Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Will This Photo of Princess Stephanie Appear In My Book "Inside the Changing Circus" ?!?
Good question, even when I ask it of myself. Don't know yet, but should in a day or two.
I am about to deliver a final ultimatum. In fact, I may deliver it right here on this blog. Pardon me for not having a Park Avenue PR firm to do my messy work.
Whenever I get the feeling that I am grovelling (that usually comes after heroic displays of patience), I get nauseous, loose self-respect, tend to reverse direction and walk away. One of those healthy to-hell-with-convention Krishnamurti moments.
Why do I like the photo? Princess Stephanie, it would appear, is doing a lot to bring attention world-wide to circus arts. I like the happiness and pride of people around her. Is there a crime in that?
What do they want of me? Here is a record of why I feel like I have finally reached the promised land and nobody is there. So very Montreal ...
During mid-June, I sent two e-mails to the Monte Carlo Circus Festival press office. No reply.
On June 27, I sent a formal letter to H.S.H. Princess Stephanie, explaining the book, including a resume of my past seven books -- four of them about circus both here and in Russia -- sharing with Stephanie a good feeling about her father, who penned a wonderful endorsement for my book Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus. No reply.
On July 12, I contacted via e-mail the editors of the Festival Newsletter. No reply
On July 26, I e-mailed Rodney Huey, who handles Monte Carlo PR, I believe, for North America. I realize his may be a hard job, given how little respect Circus USA gets from France. My question to Mr. Huey, was, may photos that bear the term "hand out photo" be used in a book? In particular, I expressed my interest in the photo you see above.
On August 9, Mr. Rodney replied, advising me that he had forwarded my request to Laura van der Meer, Executive Director of the Federation.
On the same day, Ms. van der Meer e-mailed me that she had forwarded my request on to "the appropriate person," from whom I should expect a response shortly.
I immediately sent her an e-mail, in which I thanked her, attached the above photo, and wrote, "I believe it reflects well on the significant attention given the international circus scene by Princes Stephanie ..." I also attached a copy of my resume and, to flesh out the reality of my current research, a photo of myself and friend Boyi Yuan sitting in our seats at ERA Intersection of Time in Shanghai last year. And I mentioned the endorsement Prince Rainer had given to my past book about his good friend John Ringling North [North had once served as a judge at the festival]
Surely, I assumed, this would more than suffice. Well, no!
This morning from Germany, I received an e-mail from one Sebastian Huchtebrock, "Assistant to Artistic Director" of the festival competitions, asking me, " ... why you want to publish it. Please also let us know why you want to publish the photo of H.S.H. Princess Stephanie and how this photo will be related to the book."
Well, they haven't -- yet -- asked me to walk on water or send my medical records or prove my worthiness as a Pizza delivery guy or Avon Saleslady. No, for the French, I preciously fear, pausing to emit a trenchant sigh, nothing short of a fluffy Proustian thesis will do.
So here I am, withered, weary and whacked out. Yes, Peggy, that's all there was, and what a relief to be bringing this ridiculous ride to closure [I hate that word, Have avoided using it, but here it suits the landscape].
As I write this, I am also finalizing a very short e-mail they will eventually get from me, in which I will direct them to this post: You, whoever you are, HAVE EXACTLY 48 HOURS TO SAY 'YES' if the ABOVE PHOTO is to be published in my book, Inside the Changing Circus.
Frankly, my dear Monte Carlo, I don't give a damn.