Monday, June 9, 2008

Love! Valour! Compassion! PrideFest Milwaukee 2008 Day 1

PrideFest Milwaukee Saturday Conclusions:
Doing gigs is good.
Doing good gigs is very good.
PrideFest is a good, good gig.
Felt glamorous, was worshipped. About forty people I encountered throughout the day curtsied or reveranced when they saw me -- across gender lines, curtsies and reverances from boys and girls. I Just Love It.
As usual, many people asked the key questions:
Q: Are you in the Renaissance?
A: Yes, but I can still see and hear you from here.
Q: When does the Renaissance start?
A: Oh, my honey-children, it's over! It ended in the sixteenth century. But the Renaissance Faire opens July 5 and runs every Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, through Labor Day Weekend including Labor Day Monday.
Q: What do you represent?
A: Love! Valour! Compassion! Truth! Beauty! Freedom! More love!
I tried to slide down a slide, got stuck, got out, exchanged jokes with everyone, laughed a lot, made people laugh a lot, rode a tiny little train.
I took the bus in costume and character to PrideFest from my Bay View digs, so my day started off with grand stunning adventure right away -- I met a head librarian from one of the Milwaukee Public Libraries at the bus stop (she pulled over and got out to talk to me because she said I looked so fantastic) and she's booking me to do storytelling and story-time reading on Wednesdays to be announced. Always wanted to do those. I remember those being a great time for imagination when I was a kid. But I hadn't even gotten to the PrideFest grounds, and I already started networking. Fabulous!
On the bus itself, I met an amazing woman who's a part of an organization called Forge. She's really lovely. I'd like to talk about her more in another entry, as she and I conversed intensely and talked about healing through laughter, and I want to think more about her before I homage her.
Bristol's glorious Fairy Godmothers, portrayed by the stunning Paulbicke sisters, were there with their parrot. I love them very much. It's always great to watch them blow everyone's minds right out the backs of their dang skulls. They're sensory overload and they leave the crowd laughing hysterically with their act.
Around 4pm, a rotating wall of wind and golfballs bore down on the site, and sirens went nutty, and about 60 patrons and participants and I were gently-but-firmly herded into a concrete-brick stage structure's backstage area. I had smashing conversations with many amazing and lovely women. A women's choir recruited me for autumn singing excursions, and since I'm always looking to murder myself with taking on too many obligations, I signed on and await my exhaustion happily. People assaulted me with just the best questions about my clothes and my character, and I engaged them in lengthy discussions of Elizabethan cultural revolutions for women.
(Digression: So many performers I know scoff at the details. They mock elaborate, detailed costuming; they sniff at research; they ignore backstory and depth. Guess What? Moments Like This Happen, and when they do, you become a total rockstar god of interactive theatre if you've done your homework. People love to know about other people. They just do. And the more of another real person you can become for them, the more they love you and love to talk to you.)
So I got to talk about Jane the Fool, Elizabeth, farthingales, sumptuary laws, stockings, pattens, busks, cartridge pleating, teeny perfect box-pleated wrist-ruffs, and countless details people don't learn about unless they ask. People had the loveliest questions. And throughout my day, even before the confinement from the storm, people told me, "I think it's great that you 'fool' people into learning things when they think they're just having fun."
My friend Chas was there part of the day as well, wearing orange, making hilarious smart remarks, and playing frisbee with Truman, who had wheelie-heeled sneakers on.
And then, the lovely and heroic Carol, Ann, and 9-year-old genius Katie gave me a lift home during frightening downpouring mad horizontal rain, so I wouldn't have to get soaked taking the bus home. I am indebted to them for their kindness and consideration in taking a detour to Bay View, on a miserable afternoon when I'm sure they'd have much rather rushed home to warm and dry themselves. Super-good times and amazing, wonderful people -- it's so good!
I had planned to go back and dance all night, but I'm 36, and rain makes my knee hurt and my head ache, and other whingings as well. So I'm in for the night. But we'll do it again tomorrow, and hope for better weather!

1 comment:

Scott said...

Jane, Jane, Jane! My partner and I encountered you at Pridefest this year - hadn't seen you for several years since our last trip to BRF. You are a HOOT! As a former Bay Viewite myself, it's nice to see someone from the area with such talent and the ability to make so many people bust a gut. You da bomb!!