But at least we didn’t break any glass at the glass museum!


Many performers have what we call “theme weekends.” It’s not the fun ones that faires have, like “Steampunk” or “Star Wars Invasion.” Nope they are things like “Guess I’ll go off my meds without warning!” or “Hey, we never knew he was sociopath but here’s proof!” Our theme this weekend was “Broken Things”

We decided to leave early to beat traffic and broke our first thing-the longest trip to Southern NJ we have ever taken. A 5-hour trip took 8.5 and every traffic app we own said “Are you New York? Sucks to be you!”  Thanks technology, glad you were able to show us our choices in multiple formats and colors.

But we reached our intended event location, unpacked and while getting into bed received a text from one of our members (paraphrased)
“Hey, just wanted to let you know I have broken a finger on my right hand”

I would like to say that my first response was “OMG are you okay?” But I am one of those bastard troupe leaders and my first questions were more Law and Order than Florence Nightingale. Followed then by “I’m so sorry. We’ll work something out in the morning.” Both my husband and the members husband said they understood I was in shock since we were running short of staff and this was quite the show-stopper when you run a sword-fighting troupe.  But the good news was that our member is a trooper so we ditched the complicated choreography and she decided to go on left-handed.

Next, we decided to set up the tent. So I popped open the canvas bag and nearly upchucked my non-breakfast. A mouse had decide to do its strychnine-laced death dance inside our tent bag, leaving stinky decomposition, body imprints and semi-poisoned yellow stains like polka-dots across our shelter.  It was potent enough that when I pulled the first piece of canvas the rest of the troupe began sympathetic retching.

Me, the one with the best sense of smell, but used to bad odors (thanks to a former job at a natural history museum) and the member with the worst sense of smell pulled the sides out of immediate vicinity. So we had no tent for the weekend and fortunately did have real estate for scrubbing and airing.  But we had to keep our fingers crossed that the wind kept a certain direction during performance. (see scrubbing picture above)

So out we went with impromptu dialogue and fight bits and during our first stage performance with the main cast, my sword broke. My partner told me
“Hey I broke your sword!” which was completely in character and so I finished the set pommel-less. (Yay, not the blade! See a previous entry for THAT story)

And then, in our Historical show, while doing a high-arc halberd maneuver the haft of the pollarm cracked. Luckily, it was well-anchored at each side so while it sounded spectacular, it stayed in place and we finished with another weapon. I was fairly sad since I’d been so excited to do the poll arms part of the demonstration.

But Mr. Murphy and his law were not finished with us. While waiting to go on, another performer sat in a chair it pretty much dissolved under him.  It was ungainly, but fortunately no one was hurt.

It wasn’t all breakage and tears-we  ran into a former member who now lives in PA, gave our God daughter her first sword and she was able to perform with us and had FANTASTIC weather and a really good time.