So many of my posts are rants or commentary I’m going to try something new. A positive post-so hang onto your toques and let’s go!



Personnel: We lost SO MANY troupe members to babies but some of the older ones are coming back and some of the newer ones made it a family affair.  We have two teenagers who are doing active fights, one of which is doing historical in addition.  It’s been nice to have calm, settled people who can learn routines, understand how you offer to help and been graciously received extra hands. It’s been a while since we’ve had multiple folks who can set up a fire show or who can just set up and stake down the tenet with minimal instruction-even our “guest stars.” And it’s nice to have the same faces come again and again so when the troupe leaders have to deal with emergencies, stuff still makes it to the site and to the car.

Which leads me to

Teamwork: I hadn’t realized how much we took for granted until last March when our area had a tornado and storm come roaring through.  When a faire organizer says “Pack up, we’ve got a tornado.” No-one stopped to ask about that in the green skies-we just MOVED.  In the words of Ian (one of our members)
“You guys were like cockroaches when someone turned on the light, it was movement everywhere!” (Pic courtesy of Wynne Clark)

When we slid the last troupe item into the van (and several members went out to help vendors) then, the torrential rain came. It was so hard and heavy that it trapped people at the faire and it was us, a belly dance troupe and the jousters left behind. We still put on a show for the equally trapped patrons. We slid under the one open building, took out only the BIG fire toys and we did our thing.  To paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton, “PS gets things done.”

Energy:  As my energy wanes and we all get older, a big proponent of work smarter, not harder.  We set the challenge to the troupe that if they wanted new material-they had to develop it.  One member had created a new Giganti demonstration (short but growing.)  While on vacation we came across a Dutch fighting manual that had some funny bits (also now in the show) and we are bringing back a halberd section that we haven’t been able to sustain for a few years.  And we have the kids, one of whom has gotten tall enough in two years that part of a fight sequence had to change as he is too tall to “dangle” any more.

Wabi-sabi:  Not all of us can do all things at all times. Members and guest stars of the troupe have limitations and so, we strive to make use of their best skills.  A founding member, Valkyrie, came back with some new faces for a one-off in NH this year. She isn’t up to fights but took photos, organized things and help act as an extra set of eyes. Another member has had enough issues that we call her “Woman of Glass.”   She is working on another set of fire skills.  She made an impact when we did a recent event as her bits were small, showy and gave us transition between acts-giving the illusion of seamlessness in a fire show.  She will talk to anyone which, in a troupe of introverts and ambiverts is handy! I move a lot slower than I used to so now, it’s important to streamline the things I have the energy to do and let people help.

Teamwork: I’m probably jinxing us here but the teamwork has been a lifesaver. It’s been our ideal to have a 360-degree view of what we do and for people to help us shore up weaknesses.  If you’ve been to a show you’ll notice that we kick the hams to the front while the others clear the stage. If we are doing a fight we may notice the younger members dart out and grab finished/discarded weapons.  You might realize there are people near the tent prepping the next weapon for a sequence in our historical show. And for a recent “Silly Pirate Show” which we only do for Mobile and are less-staffed, we let members design their sequence of the performance.  It makes a nice mismatch of acting/engagement styles for the crowd and the troupe and it’s okay that it’s not without flaws but it is personal and funny. And not everyone has to be all things for four shows a day.


In General: I could say a million things many ways to all the members. We try to shoot that compliment gun often and early and sometimes we can catch it, sometimes not.   But I’m grateful we are where we are right now and wanted to express it.