This week is a real opportunity for me.
I signed on to work this season at the Carolina Renaissance Festival as a stage performer. In years past, I’ve been a patron, observer, freelance street performer and supporter of this unique fair … but this year, I’m finally putting on the suit and stepping onstage as “Hannibal the Liar”. It’s a lot of fun, and I get to cut loose a bit.
This week is ‘student week’ at CRF: nearly 30,000 school aged children will be visiting the fair grounds over three days. So far, they have proven to be quick, unabashed and curious. If you know me at all, you know I don’t normally work for kids. Family groups, sure, but an audience of children? Never. Yet here I am …
At first I was nervous and a bit put out of sorts. How could I possibly do my job and enjoy it in front of a ‘hostile’ audience? These kids were going to challenge me and (loudly) point out the flaws in my abilities! Guess what? THEY DID! When I stepped on stage yesterday a kid in the front row spoke up to tell me I was a fake and a fraud and that magic isn’t real … before I even got started. It made me pause. I had to thank him: his declaration woke me up to why I am really doing this.
The kids in our world live in a fairly harsh reality. With the internet and current state of TV there isn’t much of a buffer between them and the cold, hard world. They are forced to grow up far too fast in many cases. The sense of play, fantasy and creativity often goes no farther than the PS2 console or iPhone screen. I have been gifted with 12 short shows over three days. With these shows it is my duty to bring some fun … some whimsy … some MAGIC into their world. I get to show them a bit of my world, promote a little fun and laughter.
I am thankful for this challenge. I hope I can serve them well.