Whelp, it’s a new year, so it’s time for new business.
Ladies and gents, it is with some regret that I announce that next summer I will not be at Bristol Renaissance Faire. Instead, I will be going full Monty (NAKED ART! RAWR!) with this suckah and applying to a number of summer shows that I have until now been passing up in order to stick with my very only ren faire.
I first did Bristol when I was a wee sixteen years old.
It was my gateway drug. To art. To culture. To adult content.
To freedom, really. Both intellectual and literal. I am who I am because I ran away with that circus and I have not a single regret.
For those of you who don’t know, I used to do this full time. Nine months a year for ten years of my life, this was my job. I worked for two master leather crafters for most of that time, had many adventures of all sorts and I miss the crap out of it.
Getting off the road was a different adventure. I wanted to try college and living in the city that jammed loving hooks into the meat of my heart the first time I laid eyes on it, so I moved to New Orleans for a few years.
College didn’t agree with me, and even though New Orleans is absolutely and deeply embedded in my soul, I chose to move back to Chicago for a multitude of reasons, financial, familial and personal.
It was supposed to be a way station only. I wanted to get back on the road. Back to the movement of the caravan, chasing the warm weather all over the country like a kid chasing the ice cream truck.
I was supposed to stop, get my bearings, load my truck and fly.
Not what the universe had in mind though.
My beloved companion animal was diagnosed with cancer and required frequent and expensive treatment (yeah, I’m one of those pet owners who is crazy attached to their dog), and my dad came out of his second bone marrow transplant induced remission, with no further transplants possible because of his age.
So yeah. That happened.
And I needed to do something besides work for a crazy screen printing lady (quitting that job comes in at 5 in the list of top five best things I’ve ever done) and worry. That’s how I started this business. No training, no money, no freakin’ clue what the hell I was doing.
Just desperate to move my hands and engage my mind with something besides two family members on chemo (dogs are so family members) and missing my nomadic life.
But I always had one toe left in the rennie waters, and that was Bristol.
So maybe you can guess how weird it is that this year will be the first time in more than twenty years that I won’t be doing any kind of faire.
I won’t lie, it’s messing with me.
But summer is art-show-palooza and if I’m doing this for a living I’ve got to jump in fo’ realz.
So, I’m doin’ it.
When I got off the road, a wonderful fellow named Al Craig, who was the crafts coordinator at Scarborough, said something to me as I was checking out. I remember exactly what he said, “You’ll be back. You’ll take 8 years, maybe 10 years, do whatever it is you’re going to do, and then you’ll be back. Some people just pass through on their way somewhere else. But you’re a lifer, girl. This is your home.”
Eight years since he said that I still believe he was dead on.
I’ll find a way to incorporate traveling and ren faire back into my world someday.
But this day is the time to pour all my energy into growing my fledgling business into something that can fly.