One of my favorite aspects of any faire is the entertainment. And while I love the staged shows, I dig the street performers, the buskers and the Characters even more. Some of the best acts at the faire don’t happen on the stages around the faire they happen in the lanes, besides the booths and they take many different forms.
These are the true ‘acts’ of the street performer circuit subset. Juggling, fire-eating, musical instruments and all with a hat out hoping to gather a few dollars for their days work. These are usually the ones that I lean toward, that I find myself transfixed by. I can stand for hours watching as a street performer works the crowd, as they start the act off and the crowd begins to gather, as the complexity of the act becomes greater and greater, the crowd grows. Then at the finale, having a crowd as big as most of the stage shows they take a bow to rousing applause.
Characters & Living Scenery
These are acts as well as being characters. They come to the faires playing particular roles and they are part of the living scenery of the faire. While Twig the Fairy has a specific set f talents and certainly what she does is an ‘act’ she is also part of the scenery of the faire. Walking into any of the faires that she works without her working right past the entrance would be strange. IK – the Troll King – not roaming through the Tennessee Renaissance Festival would be equally as odd.
Some of my favs:
- The Green Man – As tall as a tree and delighting both kids and adults alike, the Green Man is certainly part of the landscape of the faire.
- Ik – King of the Trolls – One of the best costumes that you will ever see on a Troll. He doesn’t speak and draws in the little kids at the faire like nobodies business.
- Nickel Shakespeare Girls – Talk about drawing a crowd. Therir ability to surround themselves as they start to tell the tales of the bards is un-matched.
- The Rat Catcher – Great character, roaming the lanes looking for the rats that might be lruking around the faire, another fav of the kids at the faire.
- The Raven – Great street artist. Playing a character while performing, he is part juggler, part fire-eater, all artist.
- The Sleeping Violinist – You will see renditions of this character all over the faire circuit. Catch him sleeping and drop a coin in his tankard and he will start playing for you.
- Street Urchin or the Beggar – This is another of my favorites. He taunts the children, shows off for the adults and all the while not a peep is heard from his mouth. You will catch this act scooting around the faire, working the lanes.
- Twig the Fairy – Best character act anywhere, at any faire. No spoken word and usually not moving at all, Twig can pull in a crowd of children in a heartbeat.