This last weekend  we attended the 2016 New England Reenactors Faire. In the past we’d gone as visitors and last year we gained two new troupe members via our member Andy who was wandering the aisles.  This year we took it into our own hands to try and get some more members after the Great Baby/Marriage Decimation of 2015-2014. So we paid for a table and settled in for a wait.

I’ll be honest, as a renfaire performer I wasn’t sure what kind of reception we’d get at a mostly reenacting event but I have to say that all the vendors were lovely, and trusted us to watch their tables and were willing to chat about their businesses,  contents and interests. (And to be honest, there were *some* renfaire folks there as well.)

Some things that stood out:

Everyone is working like crazy to get people into their group.
We all have an “aging out” issue and we are going up against some activities that still feed the urge without being as complicated. At LARPS you can be the hero of your own story. With performers and reenactors  it’s a lot of work without a lot of reward and not everyone gets a turn at being a star. In SCA you can apply to be a royal or do battles. I’m not saying these things don’t overlap but the sexiness factor of reenactors is lower than  a Science Fiction Cosplayer with lucrative contracts. You need to drive that fire internally and that means purpose and hopefully some maturity. (Your mileage may vary)

Everyone’s fingers are in several different pies
Most reenactors I chatted with did a number of periods and although they had a favorite, they dabbled in everything from Roman to 19th century.   And plenty of folks had SO’s laughing and groaning about “Not another time period!”
But it’s definitely an itch and it’s not in one spot!

Everyone has their fringe element.
We had an unfortunate turn that sprung from having a Persian helm on our table. It was meant to be s show and tell or touch piece. It was not our “Tell me how much you hate Muslims” invitation.  I want to thank whomever came over and distracted that gentleman and led him away from the table because it was not a good time for anyone in the vicinity. But he was the exception, not the rule. We had people far more interested in introducing people to the hobby than we did going on about witch hunts about inaccuracy so…yay!

Lastly, I was happy that they had such good attendance and everyone was so down-to-earth. If we get members, then it was a good investment. If not, we still had a nice time.