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.