Monday, July 8, 2013

Solo Living History

My Facebook feed has been full of photos from other people’s weekend reenactments and I must admit I am pretty jealous. I know that tons of folks in those photos would give a lot to have my job and be spending their time being historical in houses surrounded by all the right furniture, tools, the whole environment. I am mostly jealous because in my job I get lonely.

There are usually 3 or four other roleplayers at the museum, but we all play very different roles from very different time periods. There is usually someone in 1870, someone in 1919 and someone in 1943. Sometimes there is someone in 1777, or  1907. We can not really interact with each other. Not only are we supposed to stay close to our hoses, but we’re in completely different times! The closest two, 1907 Mrs. Aldrich and 1919 Mrs. Shapiro actually are located right across the street from each other, we could almost get away with it except the original Mrs. Aldrich put up a massive fence to separate herself from the undesirable neighbors across the street. Even if the modern folks that play Mrs. Aldrich are way friendlier, we really probably should not socialize.

Yes, I have people wandering through all day long, but most of them only stop by briefly. Often they come through just to look at the house, or they are unsure how to interact with a roleplayer. Even those that stick around  are separated in time. They are in 2013 and I am in 1919 (or 1870.) We can make connections, but there is always a block, that big gap of almost 100 years. I love when I can connect with visitors, and often I do, but it is totally not the same as spending a day surrounded by people who are all participating in the same event.

I miss my reenactor peeps, all of us working together. Even when we are set to our separate tasks we are united in time and focus. At the beginning and end of each day at an event we all work together. If one of us is struggling, there is someone on hand to sympathize, lend a hand. And we all laugh together, all day long.  I miss that.

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