Archive for Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Senior named ‘Mr. Renaissance Romance’

September 29, 2004

Andy Koontz, a senior at Tonganoxie, is Nicholas Hyde at the Renaissance Festival.

And now, the king's royal drummer has another title: Mr. Renaissance Romance.

On Sept. 12, Koontz competed in the festival's competition -- and after making it through the finals, was named the winner.

"It was really exciting," Andy said. "It was something I had never experienced before, but overall it was fun."

But he admitted, he was struck with a bit of stagefright.

"At first I thought it was like any other performance, until I went backstage," Koontz said. "Then it was really scary."

Here's how the vote goes, said Koontz's mother, Sandy.

"They usually have about 12 guys go up on stage and they are eliminated by votes, or by people screaming, mostly women saying who they like," Koontz said. "They eliminate them down to five, then whittle it down to three."

And then, the top three participate in a "pose down," posing with a Renaissance lady of their selection and trying to appear as if they're the cover photo of a romance novel.

Andy was prepared, asking Mandy Logoski, who plays the role of Elizabeth, to pose with him. And he went one step further, handing out roses to the women in the audience. Needless to say, he won.

This wasn't Andy's first chance to participate, Koontz said.

"The first day Andy competed in it he got second place, lost by just two votes," Koontz said. "The next day he won."

The Renaissance Fair has become a family event for the Koontz family. Sandy has made appearances there the last few years, working as a peasant beer salesgirl.

"I'm Honeysuckle the beer wench," Koontz said, giggling. "I serve beer at one of the pubs, or establishments."

Her costume isn't as ornate as that of her son's. She wears a simple peasant style skirt with a lace up bodice.

This year, her husband, Bob, and their younger son Austin have been working in the pop stands at the Renaissance Fest. Koontz said this is part of the THS VIP music booster club's effort to raise funds for the music department.

While the family plans to continue participating in the fair's events through the final weekend in mid-October, there's a chance for Andy, the excitement could continue.

At the end of the festival, the Mr. Romance winners are asked to return for another competition.

"The top three winners get to go to the nationals, which I believe is held in New York this year," Koontz said. "The winner gets a romance novel picture cover done of themselves."

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