Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh Captains, My Captains

This weekend Anne will finally have her father.
Not that she hasn't had the BEST group of dads a girl could ask for during the season, but let me explain.
I've had the time of my life taunting and "blackmailing" the Captains into thinking that Anne is their child. Some of my favorite bits are just dragging people into the absurdity of my story because patrons have said some pretty crazy things. However, as time went on, Anne started to feel a bit lonely at her uncertain familial status.
Stupid me letting my character run away and develop a bit too much, but Anne really wants to belong to someone. Not just speculation and half serious ownership on the part of the Captains, but someone who would take Anne in. Not Andrew, but Anne.
Amazing the things I learn about human nature. How basic is this feeling of wanting to belong to someone? To have a father who cares about you and calls you his own (even if you are a girl). Fathers are SO important. Note the underline/italicize/boldface.

I am lucky to have a father who loves me and my real life Daddy and I have a great relationship. He read me novels like Tom Sawyer and To Kill a Mockingbird when I was little and introduced me to Star Wars and the Blues Brothers. Almost every year throughout Jr. High and Highschool we've gone to a father/daughter date night that our church organizes. My dad flew with me down to Florida so I could audition for the dance program at a college and we spent about three days exploring Palm Springs.
I have a fantastic real life Dad.

To all the Captains (and other seafaring gentleman) at the Faire
You have all been like Uncles, Brothers, and Cousins to me. Through you I have learned to hold my own place, because you are a hard group to break into and hold your own in. I've had to keep my wits about me and be ready to figure out some way to tie up loose ends and loopholes so that you ALL have to acknowledge the fact that Anne just might be your child. You've taught me about maritime history and how to act like a man (or at least ham it up).

Thank you for taking in a girl to your world of men and really bringing me into your circle when I thought I might just be hanging out on the outskirts, not wanting to intrude. Whoops- wouldn't you know it? I intruded and hung up my hammock to stay!

I already know who Anne's real father is. Part of it came down to the fact that I'm a historical nut and this person made the most sense historically.
I want you all to know, that even if you aren't my dad (I'm still trying to keep this a surprise, otherwise I'd be frank), I consider all of you like family to me and love you all like Uncles and Brothers. I'd say you've been like Fathers to me, but my daddy already fills that space in my heart. Thank you all for the best summer of my life.

I can't wait to see what this last weekend will bring in the way of shenanigans. You have been warned from your trouble making "son." AnneDrew.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My family

So, apart from my VERY dysfunctional character family (Think Mamma Mia in Elizabethan England), I have found the most amazing family in the people that I work with.

Let's see....
I've found a few mother and father type figures, several siblings, aunts and uncles- not to mention those awkward cousins who I wonder if I'm really related to but I love anyway so I must be related to them.

This Sunday I woke up after a MARVELOUS Saturday and my world crashed down around me. My Grandpa Jones will never be able to see what I've done in Ren Faire. I can't tell him (physically) about how much I've learned or what my plans are or how amazing all of these people are.

For anyone who doesn't know by now, summer after my junior year in high School, June 21, my Grandpa died.
Our birthdays are one day apart. I like to think that my Grandpa and I had a special bond. There were a lot of things about him that I didn't realize we had in common until I heard about them at his funeral.
I miss him a lot. I know that his passing when he did was probably a good thing and spared him a lot of pain. He had senior dementia and it was hard for all of us. Whenever I hear bagpipes I think of him, and owls are sort of symbolic of my Grandpa. He carved the most beautiful things out of wood and owls were one of his favorites.

So I go up to Ren Faire really just trying to keep myself together. During morning meeting I drew an owl in my Captains Log and tried to keep it together. Then I went back to the green room and tried to keep myself together. I'm pretty good at shutting everything off and keeping myself together. I tried to bring out my character when playing Towers with Hawkyns and Frobisher, but it really wasn't working. This is what happens when I shut down. Non-functional not good stuff. I was ready to label the day as a "fake it till you make it" type day.
I ended up backstage in the Pole Barn just needing some space to breathe and possibly cry. One of my friends who plays Jinx the over sized Jester asked if I wanted to talk and was very nice when I couldn't really bring myself to do so because I knew I'd pretty much lose it. John came in and I got asked again if I wanted to talk about it. By this time I had my hat over my head and pulled low over my face because I was starting to cry.

Let's get another thing straight. I don't cry easily. Some people will cry at the drop of a hat. I used to have a complex where I saw crying as being weak, but only if I was the one crying. I'm over that but I still don't cry easily.
I can't lie to these people. I just can't. It's pretty much impossible for me to be dishonest around any of the rennies because if I was I'd feel so awful I'd rat myself out. So I started to talk about how I miss my Grandpa. I wish I could tell him things without talking to the air. I knew there would be certain milestones in life that he won't be there for (like my wedding), but I wasn't expecting to be upset that I can't tell him about Faire. I'm sure I said a few other things but your brain gets foggy and your nose gets rather stuffy when you're crying.

John and Jinx were great. They gave me support and didn't try to say "I understand." John actually made a point of saying that he doesn't know what I'm feeling, but he's lost people too and we do go through these moments. He said that Ren Faire is probably the safest and most supporting place to have a moment like the one I was having.
They said how proud they were of me, and how proud they know my Grandpa is of me. Even if I can't see him, he can see me, which I do believe (still sucks on my end of the deal). Then Lettuce came in and asked who she needed to kill and sat with us for a little while as I finished calming down and we had a good laugh about how these types of moments never happen when it's convenient. 

The first rehearsal for Street Cast I went too, I was sitting by myself on the benches before things started. I heard an owl hooting.

Just as a side note- the rest of my dad was fantastic and I had so many laughs and fun times. This summer has passed too quickly. Thank you to all of my family in RenFaire. I don't think I've been able to trust people so much or so quickly as I have with all of you. I can't wait for the next two weekends and the new adventures they will bring.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekend 6- Mixed Bag

This weekend had to be one of the hardest weekends to get through. For the most part I have no idea why, and have every idea why.

First of all- I'm tired. I haven't slept through the night all week (last night included). The only night I didn't wake up at 2AM was Saturday night. I'm hoping this week will be different. I'm praying this week will be different. I don't know why I can't sleep through the night. It's not like I'm not active during the day, I have a decent diet, I don't consume large amounts of caffeine or sugar before bed.

Second of all- We're past mid season and I know the Faire is going to be closing soon. I was looking around on Sunday and suddenly had de-ja-vu to my first Faire weekend. I only have three weekends left of what has been the best experience of my life.

Thirdly- College classes start again in two weeks. I'm looking forward to my classes, but not the environment that I'll be in.

Fourthly- I very dear childhood dress-up-dress of mine was partially demolished Friday night. I've had this dress since before I was 4 years old. It was my "pretty" dress, my princess dress, my garden dress. I'm not girly and I love this dress. I wanted to pass this dress on to my little cousin (the daughter of my aunt who gave me this dress). I think it's really important to pass things down and preserve history, especially family history. The partial demolishing seriously threw me and I spent a little while on Saturday hugging a stuffed sheep consoling my inner child while trying to keep in character. Thank goodness Anne Drew had an odd attraction to fuzzy animals and puppets.
Now that I actually write this out- it sounds really silly and trivial. I guess in times of upheaval and eustress and non-positive stress, these are the things that make you seriously unsettled. 

Mostly it's just this reason- I'm dreading living with the feeling of loneliness again. I haven't been lonely all summer, and I hate the idea that I'm going to be going to back to being just a face in a crowd, seeing true friends maybe once or twice a week. I could elaborate, but that would mean telling my life story getting all deep and emotional.

This weekend has some really good points, apart from struggling to keep going all day.

-I tried a lot of new foods. They were all delicious.
-I had some great interactions with children. I was able to coax a really shy little boy to come and play Towers with me. I also got to dance with a princess during closing gate. I had a few other adorable little ones interact with me, but those two were my favorite.
-I got some crazy responses from patrons about how to get a captain out of jail. Most of them would result in his death. For some reason everyone was fixated on the captain dying. I felt bad for the captain and really wanted to look at some of those patrons sideways and ask "What the heck are you thinking?"
-I broke a photographer! Multiple times! It was beyond hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing.
-I got broke by a parody of "That's Amore." I laughed so hard I cried.
-I almost hit a bulls-eye when practicing archery!
-I had an amazing conversation with a fellow cast member and a very fun dinner out with friends.
-I got/am getting jewelry from a pretty shop, and the owners are some of the nicest people ever!
-I found a hat that I will buy next week for a reasonable price.
-I had epic poke/tickle sibling fights with one of the towne criers.
-I had an awesome bit with some of the Draco Disciples.  

So the good moments outweigh the moments I am currently blaming on tiredness/stress. Let's just say that I called myself fat (which is something I strive NOT TO DO) and unintentionally may have insulted someone else because of my self hate comment. I also forgot that they had coal in Elizabethan England, and made blatant reference to Thanksgiving while on the street. I will make fun of myself for the later two things and make a lesson to myself out of the first. The first lesson is this, when I am tired I need to watch my tongue.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Just a small post about my thoughts now that the season is at the halfway point.

Words honestly are failing me.
I went into this experience thinking that I'd have fun with some pretty open minded people (I come from a fairly conservative family and background) and entertain a lot of people paying to spend a day in Elizabethan England.
I thought that I'd learn one or two things about acting and performance while combining my love of history with my love of performance.
I knew that this summer would either blow my mind, or I'd never be able to go back to Bristol again. This was a terrifying risk for me since I've been going to the Faire my whole life.

I was so wrong about all of my expectations.

I have fallen in love with the cast and crew. I can honestly say that never have I ever cared about a group of people so much so quickly. Each person that I work with feels like a family member. I have a few sisters, brothers, a lot of cousins, six amazing dads, a few mothers who are the sweetest people on earth, not to mention all of my crazy aunts and uncles. I feel safe around these people. These people make me feel like I have value and talent.

I haven't just learned a few things about performance, I've learned about a billion things. There are things that are probably more subconscious than others, but overall I've been stretched in every direction. At first it was really scary to put myself out there, but I'm getting more fearless as time goes on. Not reckless or totally without fear, I'm just able to say "We're going to do this and it's going to be okay." I've learned to laugh off my mistakes and just roll wherever the scenes go.

I've had so many mentors in my teachers from BAPA as well at the veteran Street Cast members. Even members of other casts have been teachers to me. Above and beyond I've learned that I really do need to take care of myself. I'm so used to taking care of others and pushing myself until I drop. I've come to realize that I do need to start taking care of myself since I am such an active person. I am always going to be an active person, it's just apart of who I am. 

Even more so, I came into this summer uncertain of myself. I don't know where I stand on a lot of grounds. There are a few things that I will not waver on, but almost everything else is still being written. It is because of my time at Faire that I am re-evaluating what I want to do with my life. I didn't know that I had just a passion for history and performance beyond the realm of dance. It's difficult because this means I need to take a new look at what I want to do, but there are more options than there were before. Although I'm still learning my own opinions and figuring out what I think about things, I'm more confidant in what I do know about myself.

Anne has gone through an evolution from the time I created her to who she is today. She started out as this slightly softer spoken, very respectful, extremely wary, shy young woman. As of last weekend she is an out spoken, questioning, precocious, still a little wary, daring young woman. Before the gates opened Anne would never have openly said to the Captain that something was his fault. This Sunday she boldly contradicted the Captain and blamed him for several things (one of which being a wound she sustained from a bar fight). She still has respect for her betters, but she's willing to take a risk.
I like her and admire this sixteen year old girl I portray. I like the moments when I say something that Anne would say, or when Anne says something that I would say. I like seeing how the characters of Bristol reflect something of the people who play them and vice versa.

I went into Bristol not knowing what I'd find. I found home.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Shirt

Here is the last post to Anne's Clothes. To give everyone a fair warning, this post is a little bit longer than the others. While most of the others only took up half a page or less in my Microsoft Word document, this one was a little over one page. This post is also a bit more serious than the others. Instead of Anne's usual wit and sass (at least I hope I wrote her that way), this has a more bittersweet tone.

The Shirt
Anne scanned the horizon from the top of the crow’s nest. The wind whipped her shirt around her slight frame. The crow’s nest was the only place Anne felt any sense of real privacy. Growing up in London, privacy wasn’t as common as one might like and on a bark like the Gabriel, privacy didn’t even exist.
The crew of the Gabriel had grown used to Anne, or Andrew. They all treated her like a little brother, and Anne insisted on not being given any slack. A few times members of the crew had offered to help her out, but she was determined to do her share and prove her place. She needed somewhere to belong. 
Normally sitting up in the crow’s nest gave Anne a sense of freedom. Today the open space seemed to press in around her. She tugged at the ties on her shirt. The memory of Fanny’s words rose in her mind, when her mother told her that money was tighter than usual. Anne had known what Fanny’s next words would be, though she didn't want to hear them. 
“I didn’t want this for you.” Fanny said with tears in her eyes. “I had to go into this business to help my family. I never wanted this for you, I can’t see any other way to keep us going. I’m not as pretty as I was.” Anne had joked with her mother about men for years, but Anne had never expected to join her mother’s trade.
A quiet childhood longing started to form into a plan. “I could go find my father.” Anne said quietly, glancing at her mother. “I could dress as a boy and find him. I know which men to look for.”
Fanny knitted her brows. “Anne, anyone would be able to tell you’re a girl, even if you did wear boys clothes.”
“I’ve grown up watching men come and go.” Anne shrugged. “How hard can it be to act like one?” Anne had vowed years ago to not become like her mother, for all that she was a good woman, but Anne couldn’t bear to tell that to Fanny.

Keeping up with the men had been harder that Anne had originally thought. She didn’t realize until she was already signed on that she had no plans other than going to sea and voyaging with a captain who might be her father. She didn’t know what would happen if she got caught, who might bail her out of jail for cross dressing, where she would go after she was done at sea. It was unlikely that the Captains would provide anything for an illegitimate daughter. 
The signal for the change in the watch came. It was time to clamber down from her safe spot. Frobisher was just a speck on deck, but Anne could tell he was looking for something. She wondered what he had misplaced this time. Men…
 That night as she lay in bed Anne allowed rare tears to slip out. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve and fingered the material of her shirt. It was the only thing she had brought from home of her old clothing. Some children clung to a poppet while they fell asleep. Anne fell asleep holding tight to a corner of her shirt and humming a song she’d heard some of the men singing earlier that day.

"Cold is the Arctic Sea,
Far are your arms from me.
Long will this winter be
Frozen in Frobisher Bay,
Frozen in Frobisher Bay."


There you have it. The story behind all of Anne's clothing. I actually debated whether to use Sailor's Prayer or Frobisher Bay as the ending lyrics, but the later seemed appropriate considering who Anne works for. 

Thank you to all of the character who I borrowed for my stories (and probably shall borrow again). To Everonword, thank you for doing quick edits on my stories so that they flow. Thank you, whoever you are, for reading my rubbish. I hope you've enjoyed these snippets.

Next week, if I am not too busy, I hope to write the event in which the crew finds out that Anne is a girl. Until then, I shall get packing for another wonderful weekend with the best people on earth!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Red Ribbon, Earring, and Shell Necklace.

The Red Ribbon, Earring, and Shell Necklace.
“What have you got there Andrew?” John piped up from across the galley. Anne tried to stash the earing she’d been gazing at, but Captain Frobisher’s hand caught her wrist before she could hide the bauble.
“Ah-ha!” Captain Frobisher laughed, “I knew you had a girl somewhere, Andrew!”
Anne’s brain raced, “It’s nothing sir.” She tried to twist her arm away but Captain Frobisher plucked the earing out of her hand and held it up to the lamplight.
“This is quite the pretty piece. Who’d it belong to?” While the rest of the crew knew of Anne’s disguise, the captain was still blind and Anne preferred to keep it that way.  Whether through brotherly friendship or bullying she had gotten the crew on her side, but she hardly knew how Frobisher would react to finding out that his ship’s boy and protégé was a lass. 
“A girl back home. We’re promised to each other.” Anne supplied quickly, hoping that it would shut the captain up. The Captain handed the earing back to her. “I don’t think she’ll wait around long, might even be married by the time we get back, she is a few years older than me.” Anne heard a few of the men snicker and she gave them a vicious glare, which only made them chuckle more.
“An older woman?” The Captain roared with laughter.  “You’ll learn Andrew,” Captain Frobisher swung an arm around Anne’s shoulders, “women are as changeable as the tides and plentiful as the fish in the sea. We’ll just find you another one, won’t we men?” The crew gave a resounding assortment of cheers and laughter.
“Sir, I’m only sixteen! I went to sea to get away from women!” Anne protested, only making her situation worse. “I appreciate the offer captain, but-“
Frobisher waved Anne’s pleas away with a punch to her shoulder, “No buts Andrew! When we dock in Bristol the first order of business is to find you a buxom lass to have some fun with.”
“As you wish Captain.” Anne rolled her eyes and ducked out from the galley and scurried away to her hammock. It seemed funny to her how she’d grown up around men all her life, and yet she had barely known anything about men until she had signed on with a crew of them. Once there she pulled out the earing again and looked over the small metal hoop with the glass bead embedded inside. It had been one of her mother’s things, a mismatched earing that Anne had played with since she’d been young. It had been a bracelet until Anne’s wrist had grown too large for the opening. It was the only thing she carried of her mother.
Anne’s hand found the shell that hung from a string around her neck and she gave the good luck charm a small squeeze. Once again she’d just barely escaped another awkward situation with the Captain and crew. Captain Frobisher was mostly bluff and blunder anyway.
“You all right lass?” John’s head peeked over the edge of Anne’s hammock and she nodded. “Whose earring is it?”
“Mine. Same as the ribbon.” Anne stashed the earing and rolled out of her hammock. “Does the captain need me?”
“We’ve got watch now, c’mon.” John patted Anne on the shoulder and the two of them headed up to scan the horizon. 

Look for the last installment of "Anne's Clothes" tomorrow- The Shirt. Hope you have enjoyed reading these little stories, if you've missed any just look for the tag "Anne's Clothes" to find the rest of them! 

The Knife and The Belay Pin, the Pouch, and the Journal and Pencil

Today's first post reviews how Anne got a hold of that knife you see her wearing. Look for the post later tonight (I think around 9pm) about various little trinkets that Anne carries. These two posts are pretty short so I thought that they'd make a good single post length.

The Knife
            “You’ve got a knife, lad?” The boatswain, John, asked. Anne’s hand went to her belt and nodded, feeling the wooden handle in her palm. “Let’s see you use it then." Anne drew her blade and sawed away at the rope John had told her to cut.  “Where’d you get it?”
“Someone threw it into a wall.” Anne summarized as she drew her arm back and forth. It wasn’t a lie, the knife had been thrown, probably by a drunk thug, and had stuck in the wall of the inn she stayed at the night before. When no one came running after it, Anne pulled it out of the framework and made it her own. “Will it do?”
“It’ll do quite well, I think.” John caught the two pieces of rope and Anne stashed the knife back in her belt. The boatswain noted the ribbon that the cabin lad secured his new weapon with. “Got a girl back home, then?”
“What?” Anne looked at the boatswain with alarmed eyes and looked back at her knife. “Oh…erm…aye.” She lied, hoping that no one would question her too much about the few baubles she carried.

The Belay Pin, the Pouch, and the Journal and Pencil
Captain Frobisher’s papers were a mess. How the man had managed to keep the ship running with everything out of order, Anne couldn't fathom. She spent a good hour just putting everything in order and another two hours deciphering the captain’s haphazard scrawl and spelling. Everything needed to be re-logged into the leather bound journal she had found at the bottom of the writing desk. Captain Frobisher, while an accomplished sailor to say the least, was absolute rubbish when it came to keeping track in documentation.
A severe hand cramp caused Anne to put a pause in her copy work. She folded the page she had stopped writing at. Carefully she slid the journal and pencil into the pouch Stretch the sail maker had helped her to sew out of some old clothes. It wasn't as if Anne didn't already know how to sew, but if she was going to try and act like a boy she wanted to at least seem ignorant of sewing. 
The sound of the boatswain’s whistle “all hands on deck” resounded round the ship and sent Anne running out of the captain’s room. Before Anne knew it the crew where all rushing at her and she leap up among the rigging, not stopping her climb until she reached the crow's nest. She didn't come down until the men promised not to haze her any more and went back about their work.
No one noticed that during the next week they were short one belaying pin, or if anyone did notice the appearance of the new item on “Andrew’s” belt, none of the sailors said anything. Even if she did have a knife, Anne felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

Come back around 9pm!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Boots

The Boots
             Captain Hawkyns pulled a pair of boots out of a trunk and held them out to Anne. “Try these on…lad.” He shook the boots a little when Anne hesitated and she slowly took the shoes from the captain. “Now tell me,” Captain Hawkyns eyed Anne with a curious gaze, “Where do you come from Anne Drew?”
“London.” Anne answered, pulling the leather over her feet. “Nearby Fleet Street.” She looked up to gage the Captain’s reaction. While Hawkyns didn’t give too much pause, his eyes flickered and Anne took a chance, “My mother’s name is Frances Drew, most people know her as Fanny.”
“Dear God.” Anne heard Captain Hawkyns mutter under his breath before he managed a quick recovery, “How old are you lass?”
“Sixteen. Seventeen in September.” Anne could see Hawkyns counting in his mind, she held her breath and waited. Hawkyns looked at Anne with a mix of awe, confusion, and suspicion. Anne had to admit there was not much of a resemblance between the two of them, maybe the eyes or the structure of their noses. “How’d you know I was a girl?”
“You’d have to be blind not to see it, lass.” Hawkyns shook his head, “However, you’d do well to sign onto Frobisher’s crew, I could even help you to keep him blind, not that he isn't already.”
“Why would you do that?” Anne blurted.
Hawkyns gave Anne a smile. “I take care of my men, Anne Drew. Especially the ones who are like unto family to me. How do those boots fit?”
Anne grinned ruefully, she might be able to get something out of being a captain’s daughter after all. At least she’d get a lot more help out of Hawkyns. Maybe letting “Bob” tell Hawkyns about her secret wasn’t such a bad thing after all.  

Tomorrow brings the stories of Anne's knife and jewelry.  Hope anyone who reads these little stories is enjoying them!

The Hat

Tonight's installment features the lovely Robertina, also known as Bob (yes like Blackadder)! I'm so glad I have a real Bob to interact with on the weekends. Every time I see her it makes my day a little happier because of all the havoc we bring to the captains, and the mirth we give to the patrons. 

The Hat
Robertina handed Anne a hat. “Don’t ask where I got it, all right?” Anne inspected the oddly shaped cap. It almost looked like a question mark and flopped oddly when Anne shoved it onto her head.
“Will it be missed?” Anne adjusted the fabric and pulled the tasseled end over her shoulder. It was almost endearing in a completely mad sort of way.
“Only by the dead.” Robertina gave Anne a smile that said that more than the dead would be missing this hat. It wasn’t exactly the sort of thing you saw everyday.
“Bob in public, please.” Robertina shooed Anne up the stairs of the inn and into a room. “Can’t have the mates thinking I’m a girl, now can we?”
“How long have you kept it up?” Anne plopped into a chair, her feet were killing her in their new boots.
Robertina smirked. “From the crew or captain?” She laughed at Anne’s flabbergasted expression. “None but Hawkyns knows my true identity. He’s a good captain.” Anne noted the shine in Robertina’s eyes and wondered what exactly was so fascinating about sailors that made women constantly fall in love with them. Robertina couldn't have been more than a few years older than Anne.
“He might be my father.” Anne blurted. Robertina’s eyebrows raised most the way up her forehead.
“Do tell.” She crossed her legs and propped her head in her hands. “I want to hear everything.”   

The story of the Boots will be up sometime around 9pm methinks, mayhap a bit earlier.