As of the end of September I am no longer a Costumed Roleplayer at Strawbery Banke Museum. I have given up what may have been the best job ever, but since this is the second time I have given it up, I get the feeling that it won’t be the last. I guess I know what I’ll be doing when I retire!
I gave up the job because the wages are so low that I was not able to contribute to my family in a monetary way. We’ve got a mortgage, two cars, pets, medical bills. Yes, I probably could have changed my lifestyle to reflect the abysmal pay, but I can’t ask my family to do that too. And the commute was killing me. An hour and twenty minutes each way is a hard slog.
Well the commute is not going to change, but I’ve been given a stellar opportunity. The person in charge of special events (or at least some of them) at the museum where I’ve spent the last two years is moving on, and after I gave my notice as a role-player and expressed my interest in the events position the museum hustled to make me an offer. I am now Strawbery Banke’s Manager of Special Events! I’ll be able to use the skills I honed stage managing renaissance faires, then tempered in fire up at the college. I’ve only been in the job a week and a half, but I’m enjoying it so far, I’m not feeling overwhelmed yet.
There are four main events that I will oversee, the 4th of July, a wine festival, Halloween Trick-or-Treat, and the December Candlelight Stroll. I’ve jumped in feet first planning the Halloween event, luckily it is a fairly low-key event whose sole purpose is to give the community kids a fun, spooky (but not scary) experience. Christmas is the biggest event and will follow shortly after. It is the one I am most worried about and the one I am most looking forward to. If anyone who reads my blog wants to come help out, I promise I run a really fun event!
But on the title of this post. I only took one weekend and one day off in between my last day of role-playing and my first day in the new position. Most folks had been informed (especially the ones who read email) that I was switching from seasonal to regular staff, but some still mentioned that it was a shock seeing my come in wearing “normal” business clothes. I did not look like I stepped out of some other era, nor was I wearing the interpreter uniform of a burgundy polo and khaki pants. But one of my role-player buddies who is very perceptive observed of my office attire: “it is just a different kind of costume.”
So I’ll be living less history during the work week, but I’ll be able to do more of my own reenacting on the weekends, and hopefully I’ll get to create magical events where scores of people will get to experience Living History.
Venice, from the Porch of Madonna della Salute
9 hours ago