Sunday, May 13, 2012


Only a slight anachronism can completely throw off the illusion you are trying to create. In the 21st century it is getting harder and harder to remove our various gadgets from our hands and faces, and unfortunately Elizabethan England did not have such sophisticated devices for connecting to their social networks. More then ever before it is going to be especially hard to keep yourself in the 16th century while you work. This holds true for plastic coolers, bins, and other containers. Burlap might hide a laptop but it can’t conceal that blank stare that comes along with surfing the web or playing games, so better to just leave them all in the car. Faire really is a time to enjoy life without these distractions and nothing pops the illusion bubble like have a glimpse of a blue plastic drink cooler or a Big Gulp cup, so take care and keep these items well hidden. In the case of dimly lighted places or night time events, “that little glow” of a cel phone being checked, or used to Tweet what we just had for dinner, is a anachronistic history bubble popper, so I recommend you leave such devices off and away from your person during Faire operating hours.


One opportunity that can be missed by those concessionaires that need to make a profit at the Faire, is that they are just as much an entertainer as the actors that populate the stages and streets. This does not mean you have to establish a full-fledged character, just a willingness to play with your customers a little. Patrons are often shy and don’t necessarily all want to be drug into a public drama, but a little old English flattery, a few “milady’s” and “good sir’s” go a long way. Playing with your customers does not have to be full contact, but you do have an opportunity to add to the collective atmosphere by helping surround them with “the show”. This is especially true when a known hero or villain, pageant or parade goes by, to cheer, jeer, or basically add to the period noise that is enveloping your guests. Playing along will only add to the illusion, and helps draw you into the daily pulse of the ongoing Faire.

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