Blue Earth native has double DVD success in Hollywood
Blue Earth native Marjorie Engesser may not be green or 60 feet tall, but she has been a giant in Hollywood this past year. Since Engesser’s visit here in July of 2014 for a class reunion and Green Giant Days, so much has happened for the Hollywood producer who proudly calls Blue Earth her hometown.
On Sept. 18, Engesser’s previous release from 2010, the hit comedy documentary “I’m No Dummy,” is being re-released in a two disc set. When the film first came out, Engesser and her husband, Bryan W. Simon, hosted a fundraiser for the Blue Earth Community Library on April 24, 2010. The original documentary, starring Jeff Dunham, Jay Johnson and Lynn Trefzger among others, will now have almost two and a half hours of never before seen outtakes and bonus material. More information on the release can be viewed on “I’m No Dummy’s” Facebook page.
“Successful re-releases are extremely rare,” commented Doug Zwick of Pop Twist Entertainment, the film’s distributor. “This DVD was so popular during it’s first release and with so much extra footage available to share with audiences, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to release it again in an extended format. Marge and Bryan did an excellent job making “I’m No Dummy” even more exciting the second time around.”
Anne Roberts, Vent Haven Museum executive board member also stated, “The movie “I’m No Dummy” is the documentary on ventriloquism. It’s entertaining, thorough, and accurate. The two-disk re-release provides so much more unseen footage than the original. The art of ventriloquism and Vent Haven Museum have benefited tremendously from the passion-filled work of Bryan W. Simon and Marge Engesser.”
In December 2014, Engesser’s latest feature, the big screen adaptation of the Tony Award winning Broadway show, “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!” had a Hollywood Premiere. A rainy LA night didn’t stop fans and friends alike from attending the gala at the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
“It was a privilege and an honor to see our work on the big screen,” commented Engesser. “To have a premiere in the same theater that hosted the very first Hollywood premiere, 92 years ago in 1922, was a very emotional experience for us.”
That first premiere was “Robin Hood,” starring Douglas Fairbanks. Following the screening was a Q & A with Engesser, her husband, director Simon and star Jay Johnson with his vent partner, Bob.
During the Q & A, when asked about Engesser’s help in bringing the show to the big screen, Johnson pointed out, “Marge has a rare combination of talents. She is a ‘pragmatic artist.’ Marge has the vision of the artist with the faculty of the Producer. The big screen adaptation of the Broadway show never would have happened had it not been for Marjorie’s dedication to the arts.”
In January of this year Marjorie became a member of the highly regarded Producer’s Guild of America or PGA as it is known. Selected for her body of work and contributions to the film industry, Engesser was sponsored by producer Christopher Lockhart.
“The PGA needs more talented woman producers,” stated Lockhart. “Marge’s work can not be underestimated and it was about time that she became a member.” Lockhart is so impressed with Engesser’s work that he came on board to help produce Crooked Creek, Engesser and Simon’s next feature film.
Engesser and her director husband Simon recently attended the Vent Haven Ventriloquists ConVENTion in Fort Mitchell, Ky., to announce the re-release of “I’m No Dummy.” Fort Mitchell is the home of the Vent Haven Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism and Engesser and Simon are on the museum’s Advisory Board. It’s one of the many ways Engesser works to give back to those who have helped her along the way. In fact all of “I’m No Dummy’s” interview footage and the “Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!” film footage has been given to Vent Haven Museum archives for preservation.
“Vent Haven Museum is so fortunate to have Marge on the Vent Haven Museum Board of Advisors,” stated curator and executive board member Lisa Sweasy. “Incredibly generous with their time, Marge and Bryan also hosted a Hollywood fundraiser for Vent Haven and raised the funds to purchase three touchscreens for museum tourists. Without a doubt, Marge and Bryan have ‘adopted’ Vent Haven as their favorite little museum and we are lucky they have.”
Ten percent of all proceeds from “I’m No Dummy’s” re-release will be donated to Vent Haven.
Looking forward to what’s next on the horizon, Engesser also remembers her past in her hometown.
“Growing up in Blue Earth, I learned to enjoy the good moments, the victories and to fight through the difficulties,” she says. “Never to be discouraged. In some way, I feel my Blue Earth sensibilities give me a distinct advantage in Hollywood. In everything I do, I know I represent Blue Earth and that means a lot to me. I never ever feel far from home.”