This faire doesn’t rate as my #1 worst event we did.  But is one that I can honestly say has left me with some mental and emotional scars. (Even my therapists agreed, not joking)

You may have read part I which is an excellent overview with *kind of* a happy ending

Organizing Faires is a form of torture

I had wanted to do our own faire and this organizer let me have a test run at his faire. We quoted a ridiculously low sum of money for kid’s skits, sword acts, a dance show and an overarching plot for A Quiet Character, The Sorceress and Da Baron.

I wrote that plot, and I checked in at every step. We had a person doing makeup, three battles, and it was truly a thing of beauty. And at 13 months out, I gave it to the organizer and his cast to rehearse.   (3 people)

I am paranoid but clearly, not paranoid enough. In our group, I divvied out the tasks-no person is an island, right?  And would do check-ins and receive the

“Everything is going great!”

Which, really is all we could do as Fenix was making travel arrangements for performers, we arranged for one of our sword teachers to come in to do melee choreography and hired one of our theater friends to come in and do workshops.  (This friend would have been in Lord of the Rings except, damn your good audition Brad Dourif!)

Because we had 30 LARPers coming in and a cast of about 26 ourselves I arranged for nearby camping which ran about 600.00. (Remember this number)

We had weekly rehearsals, we had mini-plots. We had street fights.

One pair: Please see to fight safety so that when we do street fights you go out and rope off the area.

One person; You are in charge of props

One pair: you are in charge of individual fights

One pair: you are in charge of the Fire team

Three people-handlers for the Quiet Character, The Sorceress and Da Baron (the three cast)

You see the quiet character was not a good communicator (mime), the Sorceress was known for going off-script and getting lost, and Da Baron, whelp let’s just say he liked to do his sets ah, lubricated.

I really, really thought it was all under control.

Pause here for maniacal, insane laughter

Fenix likened it to walking up to a 4-year-old and asking
“Are you able to drive the car?”
And I didn’t realize that they had never even been behind the wheel of a car, so as a small child would answer

“I’m AWESOME AT IT!!!!!!!!”

So, in a way, absolutely my fault.

We got there and this happened

I’m not sure you get the full experience without the smell

So after weeks of rehearsals and the “Don’t change your costume” rule, people changed their costumes to have capes and got hurt. (One of the people in this fight was a safety team leader)

The “safety team” had nothing, no ropes, no plan, no spots picked out and hadn’t had the teams practice on-site

We found no stages, no signage, and a marching band in our space, with their bus.

They were asking It was $15 to get in and $5 for a program.  Most people said “screw that” and realized that if certain costumed people showed up, if they followed them, stuff would happen. So no one knew the set-up and as far as they knew random stuff happened.

One of the people in our tent kept moving props so imagine going in for your sword for a show and WHOOPSIE nobody knows where the eff that is now!

We had an amazing cast on our end, as the day progressed the townsfolk became more and more altered.  Of note, a red Darth-Maul like demon, a Bull demon, a freezing fae character, and my favorite-the gargoyle. When we had the final melee, it was amazeballs, even though the sorceress totally blew her intro line and didn’t use her light up staff prop to signal “start the fight”

And only two LARP people showed, plus it was rainy so the camping I’d paid for was used by…SIX PEOPLE. I was out…there is that number again, 600.00.

So a day where nothing went right, an understandably hostile audience, people who had pretty much shit all over any organization I’d had and getting yelled at by pretty much everyone. It sucked hard.

Yep.

Here are the good things that came out of that

If you’ve done it once and it goes that wrong, how could it go down from there?

Some of the melee fights-the gargoyle faced off against a LARPer (both we knew well) and were both skilled martial artists-there was and energetic chase with those big wings bouncing and the gargoyle grabbed that little elf and SLAMMED him. (They had worked on it all afternoon) Even the Gargoyle’s wife was like “Oooh shit”. But we were “behind stage when he was dragged off and be bounced up and said

“OMG that was great!”

The gargoyle faced off against his wife and his wig came off. She ran with it and pretended she’d scalped him-excellent audience reaction.

When the Bad guys came onto the field for the final melee, even I was like
“eek who is going to fight those guys?”

We brought good show.  Seriously, the dancers and the subcontractors and the work for a plotline was beautiful. The final melee was all I hoped and even a little crazier.

And the previous blog post-we made a memory for someone.

Da Baron was…excellent, and sober. And complimented me on the script.

Now for the CPTSD section

A bunch of SCA assholes on horses kept RIDING FUCKING HORSES into the back of our acts and into crowds of families-then bitched about people “being in their way”

We discovered that by subdividing tasks and appointing leaders we had not made tight-knit cells but instead tiny empires of bullying. I suspect this is where the seeds of dissension in the ranks began for a troupe split.

We lost so much money and had to borrow money to make it to our next show. The organizer told us we did a bad job. I briefly considered having the entire cast roll his white SUV with him in it. And he didn’t pay us, even though it was in the contract. And we had a complaint (see that ish in the previous blog post)

Almost 50% of our troupe came up to tell me that I’d done a terrible job, even their screw-ups were my fault. From my personal blog I said that if I ever did something like this again I would
“ride my people’s ASS like thong underwear”

We were accused of bringing in “ringers’ to make the troupe ‘look bad.’ Nope, did that on your own.

after the faire I said, please don’t take this bag, it has my clothes in it. Well I was told I was messy and they “Took my bag for my own good” so I was the only one to eat supper at a restaurant in costume.

On the way to the next show, driving cross country, one of the members innocently asked me a question. The dam exploded and I spent close to four hours crying. But that troupe member and I bonded and that’s when I found out about the bullying. 

So much gaslighting by troupe members, so very, very much. 

This was when a number of troupe members decided that I was clearly a complete moron and they should run a troupe. They were not bright and thought that they would run OUR troupe, but that’s a story for another time.