ptpgrad: (confused fairy)
[personal profile] ptpgrad
Ok, that weekend was not as was expected…order, items and events will be misremembered from delirium, nausea and other discomforts, but there was still fun to tell, so away we go.

Starting a bit early. Thursday morning arrived and I was barely able to get out of bed for back pain. This was sudden and unexpected. I went to my yoga thinking I was just stiff and needed the stretching, but was unable to do more than 50% of the class and spent a lot of time doing alternate stretches for my back. That afternoon, I tried an acupuncturist, which I had really only done once before and that night, I was having searing pain in my right leg. The next morning, the back and right leg were both hurting and I couldn’t stand on my right leg at all. Friday was all about dr. appointments, Chiropractor, Xrays, GP to get meds, and more. I was lucky that Sascha’s schedule allowed her to help me as I was definitely unable to do this alone. Friday night, I had a business meeting on the phone that ended near midnight. I took my pain med and went to sleep.

I woke up around 4 not able to sleep and just tried to rest till my alarm went off. I got up and slowly prepared for the day including bringing food for the Fight School cast party that evening. I was informed I was not to lift anything over 5 lbs and Eldon was terrific and drove me directly to the costume house after we stopped for breakfast. Once I ate my food, I popped the prescribed meds...the NSAID, the full muscle relaxant (I had previously been taking only ½ at a time), and the daytime pain killer…all at the same time. I can see some of you flinch there, but none of those prescribing or dispensing the meds noted that they should be separated. I didn’t do my normal warm up as I wanted to limit hills and walking, and just began to do my hair and makeup. I had just finished my make up and was sitting outside before the costume house was open, when suddenly the people at the table around me saw my eyes get wide. “Oh god”, “what’s wrong,” they asked. “I am feeling dizzy or something.” “Oh, that’s the pain killer, how long ago did you take it?” “An hour ago, with the other meds”…”WITH the other meds? Um, uh oh.”

The costume house opens and I head inside to get dressed, slowly. I am having a great deal of trouble as the room is starting to spin, badly. I place my head down on the desk next to my area in hopes to stop the spinning. I get my shirt on, and put my head back on the table, people are checking to make sure I am ok. I let them know about my medicine mistake and they ask if I want the room quiet. I tell them as long as I don’t move, I am fine with everything around me. I put on my blue tights and sit and put my head back down. I am sweating and feeling nauseated. I know my show isn’t till 1, so I am hoping that this wave will pass and I can make it happen. I get my green tights on my legs and lay my head back…the room has cleared out as everyone else is headed to morning meeting. It’s now just me and Sascha who has graciously accepted my request to be my handler for the weekend. She tells me to take my time, do what I need to do. We can bag it if we have to. I am still just waiting for this to pass so I can finish getting dressed when Stitch comes in and informs me that the ED has told me to go home. This is not a request, this is a demand. She wants me to go home and rest. I feel tears as I hate disappointing anyone, but I completely understand why. Now, I have to figure out how the hell to get changed back, since I still can’t move. Sascha helps me slowly repack what needs to go where and gets me my clothes to get me back to being dressed. I call in Hamish Stewart as I was the guest of honor for an event this evening that he is in charge of, and I have to go over contingency plans. It is almost another hour before I am dressed and on the costume house porch waiting to be picked up to go home. I am helped in the car by Daisy ODanny and a few others who are trying to help me feel better. I am loaded in and we drive off site. Traffic to get back is going to be nasty. The queasies are getting worse, and after a sudden emergency request, we stop on Crownsville road to take care of my stomach. I feel much relieved.

I get home, fall on my couch and go to sleep almost immediately. I wake up a number of hours later. I am almost totally unqueasy. I drift a bit under two of my cats who are determined to let me know how much I love them. I wake again and am feeling better, even get food and eat and take half of the one pill by itself that should help. I get hold of my helper who lets me know the place is packed. She can get me, but it would need to be soon if I am going that route. I have walked a flight of steps, been able to change and contact the FS boys who are concerned about me for both kindness and their own self preservation reasons. I let them know that this is going on and I am slowly and gently making my way back to site. My handler arrives and in civvies, I am driven back to site. We get in as the mass exodus is beginning, I panicked ask her to pull over so I can empty part of my stomach. I feel better and we drive on. My driver has handicapped tags and we are able to park pretty damn close. Its only 5:45, so she goes back in and I go to sleep in the car. There is a lot of noise, but not so much. I do look out a few times and see people without cloaks coming back looking cold. I have on 3 layers on bottom and 3 above as well, because there is no reason for me to get cold tonight. I sleep again and wake just as the handler arrives to get me in site.

Because I don’t want to deal with hills and the participant’s parking is a bit of a walk, we go from her spot through the front gates, me saying a small bit of fairy to the ladies to recognize me, we hobble through the front gate hearing people crying fire in the hole. It’s a bit early actually, but I don’t count as we head to the least hilly backstage area. I walk by many actors doing their schtick, but keep my head down and just get through. I am walked to the Costume house where I sit and wait. As people show up, they are grateful to see me, some think I am crazy, but they are relieved to see me ok. And I am grateful for their concern and kindness. Winchester is there seeing a friend . Once site is cleared out, I ask his help carrying me up the hill. He hasn’t been working out as much, so up the hill is all he can manage and with cane, I walk the rest of the way slowly with a group of friends making sure I don’t trip (love mothering hens sometimes).

Once at the Boars Head, I set at the front at a table near the stage. The food I had brought in is there and everyone is crowded around the bar getting something to eat and drink. Um, and it’s loud over there…and no one can really hear me. Everyone is sitting down at tables close in…I suddenly feel ostracized, and hungry. Dash stops over and asks if I am ok, When I mention I hadn’t eaten, he asks what I want, repeats it multiple times, then brings it to me. I fill my tankard with water and a few other attendees come over to keep me company. We are about to start so I cane it quickly to the bathroom, since I won’t be able to leave till after it’s over and I don’t know how long that will be. What will be you ask? Well…

I come back and sit on the stage, test my body mic, and we begin. For the last few years, during this cast party, a few of the Fight School boys (Hamish and Dash) as well as Dinty, Rob the ex-Landsknecht, Swami Yohmami and Dinty the Moor have held a roast in someone’s honor. This year, the victi—guest was me. For anyone who does not know what a roast is, you have a guest of honor who each presenter hurls comic insults at for a while. They also insult the other roasters and a select few others in the crowd to pick on. This year, they added Isobel Yaxley and since Swami Yohmami had another commitment, John Rugby jumped into the fray. I have had some very bad experience with insult humor in the past, and was a bit concerned. As it was explained to me, you only roast the ones you love, so I am hopefully in an ok space.

So after a little bit of confusion, The Hermit introduces everyone to the “assembly for the evening”, I inform them that their presentations are 50% of their renaissance festival grade for the season, and the roasters get going. There are some issues with the mic going in and out. After Rob’s intro, Dash begins and I suddenly realize that there is actually going to be very little said about me. Dash starts ripping into the other roasters and only gets to me near the end of his talk. Once I realize that, and hear how rough he is with the others on stage, I realize, I will be fine. I am also checking my notes to make sure that no one hits the points I have. Next to the stage is Isobel who slams the boys and makes me laugh, inside. She manages a couple hits to me, one that is harsh, but makes me very proud of her. She also had to deal with some additional noise from outside sources, which had us laughing as her improv skills shot to the foreground and truly made me happy.

Next was Hamish Stewart who is channeling every evil mean roaster in existence using as many 4 letter words a possible. He is zinging and beating up the other roasters, even some of the audience. He gets some amusing ones in on me as well, but does lose the crowd with a few of the more timely and harsh jokes. One actually made the group start to boo a bit and go kinda silent. I knew my rebuttal for him would go well. Next was Swami’s replacement, John Rugby from the Hooligans. I have known him for around 17 years I found out. He hits a few spots that make me flinch a little, but follows them up with things that amuse me. Finally, Dinty comes in and bites, not literally, the roasters, but gets some good hits on me. His mic goes out totally and I end up giving him my body mic to finish his roast. He ends by thanking me and saying perhaps one of the sweetest things he ever has to me as he finishes. Many of the roasters were viscous, but there was a lot of love coming from the barbs of people who know me oh too well and compliments were sincere and generous.

Given my condition, I wasn’t able to stand to do my roast so in my seat, I began to critique their performances. Rob’s habits, Dash’s hair, Isobel’s forehead, Hamish’s long history with me and my masks, John’s personality and roles on cast, and Dinty’s “talent” playing key roles for each of them. However, in my plans, I had come up with something even more devilish. After saying only a few things to each of them, I told them what they did wrong, by roasting myself. I covered my age, my allergies, these recaps, my weight, my chest size, my director and mentoring history at MDRF, my dating situation, and eventually ended with a rather graphic rant about my private parts. Throughout, I saw nods and conversation from the boys of “oh yeah, I forgot about …” “we should have mentioned…”, etc. and the audience got some major laughs. One actor played a drinking game of “its funny because its true” through the roast and was rather beyond tipsy at the end of the evening. The roast ran longer than expected, which I am not sure is a compliment or not and I was beginning to shiver as I sat on stage near the end. When it was over, all the roasters came over and hugged me and thanked me, and I thanked them back, sincerely. One even said “that’s what you get when you roast someone who has a memory that retains everything.” I officially thank the Devere’s and the Hermit for information that lead to my “memory.”

Winchester had agreed to take me home, so we collected the left overs from the food I brought, though there wasn’t much. He took everything to the car and drove back for me. Elizabeth Howard walked with me to the nearby gate and helped me in the car. I got home, put the leftovers in the fridge, too my evening pain med and went to sleep…or not. It turns out that percoset and I do not get along and I was unable to fall asleep with heart racing and anxiety till around 5 am. I woke up to my alarm at 6:25 am. Yeah, this will be interesting. Eldon drives me to site and is allowed to drop me off at the costume house again. This morning’s breakfast is much better in my stomach and decides to stay. Perhaps because the other meds didn’t join it. I reduce my muscle relaxer to a minimum and don’t take the pain pills…so not worth it. Once on site in my super warm coat, I begin to put on my makeup. The vocal warm up is minimal and there is pretty much no physical warm up to speak of. I am ready with hair and face a bit early and am thrilled when the costume house opens, as it is warmer than outside.

There are comments and compliments from the roast as well as people unhappy with the cold, except for the nobility, Most of them have very heavy outfits that are perfect for this weather. I have much better energy and am dressed in no time. I have added 4.5 layers on my legs and doubled layers plus a scarf and gloves up top. I also added heatwarmers to my back, dr’s orders. I am still a bit slower as there is bending and organizing and I want to go slow with that. My handler gets there to help me dress up the cane I will be using and in time for morning meeting, I head up the hill slowly and sit in the back. This is weird for me. I am always in the second row, first seat on the right of center…which could have been roasted too, I just forgot to mention it about myself. It’s a bit harder to hear back here, but I don’t want to do anything I don’t need to. I have been leant a chair for use on site. It turns out to be one of Dan the Master Joyner’s chairs, which is heavy. While I am not carrying it, the person who is, really shouldn’t be, but is determined to make things easy on me. BEEP and we head in a whole different direction.

Because I know I am not up to getting up and down on the fountain or handing out programs because of the walking and weight, I head with my Fairy God Minion (the name given to my handler by SMDave) to Pilands. On the way, I stop at the Juice Bar as I need something with substance to take with my second med of the day. They are very sweet after hearing about the day before and generously both fill my cup to the rim and A’s son says he will cover the cost for me. I am touched. Next to Pilands, I know they will watch over me as well and she will have a bit of a break and a comfortable place to rest while I work. We find a sunny spot and am greeted by Landon and Gumby. I remember that there are healing hands in that grouping and the warmth is a wonderful thing. The cannon booms, it sounds very different back here, and everyone hurries to their path. I am alone for a bit, there are no patrons nearby, but slowly, they start filtering into the village. I begin to greet everyone and chitter. I am slowly coming into better spirits. I forget how joyous Mustardseed is, and she is infiltrating my thoughts and energy. It’s a really good feeling.

Many patrons stop by and greet me. Many ask to my health and let me know they are happy for my return. A number of vendors also stop by and offer warm words and kind thoughts. Some I don’t know well, other than a face. It’s nice to be missed and cared about. I continue to greet kids and parents, strangers and others. I confuse people as they reply to my fairy in English then suddenly stop and ask me to repeat myself. I say the same thing again and it takes them aback. I am amused. Then they either get it or move on. There are many asking for pictures. I am there for an hour or so, but the sun has moved and I am getting chilled. Fairy God Minion and I head to the jousting field area. We set up behind market in the line of Italian Ices, pretzels and other foodstuffs. I am not edible sadly. I am laughing at the Ice lady who is saying that the best way to fight cold is to eat something colder. She actually gets clients. FGM heads out for a bit to check on other responsibilities and I spend time greeting and meeting with patrons. I gift one little girl with a stone (that FGM washed as they had gotten sticky in my pouch from lozenges melting). I am having a pretty good time and sitting isn’t painful, so I am able to work and be safe. This makes me happy.

FGM and I head down the boardwalk making many stops. I let her know to take the stool backstage as there are many benches here and I want to save her back. We make many stops along the way. She watches me move through the crowd fanning people, chittering at them, rubbing fuzzy men’s heads and more. When people ask for pictures, she automatically jumps out, until people ask her to stay. She is used to being around others where she needs to step away, but with me and with as fun as she looks, she doesn’t need to. It’s a new experience for her and it makes me happy to share it. Its getting close to showtime, so I let her know what I need from down the hill where my props are stored and we quickly talk through how I will need her help during the show, then I proceed over.

At the stage, I let her know where to set the props preshow and sing with the audience before we start. I don’t want to bend into the props basket, so as I bring up my bears, she comes up and helps dress them. With another actor on the stage, so to speak, when I run out of fairy juice and she is next to the basket, I blame her and she looks suitably ashamed. It makes me giddy. I lose my papa bear at the start of the show, but another girl is jumping out of her seat for the role, so there is no major loss. It goes well, but I am feeling my back start to hate me as we get to the end. I have my actors bow, but I keep standing. Once done, I am able to speak English and let FGM and SMDave gather props as I sit. I go over how the next show’s props should be set and SMDave graciously redoes them for me as I head to the boardwalk to sit.

I head back to the boardwalk in advance of FGM and find a bench space open to sit. I settle there and FGM takes my mug and heads off to get my lunch and water. When she is back, I can see she is out of breath and hasn’t eaten yet. I send her off, almost by force, to get lunch and take a break. I am settled for the next 45 minutes. She leaves and I eat my grapes, honey cake and green beans. I don’t have much of an appetite, but I know I need food. I am greeted by many patrons including another man who lets me rub his head, which makes me happy. Some actors from prior casts stop by and chat with me and share a bit of my repast. Others join me for photos or general conversation. Again, I am not speaking English, but have no problems interacting. I even get some Amazing Grace in, since it’s Sunday. FGM comes back and again is asked to be in pics and share in moments with me. Soon enough, its time for show 2.

We get to the stage and she helps me set the props up. We are there early and she helps wrangle the kids off the stage, as holding the door to the cottage open hurts me and parents aren’t being helpful this time. We end up with a really good and responsive crowd who sings along and chuckles with my antics. Again, I used FGM as my go-to to be upset with and she responds perfectly. All pigs remember their lines and the wolf has fun. The fairy to English works better today and there are a number of audience members able to share the more confusing parts of the tale. I am very happy, but during the end of the show, I feel the outside of my legs start to burn, so I am happier still when it is over. I immediately sit and let SMDave and FGM gather the props. SMDave does the changeover now, so we are ready to head back.

I wait till my body has settled and we begin to walk back slowly. I stop and sit multiple times on the boardwalk so as to not stress myself. Each time, I am a sudden photo op and there are smiles and giggles along the way. To alleviate time and stress, I introduce FGM to a cut through. Normally, I avoid those at all costs, but today, they are required. Once back at the front of the festival, I send FGM ahead of me to take back the stool we no longer need. I move more slowly through the crowd.

As I am heading to the backstage area, I see a young woman of 10-12 frowning and not wanting to pose for her mom holding a camera. She starts to walk behind her mom determined to not be in pictures. Without a word, I come up behind her and tap her on her shoulder. She turns and her face lights up seeing the fairy. I smile at her and tap her mom on the shoulder without her noticing. Mom turns, I put my arm around the daughter and she happily poses with me for a photo. Mom smiles at me. Achievement unlocked! I chitter and pose with a few others as I make my way across the field. Finally, I am across the way and backstage. I see Dave Lister and ask for his assistance down the hill. He helps guide me as the walking path can be steep and root ridden. Once down, I head in to find Columbina.

Backstage, FGM helps me hang up my costume as I begin the transition. Once I am seated and started in my change, I send her away again as I have makeup and hair to do and can take care of it myself. It gives her some time to get out and enjoy more of her day. I let her know when I need her back. I continue the transition and am ready for the costume. She is back and helping me with the skirt, which is one of the tighter waisted ones I wear, and it’s hurting a bit. Then, as I stand to put on the corset, I am feeling greater discomfort. I cinch up the bodice and BINGO, I have figured out where the pain is coming from. I still have to get the show done, but make a mental note to address this. We go up the hill and it’s taking me longer to wander site. At least the picture is very put together and I am stopped for photos and more along the way so I can break.

I head to the stage at Boars Head. Skivee is in the pub and I let him know there is a good chance I won’t be able to sing when scheduled at Pub Sing. I hate to do it, but I don’t think I’ll last in this dress. SMRob is there and helps me setup. Since he is sound guy, I give him the heads up as well and he heads off while I get settled. Normally, I wander the house chatting up the audience. This is not happening. I settle myself on stage on the long bench and have the mic for my guest singers set up so they can spin it in, sing and spin it back. I am mentally running through songs I don’t normally do as they don’t fit in with the courtesan theme, but will be fine for this. At time, I start with the PG warning, even with the sign, then start up. I pull out My Thing Is My Own, Scotsman, Angus and His Kilt then am joined by Edith Peeper for Boars Head’s the Best. The table at the front takes a drink at the end of the first verse as a toast and I say, yes, it’s a good idea. Lets all drink. I give Edith my tankard filled with water to drink so she is not left out. We keep this theme and I even let guests that enter midsong know, this is now a drinking song, so drink with us. Guy is two fisted and the lady has nothing, sigh. Next, I sing Captain’s Daughter and end on Ramblin Rover with Tiegh. It’s a full house that is engaged and having fun.

I am thinking I may try to do Pub Sing as we start to head out as sitting I feel ok, but 3 steps later I know that is as stupid idea and ask FGM to head to Pyrate Camp to let them know I am done for the day. I get back stage and a kind lady from the office walks me down the hill this time. Once inside I rip off the corset as fast as I can and unhook the skirt. The back is letting me know how unhappy it is. I sit and slowly take my time changing out of costume now. I won’t be getting back on street. I was able to fulfill my shows and for that I am grateful. That is enough for today. Another lady from the office pops in and lets me know she has something that might help me. I have to check with my Dr. first but let her know I will let her know. I am back in civvies and warm in my down coat before cannon. I see many fighters who were taking their certification test today. They are all excited and happy. Slowly, the rest of the cast comes down the hill after the boom. Many leave quickly, others are not done and won’t be till the certification is over. Eldon comes to take my bags home and Richard Southwell and his lady and I go to dinner. There, we sit near Queen Maggie, the Duke of Buckingham and Eowyn Trotter. We laugh over a belligerent bear and other fun stories from the day. I am happy for the company and the food. They kindly drive me home and I am falling asleep in the car. It’s been a challenging week and finally over. I crash hard when I get home.

Next weekend, HEALING! And more shows and fun. Only two weekends left. Here’s your chance gang. We hope to see you there!

1:00 Mustardseed at the Crooked Cottage
2:30 Mustardseed at the Crooked Cottage
5:00 Columbina at the Boars Head Tavern.

April 2017

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