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Author Topic: Ren Faire Peeve  (Read 4037 times)

Sir Patrick

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Ren Faire Peeve
« on: 2015-06-01, 01:35:55 »
Am I the only one who on some tiny level gets irritated when people at the Ren Faire say they like your "costume"?  It's a KIT!!!  An as close to accurate as I am able to be at this moment KIT!!  The guy with the elf ears in the leather armor with a Conan sword strapped to his back is in a costume!!!  Rant over ;).
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #1 on: 2015-06-01, 03:10:28 »
The last time I attended the MN Renaissance Festival in full kit a little boy wacked me in the back of the knee with a wooden sword.  This surprise attack actually hurt and nearly caused me to spill my beer.  The boy’s mother came running over, laughed, and asked for my photo with “little Johnny”.

I swallowed my pride, pain and beer while smiling for a photo with the little heathen.  Mommy leveled a parting coup de grace by saying what a nice costume I had and asking what time the next joust was to occur.

Mortally wounded, I could only shrug and point to the schedule of events posted just feet away.

The educational piece that we take to heart as a group is lost on many.  Combating Hollywood stereotypes and renaissance festival Dwarf-Ninja-Pirate-Barbarians is difficult.

These last few years I’ve chaperoned performing arts high school kids on day trips.  This has given me ample opportunity to people watch, especially considering the MN Ren Fest pulled in 300,000 visitors last year.  It’s easy for us to pick out the folks in nearly perfect high-end kits, aspiring folks who have OK kits, fantasy kits, Steampunk costumes, movie inspired costumes, and those that are completely mixed up Dwarf-Ninja-Pirate-Barbarians.  We need to remember that the general public has no idea.  Their only reference point is usually Hollywood.   :(
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Lord Dane

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #2 on: 2015-06-01, 16:03:23 »
Am I the only one who on some tiny level gets irritated when people at the Ren Faire say they like your "costume"?  It's a KIT!!!  An as close to accurate as I am able to be at this moment KIT!!  The guy with the elf ears in the leather armor with a Conan sword strapped to his back is in a costume!!!  Rant over ;).

Not the first time, won't be the last time either. :) You educate them or deal. You cannot be offended by those who do not know the difference. Just feel good that they admire it (even if not in the same vantage point or perspective).
« Last Edit: 2015-06-03, 18:37:45 by Lord Dane »
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Sir William

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #3 on: 2015-06-01, 16:40:32 »
I totally feel you, and I tend to run about in historically plausible gear, hardly accurate.  I take issue with it because if you take a moment to really look, you can tell the difference between a costume and kit.  If the person is friendly and well meaning, I'll take the time to educate but if they're coming off as a-holes, especially of the drunken variety, I'll nod and keep it moving.  No point in getting into it with anyone who is at such a distinct disadvantage.
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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #4 on: 2015-06-01, 16:49:57 »
Oh no, I don't mean they are rude. They are being quite nice. In fact they usually say this after posing for pictures. It's just as Sir William pointed out, there is a difference between a kit and a costume, so I die a little inside ;)
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Sir William

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #5 on: 2015-06-01, 19:55:05 »
Oh, and I don't do the 'walk up and hit' thing- a glare is usually enough to discourage.  I'm not a pell.
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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #6 on: 2015-06-01, 22:41:52 »
I've worked renfaires for 20+ years. The general populace knows nothing of your commitment, time, effort, or research in the creation of your persona(s), nor do they want to. They pay money to come and be entertained, maybe buy some kitchy medieval things, eat turkey legs and drink beer. Kit? Costume? How would they know the difference?

That being said, the brat with the wooden sword? His mom needs to understand that "parent" is a verb...
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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #7 on: 2015-06-02, 02:01:10 »
That being said, the brat with the wooden sword? His mom needs to understand that "parent" is a verb...

Amen.
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #8 on: 2015-06-02, 02:47:55 »
That being said, the brat with the wooden sword? His mom needs to understand that "parent" is a verb...

I like that quote!   :)
"Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." - Roger the Shrubber

Lord Dane

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #9 on: 2015-06-03, 18:40:16 »
I've worked renfaires for 20+ years. The general populace knows nothing of your commitment, time, effort, or research in the creation of your persona(s), nor do they want to. They pay money to come and be entertained, maybe buy some kitchy medieval things, eat turkey legs and drink beer. Kit? Costume? How would they know the difference?

That being said, the brat with the wooden sword? His mom needs to understand that "parent" is a verb...

Sums it up perfectly. :) And I've only done renfaires since 2008.
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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #10 on: 2015-06-04, 16:41:42 »

There are a lot of rennies who get upset at the use of the word "costume" instead of "garb" or "clothing", since "costume" downplays the authenticity (and perhaps durability) of really properly made stuff. I don't usually worry about it too much. But it throws me for a loop when I'm wearing 60+ pounds of armor, and they still say "costume". It may not be the most authentic stuff (far from it in fact), but considering I can fight in it, it's functional equipment.

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #11 on: 2015-06-04, 19:33:27 »
Yeah, it can be kind of irksome. My idea of "costume" is knitted mail, plastic helmet, and a surcoat with a zipper up the back, as well as one's choice of either tennis shoes or sandals. But I don't let it get to me for the reasons Dimitry listed. Most people at RenFaires don't care, and that's fine.

Plus, dealing with all the unwashed, uninterested masses makes it all the more sweet when you do run into somebody who knows what's up. :)
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Sir Rodney

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #12 on: 2015-06-05, 03:29:08 »
Plus, dealing with all the unwashed, uninterested masses makes it all the more sweet when you do run into somebody who knows what's up. :)

Two years ago, while in civilian clothes, I noticed a gentleman in a sweet mail hauberk.  This was not butted, nor poorly fitted off-the-rack mail.  This was very nice wedge riveted mail that was well fitted; noticeable from 50 feet away.  I made my way over, politely introduced myself and complimented his kit.

He was genuinely pleased that someone had noticed so we “talked shop” for quite some time.  That is, until we both realized that our wives were bored with the “shop talk”.   :-[
"Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history." - Roger the Shrubber

Sir William

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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #13 on: 2015-06-05, 13:05:11 »
Plus, dealing with all the unwashed, uninterested masses makes it all the more sweet when you do run into somebody who knows what's up. :)

Two years ago, while in civilian clothes, I noticed a gentleman in a sweet mail hauberk.  This was not butted, nor poorly fitted off-the-rack mail.  This was very nice wedge riveted mail that was well fitted; noticeable from 50 feet away.  I made my way over, politely introduced myself and complimented his kit.

He was genuinely pleased that someone had noticed so we “talked shop” for quite some time.  That is, until we both realized that our wives were bored with the “shop talk”.   :-[

Love when that happens; it is how I got here to begin with.  I still remember that day; Sir Ed was dressed as a stylishly appointed nobleman, Sir Brian as a Teutonic knight.  We started talking shop, they passed me a MC card and the rest is history.  :)
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Re: Ren Faire Peeve
« Reply #14 on: 2015-06-05, 15:39:47 »
I'm not usually put off too much by general public ignorance about medieval stuff, it's hard enough for dedicated enthusiasts to get accurate info much less the general public. It's when my girlfriend calls it a costume that gets me. I have a bascinet made by Jeffrey Hildebrandt that's a reproduction of the Wallace Collection A69 helmet, with hand made aventail, painstakingly historical hand sewn linen liner, the works. And my girlfriend (who lives with me and knows all about my obsessions) called it a "hat". The sound that I made was kind of a groan of dismay, and that was enough for her to correct herself, but I was like... Well, I don't know sh** about her designer purses either... so I can concede that not everyone can be knowledgable about everything, especially when it's stuff they don't really care about. For most people medieval stuff is just a curiosity. Never forget that. The minutia about our passions are only important to us and others like us. What's important to get across to everyone else isn't all the material details, it's the enrichment and broadening of their mind and conscience that comes from the ideas, ideals and thought behind it all.

Though I did make the point to my gf by calling her designer purse a "bag" next chance I got. ;) 

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