toilet paper roll

It takes a lot of work to stick around the renaissance faire community and I smile when I see us persevere another year. Now we have new faces we hope will take over our more active work and we still like to perform even if it means more coffee and Advil as we advance forward.

Here’s advice from a doddering old performer:
Don’t be a douchebag to the new acts, other parts of the ren community and new rennies.

You’d think I wouldn’t have to say that but clearly, someone has to keep saying it because it’s like the people who work at events with a nod to history, don’t even read it themselves!

freaked

We are competing with other events, more media, LARPS, Amusement parks, HEMA clubs, reenactors and more so it pays to be a little more understanding when someone visits/works the renfaire.

New Playtrons: Please don’t bite and sit like a frigging horsefly on the new visitors. You are not entitled to their blood and attention and you are not the official renfaire gatekeeper. Let them yell “Huzzah,”  dress in a peasant shirt and jeans and eat their damn turkey leg.  If they want to play, fine but don’t be rooting like an anteater into their personal space and being lewd, JUST DON’T.

New Rennie acts: If they ask for a critique, be gentle. You didn’t spring fully formed from the head of Phyllis Patterson  with a killer act so remember your own struggles. So lift them up, announce their acts, offer what you can and remember-you can still learn something. The new folks have a new perspective and they might help you freshen up YOUR act.

Don’t haunt the vendors like the ghost of renfaires past.  They need to move product and make that sweet cash to come back and help finance the event where you are currently working.  They can spend less on costuming and have considerably more setup.  If you want to, offer a hand. They are an amazing resource if you are overheated, under hydrated or just to chat.  You can direct people to them and make their booth look attractive to patrons.  I’ve been known to saunter over in costume and give a well placed “How wonderful!l”  They are part of your renfaire ecosystem and you, like the brine shrimp, are another part of the biome.  And don’t beg for discounts.

Your competitors. I know, I know, you are looking over one another and it’s like working toward a championship.  Eventually some never come back, that someone could be you. But you owe at least polite civility to one another. We make it a point to have our folks watch other shows, we even often volunteer because hey, we like this stuff too! Save any trash talk for the car or better yet, DON’T. And the faire has no “cone of silence” and you should focus on your own shortfalls

 

And here’s where I reveal my bias. I see you, multi-guild-pinned swaggerer with illicit booze leering at the youngsters.  You are not stealthy and, in fact not winning any friends.   You probably know many of our group as ‘always in the way’ or as we like to call ourselves “The MAssholes” (Short for Massachusetts)  There is one of you at every event and we try not to let you multiply-but like the ubiquitous roach, once you see one, you know you have to call in the professionals.

There is no  “one way” to enjoy renaissance faires and if we love them, we need to keep them healthy, welcoming spaces so we can all enjoy them for years to come.