Renaissance Festival: 2

In Pittsburgh on September 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Renaissance Faire 012

For many performers, the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is just a gig — a chance to wear funny clothes and fake a Cockney accent. Working in the Pittsburgh theatre, I’ve met part-time warlocks, jesters, villagers and commedia dell’artisans. Several friends told me they weren’t hired back this year. I tried to report their disappointment for a local newspaper, but everybody clammed up — after all, they might be hired next year, and complaining in print might blacklist them from the Festival forever.

For others, Renaissance Festivals are their livelihood. These itinerant performers hone their skills year-round, blowing fire and refining comedy acts in every season. Donning doublets does not make a great character; but showing real talent — for juggling and sleight of hand — can be very lucrative. Performers have been known to make thousands of dollars per engagement. Many camp out near Festival grounds, keeping costs at a minimum. In a way, showmen have lived this nomadic lifestyle since the actual Middle Ages.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: