The Raven

Joshua Safford

Several years ago, I was walking through the streets and lanes of the Carolina Renaissance Festival.  I happened upon an act that has become one of my favorite street performers in the circuit today:  The Raven.  I came up during the end of one of his shows and had to come back to see the whole thing later in the day.  As I walked up, I saw the Raven mount a ball and begin working the fans in his hands.  He had a dark, artsy feel.  He had a big crowd gathered around him.  Many of the children decided just to sit and watch as the show unfolded, amazed and silent. They were in fact as silent as the Raven himself.

The Raven’s brand of mystery ands storytelling.  The flare of a professional actor and clown is brought into the Raven’s show.  He is a showman of the first class.  Without uttering a word, almost like you are watching a silent-movie, you watch thr Raven perform and move from one piece of his act to the next.  And remember that you are not watching him on a stage, you are watching him perform in the round with his audience all around him.  Regardless of where his crowd gathers, the Raven brings his audience into that feeling of intimacy.  He works ‘in-the-round’ and this is a different type of show then you will usually see at a Ren Faire.  There is nothing over-the-top.  This is not a comedy show.  This is a physical comic, an antiquarian-style performer, a piece of European acting that likes of which you have to experience.

So, next time you are strolling through a Ren fair and you see a sign announcing the Raven , park yourself near the front of the crowd and get ready for something extraordinary.  Something fanciful, something magical.

-Bobaganush the Pirate