It all began when Mid America Festivals – a Minnesota based corporation that puts on a number of Renaissance festivals across the United States.
For the first time performers from the Largo festival were asked to interact with those from Sarasota . Jef Hall and Riki Robinson jumped at the chance. They would become a pair of gypsy brothers in search of their lost princess. Twins even, since at the time many people confused them for each other. And the name – made up from something sounding both ethnic and easy on the ears. The pun “ Tortuga ” was taken from an underground comic book named Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Jef taking the cartoon hero's name of Donatello – a name he would later change to D'Angelo – and Riki choosing Raphael for himself. Little did they know the hell they would go through when the comic book became a world-wide sensation. The rest is history as they now travel the country performing at Renaissance Festivals throughout and also a slew of private engagements.
It was a bright and sunny Thursday when the two unveiled their creation to the world. The faire's parade was winding to a close when a cry went out and two twin brothers proclaimed that they had at last found their long, lost princess. In truth, the Renaissance festival world had just found something that it did not even know it had been missing. By the time the skit had played out, the crowd of happy onlookers that had stopped to watch and stayed to applaud astounded both Jef and Riki. They were a surrounded, they were a success, and they were drunk with the thrill of it. But, most importantly, they were at the beginning of the rest of their lives. The after-parade skit grew, first into a lane act and then into a full-fledged stage show. It was an amazing time for the young Tortugas, and things were about to get exponentially better.