Thursday, August 25, 2011

How to work the renaissance festival, pt 2

There are about a million and a half shops at the ren faire, and they all have stuff for sale. If you've never worked faire before, you don't want to rent one of those booths. You want to work for one.

Two years ago I answered an ad on Craigslist, and got myself hired by a jewelry booth. We all got on great, and they've wanted me back every year. Let me say I was really lucky to get hired by a reputable company. The pay is ok and always on time. Some will try to pay you in goods.... it's nice if you like what they sell, but it's unprofessional, illegal, and should be a big warning sign that this may go badly. What OTHER unusual demands might they have? What safety precautions might they ignore? So check the local Craigslist the month before a faire, but screen the posts VERY carefully.

If you are a fan of a particular company or companies, email them in the weeks before a faire. Tell them what a fan you are and that you'd like to work for them. This targeted approach works well because people are flattered that you are already familiar with and like their goods. If they have the people they need, they'll tell you so. But they might also add that so-and-so could use someone.

Go to the renfaire's website in the month before the faire. Run down the list of links, and check out the sellers website. If they need a person for a particular faire, it may be mentioned there. Again, email or call.

Lastly, you can go on the opening day of the faire and ask around to see if they need anyone. Go in GARB. Go EARLY. Hit the booths before the noon rush comes. If you look well-dressed and reliable your chances may be pretty good. After all, they will be needing someone pretty badly at this point.

Hopefully this will help some of you achieve your dream ren faire job. It will never make you rich, but every day brings something new and unexpected. Good luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to work the renaissance festival

I've been neglecting my blog for the last couple weeks. Trying to cram too much in the day, because I'm coming up on the busiest time of my year. Not Christmas, but the Ohio Renaissance Festival. It runs Labor Day weekend through most of October, and it is the most fun I've ever been paid to have. My 9-5 won't let me off the hook, so the next 2 months are going to be a crazy 7 day workweek. This will be my third year. Let me share with you how you can enjoy it too. This is tailored to O-Ren, but may be similar to other faires.

At the beginning of summer, the owner holds auditions. They cast the queen, court, and a number of street characters. Peasants. Your chances of being queen.....not good. They put the peasants through some training in Elizabethan accent, and turn them loose to entertain the patrons. This could be fun, except for the pay. It's per diem, which means per day, not per hour. The amount might cover your gas and maybe a meal at McDonalds. I have never done this.

There are the people who work the food and drink booths, and the ones on trash detail. The ones picking up trash wear tabards over boy scout uniforms. I gather that the faire owner gives a generous donation to their troop in return for their help. The food & drink servers are a mix of volunteers and minimum wage workers. If you have worked fast food, you've a good chance of being hired. They are cut loose pretty quickly if attendance is poor or the weather is bad- good if you want to wander the faire, bad if you're there to make money. In any case, it gets you an employee pass and a little money. Email the faire if you want to learn more about that.

There's one more way I know of for the average person to work faire. It's what I do, and I'll cover it in my next post.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Santa demystified

Have you ever wondered how Santa gets down chimneys? Why he never seems to age? Why he only delivers presents at NIGHT?

Allow me to introduce you..... the cutest vampire Santa ever.

He's not quite done....eyelashes, gilding on the buttons... but I just wanted to share. I'm half-tempted to make him a matching Mrs Claus with a halloween hairdo, but I don't think the hair will fit in the coffin...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More haunted Halloween decor!

I picked this up with the idea of turning it into a sugarskull or a masquerade mask. But then I realized the weirdest thing I could do is make an ordinary fridge magnet. To hold grocery lists, keys, honey-dos, ultimatums....With an undertone of "This better get done before I do you like I did Bambi!"

Most people are going to look at this and think country western, but to me it just screams DARK ARTS!!! Harry Potter, Severus Snape, you know. It makes my whole kitchen spookier and I love it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My shop is now thoroughly haunted:

In other news, the internet is pretty sluggish this morning. Will update more when it's feeling less contrary.