Saturday was abysmal from the get-go. I was sweating miserably before I was fully in costume. It only got worse from there. Poor Robin Hood. He really is a terrific actor – he had to act as if he was attracted to sweat-sodden me. All of my fights were a bit off – Chess, scenes AND ground fight.
Jousts were good enough. By that I mean no one got hurt, we hit when we had to and the audiences seemed pleased. I whiffed in the first show and hit only marginally better in the second.
Cranky moment: in the Archery Tournament scene, we were short a mic. Guess who had to go without. Go on. Guess. If you guessed me, you’re right! Yep. I had to shout my lines while four other actors were mic’d. Felt a right asshole. Must’ve looked really stupid, too. After, when Kel and I had raced back to get me in armor, Chris popped in no less than four times to mark our progress and assure me that there was “No pressure!” which, of course, was a sort of pressure. sheesh.
Overall, it could have been worse. Doug provided us with bottled water which, while not always cold, was at least palatable. We usually have unfiltered water straight from the hose for the Chess Games. We’re all so frelling thirsty after our fights that we drink it, though, and somewhat gladly. Pathetic but true. The crowds were small, but clearly wanted to be there if they showed up on such a day. Kids were great, as usual.
Don and I had intended to camp that night, but after the hot and sticky and exhaustedness of the day we reconsidered. We did stay long enough for dinner. I’d made a decent amount of chicken, tomato and white bean stew (which, if I may say, was really frelling good). Kel brought raw veggies and pita bread. We fed our usual (for this summer) crew of six and still had enough left for half a dozen more, including the Squires.
A moment here for Squire love and admiration. These guys are the very best. They get paid very little, yet give unstintingly. They’re dedicated, intelligent, hard working, easy going, and funny as all shit. As I was reaching for O’s bridle on Saturday, my knuckles clipped Bill in the temple. Horrified, I opened my mouth to apologize. Before I could speak, he cringed away and whimpered, “I promise I’ll do better!” The next morning, pre-parade, he held Oso as I mounted. Dripping sweat, I commented that the Sheriff would have to find other qualities to admire than my looks. Or my less than rapier-sharp wit. “Quick,” Bill said, “put out!” More Squire stories to come. In fact, that will now be a regular section of your Weekly Faire Update.
Sunday was, I hear, better. Didn’t feel like it, though, at least not until the late afternoon. Still, all of my fights went well. Both Chess fights were much cleaner. Wench sets weren’t quite as draining. First joust was rough – we had horse issues and Nick had to ride Fortune. Smoke was in the games and did far better than any of us could have hoped. Despite the heat, Oso was almost perky. Dante is still a bit off. Hope he feels 100% soon. Boo is out until next weekend. She didn’t hurt herself in the games, nor on the list. No, she handled the dangerous stuff just fine. She managed to strain her right haunch viciously kicking away at a horsefly. Seriously.
Robin Hood and I had a date – actually, we’ve had one since opening day – at 2:45 to go gather kids for Meet the Band. This Sunday past was the first day he didn’t ditch me. We wandered around the grounds, mostly chatting with each other since it was another light audience day, and caught the last bit of Stewart and Arnold’s Knife Throwing show. Now, those lads are LOVELY people, a very talented father and son team who genuinely love each other and are supremely talented performers to boot. I’ve never had a chance to see their show, so even ten minutes’ worth was time happily spent. If you come to NYRF, go see them. Or if you go to any Faire they perform at, ditto. You’ll be glad you did.
Meet the Band was small, but probably among the best we’ve ever had. Great group of kids (okay, happy shrieking Tyler on Saturday was amusing, too) who were so very into it, and endless photo ops at the end – which little Jack managed to dominate by weasling into every shot.
It rained a bit late afternoon – not for long, and not heavily, but enough to cool things off a little.
Joust 2 would have been better had I not hit Nick inside. Okay, it wasn’t really inside but it was not smack in the sweet spot. And yes, he had failed to put on his elbow pad so it is not all my fault that his elbow hurt after. Still – this is me we’re talking about. Right or wrong, I feel I have to be ten times better than the guys to feel as if – or rather, to make them feel that – I am as good as they are. It is stupid and untrue. I know this in my head.
AND – ‘thank you’s galore to Jeanne, Kel and Robin for riding my ass about that.
Part of the reason I’m having trouble is the new helm. Once I get it finished – have the chin strap fixed, add the mail and dress it up – it will be better. Right now, visibility shifts as the helm moves. Even so, I feel a million times safer with it than with the leather one. I’ve been trying to switch to metal ever since I took a lance to the head two summers ago. It might not look as cool with my armor, but it is a hell of a lot safer. In the meantime, I’ll use the leather one in the first show. Hopefully after next weekend I can use the metal in both.
Pub Sing was fun. It usually is. A lot of the joy comes from watching the performers in the audience, though I will say this – Kel and I are not supposed to laugh during ‘Sailor’s Prayer.’ You guys are going to get us in trouble! And you know who you are… (seriously, though – funny!!!!!!)
The best part of Sunday was a surprise visit from the Edelweiss girls. They’re growing up at an alarming rate. B. is so tall now!!!! And E. is stunning – just gorgeous.
Beers at the campsite (well, half a beer for me) were interrupted by crazy thunderstorms, so we all made for home relatively unscathed by the weekend.
I will say this: I hope I never have to go through that again. Y’all know how busy my performance day is, and that I really don’t have any chance to eat. Not complaining. I’m just busy, and it is my own fault. No worries. With the heat, though, that really hits home. Even if I could eat, I couldn’t bear to. Bless whoever invented Emergen-C. And bless the best EMTs ever, especially the guy who gave me an ice pack for the back of my neck after Joust 1 on Sunday. And the reallyreally cute one I say walking back from the 5:00 Wench set.
Oh, and random note: yes, I did shame a small boy into buying my colour flag prior to Saturday's final joust. I didn't mean it to happen. It just did. I'm not proud.
Another random note: BEARS!!!!! Yes, the Falconry people have baby bears. They're 8 months old and were born in captivity and are the cutest things I have ever seen. This is considering that the pony foal in this years' petting zoo is the cutest of that lot so far, so that is saying a lot. I went over prior to the Bridge scene on Saturday (wherein they flopped around and wrestled with one another in that awkward baby animal way), and made Hood go take a look on our 'date' Sunday. We were the only ones there, so we chatted with the handler a bit. As we did so, the girl bear was lolling in his lap, lazily chewing on his hand (not eating it, mind!). She got down, then, and reached up to grab his foot from the base of the rock. TOO. DAMNED. ADORABLE! Any time I am down, I am going to see the bears.
And of course I've forgotten something else entirely... aryiana not only provided brownies and ribbons, but was waiting - as I sprinted in from the first joust - to fill my mug with a cold beverage. Sweetie - you are, quite simply, the best. Thank you!
Oh, and apparently Will Scarlett didn't make the wooden mug for the Joust Ceremony in shop class - he saved up his allowance for three whole weeks. Too bad Mari's such a bitch. "That isn't a gin and tonic!"
Yet another addendum: when crossing the kissing bridge on Sunday, I was stopped for a photo. The man handed the camera to his wife. "I want a picture with Maid Marian!" Then, as he stood by me, "I haven't had my arm around a waist this small since I don't know when." I blinked. Looked at his wife, who seemed unperturbed. "Oh, because of this (he motioned toward the bodice), you know," the man added. Yeah, thought I, </i>were I your wife? I'd whomp you but good for that one.</i>
If you want ‘em, here they are - Verses
I gave caviar to a chef
His tasty treats were mine to savor;
But when I questioned his technique
He said, “hey, I’m injecting flavor!”
There I met an Aussie lad
He turned my knees to mush
For he knew his way down under and sure
Could navigate the bush.
I gave caviar to a barkeep
Sullen and devoid of mirth
Now when I say “fill me up!”
He gives me three full fingers’ worth.
There was poor Prometheus
Who raised the Titans’ ire.
He may be chained and gutless but
He still can light my fire.
*Anyone get that reference? Anyone?