Dallas Observer reporter, Andrea Grimes, got a taste of performing out at Scarborough Renaissance Festival in the Mythical Monster Museum. While comments on her article “Becoming a Renaissance Faire Lady” have not been kind, the article contained enough tidbits that it kept me interested.
…the mythical monster hunters played by artists-actors-designers-craftsmen-and-special-effects-gurus Daniel Carro and Allen Hopps. As Sir Daniel Raptus and Magnus Krane, respectively, the men spend eight weekends a year slaying monsters and educating the public on the potential dangers of fairies, ogres and vampires.
Their jobs combine live theater, improvisational comedy and on-the-spot family counseling as they wander the festival giving impromptu lectures, executing slapstick bits and making the occasional child cry for no apparent reason … I wanted to possess the power held by Raptus and Krane: the ability to entice both the cynical and the credulous into moments of pure belief in their realm of monsters and ghosts.
Andrea went to Scarborough last year, “a place [she] was sure would be full of easy targets for a surly journalist looking for a story.” Based on this year’s article, I’d guess she found some of that, but she also ended up somewhere I don’t think she expected.
A year and several hours-long phone conversations on the art of character-building later, I stood in the attic of Nocturne Keep, holding still while Raptus and Krane tossed axes, mallets and belts my way, fastening me up with several pounds of monster-hunting accoutrements and placing a black beret on my head. Costume in place, I was ready to transform. But into whom? [...] Turns out, Whiskey Grimes is not a badass, but a presumptuous know-it-all and fraidy-cat eager for approval. Sounds suspiciously like someone I know. But with no rehearsal and only a vague idea of who the monster hunter inside me would be, Whiskey Grimes’ entire character burst forth in a 10-second bit that defied months of planning. So goes the unpredictable life of a monster hunter.
And so goes the life of more than a few of those I’ve met at Faire. Unless the performer is portraying a historic figure, a “persona” often just seems to burst forth, fully formed and eager to join the fray. For me, at least, it is a time to allow creativity free rein in playing with thoughts and actions that I might suppress in “real life”. No matter how hard I try, though, there are inherent parts of me that refuse suppression; they just incorporate in.
Carro and Hopps sound like the kind of people I’d like to interview for FaireNews, don’t be surprised if you see something turn up. Andrea “Whiskey” Grimes? I’m not sure. It would depend on how deep that cynicism really runs.
You can read Andrea’s full article at the Dallas Observer, “Becoming a Renaissance Faire Lady”Tweet This