How to Work Faire
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How to Work Faire
Working faire is not particularly difficult so long as you are able to
deal with really odd people in very unique situations, pretend that
you are someone else, wear silly clothes, and talk in a silly accent.
Seriously though, you do need your own clothing, and you do need to be
able to interact with people, and you do need to be able to dedicate over
a months worth of weekends. If that all seems okay and you think you know
what you're getting into then read on.
What Sorts of Jobs Are There?
Within the Renaissance Pleasure Faire there are three groups with which
you could work.
Concessions is where you work for one of the places that sell things.
This could be a gaming booth, a jewelry shop, a clothing shop, and the like.
This also includes food booth excluding the ale stands which are run by the
faire as a seperate entity.
Performing Arts covers a few different things. As a member of PAD
you could be in a Guild, one of many groups who hold parades and do
more interactive acting. You could be a dancer or an actor. Finally, you
could become a performer (such as a musician, magician, or the like),
who works as a solo entertainer.
Where Do I Start?
There are really two ways to become a Faire worker. You either have a
friend introduce you to the person you need to speak with during Faire,
or you attend the pre-Faire orientation meetings. These meetings start
about a month before each run of faire. For guilds this is manditory,
booths are allowed to slip a bit. The pre-Faire orientations are the
best way to join Faire.
Find out when the orientation is happening by calling LHC. They often have
one day set aside for concessions only workshops. This means a day
of workshops geared towards concession workers. The specific requirements
for concessions and PAD are very different and are addressed later in this
At the first morning of workshops, there is a general orientation at which
you are given a presentation of what Faire is about and which Guilds exist,
and generally whats expected of you if you're working at Faire. Then you are
turned loose to try and find a job. The guilds take signups and then
generally audition people. Booths are run at the booth owners discretion.
There is generally a job board at the information booth at the Center
of the World with notices of booths seeking workers.
Once you're signed up with someone, you take a series of workshops. The
booths require 3 classes, and the Guilds require something like 9.
Classes are given 3 per day on weekends. Guilds require more
classes because in theory guild members have more interaction
with the public and thus require more training.
Some Workshops are required, and the remainder are electives. Some guilds may
require additional classes. The required classes for concessions include:
There are many elective classes, some of which require you having other
classes as prerequisites. Here is a short sample of other classes:
- Meet and Greet (and how to harass people on the Street)
- Songs of the Times
- House and Hearth
- Beginning Acting
- Improv for Street and Stage
Once you're in deep enough that you're taking classes, you are going to
need your own costume.
The sort of clothing you wear is determined by your position in
society and your ethnicity. If you are trying to work
for a middle class Guild, then you need middle class clothing. If you're
trying to work Court, then you'll need special servant clothing. And if
you like to drink a lot and roll about in the dirt, then you'll need peasant
clothing. The costuming class talks a lot about whats needed and the
guild you join will also know what they want you to wear. See Guilds for
more information. See Costuming for much more information.
Concessions is easy to explain. A booth owner runs some sort of booth
selling some sort of service or item. These include games of skill and
chance, all merchants, all food vendors, and ale stand workers. Some
booth owners pay their employees, others provide food, others work on
commission; there are few standards. To join a booth you contact the
booth owner (you may need to speak with someone else to work for an ale
stand as I think those are centralized). The hours you work depend on
the booth; what you do depends on the booth.
There are many different Guilds.
Guilds typically are associated with an
ethnicity (the scots, or the irish), an english social class (Court,
middle class, peasants), or some special function (parades, the dance macabre,
the washer women, etc). If you're trying to join a guild, then you would
sign up at the guild's enrollment at orientation, or (if you're feeling
particularly confident) talk to someone in the guild. You can get some idea
of what the guild is about from their orientation presentation, but its
always best to chat with someone in the guild about what they do to see if
you'd fit in. For instance, you wouldn't want to sign up for the Irish guild
if you had no intention of being Irish!
Booth workers can generally get away with a generic peasant outfit; guilds
are much more strict about dress. As a member of a Clan or a Household,
you have to fit in with the others, so be prepared to make (or have made)
specific clothing for your position.
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