I was going to sit this season out. Just let it slide by and focus on other things. Then I was gifted with a ticket, so i put on my armor and went to the final weekend of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Former home of Hannibal the Liar.
It was odd, being on the other side of the stage, playing the part of a patron. Old cast-mates greeted me with love and hugs, and I was immediately welcome. I saw shows i never got to see as a performer, I saw the first joust I’ve seen in over 3 years. I saw love and joy being dealt right out on the street. I watched a brand-new game get created. I danced a little. I rocked out with the Craic! I turned my face up to the surprisingly warm November sunshine. I was home, even though I wasn’t performing. (That’s kinda alien to me. They loved me without anything other than simple love in return. They just … loved Me. For Me.)
So I’m learning. Perhaps i do have some value. A good friend slightly drunkenly told me how much I meant to her life, her daughter’s life … another told me of how her father, who lives in basic solitude, had heard of me somewhere.
I went to dinner with the Angels, laughed and dished and ate … then came home to continue work on the ‘new thing’. I feel loved. I feel confident. It’s a really good day.
Off topic, but important: The new book is now available on Amazon, both in Paperback and on Kindle.
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.