I've been running on adrenaline all day, I've scarcely thought of food and didn't even notice the heat, and for those of you who know me, you'll know that those are two things I focus on profusely in my life. THAT is exactly the level of bouncing-off-the-walls excitement I've been containing all day. From 10am to 5pm I socialized and started getting to know some seriously wonderful people, and I can't wait to get to know everyone better!
It was the strangest feeling being on the grounds today. We rehearsed in the mostly-empty Fairegrounds, a Tudor ghost town, absolutely stunning. I was completely speechless at how remarkable it was to see a place I've been in love with for as long as I can remember so quiet and so accessible. I remember being young and joking around with my brothers that it would be fantastic to play hide and seek and to run around while the grounds were closed. And guess what? We did that today. It was so magical, so surreal, and every moment that went by I knew that this was the environment I belonged in.
These are my people, I knew since the second I walked in and instantly made friends for my Hobbit t-shirt! I've never felt such a strong connection to a group of people in my life, and its the same feeling that kept me coming back to the Faire year after year -- and now I'm a part of it, hopefully for years to come.
And the most amazing part of it was that our directors actually know it, too. That's what keeps them coming back year after year. And I can't say enough how thankful I am to have such beautiful people on this planet, in our own world at the Faire, who can make it the experience that patrons and actors alike feel so at home, so readily able to "choose JOY!", and the world is such a bigger, brighter place for their creativity and kindness. I can't tell you how many times today I heard "have fun!" and "trust each other!" And you know what? There's no where in the world I trust people more than that rag-tag bunch of rogues and wenches that I now get to call family.
The Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire officially became my home today, and I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am going to work my butt off to learn this dialect and memorize this history, and give every patron I come in contact with this fall the time of their lives. I want other lost little girls and awkward young children to find a place they feel utterly comfortable and at home, regardless of what people outside our Shire gates think of them or make them feel. Because that was enough for me when I was their age, and who knows? If I do something right, maybe they'll be joining me as the newbies when I'm a seasoned Blackfryar myself, in a decade or two! This place is truly magical, and I am absolutely electrified at the thought of all the fun that is ahead!
Now, for the big reveal: I would like to introduce my character this season! Faith Flagstone, the street sweeper's daughter! Level-headed Faith tries to keep expenses in line while her aloof father and boisterous mother do their best in their own, well-meaning ways to clean up the streets of the Shire! Of course the French are in town, so this may be a job for more than my family can keep up with!
Our director compared our training to "an AP course", so I am very excited for this enriching experience! I'll be truly "Henrycian" in no time (Elizabethan is not appropriate, as we are now in her father, King Henry VIII's early rule.) There will be a lot of changes around the Shire of Mount Hope this year, and I could not be more ecstatic to be a part of it! It is truly magnificent how fate aligns life so perfectly: I seemed to have joined that cast at the most opportune moment! I'm literally and figuratively a part of history, and I couldn't be more thrilled!