Significant Stuff

August 20, 2010

Rant warning.  I’m feeling pissy and am not going to apologize for it.  Why am I indulging myself in what I know is a martyred rant?  Because it’s part of the process.  Like mental vomit.  Psychic detox.

To visit the faire this year or not to visit?  That is the question.

I had a great visit with Genn and Adam last night and this morning.  Ron’s officiating, so we talked about the wedding last night.  And the faire this morning.

Good stuff.  It was good to get to talk about how things are going and hear stories.  It was a reminder of how much I understand the structure, the mechanics and the process.  If you read the book “Outliers”, it makes sense.  I’ve got my 10,000 hours in.

I’m on the verge of missing Bristol, but not quite there yet.  Not enough to feel the yearn, but enough to wonder about my calendar.  Just in case.  Is there a day that I could?  Probably not.

Linda called just before opening and told us that she left tickets for us at the box office just in case we wanted to come.

Frankly, I’m not interested in being an audience member anymore.  I was essentially an observer for the 10 years that I was on staff.  When I took the job, it was hard to set aside the costumes that I’d worn for 10 years prior and become a director.  But, that’s what I did.  I was on the outside, observing.  It’s a job that needs to be done, but it put a barrier between me from the intense camaraderie that is a huge attraction to doing the faire.  I worked hard and feel like I grew, got better at my job and earned some respect, but was always on the outside.  Especially at Bristol where hardly anyone knew from first hand experience that I was a performer too.

I didn’t have those shared stories and bonds.  I didn’t have those ‘remember that time during the show or on the street…’ memories.  That happened for me at the California faires.  I acted and directed for 10 years before I became the Entertainment and Public Relations Director at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.  And, if I do say so myself, I am funny – or I used to be.  Of course, I have to say so myself, because hardly anyone at Bristol knows.

It was a choice.  As a director, I could accomplish more than as a performer.  I could help many more people be as good and as great as they could be.  It was a trade-off.  Like so many things in life.

But here goes…

I’m tired of choosing to do the behind the scenes stuff just because no-one else wants to do it and if it doesn’t get done then the ‘in front of the audience’ stuff doesn’t happen.  It makes for a crappy life.  It’s not fun.  It’s not rewarding.  It’s also too easy to hide in the rut.  The longer I don’t do anything in front of people, the rustier my skills.  If they exist at all anymore.

I’m tired of knowing a million great people from a polite distance because we don’t have those shared experiences.  I rarely get called for social occasions by faire performers because I’m not on the friends list.  I’m not on the friends list because we never got a chance to spend intense, creative time together.  I missed out on that and it was my choice.  And it pisses me off.

People encourage me to go visit.  Well, I don’t have the same warm, fuzzy association with the faire, so I don’t answer those comments.  I understand their strong connections.  It is an amazing place.  My pissy-ness doesn’t alter that fact.  I don’t want anyone to be sympathetically pissy with me.   There’s no way to try to explain how I feel without seeming like I’m trying to solicit anti-faire feelings.  I’m not.  No-one should feel bad about loving that place.  I’d like to.

So, no, I’m not interested in being an audience member.  And, there’s no reason for anyone to invite me to be anything other than one.   I wouldn’t invite me, either.


Susan Scot Fry

Update… Wow.  Gulp.  Thanks.  (embarrassing Sally Field moment)  (if I have to explain the Sally Field moment…)

This was cathartic and humbling.


9 thoughts on “August 20, 2010

  1. As a performer who used to work with you on the streets of Bristol now , if you should so desire, I have been YEARING for the chance to perform with you again, in ANY venue!

    Since this is my last official year of directing (I talked with Linda last week!) I would LOVE for you to come out & tear it up with me for a day!!!!!!!!!


  2. Your post nearly brought me to tears–mostly because I empathize (although I’ve never felt at Faire like this, but I also don’t claim to be an actress; I’ am however a dancer and visual artist and enjoy performing these because I have experience there)–I do relate to the feeling of “left out” of a circle… so many times from the time I moved from Germany to the USA and then transferred schools… feeling left out with my peers… and in later years working at the Air Force in design but feeling separated from those enlisted, and later again even in a performing dance troupe I was a part of that was not my own culture, I felt left out repeatedly regardless of how much I just LOVED it… the fact that I LOVED them and LOVED so much in fact is exactly why the pain of feeling left out was so severe… and so, I empathize and feel your pang… I really do.

    It is very hard to enjoy something you love so much without feeling the embrace of full acceptance, in whatever way meant the most to you. –and from reading, I do believe you did contribute a lot in the past, even if it appeared overseen or kept you apart from a tight-knit group… I, for one, appreciate reading of your efforts and especially your love and devotion for a place you gave 10 years to, and am sorry to hear your talent and efforts were overlooked enough to make you feel left out…

    Having been mostly a “behind-the-scenes” person myself because I was too shy to be more extrovertedly dynamic growing up (still did become a house manager for a theater for a few prior years myself for a local avenue, and a competitive dance instructor in later years and break out of my shell just a tiny bit) I do also comprehend your depth of passion about not wanting to feel or define one’s self as a recluse–as I have too, many a time. Every time I tried to “fit in” somehow, the love and thrill was all there, but fitting in never really worked for me. I’ve decided instead to define & pride myself on my differences. They can take it or leave it 🙂 — I hope in places where you have been unique, you are able to embrace it and “BRING IT” with you –and maybe even start your own circle… then who gets to pick’n choose who is accepted? 😉 …there were many times I’ve faltered and clammed up, but on occassion I’d rise to the challenge and that’s when I’d be “on”… especially when teaching competitive dance… and I had a stage name, so it helped to be “in character”… an alter-ego, I’m still able to sometimes bring out exactly when I just can’t stand feeling trapped outside of the circle I love and adore so much… part of me wants to peep, “won’t you let me in? I love you so much” –but then, part of me realizes, “god granted me gifts and I’m going to use them to make myself happy and others–if you don’t love me back, I will shine loud enough so someone mightier will!!” HUZZAH!

    Go Girl!!!

    *virtual hugs*


  3. *cough*

    First off, I do remember you as a performer. It’s how we were introduced. You rocked like a rocketship. It’s why I was drawn to you as opposed to the others in your coterie at the time.

    Second. It’s really refreshing to hear this. This was a worry of mine, and it gives me a chance to make the adjustments I was thinking of for the near future.


    1. Hey Little Bro. Knowing our connection is one of the reasons why my post was ‘most people’ don’t know. I thought specifically of how we came into each other’s lives. It’s (100% selfishly) one of the many things I cherish about our relationship. We have spectrum.


  4. I can empithise with you too. I never really felt like I belonged to the “in” group at court. I knew more people outside of court and shops. I only have a couple of “remember when we did this” kind of thing and with all of the changes at faire, it is to me a mear shadow of the wonderful place it used to be. There is far less music, far less interaction and well, just not the place I remember. If it wasn’t the only place I would get to see some of the people I know I don’t think I would bother going anymore.


  5. I remember you as a performer as well. You were, and remain, VERY funny and talented.

    My own road wandered from patron, to office, to performer, and now, on “the outside” again. And we now have gone back and visited the show since leaving the cast, and it IS a very different, and not nearly as comfortable experience than it was. And now, taking E to the show, I’ve experienced yet another viewpoint.

    So, yes, I fully understand your disinterest in going down. And I wouldn’t deign to try to sway you either way. But I’d certainly discuss in more detail, if you’d like, and I will, at some point, insist on sharing a meal or coffee, and catching up with you, soon. 😉


  6. I went a few weekends ago and it was surreal and a little painful. I can definitely empathise/sympathise with the “on the outside looking in, used to be a performer here” thing. I always think of you first as a performer, by the way. You are a pretty awesome package of a great performer with kickass mad administrative/executive/directorial skills. Unfortunately, the nature of the business is that once they know you can do the hidden (and complicated) end it is hard to get back on the stage. The upside being that you have the ability to initiate and make your own magic, not just try to find someone else who is doing stuff you like. So please keep making your own magic, confidently and powerfully. And if there is a chance to work with you onstage, please let me audition. As for Faire…change keeps on changing, go if you wanna, but realize there is no obligation to stay, and it is ok to miss what was while still going confidently towards the current and next awesome thing. Love you and would like to see you in person– how does your late September look? Jill


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