Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Survival


Table of Contents

Heat
Sun
Rain
Dust, Dirt, and General Grunge
Vocal Problems
Strange Patrons

A Festival day can be a physically taxing experience. Simply the energy expenditure required to stay in character for eight hours at a time can be exhausting. Add to that the heat and humidity of Summer, a good-sized helping of dust and dirt, and it's easy to end up damaging yourself. This page lists some of the dangers of the day and some remedies for them.

Heat

The most obvious danger to the performer is heat. Most shows take place at least partially in the Summertime, and it gets pretty hot. To make matters worse, the clothing we wear is designed for life not only in a country that is far to the north of us, but in a time in which the average temperature was five to seven degrees cooler worldwide. These factors, combined with the immense physical exertion we undergo, can easily lead to heat exhaustion.

So, how to deal with the heat? The First Rule is simple: drink water! Not coffee, not soda, certainly not beer, but WATER. There is absolutely nothing better for you. If you truly cannot start your day without coffee (and I certainly can't), then have your coffee, and wash it down with water. Caffeine will dehydrate you and make things worse. So will alcohol for that matter, although we should not be drinking beer, anyway! The sugary syrup in soda will make you sick. Water is the one thing that you can drink that will keep you from dropping from the heat. Of course, Gatorade or some other sport drink will be even better for you, because they contain electrolytes.

Which brings me to my next point: keeping hydrated is essential but not enough. You also have to eat something during the day. Recommended foods include fruits, vegetables, pretzels, pickles, bread, and cheese. Things to avoid: very heavy foods, chocolate (in excessive amounts), and anything greasy. Regrettably, this last includes most Festival food. Of the things available on site, the best is the soup-in-a-bread-bowl.

Back to the Top.

Sun

Related to the heat, of course, is the issue of exposure to the sun. Wear sunblock! A sport sunblock will probably serve you better than a regular sunblock, because it is less likely to sweat off. Don't forget to re-apply, especially if you use a lower-SPF sunblock.

Back to the Top.

Rain

The other end of the weather spectrum is rain. A rainy day is often a cold and miserable experience, if you're not properly prepared. Have a rain cloak handy to protect both you and your costume. Make this cloak out of wool! I cannot stress this enough. Wool will keep you warm when wet, while cotton will make you colder. I've seen too many people drop from hypothermia in the past. Don't be next!

Back to the Top.

Dust, Dirt, and General Grunge

As anyone who has done the show before can tell you, Faire sites are pretty dirty. No matter what kind of soil your Faire is built on, the sheer volume of people moving across the site kicks up an enormous amount of dust. This dust coats everything: buildings, boots, costumes, people, etc. It gets in your nose and in your pores. By the end of the day, you feel grimy. Smart performers quickly build up a simultaeous tolerance of and loathing for Festival Grunge.

We can't avoid the dust entirely, but we can take a few steps to minimize its effects:

Back to the Top.

Vocal Problems

Festival work is (obviously) outdoor theater. We have no accoustically-designed theater, no sound systems to help us be heard. Further, the wind in the trees creates white noise on top of all the other noises of the Festival in operation. The temptation is to simply belt out everything you say, just so the patrons can hear you. If you do this, you will most likely lose your voice, and might even do permanant damage.

To avoid this, first of all, use proper vocal technique. This is impossible to teach from a web site, but most shows try to cover it as best as possible in rehearsal. Other things that will help:

Back to the Top.

Strange Patrons

The vast majority of our patrons (99.99%) are good folks. They may be occasionally a bit eccentric, but then, who are we to talk? Regrettably, however, there are those few who are actually dangerous. If a patron is giving you a problem (meaning threatening you or harassing you in a dangerous manner), DO NOT CONFRONT THEM DIRECTLY! Start by walking away. This will solve most problems. If it does not, find another cast member or, better still, a member of security, and the matter will be dealt with. In most serious cases, the patron will be removed from the site.

This is not to say that you should avoid patrons! Quite the contrary, our job requires that we approach them and be friendly. Just be aware of how to handle the unlikely possibility of a problem.

Back to the Top.


Home

New!

History

Pirates

Research

Costume

Dialect

Survival

Contact