2nd to last weekend

Well here we are the Friday before closing Friday. It’s hard to believe that we are coming up on weekend 8 of the Bristol Renaissance faire. Its been a wild season for me. This year I finally went ahead and went through BAPA, and with a new friend also put together a seemingly successful daily comedy show for kids.
The year has had it’s ups and downs but I think the ups outweigh the downs. My biggest complaint has been the theft of props. To that end today I purchased a locking bin I can use to hold most items. I hope this will put an end to my dissapearing property and I can return to enjoying the remainder of the season.

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This cast is amazing

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certain cats of previous years have all be amazing as well, but I’ve never been as involved with them as I am this year. Sunday, Andy, Sarah, and I began the daily stage show in Kids Kingdom by gathering a small audience from the overall light faire attendance. We had managed to draw in enough people that it would work. The show began, the audience was laughing and paying attention with the occasional glances up at the sky which was growing ever darker. About half way through the show the wind picked up, and a few rain drops began to fall. As they did audience members began to get up and leave, attempting to seek shelter. At this I noticed two of the FABULOUS Kids Kingdom cast who had been standing at the rear watching the show race back stage, I assumed they were battening down the hatches of things back stage. moments later they re-emerged carrying an enormous deck umbrella and proceeded to set it up of the remaining folks in our audience. Arabella Byrd (also a Sarah) then proceeded to stand there and hold the umbrella over our audience for the remainder of the show. I cannot begin to describe how awesome that was.
I will find some way to repay that kindness.
This cast rocks!

At the ends of our rope!

Yesterday just after the final battle between Robin Hood, and the Evil Sheriff I returned to the inner circle of faire to find a group of people staring up at the sky and worrying. The sky looked ominous, you could see the line from the front passing directly over the circle, and the sky to the west looked dark with disturbing cloud formations. I asked a few people if they had heard if there were any special orders, are we supposed to be seeking shelter? etc? No one had heard anything so, After a little discussion I decided to make the best of it. I knew the patrons would all be fleeing for their lives and the only thing to do would be to get out there in the streets and entertain them while we had them, and hope that they might decided that if the cast was still playing around, that it couldn’t be to bad and they might just stick around.
I’m not sure what point Andy arrived during the deliberations but right after I had resolved to go out and make the best of it, we glanced at each other, a flicker of insanity sparked in our eyes, and he suggested, “Hey do we have a rope!?” “There’s all sorts in the pole barn” I replied. “Wanna go row?” As if I would say no?!?!? “Hell yes!”
Andy disappeared into the barn, and returned with a long rope, and proceeded to tie it around my waste, he then did the same to himself, I handed him a paddle and we headed out to the streets. When we stepped through the gates there were patrons fleeing everywhere, and we jumped into the frey rowing, improving our arses off. “No one worry, we’re safe, we lashed ourselves to the nearest large object we could find! Ourselves!!!” Worried looks turned to smiles and laughter. Everywhere we went people rushing to escape the perceived doom began to laugh and smile, point, or offer comments. In top form and not missing an opportunity for comedy, Andy Looped us around a tree so that it looked like the two of us had been tied to it. We leaned out from the tree, and began to row, “No one panic! We are rowing the festival to safety”, “STROKE! STROKE! STROKE! STROKE! …. if we keep this up we are going to have a STROKE!! STROKE STROKE!” We looked for groups of patrons huddled in shops and did our best to entertain. “Don’t worry! In case of an emergency these two idiots can be used as a safety flotation device!” We lashed ourselves to trees in front of shops where patrons were huddling to stay dry, as we did, something amazing happened. Patrons became excited about the nonsense, and wanted to be involved. They would run out into the rain they were so desperately trying to avoid just to get pictures with us. Countless “Captain Morgan” poses were struck by patron after patron posing with us. Some played along assuming the role of a captain, barking out orders. Others just quickly got their picture and ran for cover again.
We wound our way haphazardly towards the gate following the patrons, offering boat rides, and other advice, all the while tied to the end of the rope. “ROW ROW ROW YER BOAT! GENTLY THROUGH THE STREAM!!!” We invented, and promptly forgot new versions of that song all the way to the gate. As we neared the gate we passed the Town Square Public house where the Bristol buskin frolic and others had gathered upon its balcony to sing. “…and the ocean waves do roll…” We hammed it up on the street, doing an impromptu dance worthy of being used as an example illustration of how “white guys can’t dance” and then moved on to leave the BBF and company to entertain folks there, not wanting to eat up focus.
We moved ever closer to the gate, next encountering the Earl of Bedlam, whom we promptly wrapped up in the rope between us, and quickly ran through all the previous bits about lashing things to ourselves for safety. Again not wanting to steel audience or focus from another performer we moved on leaving the Earl to his patrons. We next encountered a couple members of fight cast, one of which decided to dive over our rope and do a roll into the street. We let him, and then moved on to the gate as the storm continued to dump buckets of rain upon us. Once we arrived at the gate we found some patrons, huddled in the remembrance shop, as well as a steady stream exiting the faire. we once again lashed ourselves to a tree, this time by the gate, and started rowing. More random verses of ROW ROW ROW yer boat were bellowed, more reassurances that we were fine , more insistence that we were rowing the festival to safety. As the patrons passed they smiled, they laughed, they occasionally joined in. The last thing they saw as they exited the gate on their rainy day was the two of us making the best of a bad situation. “Look I’m doggie paddling”, I then stuck the paddle in my mouth, leaned out from the tree using the rope as support, put my hands up and panted around the paddle. At times during our fun I even caught the security people laughing at us.
As the rain let up we claimed credit for saving the festival from the storm. As we began working our way back to the pole barn we encountered two patrons, a man and a woman, one insisted on crossing over the rope between Andy an I, We refused, and made him go under, we then insisted that the woman climb over, and we lowered the rope. They chuckled, and as we walked away, Andy turned and shouted “Congratulations! You are now married!”. I nearly lost it, the patrons doubled over laughing, and high five-ed each other and then held hands happily laughing their way to the gate. Andy fell overboard off the imaginary ship, and had to be hauled back up by his rope, as he re-boarded his thankful manly hit to my shoulder caused me to fall overboard, requiring me to be hauled aboard. It was that moment that eventually triggered my favorite bit. I took the 2nd paddle back from Andy and whispered “Water ski!!!”, not missing a beat, he began water skiing off me as I rowed like a man possessed. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Andy was in rare form, he was performing jumps, daring poses worthy of Tommy Bartlet, and all sorts of crazed daring-do. As I rowed I began to shout “We’ve invented a new sport, we are calling it Water Skiing! It’s sure rough on the guy rowing though!” people responded with laughter. Cameras flashed, people pointed. We continued this all the way back to the barn, occasionally switching places.
When we finally returned to the barn we collapsed in a fit of laughter.

Best and Worst – Week 5

Worst

  • Forgetting my mothers Birthday was Friday
  • Saturday morning rain making for soggy wet clothes all day
  • Nearly letting the heat get to me Saturday
  • Wet clothes causing chafing is all sorts of abnormal places

Best

  • Sundays rain inspiring Andy Maar and I into some great fun bits all involving being tied to opposite end of a big rope
    • “don’t panic we’ve lashed ourselves to the nearest large object we can find for safety, each other!”
    • lashing the festival to ourselves to keep it safe
    • tying ourselves to various trees and rowing the festival to safety
    • offering ourselves as safety flotation devices in case of emergency (a nod to Bounding Main)
    • boat rides
    • marrying two patrons in a bizarre rope crossing ceremony
    • inventing a new hobby of water skiing, but boy is it hard on the rower…
    • seeing the whole musicians revel Saturday
    • Sundays sing-a-long at the old wash well
  • the wonderful cast in KK grabbing a giant Umbrella and holding it over the audience for andy and I’s show
  • being surprised by a friends visit Saturday
  • awesome pumpkin Sunday!
  • breaking a group of non responsive patrons Sunday morning
  • the return of the newest old holiday “paddle day”
  • Jyncks getting beat up by the sheriff but fighting back this time. Then having the kids in the area help crank jyncks back up using his hands as jacks
  • cinnamon scones and broccoli cheese soup
  • once again seeing how amazingly supportive this cast is of each other

Weirdest

  • Once again just randomly blurting out a patrons name without ever having met them before