Currently our troupe is taking a summer hiatus –some are spending family time, some going away, some of us are doing all of the above and working on some historical research. So we are not doing as many events as in years past, thus, not pulling in large amounts of money! So when you run a business that is NOTORIOUS for underpayment and appreciation it’s best to go in with clear expectations of how one defines success.
Our Charter has only slightly changed in fourteen years. Note that the first line does not say “get every penny we can” or “do Vegas” or “We should sell stuff.” We often joke that the troupe is our ‘boat’ or ‘kid in boarding school’ we do our absolute best to make the costs even but there are unforeseen circumstances and it’s good to be willing and able to take that financial hit if that happens. So no, getting huge wealth rewards is not listed here.
So taking a look at the first line in our charter
Phoenix Swords is an organization created and maintained for the purpose of performing acts of entertainment and historical recreation.
We are an organization-a collection of people. We are only as good as the talent we attract and cultivate. We can’t operate in a static state and it’s important that the people who are part of us are invested and enthusiastic. And because we are an organization the good and bad are reflected back at us. That our drama quotient is pretty much nonexistent in our team is a pretty good start! We need to have a standard operating procedure and a vibrant human presence.
..created and maintained for the purpose of entertainment
This is why we are not in the SCA, doing highly specific reenactments. We are informed about our material but we make jokes about Robin Hood and connections to modern events. (Some folks call that less than expected, we call it making a connection) We invest in clothing that can be cleaned easily and gives lots of movement. In many cases we have kit that is made of modern materials for fire safety, rough handling and frankly-gaudy! Our job is get out there, get the crowds attention, keep them invested and then-Bam! The show is over.
… and historical recreation
This one informs our research and material development. We have a joke in our historical show
“Is this the way they did it? No! They used to kill and maim one another, so we’ll be recreating those techniques so that we can do our additional shows today!”
Bringing actual techniques to the public gives us a great deal of pleasure. It’s fun to cite sources! We’ve had people call us out at shows and my husband lugs the translations and manual facsimiles so that folks can see that No, we *aren’t making it up as we go along.
And our unwritten agenda-Nostalgia Generators-we do this so people have a good time. If anyone walks away from our shows who had fun, learned something or just thought “that’s cool” for a few minutes we have absolutely done our job. And if we succeed with all of the above-Success!
And I never fail to go back to this well