fide expert-the creation and development of the characters that we would bring to our "stage". A-E was the natural choice for this as she was (is) universally regarded as one of the most gifted, focused, and professional of the great many fine performers at the Faire. It is actually a funny thing for me to be writing a "recommendation" for a performer of her caliber. As someone who has the good fortune to be a professional in the arts, and fully enjoying a life that revolves around the cultivation of my craft, I have a great appreciation for the passion the Ann Elizabeth brings to her "fools business". Therefore, I unhesitatingly recommend Ann Elizabeth to perform for you or your group, though, I feel confident in saying that few (aside form those that, themselves, do such improvisational acting) will fully appreciate the nuance and quality that A-E brings to the performance of her alter ego, Jane the Phoole. Prepare yourself for a rare treat.”

Zesty Sentiment from Barry Wightman!

“It's as if a strange warp in the fabric of time bounced A-E's alter-ego Jane the Phoole from 15th century England onto our doorstep by way of the Marx Brothers and the Summer of Love. Fly Phoole Airways...gets you there on time....”

(Barry Wightman is the Managing director of Sound and Script LLC!)

Zingy Love from Jim Farris!

“Ann-Elizabeth Shapera is a fool! And I mean that in the most professional, entertaining, energizing, intelligent, literate, life-affirming way possible. Through her character, "Jane, the Phoole", Ann-Elizabeth has given life and meaning to the "fool" in all of us. She embodies a carefree spirit, who is at the same time aware, responsible and caring for the thousands of people she has encountered over the years. Never mean-spirited, "Jane" can often put us in our place, but with a smile ... and the smile is ours! I highly recommend Ann-Elizabeth, and "Jane", for any circumstance where good humor and sparkling wit are called for.”

(Jim Farris directs interactive educational theatrical happenings at the Kenosha Civil War Museum, , and was one of the great forces behind the heyday glory of the Guilde of St. George at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.)

Gigantic Niceness from Ron Scot Fry!

“In her work as Jane the Phoole, Ann-Elizabeth defines character. This is how she does it. def. 1 character: a distinct, entertaining persona created for the purpose of delighting and fascinating an audience. "Jane the Phoole is a 'character' of renoun at any event where she appears." def. 2 character: a being who is extreme, unusual, original, and possibly eccentric. "That Jane the Phoole is quite the 'character', what?" def. 3 character: the sum of human qualities that includes integrity, intelligence, determination, dedication, sensitivity, honesty, and grace, frequently mentioned by parents as the desired result of eating vegetables or otherwise undergoing 'character building' adversity. "Ann-Elizabeth is a performer and human being of tremendous 'character'." I have had the privilege of working with many of the greatest talents in the Renaissance Faire and New Vaudeville world. Ann-Elizabeth ranks with the best of them. I recommend her whole-heartedly.”

High Praise from Susan Scot Fry!

“Ann-Elizabeth is a visionary performer and leader and manages to create great consistency in the extremely high quality of her work. She is always in growth and has established herself as a valued mentor. If I am seeking pure energetic brilliance, I know it's a phone call away.”

Kind Words from Guilde of St. George Member Becky Dutton!

“Ann-Elizabeth is a master of her art. She is dedicated, hard-working, and always perfecting her performance. Just watching her in action affords others to learn how to improve their own interactions with playtrons at Bristol Renaissance Faire. I have had the privelege to learn from her in workshops, and watch her at faire. She is a wealth of talent and knowledge... Plus she is a really a really nice person!”