If money were not an object, would you wish to sit one season out at MDRF and just go as a patron to be entertained? or would you miss being Mimi just too much to be able to do that?
((I have a second one as well - has any parent ever gotten upset when Mimi swipes a baby? The babies always seem quite happy to be soaring above the crowd.))
Gut response: No.
Intellectual response: Heyaaall no!
Considered response: Are you KIDDING? Mimi is probably the most entertained person in the village, possibly the entire Baltimore/Washington area, and perhaps all of the Eastern Seaboard.
I’ve been a visitor for a whole day and that was plenty, thanks. After I was broken, in 2003, Sparky brought me out to the Faire. I mostly was parked outside the White Hart tavern, and ended the day with a lap full of roses. Having that level of lovingkindness bestowed upon me was wonderful, but honestly, I'd rather had been working.
I have so much fun, and so much to do when I'm working that I'm not sure I could be adequately entertained as a patron for a weekend, never mind a whole season.
Plus, Mimi would never tolerate being sidelined.
I mean, there we are at HonFest, my girl and I, [hairsprayed updo by a transvestite who says ‘hang on, honey, we’re going to God': $20; funnel cake rechristened ‘hun’nle cake: $4.00; flamingo-shaped earrings: $12.00; hula-hooping at the Houlihan’s booth in hot pink platform sandals: well, you know.], stopping frequently to be the subject of photo ops and I say to my girl, “This is almost like RenFest- we wear bright clothes and get our picture done.”
“Better,” she answers. “because we can talk.”
“Worse,” I refute, “because we’re not getting a paycheck.”
“Worse,” she giggles, “because in whiteface, when someone asks stupid questions, we don’t have to answer.”
Honfest? good fun. RenFest? even better.
And our view from above is better than most.
Keep in mind, I’ve been working this fair a loooong time. he mudpit used to be in front of the iced tea booth, near the ring where Court’s Court would happen each afternoon. The storyteller’s chair spent its first season nearby. All of those things were moved when Center Stage was built. Center Stage no longer exists, either.
I wrote plays performed by Dragons By the Tale on Castle Stage. Now, in that space, and in the space previously occupied by a zip-line based joust game, stands the giant pirate ship playground.
I often know storylines ahead of time, and I’ve seen one Queen Elizabeth and two Henry VIIIs preside, and I’ve lost count of how many wives. I have loved four joust troupes, and two ex-partners. I’ve eaten things that are no longer on any menu (though none that contained avocado) and embraced several vendors who have gone to the great beyond.
The faire I see is different from the one patrons see, because mine is comprised of everything I see on stage, everything I see going on behind it, and everything I remember about both from the past two decades. I see the where the food comes from, who camps next to whom in the campground, when the privies are pumped, which booths have been sold, and how many people have needed the First Aid staff each day. I know how many patrons came in last year, and the year before, and how many we anticipate this season.
My Faire is bigger than any patron experience could encompass. I couldn’t be a Designated Patron in Maryland. I know too much. There’s no illusion, no fantasy for me to indulge.
Why would I want to? As a patron in a plain face, I wouldn’t be invited to have sips of beer or oyster shooters by perfect strangers. No one would permit me to swipe a baby from parental arms.
Has any parent ever gotten upset? Absolutely- usually the spouse of the one who handed the baby to me. The babies themselves could be a crapshoot, but I try to choose ones who look interested. I ask, and the person holding the child agrees, but when permission-asking is non-verbal, it takes only a miniscule amount of time, so it does look as though I’ve snatched the child away. Once, when a lady handed me a baby, a bystander objected. She said, “How could you just hand your baby to that performer?” Christine shrugged and said, “It’s her baby,” and snapped a photo.
Mimi gets so much of a show working that I very nearly feel fraudulent collecting a paycheck. (Please do not tell the Management.) I truly am more entertained performing than I would be watching.
And I, satisfied with less? People, please.
(Entertain Me; Soft Cell)