Once upon a time, there was a Renaissance Faire.
It was a truly fantastic place, full of laughter and song, jousts and mythic beasts, British accents galore and – perhaps best of all, in the mind of one infatuated young lady – Robin Hood. Of course, for all his charm and total day— nay, summer— no, LIFE-making qualities (he kissed the infatuated young lady’s hand!!! *swoons*), he wasn’t the real Robin Hood. While the young lady’s mind was happy enough to entertain delusions to the contrary (which would serve as the premise for her first NaNoWriMo novel), this “Robin Hood” was in truth no more than a regular man who happened to portray a legend.
Still, there was something to be said in the coolness department for being even a non-legendary part of this Renaissance Faire, and this young lady that you’ve been hearing about harbored a deep desire for just such a position. She kept her eye on the Faire’s website and Facebook page, hoping for information on how to go from mere patron to cast member. When she saw that the Faire would be holding open “trial performances, as by an actor, dancer, or musician, to demonstrate suitability or skill”, she panicked, fretted, and cowered, even as she hit “send” on the email scheduling the first step to her fantasy.
And that young lady… *solemn nods* …was me.
So, fast forward to Audition Day. The internal panicking, fretting, and cowering had yet to abate, but I’m used to dealing with that. (In this respect, several years of piano recitals/competitions have served me well.) I arrived at the venue in good time (phew! – one less worry in the mix), signed in, and joined the moderate crowd milling in the waiting room. I did not smile foolishly when “Robin Hood” came in to give everyone a pep talk; looked pleasantly interested and squealed on the inside, yes, but there were no foolish smiles to be seen.
As auditionee number 53, I had a few hours to wait. At first I stood around being nervous by myself, then I gradually ended up hanging out with a woman who found me hilarious and a pair of guys with a recorder and ukulele whom I found hilarious; and between watching a mock duel (with the aforementioned guys’ instruments standing in for swords), joining an impromptu, ukulele-led, all-room sing-along (which had to be shushed, because apparently it was overpowering the actual audition happening in the next room), and wishing I had a harp like the lady sitting over yonder, I occasionally forgot just how nervous I was.
At last, my number was up, and in I went to perform my prepared monologue (written by me), sing a song (also written by… well, Gant-o’-the-Lute), and improvise a quick scenario in which people I thought were on vacation walk in on me cleaning their house. Yes, I was still a mess of nerves. Yes, “Robin Hood” was sitting right there the whole time. But I think I did well.
Directly after my individual audition, nine others and I were called in for some quick group exercises, just to see how we could handle being told we’re suddenly parts of an exploding machine, or transitioning through different gravity zones, or to debate why dogs are evil and mountains taste great. I think I did okay then, too, but things had gotten so surreal, by then, it’s hard for my brain to hold onto any sensible memory.
Next thing I knew, it was all over, and I was heading home to do the same thing I’m doing now: Squirming with anticipation as to what this daring adventure may bring.
Further details to follow approximately one week hence…