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[personal profile] ptpgrad
Well, I am no longer feverish, though still hacking up my lungs, so I expect that much of this past weekend will be missed, out of order, misremembered and more. If you can forgive me these inconsistencies, then away we go

So I woke up feeling like a cold was hitting, and badly. I am coughing and starting to feel miserable. I head into site and load in early. I have some friends and family coming this weekend and have to purchase the tickets in advance for them as with the clear weather, I am expecting this to be a crazy weekend, but I am just not up for it. I finish working a bit earlier than normal and am crawling into bed by 8:30 pm with a fever breaking 100.5 feeling comatose and hoping for rest.

I wake up to an alarm far too early in the am. I drag myself out and after taking numerous meds, head into site with extra layers. I stop for brekkies and get to site a little early. I head to my stage and begin by doing a vocal warm up. Because of the post nasal and coughing, I do my warm up mostly with breathing and sitting up while keeping on all the layers to keep warm. I have begun to stretch when I hear a familiar voice and look up to see Isobel Yaxley walking toward the stage. I almost cry when she comes running toward me and I say “Oh god, I can’t hug you!!!!” and explain that I am sick. She has to stop at a distance and we throw kisses at each other. I was so happy to see her and so heartsick that I couldn’t hug her. But we had a brief and happy chat then they went on their ways while I continued to get ready for the shows. Soon after, Richard shows up and he learns of the happy news that his “wife” is back in town. Once my face is complete, I head down the hill.

Well there are a number of us this weekend that are in physical pain either from backs, colds or otherwise. But we all know the show must go on, so we are all here. I layer under my clothes to make sure I am warm. I am feeling rather like death warmed over. I get dressed and make sure to pack some extra lozenges, a bunch of tissues and a hand sanitizer so I don’t spread this thing. I am moving so much slower than I want to be, but I can’t catch my breath as well as I would like. I head out and get winged up, then drop off my food at rose world and head to meeting.

I am living on lozenges and water at the moment. I try not to talk too much or interact too much as I am so not wanting to be the one who gets others sick. I am asked to run a song with one lady before we sing that evening and I do so before I sit. Morning meeting goes over the expectations for lines and what we can do to alleviate them. I touch base with the ED and both agree if the crowds get big, with how I am feeling, there isn’t a lot I can do and still get through my shows, which is the priority. We BEEP and I head to gate, hitting the privy and getting some citrus water to make sure I stay hydrated. I am not sure how bad the day is going to be, but as heavy as traffic is, I feel like I need to be there to do the initial greet as people flow in.

Boom! The crowds are HUGE. Like stupidly huge. For the first time this year, the initial flow of traffic takes 20 minutes. We haven’t had days that good/bad yet, so I know what we are up against. I am waving more than chittering, but I do make contact with patrons. Some have already been warned not to hug me and a few that have not see a very shy/scared fairy pull away from them to make sure she doesn’t share the bad magic. Most understand and are grateful. One family comes in and cheers that I am there. They tell me they will be at my show. The flow is so heavy coming in and I see the lines are long, so I go and grab two stacks of programs and head outside to walk the lines. It seems that someone has gotten there before me, but there are still plenty who need them; however not enough for me to empty my hands when I need to go and I end up handing them to a sad Jeannie who was trying to help with the lines as I was.

I grab my umbrella and quietly make my way into the village. I am being more quiet and a bit more focused though I smile. As I walk by the booth that makes me smile, I see the gent and expect the second, when instead, I see the more youthful version of him. Turns out his son has taken his slot today and I am doing a quiet double take. They are amused. I keep on my way and get down the hill. Normally, I would sit on the boardwalk for a while, but I know my energy needs to be saved, so I head back to set my props. Backstage, I see that a kindly lady who knew of my illness had already lugged my props out to the main area where I prepare them so I don’t have to. I am VERY appreciative. I pull out the items not set and pour the fairy juice. Well, I see I left the fairy juice in the bottle the weekend before and, um, well, it’s grown black floating things in the bottle. We won’t be using that one. I dump it and move the bottle away so I won’t refill it, then finish getting everything ready. Once I am ready, I sit for a moment with the props to catch my breath, take more meds, take a lozenge and breathe.

I head out to the stage and set my props. There are some families already waiting, so I know it’s going to be a good show. The audience starts a little light, but grows significantly. I go to start speaking and find that my high-pitched fairy has no sound, so this fairy has to go a bit lower than I normally do. The joys of being sick. I have hand sanitized before hitting the stage or touching anyone. The show itself goes pretty well. I have a small amount of lozenge at the start of the show, but get nervous about drinking the potion because who wants to choke on lozenge, ya know. Something about being on the stage makes the adrenaline kick in and the energy is high enough to be entertaining. Goldilocks is a bit low key, but for comic effect and we have fun playing…it helps that he is easily 6ft 5inches tall or so. The bears are playful and mostly focused and there were far more kids wanting to be in the show than I could put up there. Once the show is over, the family I met at the gate stops and tells me how happy they are that they got to see the show. Mom notes that they would have never heard the end of it if they missed it. I am greeted by a friendly face, who is enjoying one of his last days here for the season. They enjoyed the show and are happy I didn’t pick them. I gather my things and head back stage.

I head backstage and pull out the props and set the second show. In the process, I spill a bottle of the potion into the tub that holds my props. This bothers me more than it should as I had JUST enough to finish out my shows for the season, and now I have to buy more. Ah well, I’ll be fine, its more an annoyance. I finish repacking and setting potion for tomorrow. Then I head slowly up the hill to get my food. The hill of Doom is taking it out of me and I am doing what I can to hold in the coughing while on street. I manage to skirt away from the smoking area at the White Hart so I don’t cause more damage to myself. I get backstage and get my food together and take a moment to throw out the unusable tissues I have left. I then gather my food and head out to the frog pond. I take my time walking and eat more quietly than normal. I still pose for a pic or two, but am just rejuvenating in my quiet space. Once the meal is done, I head back down the boardwalk. It's a little later than other weeks, so I am catching different moments of the shows as I walk by. I head backstage, pull out my props and have a brief moment or two before I have to head out to the stage again.

The show starts with a full crowd. The lozenge is in a much more stable space for this show and I am not in risk of choking this time. Again, the energy kicks in though my fairy voice is lower than normal. The pigs are all good today. Loud, focused and trying to help tell the story even before I am ready for them. The audience has fun and I make it through with good energy. The wolf is a little boy who isn’t sure if he should be getting in the pot, so I lift him and place him in and take him out, which amuses the crowd. After the show, I pack up my props rather quickly and head back to reset the props for the next day. I know I won’t have the same energy, so time has to be used effectively. I get backstage and pack everything back up and leave it out where I normally do for the next day. I say goodbye to those there, at a distance, then hand sanitize, grab another lozenge, then head back up the hill of doom. I am so exhausted after getting to the top of the hill. I take a moment and am thrilled to see there is no privy line. I am grateful. I do see beer lines and atm lines, but am able to move relatively smoothly. I am stopped for pictures along the way and stop to pose. I know its time to take more meds, but a few moments in this crowd will not break me.

It’s still a chilly day, so I have many layers to get off when I get back, I am not overly warm, which I attribute to the thinner costume and shady areas I am in. I switch clothes first and determine that I will need sleeves today and will go with the warmer of the two dresses I was wearing this weekend. I am moving slower and am not thinking through stages as clearly as I need to be, which is frustrating. By the time I am dressed and ready, the ladies have all been through and left and a few others have moved on. I do find someone to help me with my mic, but I know I will be a bit rushed at the stage. I lozenge and water up, and out I go.

I head into the fray and with the crowds and my energy, I just can’t risk being around people as much, so I take the cut through to get to the stage. Really, this is rather unheard of from me. I get to the stage and start to set up. I do find those with kids since the pub is full of people enjoying the day or glad to be out of lines, and give them the heads up. I head back to the stage and set up my mic and make sure my sound works. The show starts well enough. I am able to put the mic sound up a bit more and not push my voice; however, in the first song, as I take in a breath of air, the mic pics up my breathing in what sounds like water I am choking on. I do NOT want them to hear that, but to clear my voice means that is equally loud and there isn’t much down time in the song when you are solo without music. It’s a challenge, but I manage to control the breath better and not scare the crowd with the fear that I am drowning in air. I realize how out of it I am when I go to have the gent put the ring on my finger and realize that I forgot all my other rings…I never go out without the rings, I just didn’t realize I didn’t have them on today. I do the short song for my “client” rather than the full length one so I am not breathing on him too much. He seems a bit surprised. I don’t know if he’s seen the show before or not, but he seemed to be expecting more. This makes me very sad. I end the show upbeat at least and at the end, pack up items and head on my merry way.

I head to the White Hart to drop off my props and get the streetspeare items. Due to some awful mold, we have removed the bag and I am carrying just the stamp and mask with me. Its crowded so there isn’t much of a place to sit in the area, which is frustrating. I borrow a seat at Piland’s briefly then head down the street to my next show. I let my actors know that I am going to be quiet and I need them to hawk in place of me. Hawking is an art form for sure, in that you use your voice and either comedy or suspense to bring a crowd to you, make them stop, or at the very least, make them clear a space for you as you claim it for the show. It takes volume, command and great peripheral vision. I have the vision today, but I am just not sure I will have the voice as I pour yet another lozenge into my mouth. I let them start, but find myself still hawking as we get closer. The scene goes well enough, but I am very glad my part is the smallest. Once it is over, I stamp a card or so, then gather the props and head back to return the items to the White Hart.

As I am doing so, I see a scene being played out in the food court area. I fear it’s a streetspeare and I am late returning the stamp, but realize it’s a new street bit between the lovers Bartholemew and his Lucy, or she will be once it’s all done. I get back and put my props back, then head back to sit at Piland’s. I have some time, but walking all the way through the crowd and back just isn’t an appetizing idea and I can be quiet here. I chat with a few people and patrons who come by, but mostly sip my water, blow my nose and try to be low key. It’s not easy as my reflex is to want to yell things to random passers by. I catch up with a sweet lady who is not working fest this year. Eventually, I hear the music that is my cue to head down the hill. I pull out the hand sanitizer then grab the bodhran and head to the grouping for the stage.

I get to the stage and set up. There are some sound issues for the instruments, but once it’s all set up, the ladies head out and I pick up my drum. After the prior week, I realize that really no one beyond the first row can probably hear me, but I am keeping the performers steady and hopefully am useful. Today, we sing the Captain’s Daughter with Judith and Carmita, the good Spaniard. I hear the gurgling again, but have a half second to cough away from the mic to allow me to make it through the rest. A few more drumming songs and a heartfelt lipsynching of Wild Mountain Thyme, then we pack up. I start to take the props to the back and am stopped by a kind man with very supportive words for the show, which I promise I will share. I am gifted with a rose from a very sweet lady. I take a few more steps and am stopped again by another who has lost his compatriot. I finally make my way back to return the items and come back to him. We touch base and I have something back at the costume house for him. I tell him to wait at the fountain and head backstage, grab what I need, then hand it off to him and head back stage again. Once things are secure, I know I have to get off street.

I head backstage and begin to change. Fest has another 30 minutes, but if I am going to make it tomorrow, this has to be it for me. I still have another 20 minutes to pack up and reset normally, and I am moving slow. I am just about finished when the cannon booms and the rest of the cast pours in. I share the kind words with those who needed to hear them, then finish packing up and head out to go home. I normally wait till traffic lets out on days like this, but sitting around with everyone is sure to share this ick. I head to my car, cough a lot, then start out. It takes me about 20 minutes to get out of the parking lot, which isn’t bad, but I just want to get to sleep, so it’s enough. I stop for spicy tacos and eat those up with some chicken soup with cayenne. I take the food upstairs with me, eat things, drink some hot tea, and by 8:30 am turning out the lights to get some rest. I need it.

Even with the long nights sleep, I am still exhausted. I take more meds, drink more water, pack tea bags again and on the way in, get hot water for tea with my brekkies. I still had a fever the night before and am hoping that the worst of it has passed. I am exhausted and when I get to Gatehouse, I sit down to breathe and warm up. I almost fall asleep while sitting. Then I start to stretch without inverting, as that would be painful. There isn’t a ton I can do and I feel not very warmed up. I am running out of time though and have to start hair and make up. Richard joins me and checks up on me. I note that I will be a rather quiet fairy. He agrees that may be a good plan. Once I head down the hill, I head inside to get dressed. It a bit warmer today, but I still layer under my clothing so I don’t get a chill. I grab my gloves and scarf and head to morning meeting. I have been waffling about whether I want to take my food with me down the hill or try to go up the hill of doom twice in the day. I take stock of my body and go grab the food, it’s just smarter that way.

At morning meeting, there are the normal notes for the day and reminders for the big crowd as we sold out yesterday and expect to do so today as well. We BEEP and I go to the privy and cough up a lung for a bit while out of the breeze. I get another lozenge, some water then wait for the gate show to start. The king enters with his wife and they dismount and head away, I bring Knuckles his mug and give them a heads up I will be quiet for this run. BOOM, and the crowd pours in. I wave with lots of energy and don’t hug anyone again. I am keeping an eye out for a friend or two. I am not seeing them through the huge crowd, but after it finally empties, I happily see one friend in the lines outside. I go out to give him a program, a quick hug, then do some minor line sorting and head back in to get back to the stage. I had been told the day before that those near my props kindly brought them inside for me. Ironically, I don’t bring them in on Saturday normally, but I appreciated the concern. I get back to see they have also pulled them out for me again. I grab out the props I need for the show, then sit down to rest. I know I will have some faces I know in the crowd and want to be on point. I have been mostly silent this entire time and am hoping it will save my sounds.

I head out and get to the stage to see a mostly full audience already. There are some friendly faces I know and many I don’t in the crowd. Some are kids who played parts earlier this year or in prior years. It’s a good feeling. I start to talk on the way and realize there is no sound coming out. From being quiet, the vocal chords have kind of shut down. It takes a few warming up noises and I can start, though again, not in normal fairy key. The show kids off and I have plenty of hands of people who really want to play parts. There is one little girl who is jumping out of her seat, but I already pulled the roles I can use her for and I don’t want to put her on the breaking chair. I find two girls with their hands up and I choose their dad for Goldilocks, which makes them happy at the end of the day. Overall the show is a lot of fun with all the bears knowing their lines, or mostly knowing them enough. The end of the show, the audience has a good cheer for my stars as they take a bow. I thank them all for participating and then take a moment to say hello to my one friend now that I can speak. I also see my brother and his friend who have come to visit. She is a regular at PA faire and is visiting here for the first time, so I give her a bit of info and ask my other friend if he has suggestions. He and I are both not in great shape, but we pose for the camera for her and for his family, which takes forever to find on the phone. Once done, I head backstage to reset.

I go to re-sort my props and my energy has tumbled. I sit to reset the props and suddenly the second potion again spills. Well, I formally add more potion to my list, but I am not happy to have to dump and drain everything. I stand to reset and dry everything out with the help of those behind the wall. I sit back down and repack the props, then grab my food and make my lunch bowl. I take it out to the boardwalk to sit on the ground and eat near the garland lady. She and I sort of chat, but I am mostly quiet. I still post for some pics with patrons while I eat. Once done, I head backstage and take about 10 minutes to just breathe and take more meds before I go out again. I get there to see a woman changing her kids diaper in the front of the house, right at the exit where all the performers have to bring set and props in…As those on stage are trying to leave, she isn’t really getting that she is in the way, but finally notices with the help of her spouse and pulls a bit forward so they can get their entire stage off the main stage. Sigh. I head up and see there is already a mostly full house and when I get to the stage, the audience continues to pour in. It’s a full house and they are willing to play. Well, there is the one boy who only wants to play parts on his terms, so I use others, but he still wants to get my attention when the show ends. The three pigs are really focused and loud. They remember their lines and really seem to know what to do. I am grateful and my energy kicks up to match theirs. Once the show is over, I thank my stars, who all did a really terrific job and head back with my props.

I go back and put the tub away and repack inside so they are set for next week. I gather all the items to go back with me and head up the hill of doom for the first time. I am very glad I am doing this only once as I have to stop a few times on the way to catch my breath. Once at the top, I smile my way back through the village. Again, no privy lines, for which I am grateful. I am stopped for pics, conversations and compliments. There are still patrons pouring in. I manage to get backstage and put down the umbrella. I drop off the external items then run to the privy. I have been drinking a lot and boy is it going through me in the cooler weather. I am also getting a bit warm as the sun has started coming out.

I go and switch clothing to the gold/orange outfit today. I am not sure if I want to cool down or warm up. I take my time changing over but my brain again is fuzzy. I am looking for things that are in my hands or directly in front of me. It’s frustrating. I take more meds. I am gifted with a contribution gathered from Holland this week, which makes me happy. I am keeping mostly to myself though. I am getting ready slowly and am almost ready, but it’s definitely behind schedule. I finally complete my look and head out after being wired up. I take the forward path to the stage today and have enough time to set things, but when I don’t see kids in the crowd, I stay to myself on the stage so I don’t have to chase people off. I do chat with those using the stage as a table. I am running songs through to make sure I can hit the notes required. With a key drop. I should be ok. It’s finally time to start and I set up the mic. Again, the friendly faces have traveled to join me and come forward more as spaces open. The magic of adrenaline kicks in and I have a really solid show. As I pull up my client, I pull out my hand sanitizer to make sure I don’t get him sick, but focus on doing the normal stuff.

Once it is over, I say goodbye to some gathered and a few new audience. I find out my friend didn’t find the massage booth, so I slowly walk him that way as I am heading to put back props. Once done, I head over to find him, but he is nowhere to be seen. I head back to the closet to text him that I am sorry I missed him, but will see him again and to be well. I grab the Streetspeare props and slowly head up the street after stopping for a moment at Piland’s. When at Argenti, I find out that the piece I have on order should be ready by closing weekend. I am happy for that. I am sticking back toward Argenti when I see my client and his wife again. They are happy to see me and we chat a bit before I see my other actors. I let them know I absolutely can’t hawk and today, they start to draw the audience in a bit more. I then realize that I left the mask at Piland’s and poor Jehan heads back that way to get it in time for the scene. Then I realize that this entire time, I have had the bobby pins and curler in my hair. I never took them out in the transition and no one either noticed or said anything. AUUUGGGHHH. Brain not work! We get a solid crowd that builds as the scene goes on. I have the energy for my part and keep quiet for the rest. The show ends well and I stamp a few cards before I pack everything up and head back to drop it all off.

I put everything back, then, I get my mug and head over to Piland’s to sit and rest a bit. They have hot water and generously offer me some to go with my teabag. I am grateful. I sit mostly quietly and just sip my tea and rest in public. I am able to watch all of the Henry scene from my vantage point in the back. I see one of my co-singers for Pub sing-along and we discuss the key that is going to need to change. He makes sure to find the other and confirm with her. I sit more until I hear the musical strains that tell me our show is next. I go and use the sanitizer, then get the bodhran and tambourine. When the show before us ends, I head to the stage with the others and we struggle to make sound happen as I body block and don’t sing the opener. I drum and find my energy is ok for the show. I do have to use my fan to hide some nose-blowing and coughing during the set. I go to start my song and after testing the lower key with everyone, and start at the normal key, which is really too high for me. I cover the notes I have issues with, with some acting and schtick, which seems to work and the song goes over well. I am grateful. As the show is nearing its end, I look up to the trees and see my sky. I turn to Connie and point it out to her. She smiles when she sees the golden red glow in the trees and that makes me happy. I again lipsynch the last song and once the show is done, I pack things, help Ginger load up, and drop items off at the closet before I head back to stay goodbye to some friends.

I stay to say hello to the gents who are leaving and we slowly begin to walk to the front of the village. It wasn’t the trip that we had all planned, but at least we were able to enjoy some time. As we get near the front, I say my goodbyes to them after helping a rather tipsy lady with a question. I wish them well, then head backstage. Again, it’s WAY early for me, but I don’t need to give any of this to anyone out there. I begin my breakdown and pack up for the weekend. I have just enough time to pack everything up to go home as everyone starts to come in. I gather my things and say goodnight as I head out. There I see Isobel who has enjoyed her day as a patron. I say goodbye at a distance and she comes over and says she’ll risk it and hugs me. It feels like such a relief. It is very unlike me to not have a meal at the end of the day with the others who perform. I like to find out what their days were like, what their most memorable moments were, and I have now lost 3 days of it this season. Instead I head home, finish the soup, and head to bed after taking more meds. I am glad I made it through, but sad I couldn’t be as present as I would have liked to be. The weekend ends as I fall asleep.

This weekend coming up is closing. There is much fun to be had and it’s the last time to have it. I hope you are all enjoying your time and I hope to see you one more time in the Grove. Till next we meet…
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