Cassiel C. MacAvity

      September, 1995

      General notes: Beginning about 1993 or so, Steve Morales was given the position of Guildmaster of the Guild, or actors group, of St. Dymphna, the Seadogs, following the move elsewhere of the Seadog's final GM.

      Scots at northern faire are in the guild of St. Bridgid, a different guild from Dymphna, both of which depend upon and exist only within the framework of REC, which is explained below.

      The Pattersons are the family that started the Northern and Southern RenFaires.

      A Prog, or progress, is a parade, Queen's prog, being the queen's parade.

      The following is email sent to a fellow ex Dog, and retiree from faire, in September of 1995.

      All has been exponentially entirely too interesting in the last year and a half, but I seem to still be alive.

      For the I are well stuff, I'm playing with some fascinating ideas in programming theory. In parallel, I am doing an exotic variety of assorted training---a pagan priest announced a while back that I seemed to be on some sort of priest track. We shall see how it goes, but it's nothing I've ever done before. Other than that, work for the paying of bills continues, I have a new Fully detailed internet account and will be doing things with it, and overall am getting a lot of interesting thinking done.

      On the other hand . . . . .

      Things, too, have become necessary for me, and the circumstances and choices I'm seeing made around me are truly saddening.


      Saturday of the second weekend of Northern Faire workshops, Steve Morales asked me to step aside and announced; "I've been watching how you've been doing for the last two years, and I really like you, and I don't want you to take this the wrong way, because you play a Scot, dress Scot, and have friends in Scots, I think you should leave the seadogs and join the Scots."

      I asked what I had done wrong, why this was the first mention of anything of the sort, instead of anytime in those two years, why that weekend and not at registration, or at the end of the previous year, and could I have a probation year?

      His answer was that I had "not been doing enough", and at a later date, that I had "not been pulling my weight," and that was all the explanation he felt he needed to give. I was to leave immediately, and he would rather I be a member of Scots and see about hanging out with the dogs than even to get a probation period.


      A beginning . . . .

      A couple of years ago, the Pattersons were bought out by Renaissance Entertainment Corporation, REC, and REC and LHC jointly formed RPFI, which is what now runs faire. This is the year that the REC changes have kicked in.

      I and several others came onto fairesite and without seeing something, hearing something, Knew that something was very, very wrong. A short list of events include;

      a couple of years ago, someone in Scots broke a sword twice during the run of faire. Opening Sunday this year, four weapons were broken. I know someone who's been climbing cardiac hill for years. Saturday of opening, he twisted an ankle.

      One of the dogs had his paperwork lost so many times this year he had to get smuggled in through education. Another has reported that dog rehearsals Sucked; the songset may have been rehearsed only twice during all of workshops, the normally top rate seadog pageant wound up a disaster. I've been hearing of major seadog politics of some sort this year, and I never before noticed Any dog politics.

      A friend who's been in Nobles for a good 12 or so years tells me that she has been aware of the dogs before, but this year they suddenly have the Worst possible street skills and timing, and keep having to be cleared from a road at the wrong time. Queen's prog is having constant problems getting enough bodies, and almost can't get through the serpentine that's been redesigned for more booths, including a huge store the faire people are calling RenMart, with an interior that looks like it came straight from Disneyland.

      A friend who's been in Friends of Faire since '79 tells of a new "Friends of Living History Privy Council" which must discuss and approve everything before anythng can get done, and who's members are grizzled veterans of sometimes as much as three years of faire. They talk too much to bother working, and prefaire at FOF was a near disaster. He also reports that the dogs have been absolutely anemic as hell, and that the warm-up that takes up most of the street just doesn't seem to be really happening this year.

      And this all kicked in this year . . . . .

      And . . .

      In the middle . . .

      Last March, I began the exotic training, and I have no idea where it will lead, except that I must do it, and it must be done now and for a while. One of the major pitfalls is apparent outside distractions, a prime example being not so much being a part of faire, but doing faire with a sudden blast of politics and someone stalking me for a second year running. The causes of these distractions can be generated by myself, in some cases, or deliberately projected by a number of people who really don't want me to study, in other cases, or both---and all three have been postulated by my teachers.

      And . . .

      The end . . . .

      The education department's de facto babysitting service is a place called "Mistress Miranda's village school". Included in this year's staff is a woman named Amy who is now doing only her second year at faire, and she is in charge, having schmoozed Linda Underhill when her husband was a pup, two years ago, during which she only visited faire.

      Her husband, Matthew, is currently doing his third year at faire, as pup, now dog, is very funny, very talented, a very good singer, and absolutely devoted to Amy.

      Amy's choice of second in command this year is Christina Barnes, better known as The Rapist, an ex of mine who also is doing only her second year, after doing one preliminary year with my small faire Scots guild, but not really enjoying faire or fitting in. And she hates children. The best guess available is that she wanted to do Northern faire last year to stalk me and a friend of mine named Emily, and when Amy offered her free admission and camping, of course she said yes.

      The Rapist and I met Emily in the Scots group. Emily and I became close friends because of the same backgrounds of absolute shit. However, my ex insists on absolute attention, and, therefore, hated Emily's guts, but when I pointed out that I don't treat friends like shit, she suddenly announced that she was Emily's good friend.

      Last November, after the faire season, after my ex could get Emily away from her friends, who knew her and truly cared for her, Emily wasn't seen by too many people. At the end of November, she turned up with an absolutely inverted personality. Where she had been outgoing, she is now quiet, and withdrawn. Where she had been cheerful, she is now seems to be thoroughly fried. Where she had been absolutely friendly, and talking to and seeing everyone, she is now tethered to The Rapist, or The Rapist's equally dominated sister. And this year at faire, The Rapist drafted her into Miranda's and away from her friends in middle class, and has been announcing that the two of them are engaged.

      This last season, my ex didn't attend any of the Scots events, while visiting only one with blatantly zombie Emily, although she demanded three gatelist spaces all season. Amy told me in mid summer that a few months earlier Emily had announced "The Rapist hasn't made it to Scots events because I haven't been allowed out of the house." The Rapist is the driver, not the passenger, Emily made it to a entire year of faire and other events with no difficulties whatsoever---until her "sudden change of personality", after which her friends just didn't see her anymore---and Amy swallowed that without blinking and wanted The Rapist back at Miranda's.

      One week before registration, Amy suddenly announced to me "I really like you and I don't want you to take this the wrong way, and there were mysterious complaints last year from someone other than The Rapist and Emily, and you should stay away from Miranda's this year." And I couldn't recognize Any of the people she claimed had complained.

      When everyone heard of my being tossed from dogs, everyone, dogs, and not, was shocked and bewildered. There had been No expectations of any sort. A week later, Amy began to announce that even if she had no say in dogs, she had been expecting this all along, and that in the intervening year she and I had discussed how badly I had been doing in dogs. A couple of weeks ago, the number of claimed conversations was up to three. In parallel, a week or so after my getting tossed, as the shock waves were still bouncing around, Steve then told someone what he didn't seem to be able to tell me, that I just hadn't been doing enough gigs.


      Me . . . in the end part of the above, I was told to leave dogs. Outside of dogs, on my own, I really saw, close up, the beginning part of the above, all that was irrevocably not of the faire I know and have been a part of.



      At the end of opening weekend, I retired from northern faire.



      I don't think I'll be back, there is nothing there for me. If Steve had made a better choice, I would have retired closing weekend instead, but I got to have some open weekends as an alternative.

      If nothing else, while The Rapist's fuckups at faire, her efective murder of my friend, and her insistence upon being the absolute center of all, have served as a distracting firefly, as a firefly she does make a great delineator between what is a distraction and what is beyond; the relative darkness, the so far current unknown, which now must be explored, and *That* is the middle part of all this, *That* is the major part.




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© 1997 Cassiel C. MacAvity