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14 July 2003 @ 05:56 pm
Wherein there is more Jousty drama, and a resolution.  
Another page in the dramatic saga that is the NYRF joust team:

Mark, as anyone following this convoluted tale does know, has been fired. That left us with three jousters- myself, Alen and Lewis (Marian, Guy of Gisbourne and Robin Hood, respectively). Chris, the entertainment director and one-time Sheriff and jouster, was concerned that if we went with a three person joust, someone was bound to be hurt sometime leaving only two. That would be bad, particularly if it were Alen who was hurt, leaving only Robin and Marian to fight it out in grueling battle. Chris offered, as a last resort, that he was willing to joust once more (final joust only!) and swore to me he would not pull his shield. With that in mind, the search for another jouster was on.

This Friday past they auditioned three candidates. Of course, that would be the only rehearsal I had to miss. I was concerned because one of the three was someone who had worked the Faire before, as a performer/stage combatant/jouster. I will not go into his reasons for leaving, save to say his departure was not voluntary. I will also add that from all I have heard of him, he really is a good guy and a very talented man. Last year, he was hired back to assist with construction work on site. At that time, Alen introduced me to him as "...Kelly, our female jouster." To which Jeff replied, "I'm not sure what I think of that." Despite my usual lag time on such responses, I managed an amiable smile and an "It doesn't really matter," and the unspoken and perhaps a bit snarky because I'm in the show regardless of your opinion.

Well, Jeff was hired. I heard he hits HARD. Even for the boys. Great, I thought. Just freaking great. I don't want to come across as a little sissy crybaby, but when it comes down to it, I still am a 5'7" 125 lb. woman. I ride well, my technique is rather good, but I am never going to have the upper body strength that my male teammates do. Those that I have worked with these past three years know that, and still respect me. I will take good hits, no worries. What I know I can not ride out is the 'try-to-unhorse-me!' hits that J.T. and Alen used to deal out to one another. Then again, I know that Alen will hit me good and hard but never THAT hard. He has brilliant control.

Anyway, I showed up for rehearsal Saturday, knowing that we would have joust rehearsal time scheduled, and feeling very unsettled about riding in front of Jeff. First thing was the ground fight. At the very end, Jeff and I are partnered. Well, he is a wonderful fight partner. He's been doing stunt work for years. Me? Fighting for four. We have very complementary styles, though, and the fight looks pretty darned good. Right, I thought, he doesn't mind fighting a woman. That's good.
Then we mounted up and figured out (under J.T.'s brilliant direction) the format of the first joust. We're including the obstacle course that we've been using in training. It's a combination of jumps, sword work, javelins, and rings. It looks really freakin' cool. Well, we all ran through it. I was the last to go. Right before my run, the ring-lance was broken. Nick-the-enterprising-squire taped it back together with gaffer's tape, but the tip was still drooping markedly. I had a really good run, save for the rings (grrrrrrrrr!!!! stoooopid droopy lance!) of which I only got two out of five. I finished, barrelling Oso around the last turn and over the final jump. Karen told me that Jeff was watching, and as I finished just smiled a little and said "Damn!"


It looks as it all may yet be very well.
I feel: pleasedpleased
I hear: "Traveller's Prayer," John Renbourne Group
Ratesjulratesjul on July 14th, 2003 04:54 pm (UTC)
YAY! for good jousting!!!

Three Cheers for Mari!!!!