View Full Version : Wenches: Looking to make some money?

Ariana McDonnough
01-20-2003, 03:16 PM
Greetings all!

I'm in need of a wench or two in the Mobile, AL/Pensacola, FL area to help out at the Gulf Coast Ren Faire on Saturday, March 1st and Sunday, March 2nd. I'm with a performance group called Phoenix Swords and we are playing the Royal Court and other characters at the faire. We have been giving permission from Steve Melei, the director of the faire, to organize a wench walk.

As of now, the only wench available is me and it's in my hands to organize this. This is what is being offered:
$50.00 total to work both days, accommodations-which will be spartan, either someone's home or a cheap hotel with other folks(bring a sleeping bag JIC), a ride to and from the faire. Keep all wench money (the organizer wants you to sell kiss certificates for a dollar), two meals a day-provided by the faire. You would wench and travel with the royal court.

If interested, please contact me *OFF* the board at [email protected] or if you have any other questions, please contact one of my directors, Temper, at [email protected]


01-20-2003, 05:41 PM
You're selling Wenchings?

Ariana McDonnough
01-20-2003, 05:58 PM
No, not selling wenchings, but selling kisses instead for those male patrons who would rather have a kiss willingly rather than unexpected. Does that make more sense?

Danicia de Lontra
01-20-2003, 11:04 PM
I'm posting a response here instead of privately, because this topic comes up often. It used to come up *quite* a bit in our Local, when I was running the chapter. I am not sure if Keltik and Lori get the same questions.

Here's my two cents of advice...a combo of my opinion and actual guild guidelines. First....if you are representing the IWG and using the IWG to accomplish these goals, you need to look at Official Policy.

First....Florida and Alabama are not your home faires. They *both* have their own Local Madames and you need to talk to *them* about it. If there is to be a Walk at a Florida or Alabama faire, it falls into their individual jurisdictions. You are not authorized to organize a walk w/o talking to them first about it. And certainly not as a paid gig, representing the IWG. You cannot even begin to IMAGINE the issues that "Selling kisses" will cause for Lars and Co. Please...think globally.

From the "About" page on Wench.org:

"Part of the proceeds that the Guild makes from any performance are given to charity; the split runs from 50/50 to 70/30, depending on what expenses the group needs to be concerned with for the show (normally hotel and traveling expenses, plus food).

A Wench show normally consists of several performances of bawdy songs connected by innuendo-filled dialogue between the Wenches. Audiences are encouraged to participate, whether by singing along with the choruses, clapping or occasionally being pulled into the act. Another part of a Wench show that is not mandatory but always extremely popular with patrons is a Wench Walk.

A Wench Walk consists of a group of Wenches walking across the Faire site, singing and chanting "We're walking; we're wenching," and occasionally stopping to mark some unsuspecting (but very lucky) man with lipstick kisses. The Walk is very closely guarded by both the Resident Madame and the Wenches' Guards (we do tend to bring our own security; they are not part of the show). Marks are above the waist only, there is to be no groping and only people who wish to be marked are marked. (For more information on the Wench Walk, please contact [email protected] for a copy of the officials rules and procedures) "

My SECOND point:

Now...if the faire wants to have a wench walk, and have these gals be on CAST as wenches..then they should go through the usual street cast guidelines. There should be an open cast call. Basically...it sounds like they want to use the IWG for free labor. The selling kisses thing squicks me out like nothing else I can imagine at faire.

That means, you will hae to kiss *everyone* who buys a ticket...underage, drunk, abusive, male/female...whatever. Which brings up....so they will discriminate? What if WOMEN want to buy kisses? Hmm? Also...if you are saying "We're IWG, buy a kiss", people will think we ALL are for sale/fondle. This has been an ongoing battle for many years. How to keep the bawdiness w/o the ickyiness.

Please....do *not* promise these folks IWG wenches and PLEASE explain we have a set of guidelines. The people who want to "hire" wenches may not understand the IWG is NOT A performing company, even tho many of us *work* faire in many areas.

Damn...I could go on and on and on. This is a very hard issue and I'm sure you will get *plenty* of opinions.


01-20-2003, 11:24 PM
Kind of makes one wish that those who are relatively new to the guild and inexperienced in Walks would at least check the guidelines before making promises and public requests for assitance (as in the post on AFR)....

It's not like similar issues haven't ever come up before.....

Danicia de Lontra
01-21-2003, 12:43 AM
Kind of makes one wish that those who are relatively new to the guild and inexperienced in Walks would at least check the guidelines before making promises and public requests for assitance (as in the post on AFR)....

It's not like similar issues haven't ever come up before.....

Yes!!! A new FAQ and outline of what is *on* the site would be good. I mean, yes, there is so much outlined in the books, but there is sooo much content here that most folks prolly never even see. Plus, much of it is outdated. Gotta be frustrating for the WebWench to try to organize it all.
:::HUGS WebMistress::::

Just in general, I think many IWG members forget that someone is actually legally responsible if there is a HUGE F-up that would involve a suit. It would be a disasterous thing. The "Think globally" slogan works. Think beyond your circle of wenchdom to consider the consequences of their actions.

LOL now I'll get off the soapbox. It's one I come back to, again and again, in desperate hope that *something* doesn't screw up the IWG and other Guilds. :::crosses fingers::

01-21-2003, 09:14 AM
Arianna, I talked to Lars about this right after you posted, so he is aware of it. I'd suggest, if you want to do this under the auspices of the IWG, you contact him and explain the whole thing.

Danicia pretty much summed up my thoughts on the matter, though. If you guys just want to do this as cast members, without ANY ties to the IWG, have a blast. Georgia had Official Kissing Wenches years ago, and they had a lot of fun. If you can find old Georgia cast members, ask them how it went.

But please don't do something with our Wench Walks that the rest of us might have to deal with for a long time. We already have enough trouble with people who think that since we're not afraid to show cleavage and hold Wench Walks, we must therefore be for sale.

01-21-2003, 11:45 AM
I wish I could add to what Dani, Ysobelle and Alianne have already said so succinctly.

It seems like what you are looking to do is hire cast for the faire, which is great, more people getting involved in faire is a good thing. At the same time, the activities that you are arranging must be IWG-sanctioned and without the permission of the local Madame, you cannot walk under the IWG name. The implications which Dani and Ysobelle just touched on are only part of my concerns.

Per the wench handbook, IWG sanctioned walks must be approved of by the local madame and led by said madame, drill sergeant or singing madame. Since you are not the local madame, you would have to speak with her to get her approval for your walks.

If you had come to me privately, I would have inquired of the other Madames to get their opinions and contacted the Grande Madame to ask about it. Two Madames have already weighed in on the issue and I am finding myself to be of their mind on this. Nevertheless, it is not my decision, but one for the Florida local.

If you ever have any questions about IWG procedures, please feel free to come to me. I may not know the answer right away, but I can find the answer for you.

01-21-2003, 12:56 PM
As the FL Madame, I have a problem with this. I do not wish to have a wench walk for sale within the Local, just as I do not wish to have walks that I do not know about. The only group that has full permission to walk when and where they please are the MerryWell Wenches when organized by Tree. If you wanted to do a "Kissing Booth" to split the $ with a charity that I would consider. But a walk for $, absolutely not. I glanced over this thread thinking it was just an offer to work in a booth or what not, but I am glad that it was pointed out to me.

We had a similar thing going on here at the Bay Area Ren Fest one year, where a wench was using her IWG membership to sell Rolls in the hay with her. I was extremely offended by her, and the fact she was drunk didn't help! However, it did hinder in our quest to have a wench walk as they remembered her IWG affiliation. But I do not feel that it is good and proper wench behavior to use your IWG status to make $.

All in all, if you want to have Kissing Wenches that is wonderful and fine... But use CAST MEMBERS, that are hired by the festival, not IWG members who are just on their own. We had a hard enough time convincing management at BARF to let us walk, and I do not want to lose that privledge because of what happens elsewhere, not do I want anything to mark Lars' rep.

I think that is all, and I am sorry if I come off rough. I don't mean it that way. But I would appreciate that this happens a different way.

01-21-2003, 01:09 PM
As another wench in Florida, I have to agree with Emalia. I'm the singing mistress for our local....the only ones authorized to do anything Wench-Affiliated without Tia's permission is Merrywells in FLaRF.

If you have been given permission to do a sanctioned wench walk, then it needs to be run like one. Wherein kiss cards are not sold. Those are for us to give freely as we please.

Tome it sounds like this Steve guy isnt quite sure how we work. Sounds like he would like kissing wenches, which is all well and good...but he should hire them seperately and allow whatever wenches are around to walk as is appropriate to our guild.

Wait...I've just reiterated everything that everyone else has said havent I?

And to clairfy, we arent trying to be nazi's about this. However, there have been times in the past (as Emalia mentioned) that someone working independantly from the guild while using the guilds name has hurt others from doing fun things later. We all have to look out for one another, as well as bear in mind how our actions while we are wenching will affect everyone else.

01-21-2003, 01:32 PM
Oh ye gods, even without attachments to the IWG, I could forsee a whole slew of problems with this concept... I can't clarify this from a legal standpoint from what has already been said, but I'd be VERY careful about how you approach this even if you don't go via the guild.

If they're cast members, you obviously can do whatever you like with this. But I would still be wary. It's bad enough that many men seem to think that an open display of cleavage is an open invitation to touch, but if you're selling kisses, it's going to be a whole lot more difficult to keep the "rabble" at bay.

I'd play this one carefully. If at all.


01-21-2003, 02:32 PM
yes, in the past I have had to politely turn down inquiries from folks who wished to hire the guild as either "atmoshpere" or as sort of a "singing telegram" LOL.

My usual response is:
"While we may be persueded, cadjoled, pleaded with, and even (possibly) bribed, we are _not_ as a rule, *for hire*."

Individual wenches may *of course* work as whatever form of cast member they like, independant of thier guild affiliation. (I wouldnt *dream* of trying to tell someone what they could do as an actor.)

BUT.. if'n it's got the IWG name on it ...it has to go by IWG guidelines.

The only way i could see what's descibed working.. is if it proceeds strictly as a "part of the cast" performance... (which it sounds like whats being offered, with a $25/ day stipend and a place to stay.)
and is completely free of any mention of IWG affiliation. No pins showing, *no* mention of the guild at all.

the IWG dosent have a patent on the concept of "wench walks".
But we do have a say in whether a walk may be designated as "IWG sanctioned".
If it isn't an "offically sanctioned" IWG walk... then please no mention of the guild should be included.

At all.

Whether "selling kisses" squicks me on a personal level, that's a *seperate* issue.
If the ED of this Fair thinks its a nifty keen idea, well that's he/she's own artisitic decision.

My 2 pence...based on my understanding of guild policy.
*G* if i'm utterly off base, corrections are invited. *G*

Wench Shaelyn
01-23-2003, 09:16 AM
I've spoken to Arianna about this just asking basic questions about what she suggested.

Please allow me to translate my opinion(No offence, for I know most of you but it seems to me you killed it before there was any time to explain).

I believe what she ment was she was looking for anyone who played a wench and just naturally felt to ask us frist, for the casting. This was never ment to be a strickly IWG affair, nor was ever to be an IWG thing. But a group who could or could not be in the IWG. Although it was rather non-well pharsed.

The Kissing certifices where something of the faire and not met to step on anyones overdelicate toes. They where not ment to be a thing involves or part of IWG once again, nor where any of the ladies who desided to play with this cast to represent the IWG.

The Wench walk. Okay, this is not an orignal consept strickly to the IWG. I've asked people who are parents of my friends who have done faires and this was often done by any large group of women (now don't chew me up, I'm simply going on what I was told by two other women much older then myself).

The wenches here where not bribed. It was orignally just suppose to be "Earn some extra garb or food money and come have fun as your wenchly self" type of deal. We where not trying to be bought out here people. We are not "for sale" but tell me, who of us wouldn't mind extra money for something we enjoy? Which is what I very strongly believe was to be the idea.

The royal F--- Up as it was stated. Again, in general I did not get the impression this was to be an IWG thing nor was it EVER to be a IWG thing. The IWG was never to even come into this unless someone used personal choice to wear they're own guild pin. In which case THEY are responcible for their actions or have we forgotten we're adults here?She was asking the ladies here if they might be intersted in playing a wench in cast. Thus the IWG doesent get hurt, no one is responcible expect those who run the faire.

Again. I think this was blown TOTALLY out of context here just from a quick fifteen minute conversation I had with Arianna. It was worded poorly and was taken rather far in the wrong direction.

Be mad at me, throw me to the wolves, I don't care.
I'm a rather low wench on the totem pole, but even I can see this got blown out of hand and if you all so choose to crucify me for starting what MY OPINION is on this, so be it. But I honestly do believe some applogies are needed.


Wench Shaelyn
01-23-2003, 09:33 AM
*kicks PC* I wasent done yet! I didn't say send!
*grumbles* stupid thing...

Oh yes, and if I am way off base tell me so. I know of past problems but once again, I see no way this is affilated with the IWG she was just asking us if we where intersted in the casting call.

You don't sound like nazi's.. from frist impression it seems more like an angry mob out to slay whatever doesent join it. *sheepish smirk and a wink*

But then again your making it sound like you have to ask a local Madame to do anything wenchy-wise...NOTE! Which I know is not the case, it only counts if you working under the IWG but still it sounds like it to someone who would maybe only glance at the conversation.

Okay now I'm done!

01-23-2003, 09:51 AM
Carrie, Jodi explained most of it to us off the board, so things are pretty much fine now.

We're all just very protective of the Guild and the Wenches who've joined it: that's part of why we're Madames and/or Guild Reps. And there are a lot of squicky people out there who would have done terrible things with what it seemed like the idea was. But I think we're all on the same page now-- that this is a cast thing, not an IWG thing-- so everything's fine.

01-23-2003, 11:30 AM
Aaah, Clear Communication--the key to the world and understanding. :D

Glad to hear it wasn't what it seemed like at first write. Glad someone asked for clarification. Glad someone posted said clarification on the boards.

just Lori
VM, Local 42

Wench Shaelyn
01-23-2003, 08:54 PM
Oh good, it just seems like a royal hanging was taking place and since no one had bothered to post it put I figured, what the hell, I might as well do it.

Oh I understand being protective of the guild, hell I defend it aginst others on the outside (normally at the faire) who have the automatic impression we are all, well for lack of a good word, sluts. LOL, I jut don't have the age or the time within the guild to be considered a madame or even really be more then a friend to a madame.


Good to know everything is okay.

Danicia de Lontra
01-23-2003, 09:22 PM
Oh good, it just seems like a royal hanging was taking place and since no one had bothered to post it put I figured, what the hell, I might as well do it.

I wouldn't really call it a hanging...but more like overprotective ladies. We hold Lars and his gang very dear and we *do* tend to come together to make sure we encourage people to think about what they say.

Please understand...when us "old timers" get hard nosed...it's because we've *had* to deal with issues regarding minors, drunks, assault, rape and many other issues regarding IWG and the word 'wench' having a cross over.

Many of us feel that it's just a matter of time before someone wants to sue (thanks to our stupid litigious society) and we'll lose *everything* for faire.

I think we all agree, if a faire wants to hire females to be "wenches" on cast, it's fine. Many many many faire entertainment directors have thought the Wench's Guild is *performing* Guild. Heck, many members even think so.

It's good you pointed out your POV and defense on the matter. If one person speaks it, there have to be more folks just as confused. ;-)

Love & light,

Wench Shaelyn
01-24-2003, 07:25 AM
Ya know what just dawned upon me? (yes the light is slow at times) Perhaps the older wenches should get togther and make another handbook concerning all these questions or even a part on the webpage. I know there is some information but not nearly half of what caused this minor agurment.

If wasent so much confused as I saw it a diffrent way and more after speaking to Airanna about it. So that's why I jumped in and pointed out what I saw clearly, I do have a tendency to open my mouth on matters. Heehee.

As for being protective about the stupid people who will sue for anything, trust me, I FULLY understand. I run a forum with my rogue about haunted places in PA, and we've had to speak to my lawyer twice on what to post up about notices and such to keep ourselves safe and assume no form of responcibility for what others do.

I've been with the guild for over a year and I tend to get protective of it when people mis-judge the word "Wench" and I've ripped into several people in the past for simply thinking, for lack of better words, we a bunch of 'sluts'. So I understand how that one works also!

So no complaints here, lol, hell if I had the wisdom of (more) age I'd probably be just as hard-nosed over things. But I'm younger and havent been in faire circut THAT long (okay so it's like 6+ years but still) so I leave it up to the other ladies here on that one.

Blessed Be!

01-24-2003, 03:12 PM
I don't think any of the replies to Ariana's call for wenches could be read as "hangings." If mine was read that way, I apologize. As was said previously, we get protective. I simply was hoping for more clarification as to what was being asked of the people who might reply to the initial post and how the IWG fit into the event being held.

As I said, if people want to join the cast at faire, I think that is wonderful. If this faire in Florida wants women to sell kisses, great. Just do not use the IWG name if it is not an IWG-sanctioned walk.

You have to remember the faire community is a small one. If something happens in one area of the country, we all (cast, patrons and management) hear about it eventually. The reputation the guilds have in New England is a good one. I may be speaking for others but I did not want something to affect what we have worked so hard to build.

Because of our excellent relationship with various faire managements and the reputation that all of the Lunde guilds have here, we have been able to have wench walks and have participated in faire parades. We have received booth space at no charge so that the wenches could have a hostel, complimentary advertising space for the IWG and our charity events in faire programs, free faire admission and even lunch passes. For the upcoming faire season we are hoping to hold charity fundraising events at faire.

Finally, to go back to something Ariana did say:

"No, not selling wenchings, but selling kisses instead for those male patrons who would rather have a kiss willingly rather than unexpected."

Perhaps I am misreading the original post (it's happened before) but I want to clarify this. There are rules for a proper wenching. A wenching should never be done with an unwilling participant or without the permission of the participant's significant other (if s/he is around)! We are wenches, not assailants. We get permission before kissing anyone. If the target is not willing, we move on. If you want more information, official walk procedures are outlined in the Wench Handbook.

To Shaelyn's question re the handbook being online, has the handbook been posted to a web page? I have never seen it. Is that something that could be done?