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View Full Version : What lead YOU to the dark side ... mwhahahaha?!



daBaroness
08-06-2010, 11:40 PM
I was thinking about this last night and I don't know if we've had a thread here about just who or what brought you to your first renaissance festival. (We know why you got hooked - you're a rengeek like the rest of us!) So ... you got some 'splainin' to do Lucy!

daBaroness
08-06-2010, 11:43 PM
I'll go first. It was the fall of 1973 in Shakopee, Minnesota. One of my dearest, most-beloved friends of all time, the late Kevin Ford invited me to go to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with his family because one of his sisters was playing in school musical group. The following year I sang with our high school madrigal choir. And so it began ...

Lady Sarah
08-06-2010, 11:49 PM
I remember going to Scarby years and years and years ago... LONG before the pavillion was there behind the gate (where they have wedding ceremonies now). it was a huge sloping hill. I remember part of it vividly because my asshole brother paid Christophe the Insulter about $25 to target me. I tried walking away but he kept following me and my brother was laughing his ass off. Even when I broke down in tears, Christophe kept at me, mocking me. My dad finally paid him to go away. I was... young. I don't remember how old I was, really. I didn't go back for years.

I went back to Scarby, oh, about 10 years ago or so. I was heavily involved with the Celtic/Scottish Festivals and my counterpart in MacLellan and I went on Scottish weekend. God, it was MUDDY!! We'd planned to dress out for the trip, but had no desire to drag our skirts/dresses through the mud. So, we 'daned it. It wasn't until the next year that I 'met' Tracy online through the JIF group and she turned me on to the IWG.

MillieWylde
08-07-2010, 12:07 AM
I was in Madrigals Choir two years in high school (the max allowed, it was only open to juniors & seniors). That's where I got my first Ren-style outfit. :king: I ran away with it, after that. I went to college the next year, met two women who are STILL some of my greatest friends (and one of whom looks like my twin sister). We got involved - as much as we could - with the SCA on/around our campus. My "twin" took us to her house over fall break to go to MDRF. We kept playing with the SCAdians. We took about 3 times as many people to MDRF the next fall. I took "Military History of the Middle Ages" during January short-term, and we got greatsword practice every day after lunch (what an awesome class). :thumbsup: Sometime between then and the next fall's MDRF trip we heard about the IWG... but it took me the next 7 years to collect enough spare monies to join!

surlywench
08-07-2010, 12:37 AM
it was 1989, I was 10, loved horses, and my mom saw an ad for the PA Ren Faire in the Philly Inquirer.
done.

Kathryn Blakeley
08-07-2010, 01:03 AM
Well my friend Sarah brought me my freshman year of high school to ren fest and I never looked back. :P And then the credit for bringing me to MIRF cast lies equally between my friends Ozzy and Adriana and Rachel and Blair. Adriana introduced me to Ozzy, who was on cast, and he said I should audition. Rachel and Blair then had me drive with them to auditions on a whim. Aaaaaaand it all went downhill from there. :P

Honestly, I can't imagine how much different my life would be without the friends I have made on cast and off. They have become my family.

LdyJhawk
08-07-2010, 01:16 AM
My parents went to KCRF the year it opened. Then my brothers wanted to go back..and every year after. First time I was at a renfaire I was 6-7 months old

lady Amalthea
08-07-2010, 07:13 AM
My brother started going to MDRF in 1995, came home and wouldn't stop talking about it. I was around 16 at the time. To be honest I thought it sounded really dorky at the time, he was also into D&D and that stuff too. not me. The next year when it rolled around again my brother said I had to go, it would be awesome, I didn't want to. In the end I decided to go, I figured it would shut him up when he saw I didn't like it. Needless to say after the first hour I was hooked, and the next year I dragged my friend up and we've been going every year since.

My brother still never lets me forget I never wanted to go and he had to drag me up the first time.:-D

Margaret
08-07-2010, 07:47 AM
My friend Alex had press passes and asked a group of his friends to go - including the hubby and myself.

Seodora Dragonfly
08-07-2010, 08:46 AM
I did a craft fair on the grounds of The Mt Hope Winery and I think I got a free or discounted ticket to attend the very FIRST Pa Ren Faire to be held later that year - in the now PARKING LOT ! ! ! (Before the grounds/buildings were ever built).
A few years later I joined the Friends of Faire. A few more years after that Rhiannon talked me into joining the IGW. And a few more years after that, Ysobelle helped me sign onto the wench board.
I know I'm dating myself - but I feel like any Ren faire is my own little Brigadoon ( a mini vacation in another world, 1 day a week for however long the season runs) & I don't have to wait 100 years for the next opening in time. =j=

Lux
08-07-2010, 09:05 AM
The first time I went to the faire (MIRF) was probally my junior year in high school (95)- I just remember running around with my friends being silly. We had a great time- The second time wasnt until I was about 22 - I made costumes (yes costumes- everyone was a princess in polyester) For about 5 of my friends and our menfolk. We had a blast! We went every year after that!

Selena
08-07-2010, 09:25 AM
TRF, either 1981 or 82 --- with my dad.

He is now a retired high school history teacher. He would take some of his students on a field trip to TRF one Saturday. I went with them on the bus one year. Been hooked ever since.

Katrina
08-07-2010, 09:26 AM
It was 2004 and I had just moved to Ohio. My stepmother had been telling me about this Renaissance Faire that she liked to visit for about five years since, but could never take me to because I always had to be back in Mississippi to start the school year. As I said, I had just moved to Ohio, so no going back to MS. So she and my dad brought me down and I fell in love with it.
Funny thing is that the only reason my stepmom liked the faire was because she could make fun of all the silly people dressed up. Even funnier was the first thing I did was rent an outfit. :P

A few years later a friend asked me if I wanted to try to get a job with the faire, and the rest is history :P

Artemisia
08-08-2010, 10:12 AM
I met my friend Deb (20 year renvet) seven or eight years ago at a local dancing hall. After about a year or two she invited me to NYRF (Tux). The running joke is that she pointed to faire, my eyes lit up and I jumped in with both feet. I still thank her to this day.

Lady Anisette
08-08-2010, 11:38 AM
Would you believe a book? I had heard about Tux in college. My freshman year roommate went home every weekend to go to NYRF. She would bring pictures and the clothes she made to show us. She talked about it endlessly. Her named was Tess. I thought she was nuts.

Nearly 20 years later, my little dog had died and I was so sad. My friend gave me a book by Katie MacAlister to cheer me up and I loved it. Then I bought more. I read A Hard Day's Knight and thought, "I must go here!" So I searched around and found PARF. I had a little money and bought my 2 best friends, me and my goddaughter garb and tickets for the last weekend in the fall. We got a hotel room and spent the weekend. I had a wonderful time. I joined the IWG during the winter. In the spring, I went to all the New England faires and have been going every since.

Now I understand Tess.

Lady Hefron
08-08-2010, 11:56 AM
1984 I took my sister to King Richard's Faire in October as a birthday present. We both have always been very interested in Medieval/Renaissance History so I thought this would be a fun b'day present. We walked through the gates...and were hooked. It became a yearly trip for us. We would start saving money for it in April. :-D

Years later, we both still attend faires. I am more active in local faires, belonging to guilds, helping with the hostel and volunteering, than she is, but she is a Professor of History with a specialty in Medieval/Renaissance history.

She will jokingly tell people that "it is all my sister's fault"...guilty and loving it.

Lady Laurel
08-08-2010, 03:30 PM
It was 1997 TRF.... I walked through the gates and said o yeah home... LOL

Adriana Rose
08-08-2010, 05:03 PM
I was in 7th grade soo uh 1998? Mom saw the commercial for the Colorado Renaissance Festival and we went. It was the last sunday at like 3ish so it wasnt vary long but I was hooked. The first thing I did was look up costuming and anything Rennie and I found the IWG and I was hooked even at 14.

and the rest is history

Azura
08-08-2010, 06:40 PM
I've always loved history and costuming. I'd wanted to go to a Ren Fair ever since I had even heard of them, some time in my early teens. My parents always refused to take me to one because "what are we supposed to do? We'll be bored." :unamused: So, when I was 18, I met Sky. The summer after we started dating he had brought Bristol up in conversation. By the look in my eyes he determined he had to take me. We ended up only going for... two hours due to really poor timing. But it was more than enough for me to be hooked.

Sorcha Griannon
08-08-2010, 08:07 PM
I lived 25 mins from RPFS, so there was always a lot of "ren" influence up here. I had to wait until I had a car that would make it down (and more importantly, up) the mountain pass, to go to my first faire. I loved it from the start.
Not really an exciting story, but, it's mine, lol.

GoodyTombShoes
08-08-2010, 09:10 PM
In 1988 the guy down the street had a photo gig to cover MDRF for a Maryland newspaper and needed someone to carry his equipment. I've been a handmaiden ever since.

RaevynCait
08-08-2010, 09:13 PM
My Bestie & her 1 year old went with her stepmom to Scarborough once, about 18 years or so ago, and she was hooked, but didn't get back until the baby was about 9 or 10, when the 3 of us went for one day. That hooked me into making an annual trip for the one day. After about 2 or 3 years, we decided that we needed 2 days. I think 2005 was our first 2 day trip, and we've been doing 2 days since then. In 2007, through Lady Sarah I found the IWG, and here I am. Back in 2007, when we took the new baby (at 5 months old), he wore his big brother's baby Medieval Moccasins and Dragon Bait t-shirt!

Phoenix McHeit
08-08-2010, 09:33 PM
My sister had been going through a really rough time of it, and had come back home to live for awhile. I was 14, she was 28. Somewhere in the mid-1980's. She saw the ad in the paper for PARF and got tickets for me, my younger brother, our Mom and herself. Younger bro and I were into D&D and RPG's but not really heavily. I set foot on grounds and got 'accosted' by a giant. Called me his baby sister *snicker* Within two hours we had season passes and Sister had a job. With teenaged me tagging along every day to be her food runner.

I did take a hiatus in the early 90's (don't know why, really - just stopped going) and 'found' it again in 2000. At a party I went to with a dear friend, this gal and I kept doing the "Do I know you? You look really familiar" glances but never said anything. Turns out, it was Betty, we had known each other from my earlier time at faire. She turned me on to the IWG and it's been like finding sisters I never knew I had. Nobody knows quite how to push your buttons like a sister - but there's nothing that can keep her from your side when you need her.

:grouphug:

Now I'm raising my boys in the life - and couldn't be happier! Eldest has already said he wants to take a year off after graduation and do circuit. *snicker*

BryanPopp
08-09-2010, 07:07 AM
A church trip to TRF my freshman year of highschool. That is all it took.

Isabelle Warwicke
08-09-2010, 08:57 AM
I was 14. My Aunt took me for a day. It was Bristol, before the existing front gates. The Mud show was where the flushable privys are now. Carol Black was there playing Lady Ettie. We went again the next year. Then I got my drivers license, bought a cheap goth dress from a local head shop and headed up there as many times as I could.

I have grown up considerably since. And no longer wear acetate crushed panne velvet.

Margaret
08-09-2010, 10:55 AM
I have grown up considerably since. And no longer wear acetate crushed panne velvet.

I don't either, but it's a phase we all must pass through. :-D

The 6th Rogue
08-09-2010, 11:08 AM
Like with every thing else in my life: it was a woman.

I was a DnD player since grade school and a lady friend of mine that was a regular at NYRF dragged me to it. I never looked back.

Cruisewench
08-09-2010, 09:44 PM
It was sometime in the mid-90s, and my girl scout troop went on a day trip to PARF. I think I was hooked before I was even in the gate. There was a young man sitting on top of the gate calling down to people, heckling them, and kinda giving a preview of what was coming, I remember that clearly, but not too much else, other than the troop leader being pulled onto the chess board to "out jester" the jester.

After that I was pretty much hooked, convinced my dad to take my brother and sister once. And the next thing I know, I'm interviewing for a job there. I'm not quite sure how I found the IWG, an internet search for garb, I think, but Here I am.

Annabella St. Clair
08-10-2010, 12:55 AM
MIRF does very heavy radio advertising in my area. I worked with a lady who went alot but when I asked her what it was, it sounded small, dirty, and boring.

Several years later I saw a tv ad and wanted to go. I got stood up twice by men who were suppose to go with me on dates. Again, I left it alone.

Then, I finally decided I was going and drove myself, with a male friend, not boyfriend, to faire. I was hooked. Went back the next year several times in "right off the pattern package" garb with a girl I met there and ran into again at a local dance club.

Went home and found IWG.

Adriana Rose
08-10-2010, 06:09 PM
Now I'm raising my boys in the life - and couldn't be happier! Eldest has already said he wants to take a year off after graduation and do circuit. *snicker*

If he makes it out to colorado i can keep an eye on him ;)

Rowen
08-10-2010, 07:31 PM
It was 1997, I was going through some issues with my then-future ex. I was getting really sick of the biker crowd he hung out with and wanted to do something I could take my 10 year old son to without feeling like I was a bad parent (Sturgis was the only 'family' (his words) event my ex would attend).
My boy and I had a wonderful time at the now defunct Ren faire of the Midlands. He bought a Jesters hat and we watched the joust, were tickled when prince charming dropped to his knee and proposed to a little girl dressed in her Halloween princess costume and ate turkey legs and lemonade. I was hooked, but didn't start attending in garb untill 2003, right after my divorce.
I joined the IWG shortly thereafter.
Later I met my Laird at another small event where he was a part of an historical re enactment troupe.

merestelle
08-10-2010, 11:04 PM
1992- My former mother-in-law had attended faires when she lived in CA. After she moved back east she brought my ex, myself and the kids to NYRF. All I could think was, why didn't I know about this before.

Danicia de Lontra
08-10-2010, 11:30 PM
My first faire trip was TRF in 1982. It was a bus trip from the Dallas area; a field trip for my Honors World History Class. We drank Daquiris from coconuts and handsome men in tights flirted with us. Being history nerds already, the combination of handsome men and pretty drinks and pretty drinks being served by handsome men made for a wonderful experience.

Although what really got me to stick around? Watching Masaji Terasawa doing Amezaiku. And yay! I found this video of him: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6RRdVvMny8

I loved that there were so many areas of the festival dedicated to other cultures. Alas, I miss those days of faires; the not so commercial days.

/pulls out cane and prepares for yelling at stupid people on her lawn

Bronya
08-11-2010, 12:13 PM
I lived about 75 miles from Agoura, Ca. the city that had the very first EVER renaissance faire back in the 60's, The Renaissance Pleasure Faire, started by The Patterson's. Becasue it caught on so quickly, local colleges would have a faire whenever a Shakespeare production was put on and parks started having "events". I went to a few but then I got married/divorced and raised my daughter. I found Sir Bonk's website in the 90's and the IWG. I can't wait to take my Grandson this year. I already have his garb ready. He is 2 and will be part of my Renaissance History
Look at this old brochure from 1966.
http://www.dragondance.com/faire/brochure/pages/Broadside.html

Pleasure
By Billy Scudder

Once upon a time, in the midst of social chaos, there was born a moment of Pleasure. It sprang from the hearts of a generation called Love. It leapt, danced and sang all the songs of Spring that had lain dormant for hundreds of years. Like the Phoenix resurrected from its own ashes the Pleasure spread itself over the land and filled the air with sweet music. The Mother's face watched over all from atop the highest hill. While the Father paraded his radiant smile from morning till night. In the evening when darkness filled the sky there appeared overhead the dancing of stars, and the Lady Diana protected one and all:

Emmaline Love
08-11-2010, 12:43 PM
Would you believe a book?
My friend gave me a book by Katie MacAlister to cheer me up and I loved it. Then I bought more. I read A Hard Day's Knight and thought, "I must go here!"


I was a die hard Katie Mac fan when I stumbled along the little treasure that is A Hard Day's Knight, had the same thought about going, and I've gone once a summer for the past 4 years =]

Tink
08-11-2010, 09:25 PM
I have a love-hate scattered faire history. LOL

1990...NYRF....my brother wanted to go. I thought it would be fun so I went along. I went back every year thereafter. 1996, is when I joined the guild, bought my first real garb, met folks like Lars and got picked along with 4 other ladies for the Spin magazine wench pic that appeared in their December issue so people knew who I was after that. 1997 I went to NJRK and worked at one of the booths at NYRF in exchange for a season pass and became a "regular" going almost every weekend through 1999. Plus I started going on an annual trip to MDRF in 1997, I think that is also the year I went to Carolina faire. In 2000 I flew to AZ to go to the faire there. Fit in a trip to BARF in Florida somewhere in there too. Also worked as an actor and guild liaison for Woodstock and then Stockwood ren faires 1997 through 2003 and worked at 2 booths at NYRF again from 2003 to 2006. This is the first year I won't make NYRF in 20 years. I actually haven't been to any ren faires this year. Kind of weird to say that. Faire was a big part of my life for many years. The shine does wear off. I "hit the wall" in 2000 and didn't want to go all the time any more, so I went back to only going once or twice a season, but then I met my husband in 2003 at Stockwood and he was new to the "regular" rennie thing, hence why I worked faire and became a regular again. However, I tired of the every weekend thing again pretty quickly so by 2007, I was only going maybe 3 times a season. I just can't do every weekend. For me, it gets boring when you don't have a job to do there and there is just too much drama one gets dragged into when they're a regular....not a booth worker or actor because they usually have things to occupy their time on site and it (usually) enables them to remain clear of the drama that seems to pop up amongst the rennie regulars who attend every weekend to "play". On a positive note, my renewed interest got me to some new faires like CT, Sterling and PA and I went to AZ faire a couple more times. I also got engaged at NYRF in 2007 and that was a really great and memorable day that I will cherish not just because of the engagement, but because of the people who helped make it so special.

I don't miss faire. That's not to say I won't go to one again, but it's not high on my list of priorities. What I miss and will always miss are some of the people. After you've seen it all, the people are what has always brought me back every season.

daBaroness
08-11-2010, 11:59 PM
Where's the damned "like" button?! Love ya Tink!


I have a love-hate scattered faire history. LOL

1990...NYRF....my brother wanted to go. I thought it would be fun so I went along. I went back every year thereafter. 1996, is when I joined the guild, bought my first real garb, met folks like Lars and got picked along with 4 other ladies for the Spin magazine wench pic that appeared in their December issue so people knew who I was after that. 1997 I went to NJRK and worked at one of the booths at NYRF in exchange for a season pass and became a "regular" going almost every weekend through 1999. Plus I started going on an annual trip to MDRF in 1997, I think that is also the year I went to Carolina faire. In 2000 I flew to AZ to go to the faire there. Fit in a trip to BARF in Florida somewhere in there too. Also worked as an actor and guild liaison for Woodstock and then Stockwood ren faires 1997 through 2003 and worked at 2 booths at NYRF again from 2003 to 2006. This is the first year I won't make NYRF in 20 years. I actually haven't been to any ren faires this year. Kind of weird to say that. Faire was a big part of my life for many years. The shine does wear off. I "hit the wall" in 2000 and didn't want to go all the time any more, so I went back to only going once or twice a season, but then I met my husband in 2003 at Stockwood and he was new to the "regular" rennie thing, hence why I worked faire and became a regular again. However, I tired of the every weekend thing again pretty quickly so by 2007, I was only going maybe 3 times a season. I just can't do every weekend. For me, it gets boring when you don't have a job to do there and there is just too much drama one gets dragged into when they're a regular....not a booth worker or actor because they usually have things to occupy their time on site and it (usually) enables them to remain clear of the drama that seems to pop up amongst the rennie regulars who attend every weekend to "play". On a positive note, my renewed interest got me to some new faires like CT, Sterling and PA and I went to AZ faire a couple more times. I also got engaged at NYRF in 2007 and that was a really great and memorable day that I will cherish not just because of the engagement, but because of the people who helped make it so special.

I don't miss faire. That's not to say I won't go to one again, but it's not high on my list of priorities. What I miss and will always miss are some of the people. After you've seen it all, the people are what has always brought me back every season.

Tink
08-12-2010, 07:05 PM
Where's the damned "like" button?! Love ya Tink!

Love you too Vel. ::hug::

The 6th Rogue
08-12-2010, 10:06 PM
I don't miss faire. That's not to say I won't go to one again, but it's not high on my list of priorities. What I miss and will always miss are some of the people. After you've seen it all, the people are what has always brought me back every season.

Yeah, that's about it for me too.

Tink
08-13-2010, 10:46 PM
Yeah, that's about it for me too.

And funnier still Ron is that it's people like you, who don't go very often anymore that I miss seeing the most when I do go. If I was still in NY and planned to go, I'd want it to be on a day when folks like you were going to be there.

The 6th Rogue
08-15-2010, 09:39 PM
We'll try to make sure to look you up when we next get to Florida.