Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Doublet

The Doublet
Nicholas held out the grey and white doublet to Anne. “Take it.” He insisted. Anne glared at him. Everything cost something. Especially when it came from actors, even if it was Nicholas.
“I can’t pay for it, and I’ve got this one.” She tugged at the plain brown jerkin she wore. Nicholas glared back and shoved the fabric into her hands.
“You’ll need something nice one day.” He insisted. “Besides, I’m supposed to burn it. Scenery crushed the last fellow who wore it. It’s bad luck now.”
“Actors.” Anne muttered under her breath and shoved the clothing into her pack. She glanced up at Nicholas and looked away quickly, thanking God she wasn’t given to blushing. “If I’m in London again...well…I better be off.”
“You could bunk in the theater.” Nicholas rushed. “It’d be safer than the streets, even for a lad.” Anne considered his proposition. It would make leaving harder, but it was a lot safer.
“I’ll be gone before sunup.” She whisked past Nicholas in a way that belied her true gender.
She slept amid piles of costumes and was gone before sunrise. The only thing Nicholas found to give proof that Anne had been there was the brown jerkin she left behind. 

Tomorrow will bring the story of Anne's Hat and Boots. If you haven't read the others go look at my posts on Anne's Slops, then the post about Anne's Belt, Mug, and Pouch.  They'll all be tagged under Anne's Clothes if you want to find them!

The Belt, Mug, and Pouch

 An apology about the last story. 
As I wrote these I had not learned a few slightly important historical facts that would have influenced Anne's life. Therefore, if there are any odd changes throughout these stories, it's because this character is a work in progress than these stories are simply because I wanted to put them somewhere. 
Reading over them, it's not my best work, but I am dedicated to posting them and will try to do last minute edits to make these stories slightly more cohesive and comprehensible.

The Belt, Mug, and Small Pouch
The sound of voices below made Anne hurry in donning her disguise. The boy's clothing felt odd next to her skin, she could breathe much more easily than in a bodice and the slops were half the weight of one skirt. Even odder was the feeling of her shorter hair. Anne couldn't remember a time when her hair was so short that it only brushed her shoulders. It was tucked up under a muffin cap that was pulled down low on her forehead.
Anne was thankful for the small pressure her belt created. The small leather pouch hanging from her belt held all money she was going to bring. Anne wished she had a better pouch, but this would have to do. There was less than a minute before her mother's new visitor climbed the stairs. It wouldn't do to find a "boy" in her mother's room.
 To spend one night on the street and then go down to the docks as soon as daylight broke was Anne's plan. Her hand found her mug and reassured herself of its heft and weight. It would make a suitable weapon until she could find another one.
“Frobisher, Hawkyns, Drake, Wynter.” Anne muttered to herself. The sailors would know of those men even if she had no idea who they were. One of them had to be her father.

Look later tonight for the story of how Anne got her doublet!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Slops

So I write ONE POST about how to break your captain out of jail, and Anne starts knocking about in my head and won't shut up until I write something about her. The conversation went something like this.
Anne: "Write about me!"
Me: "Why? I have 20 (not kidding) other characters that need to be written about this week."
Anne: "But I want you to write about ME, not just about how I *almost* got Captain Frobisher out of jail!"
Me: "Wait. Your. Turn."
Anne: "Not a chance, and I won't shut up until you write about me."
Other Characters: "We're going on strike anyway."
Me: "What? How can you go on strike- I don't even pay you!"
Other Characters: "Oh yeah....well, we're going to be unreasonable and uncooperative this week. We thought we'd give you a heads up."
Me: "Gee thanks."
Anne: "Now will you write about me?"
Me: "Some people's children! Yeesh, whatever, I'll write about you if it will make you pipe down."
Anne: "Yay! Plus you owe me for turning my shirt pink."
Me: "We made it white again!"
Anne: "Moot. Point."
Me: "I'm writing about you, PIPE DOWN OR I'LL TELL THE CAPTAIN." 

So Anne got to tell the stories behind most of what she wears. I'll be posting a story or two every day and we'll see what happens. If it's rubbish you can blame Anne. She rushed me.

The Slops
Anne looked into her mother’s room as the first rays of sunlight came in through the window. Two figures lay in the bed, sleeping soundly. The landlord would be up soon, wanting the rent for the month. That would wake them up if nothing else did.
Anne was used to creeping around silently. It was the only way she didn’t get tangled up in her mother’s affairs. Without making the door or floorboards squeak, she danced across the floor and searched the john’s pockets. Holding up the john’s clothing, Anne wondered just how slight he was. She could almost fit into his slops.
No money, but his clothing reeked of the smell of the sea. Anne shook her head. Her mother was always soft for sailors.
 “He can’t pay.” Anne thought to herself. “Looks like he’ll be leaving without his trousers.” She flung the slops over her shoulder and took the rent money from the false bottom of a chair. They’d be able to stay for another month at least, and the idea of the john sneaking out without his trousers made her snicker.

Monday, July 23, 2012

How to get a Captain out of jail

This was prompted by a street bit that I did on Saturday where I asked patrons how to get Captain Frobisher out of jail without having to pay the bail money. I combined all of the ideas into one fantastic escape attempt! 

Anne's log Monday July the 23rd

Today we plan to break Captain Frobisher out of jail. We do not wish to pay bail since it would require the crew to forgo our own pay and most of the men haven't been paid yet. We have yet to find where the Captain keeps our pay, though Captain Hawkyns did leave a few clues. I have since asked many people who are versed in the art of escape and they have given me many ideas as how to sneak the Captain out of jail without actually paying the guards.

Firstly, the crew should try to bring gifts of strong beverages that will make the guards drunk and unable to understand fully what we are about. Then some guards will be served stew with herbs that will turn their stomachs sour and they shall have need to leave their posts to empty their stomachs or bowels, whichever ailment the herb shall cause. Then John and Stretch shall set a rat (or two) on fire and distract the remaining guards as I slip into the jail and find the Captain.
As soon as that has been done, the rest of the crew shall disguise themselves as farmers and with the aide of a borrowed herd of cows, send the cows into a frenzy charging towards the jail. The crew shall behave as if they lost control of their herd and will require the guards assistance in rounding up the beasts. While this distraction is going on, I shall unlock the Captain's cell (since I have acquired the key from the pickpocket Maggie Pie), and we shall run out the back entrance to a waiting straw filled wagon and I shall drive off with the Captain Frobisher hiding under the straw.

However, if worst comes to worst and our plans do not succeed we shall try the use of gunpowder to blow up the wall of the Captain's cell and hope that he does not perish in the process.

Fortunately, the crew's plan is put on hold as Captain Sir John Hawkyns has just sent me a message saying he is seeing to the release of Captain Frobisher this evening and I should ready the crew for the Captain's return.

Hope you all enjoyed the idea of the charging cows! It was my personal favorite.

Weekend 3 Part 2- Patron Sunday Torture

I now why none of the veterans really take a patron day.
It's boring.
It's tedious.
Yes you can go into the shops and watch the shows, but you can't play with people!!!

Thanks goodness my friend The Doctor was at the Faire with me because I would have gone crazy if I had been by myself. I think I did go crazy anyway. Being a patron has officially been RUINED for me by the magnificence of Street Cast.

After Saturday's episode of a classic "Hello my name is Anne I'm-fine-But-I'm-About-To-Keel-Over Drew." (Yes, I'm not using my real name, but most of you know my real name anyway). I think it might have actually been a good thing that I took an "easy day."
I hate easy days. Even though I got to do a few things that I don't really get to do when I'm on the Street.

I got to see Barely Balanced.
I ate some really bad-for-me Faire food. Yummy.
I got a henna tattoo. I love henna, and I really need to learn how to do it myself. 
I purchased a few clothing items that I would have a hard time justifying the purchase of as my character, like a bodice.
I also got to to into all of those lovely book stores and had to resist buying EVERYTHING IN SIGHT. There is still an owl hair clip that I am thinking about going back and buying really quickly before things start up next weekend. 
I spent a decent amount of time in the archery range practicing- and I have bruises to prove it! This will sound odd, but when I look at those bruises I feel like I accomplished something. I hit the bulls eye twice too! Only two days and I'm already hitting the bulls eye! 

On the other hand, whenever I saw a Street Cast person interacting with someone, I felt a deep pang of longing to be able to go and interact with the people. I had to resist the urge to start doing my street bits most of the day. It wouldn't have made a lick of sense because I was wearing actual girl clothes. I can't count how many times I was whining under my breath "I wanna play!"

Here comes the best part of my day.
I was dressed up in a semi-steampunk ensemble that was supposed to sort of emulate Kaylee Frye from the TV show Firefly. I was wearing a dress and had done my hair up in ribbons and was wearing make up. These are things that a good 90% of the cast has never seen me wear.
Some people didn't recognize me at first.
Some people just couldn't get used to the idea that I was wearing girl clothing. I've been wearing shorts and tank tops all season since I haven't seen much point in looking nice if I'm going to be sweating and under hot costumes all summer long. Plus, skirts are not that practical. They just aren't.

One cast member told me "You clean up real purty." Which sounds comical and it was, but at the same time the compliment was very sincere. I suppose it was my little duckling into a swan moment, but it's the first time that I have genuinely felt pretty for a while. Maybe it was the fact that I actually made people stutter and jaws did drop when people saw me, but it boosted my self esteem each time someone recognized me and did that little double take. The funniest part was with the people who just couldn't get used to the idea that I was wearing girl clothing. It made me feel real shiny inside.

I did take the day very easy compared to my usual Faire days. The Doctor was really tired from one full day of meandering around the Faire and complimented me on my endurance. I never really thought it took that much endurance before, but I guess that I must have a decent amount of it if one day of walking around can tucker out and Eagle Scout.

To be honest, even though I got lots of ideas for things that I will be adding to my costume wardrobe and prop box for characters, I was bored most of the day. Bored and restless. I felt like I needed to be doing something and couldn't sit still. I had a hard time going into shops because I've made a habit of not frequenting them too much. Then once I went into a few of them I never wanted to come out (books, so many lovely books).

Lessons learned- I can never go back to being a patron. Nor do I think I want to. I felt like I was on the fringe all day, looking in a world that was barred by a thin sheet of glass. I already have enough places where I feel that way, I'm not going to add another place to that list.

Weekend 3- Pacing and Patroning Part 1

Well this weekend's word might be labeled as "Eventful." Certainly it was not my average weekend and I now know why the cast doesn't usually take any patron time. However, you should look for that in the second half of this post and not in the introductory paragraph.

Saturday- also known as "The Captain is looking for the anchor amidst other iron bars." Also known as- my Captain was not at Faire this weekend.

So while my Captain was out of town, I took to the street with little to no idea how my day was actually going to go. I was excited and nervous about the prospect of having so much "me time" on the street. I was also a little nervous about the humidity of the day. Heat doesn't sap me half as fast as humidity does. I can drink buckets of water, take all the breaks in the world, and I will still be sluggish at the end of the day thanks to Mr. Humidity.
I started my day out in the usual Saturday way of playing a few rounds of Towers (giant Janga) with the Captains and that got me into the swing of my character pretty fast.
Then feeling great about the rest of my morning I went about trying to work with the patrons and had one of those awful days where no one wanted to play and I failed a couple times. However, I had a brilliant hit and run bit where I was gnawing at a square of hardtack and asking people if they'd ever tried it before. I actually got a few people interested and had a few good conversations after twenty minutes of no one wanting to play. Plus, that hardtack tasted good. I don't know how hardtack can taste good, but this stuff did!
Then I got to go up front by the gate and entertain people that were coming in to Bristol! I also found a really good line "Do you know who I am?" People actually stop and respond. I'd introduce myself and as people who they were and if they knew where they were going. It worked really well! Huzzah for stupid random lines!
The afternoon went fairly well too, I did my mustache loop and got some good answers as to how to grow a beard. Then I went around and asked people the best way to bust a Captain out of jail without paying the bail money. I've just found my new favorite bit!
Look for the post on "How to get your Captain out of jail free!" post- coming soon to a blog near you!
The only non-sitting down break I took was to go shooting at the archery range with one of the KK cast members. He taught me the basics and then I just started shooting.

Archery is amazing. I've never held a weapon that felt so natural in my hand. I missed the target a few times, but I hit inside the second circle of the target much more than I missed. This was my first time shooting too! Cast gets to shoot for free- So I guess I'll be practicing a lot more! Who knows, I might even get good at archery!

So the afternoon went really really well until I go backstage, sit down, and my body starts cramping up and I can feel a headache coming on. In my head I'm thinking "I've been drinking a lot of water all day, been drinking Gatorade, eaten 3 pickles, made sure I've taken several decently long breaks, what in the world is wrong with me?"
I'll tell you what was wrong- I looped the whole circuit of the Faire between 5 and 8 times at a long stride, racing between patrons to find someone new to talk to once I was done with someone else. When I say the whole Faire, I really do mean the whole Faire.
My legs hated me, my core muscles hated me, and I really just wanted to take a nap. Instead I wimped out on going to closing gate and after drinking a few mugs of water and laying cold rags on my neck and head, I got dressed in civilian clothes.
Remember what I said earlier about humidity? It just saps me faster than anything. I honestly think that I would have been o.k. if it hadn't been so humid.
I caved and took two advil when I got home. I hate taking pain meds, but my legs killed. Then I fell into bed and was out cold for a good 8 hours.

Lesson learned- even though you're looking for people to play with, learn to freaking sit down on the street. Don't lap the Faire site 7 times in one day. Even if you have taken more breaks than usual and drank more than enough water. Humidity kills me. 

Part 2- The Patron Day, coming up!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Two- The arrival of a new Anne

This past weekend was really when I felt my character coming out and coming together. Before this weekend, Anne was a little wishy washy about who she wanted to be. After a (much needed) character change in back story during dress rehearsal, I really wasn't sure what to make of Anne. Instead of being a slightly more docile yet sneaky run away, she is now a much bolder and cheekier (and still slightly sneaky) personality. Instead of being Captain Frobisher's servant, she's now more of a protege. All in all, I can wreak a lot more havoc as this new Anne than I could with the old one. My Captain did warn me that this would happen. Once those gates open, everything changes.
Another thing that helps, I work with a lot of bold personalities. I'm just going to get lost if I don't make my own character bolder to compliment and work alongside of the other characters. 

This weekend was a mixed bag. On one hand everything on the Street was great! On the other hand...I was finishing up a 9 day marathon of physical activity that I am not accustomed to. Saturday was much harder than Sunday for reasons that I do not know. I think I got more sleep on Saturday night than I did on Friday.

Saturday went fairly well all in all. There were a couple more times where my captain let me "take the wheel." I also got my first try at playing "Towers" with the Captains. It's like a giant Janga game.  I borrowed a sword for whenever I removed a block, and the blades did feel really awkward in my hand. I am in serious want of lessons in swordplay and archery.
Unfortunately, while I felt much more secure in my character than I did opened weekend, I didn't have all of the energy reserves that I usually have going into a weekend. I did have a moment when I turned to Lefty and said "I'm fading in and out." This was around 2:30pm and he made me go backstage and rest for half an hour. I had really mixed feelings about that because I wanted to talk to more people, but I also know that if I don't rest and am not the top of my game, people aren't going to really want to talk to me. I didn't take as many risks as I did on Sunday and coasted through with a lot of "fake it till you make it" when I was feeling low on energy. Then when I was on my second, third, fourth, fifth, etc, winds I put as much effort into my work as possible.

My stupid performer mentality usually makes me push through anything. I won't pretend I wasn't a little annoyed with Lefty for making me go backstage (he offered to walk me back himself), but I probably wouldn't have made myself take a break. I do stupid things like that. I push through things when I should probably sit down. I sat down this time, and I'll remember to sit down next time. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon.

I got a lot more sleep Saturday night than I did Friday night, and I think it helped a lot during Sunday. I was also a bit more stressed out on Saturday, still recovering from the week at camp.

Sunday my knee was twinging a bit so I wore a knee brace as a preventative measure. While I might not be so great about the whole "take a break" thing yet, I am getting better at the pre-injury prevention. My knee doesn't bother me today, so I think I did the right thing.
On Sunday the BRF got a visit from the fuzzy orange muppet like puppet. I saw it twice and freaked out both times.
I also got a surprise visit from my Uncle and his girlfriend. I was really excited to see them since they live in a different state and I don't think I've seen them since Christmas. Over the weekend I got to see a lot of friends and family. It's a lot of fun because you're playing with people you know, but at the same time you aren't entirely yourself since you're playing another person.

Things I learned this week-
People like to give me advice about being manly. I actually got some great advice from a woman about walking like a man. It was hysterical.
Anne cannot lie to the Queen and will correct the Captain is he is lying to the Queen (I can't wait to see this play out).
Just take a 15 minute break. Seriously. Ice rags, salty snacks, and an extra drink of water will go a long way. And you won't get glares from your director after you tell him (at 1:30 in the afternoon) that this is your first real break. Oops. 

Favorite moments?
Writing false "State Secrets" and incriminating Drake.
Watching my mom sing along to the sea shanties.
Seeing my drama teacher from high school.
"Are we in a bad French Novel?"- the Captain
"Are you sexy, and do you know it?"- Lefty, giving "advise" 
Gertrude Normyl blowing her owl whistle with her eyes crosses and cheeks puffed out. I just about died from laughter.

Now to figure out who is most likely my father. Historically and Fictionally.

A sadly short post about opening Weekend

Apologies for the long wait, I came straight home from opening weekend at BRF and woke up on Monday morning to go and be an intern for Spotlight Youth Theater's Project Dance Camp. There shall be a post about that on my Astonishing blog shortly.
In short, the camp went through Friday and I didn't have time (or energy) Friday night to write anything. However, I have made use of my "Captain's Log" and wrote down many things that I discovered on the first weekend.

~Opening Weekend~
I was extremely nervous. Like can't eat breakfast, think you might throw up or pass out nervous. I wasn't as nervous as I was for the audition for BRF, where I was about to burst into tears (says the girl who does not cry), but I was pretty darn close.
Luckily, I have the most supportive cast in the WORLD to work with. I haven't interacted with anyone who tries to shut me down during a bit.
Even more important, I'm working with a Captain who not only shows me the ropes, but pushes me out and makes me start things (mostly wooing). When you've been portraying a Captain for several years, you ought to be at least good at it by now, but my Captain is more than good, he's brilliant! I swear I'll come up with a more descriptive word once my brain comes back from a 9 day marathon of physical activity.

Speaking of the physical side of being at BRF, the first weekend wasn't too bad. I took plenty of small 5 to 10 minute breaks, even if it was just sitting down on the Street and giving "free advise." I also downed enough Adam's Ale to have to visit the privies more times that I want to count (or admit) right now. I also made sure that I was snacking on salty things and drinking lots of "gator's aide" to replenish all the good stuff you need from that. The soup at the Dirty Duck Inn pretty much saves me every luncheon (sometime after 1pm) and keeps me going through the afternoon.

So now the things that I learned the first weekend- or was reminded of.

Reminder- If you aren't Failing 50% of the time, you aren't trying hard enough. (Note: Fail more).
Lesson- Simply talking to people is good. You don't always need a bit to make a connection.
Observation- Frobisher's mustache might poke his eyes out one day if it keeps getting longer.
Lesson- Every time you stretch yourself you find how elastic you truly are.

My first weekend was a plethora of discovery and sad to say: a lot of playing it safe. I took more risks the second weekend (also I found more of my character the second weekend). I can still take lots of more risks and am making a point to try and do so. I don't want to hide behind my Captain, I want to be able to work alongside of him. Even though I was told that I did very well on opening weekend, I knew deep down that there were times where my lack of self confidence got to me and I let the Captain take much more of a lead than I might have. Especially on the first day when I was excited but really had almost no idea how the day would go.

A note about my Captain for those of you who haven't met him, and even those who have: I really could not have asked for a better person to learn from and work with. Simply finding out how to hold my own around him when he's being the larger than life personality of Captain Frobisher has been a very good exercise. Combine that with the fact that he's pushed me out and made me take control of what we're doing a few times (which was terrifying, but in a good way), each day is a mental marathon as well as a physical one. All of this has made me a better performer and made me less self conscious and more able to just let go and let the scene go where it wants to!
My Captain, if he has taught me anything, has taught me the importance of "yes and." We've done some ridiculous things and it's all because we both just kept on saying "Yes, and." There were times were in my head I said "Really? Really? You want me to do what?" But then my other mind kicked in and said "This is funny! Let's go with it!" Point and example- wooing. It took me two weeks to become comfortable enough to simply make myself as ridiculous as possible and invoke "Venus' knees" as a compliment during a wooing. Don't ask where that came from...I have no clue.

Things that worked this week-
My mustache bit where I go about with a drawn on mustache and ask people how to grow better facial hair.
Asking men for advice on how to be manly (works really well with teenage guys).
My no cannibalism allowed contract. 3 times in four days and each the time reaction has been different, it's fantastic!

I promise that I will write another post about the most recent weekend, but that will come later today. There were many things that happened on the first weekend, but the second weekend only gets better.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What I've Learned.

In the past month or so I've learned a lot from my friends, teachers, and fellow cast mates at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. I'm writing this as a sort of letter to all of them to let them know what they've meant to me so far. This might sound really cheesy, but hey, I'm in theater. We live on cheese.

Lesson 1- Stay Hydrated and take care of yourself
So I already kind of knew this one, but it's come into a much more practical application than I realized. As someone once told me, "Start hydrating.....yesterday!" It's true.

Lesson 2- Don't Judge Yourself
No one else will judge you as harshly as you judge yourself. I know this fact a little too well. No one is harder on me than I am. I beat myself up about everything. Letting go of that little voice in my head has been hard, but it's been something that I've needed to learn to control.

Lesson 3- Just GO FOR IT! 
Once you stop that little voice in your head, you can do just about anything.

Lesson 4- Improvisation, while scary at times, is something that I am not bad at.
I've been under the very wrong assumption that I suck at improv. While I do not think I'm the best improvisational performer, I now know that I don't suck and can learn to be better now that I've started telling that voice in my head to "SHUT IT!" Half the time, I just need to push myself out there and sink or swim. Surprisingly, I've been swimming more than I thought I would.

The first thing they told us at BAPA was that they wanted us to fail and we were told than failure should be celebrated. At the time I thought they were certifiably crazy. While I still think we're all a little touched in the head, I've accepted the idea that failing is good. Why? Because it means that I'm trying something, it means that I've tried so hard that I've run into a large brick wall nose first. I've had several failures and while the feeling of having a big hole in my stomach is not very fun, it goes away after two or three minutes and I figure out a new way to make an idea work, or toss it out the window.

Lesson 6- Ideas are meant to be thrown away
I think I had two or three ideas of who I would be playing before my Director came to me with the idea of Anne-Drew a girl disguised as a boy sailor. I threw all of the other ideas out the window and embraced Anne with a big hug.

Lesson 7- Some things take time
I'm still working on my dialect and my Elizabethan speech. There were times where I got stuck on my character and how she acts. Anne was difficult to find some weeks and I had to fake it a bit. There are times where if I don't take a moment to slip into her, I have a hard time finding her, that's going to get easier with time. It took me until probably last week to actually find a comfortable Anne-like way while still saying "Yes, and."

Lesson 8- "Yes, and....."
Need I say more?

Lesson 9- Elevate and Include
Patrons want this so much more than I do. I actually auditioned to be in the BRF, Patrons pay to be in the BRF, if only for one day. I learned many lessons from a book written by a Phoole, many of this lessons are about Patrons and just how much they want to be included and how much they want to have a genuine moment with someone. It's the least I can do to say "Hello, how are you? Yes, I really want to know. You are important to me."

The last lesson is not to be counted as the least by any means. There are many more lessons that I have learned, but they could honestly fill up a book. Maybe one day I'll write one, just to remind myself of the things that I need to know. For now I'll just post these ones since they stick out in my head the most.

To everyone-

Thank you for accepting this child trapped in a young adult's body and setting me loose on the streets that I call home. I've dreamed about being apart of the family that is the Bristol Renaissance Faire ever since I can remember. It's a place holds magic for me, and this year I help to make the magic.

Thank you, my fellow BAPA students for playing with me and helping me learn. Thank you for making me your friend within minutes of us meeting and building a trust bond that has allowed me to take risks that I never would have dreamed of taking before. Thanks for going crazy and letting go of looking stupid or silly. We never looked stupid, by the way.

Thank you, my Street Cast. You've given me more laughter in one month than I've had in a year. You've put me miles outside my comfort zone and stretched me farther than I've even been stretched before. You are some of the most genuine people I've ever met. Veterans, I'm blessed to be able to have trained under you all, each of you have taught me at least one thing, some of you have taught me several things. Newbies, thanks for standing alongside me, I hope I've done a good job of cheering you on as much as you all have cheered me on. Thanks for letting me succeed and fail.

To the Captains and other Sailors- Thank you for letting a girl into your world of men.

The first day I was told that the BRF cast and crew was like a family. After that first day I started to have an inkling of what that felt like. Now I can say that I have found many sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, and maybe a few "fathers" among these crazy, creative, brilliant people. I can't wait for the rest of the summer and all of the things that I will learn and experience. This has been the best summer of my life so far, and if the rest of the summer is as good as it's been so far, I hope to have many more in your company. 

The Last Weekend without Patrons

This post is going to be a little bit different. I'm going to lump the two days into one. Why? Because I'm the author and I can.

Saturday- The Last Day of BAPA

To be honest it wasn't the most eventful week. I still had tons of fun and did a lot with my character. One of the Fools and I came up with a bit where he calls me out as a girl and we have to drag a patron in to help me discourage him. He is one of two people who are actually allowed to call me "Anne" without getting socked (or a very dirty look). I did have to make it known that people need to call me "Andrew" or I might not play with them. Most likely I will respond that I do not know their "Anne" but they might address me as "Master Andrew."
My electives on Saturday were phenomenal. My first class was taught by the director of the BRF Fight Cast and he also plays Robin Hood. He's a really cool person and I loved what he had to say about simply making a personal connection with a patron that wasn't apart of a big "bit." I'm really looking forward to having those "small moments" with patrons where I just get to talk to them. I'm looking forward to the big/funny stuff too, but those genuine moments are what people remember for years.
My second elective was about Elizabethan Maritime history. It was taught by the man who plays Sir Francis Drake. It was one of the best history classes I have taken. He was really hilarious to listen to and even though I was pretty tired, I was avidly listening. Plus, I got to try hardtack! It's not that bad once you get used to kind of gnawing at it for half an hour.
After BAPA ended and we all had a mock-cry, the cast of Ren Quest held a BBQ for everyone and I got to hang with a bunch of the cast and just have a good time. We did some improv and I got to go up once (there were SO MANY PEOPLE), and it was a lot of fun. 


Sunday was oodles of good times. This past Thursday I got a taste of working with patrons when I went to the train station downtown and passed out fliers with some of the cast (Captain Frobie included) and it was great to get a sense of working with the Catpain and sort-of-kind-of "patrons" (aka- the commuters).
So when Sunday rolled around I loved having one last chance to just play with the other characters, at the same time, I really really really can't wait to talk to patrons.
Wearing my costume wasn't that bad. It was hot, but when you're doing things in costume you don't think about it too much. I love my costume. I love my hat, my shirt, my pants, my doublet, I especially love my belt with everything hanging on it. 
We started out with playing Hot Seat and I got to go up twice. Once with my shipmates, and once with Captain Frobie. It went ok, I've had better Hot Seats, I think I would consider it a warm up more than anything.
Then when Dog and Pony went up with their Muppet-like puppets, I started freaking out because they are SO FLIPPING COOL! I will start wigging out whenever they come near me. Everyone thinks it's really hilarious.
The next super-duper (trying not to use the word "awesome") part of the day was when we split up into our groups and walked around the site. The Captain showed me a map that he drew of the "new world." It's really funny. Kind of one of those things you just have to see or ask me to explain in person. After looking at the map we started our "walk about" and wandered all over the site as Captain Frobie told me which places were good to interact with people in, which shops like the performers (and which ones don't), and just general Faire-things-I-should-know. We ran into a couple characters and got to try out some interactions. The more I work with these people, the more comfortable in my character I get. There's only so much you can do on your own before you need to just start working through things with the people you run into.
I also got to try some of the famously good soup from the Dirty Duck Inn. It's amazing. I'm so glad I get to eat there all summer!
After lunch we had full cast rehearsal for Opening Gate, Closing Gate, and Parade. Mostly there was a lot of joking around while waiting to rehearse Closing Gate. Lots of teasing and general good natured fun.
The next thing that I'll mention is that after our official rehearsal was over I got to hang with some of the women in our cast. These women are so much fun to talk with. One of them told me that I am a "Find." I think the best translation is that I'm of value to the group. I got so many compliments from people yesterday and I was overwhelmed by the support that I've received.

My favorite part of the day is actually my change in backstory. Mwahahaha- the elusive and not often used backstory. I didn't come up with this new story, but my friends Captains Hawkins and Frobisher did.
Apparently Anne is the daughter of a woman known as "Easy Fanny." She has 5 or 6 possible fathers, but she does know that he was a famous Captain. This means that it could be Drake, Hawkins, Frobisher, Wynter, De Goiti, or possibly one or two others. I've been giggling about this since lunchtime yesterday. I like it a lot better than my old backstory and it's a lot simpler to explain! 

So concludes my last post about rehearsals and BAPA. I honestly don't know what posts will look like from here on out. I'll try and post about each weekend, but I can't guarantee anything. I'm going to miss telling a lot, simply because I can't tell everything- there's too much to tell! 

Here's to getting ready for patrons!!! Please come and play with me! Anne will be ever so happy!