Lessons From the Renaissance Faire

A Renaissance Faire offers a special type of whimsy. It’s not remotely historically accurate, it’s overpriced, the scent of patchouli is overwhelming, and the attendees are a strange mix of plainclothes tourists and first-time cosplayers.

But I love them. It’s a crazy sort-of weird interest, but common enough that I can admit it in public.
So I went last weekend, which was fun (and I have the requisite henna tattoo to prove it!). During the Don Juan & Miguel show, I had an epiphany.
Don Juan & Miguel offer a swordfighting/whip-cracking/comedy show. They’re really good; they’ve been coming to our Faire for years, and they’re always fun.
Anyway, at the show I saw, Don Juan was playing around before the official start, chatting with the crowd. He had a bull whip and set up three cups on a tray, stacked one on top of the other. The idea was to use the whip to take out the middle cup, dropping the top cup into the bottom.
He screwed up. Twice. In a row. It just didn’t happen. The second time, he even managed to smack himself in the face with the tassel on his whip! (ow)
For some people, that would have been it: show over. In front of a crowd of about 30 people, he flopped.
But apparently missing isn’t all that uncommon when you’re a performing comedy/whip guy, so he maintained a cheerful patter and WHAM–there it went. Cup fell neatly into the bottom cup, and we all applauded like mad.
It didn’t even matter that he had failed.
That’s really trivial, I know, and obviously he is a really good whip-handler with lots of experience, but that felt really significant to me: he just kept going. He wasn’t remotely worried about the mistake; he just did it right.
In writing, it can be hard to know if you’re doing it right. But I appreciated the reminder to just keep trying.
Now watch these guys make some cheese puns and have a giggle:


May 6, 2014 · 10:15 am

5 responses to “Lessons From the Renaissance Faire

  1. Good advice for sure. I wish we had Renaissance Faires and fantasy/sci-fi cons in South Africa.

  2. I want to get. Hanna tattoo so badly.

  3. “But antelope look at you funny if you drive around waving a sonic screwdriver at them.” Maybe that’s just because they don’t recognize you – they’re trying to see if you look different because you regenerated again.

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