What a weekend!
It was the first weekend The Sidequest Players were without Query the Riddlemaster and we sure missed him. There are only a couple stories this week, but boy are they doozies!
After 6PM on Saturday, I was going from Kings's gate to a couple of shops passing the Mermaid Cove. The elephants and camels were transporting and I mentioned to a man standing there how incredible it is to see something that magnificent up close treated almost routine. This man was the dad of a family. The rest of the family: Mom, 'Son' 8, and 'Daughter' 6. (I got their names, but for anonymity, I will call them Son and Daughter) Mom was comforting Daughter about missing the mermaid; Son was indifferent. Dad was waiting as I had approached him. --Now there are lots of different cries we all hear 'I'm tired,' 'this is a tantrum,' 'this is an owie,'; Daughter's cry was 'sad' - this was not the others. *Time to find some magic *.
I look at dad and I get down on a knee to Daughter in her Ana dress, face paint, and new necklace. We talk about the Mermaids and why they couldn't stay - their magic only lasts so long out of water. I ask her about the day she had. She tells me about the fun she had and she was quite articulate. Before Fest that day she had a soccer game and she lost that game, but still had a good day at the festival. Son got in on this talk too, and the things they saw and did. I tell them it sounded like they can do lots of good and fun, but sometimes there's just bad luck, like losing a soccer game and missing mermaids. I give both children a four-leafed clover and tell them a bit about luck. Mom mentions Daughter looks for them during her soccer games.
Daughter asks, "Will it make my wish come true? Will it grant my wish?" --There's a certain dilemma I have with this: There's the magic others create I am comfortable continuing to create like I told her with the mermaids. But I can't bring myself to outright lie to a child, it's something I get from my mom who couldn't ever quite discuss things like Santa or the tooth fairy with me. I believe part of what I do is that even though I am a ridiculous Deer-person, people can still see my honesty and humanity. So how do I respond?
I look at Daughter and tell her "The magic is in you. It comes from here and here (pointing to her heart and her head.) You make it yourself. It comes from hard work and love. I didn't always look like this, I used to look like everyone else, but now I look like this and find four leafed clovers and know mermaids. It comes from hard work, learning, and love. And you can do it too." Son is holding his four-leafed clover right in front of his face with his eyes closed making a wish or finding luck, I do not know, but he was in it. Daughter's tears are long gone, but now Mom is crying. I stand and Daughter fully run-hugs into me. I whisper some more kind words to her about hard work, reading, and love. Mom and Dad thank me for what I did for them, all of them. ...THIS is why I do this!
Sunday morning, some other magic happened for our team: Cast Award nominations.
--Ember as Clover the Curious for "Cracked Cup" (aka Rookie of the Year).
--The Sidequest Players were nominated for "Bottomless Hat" (Best new gridded show)
...then this one...
-I was nominated for 'The Big Picture' (this is awarded to the interactive street theater actor / character who best exemplifies the performance tenets of the Big Picture: doing rather than being and proactively engaging patrons, making patrons the focus and center of the performance.) I stood up and shouted "Yeah!" When my name was called first (so much for decorum and dignity)....THEN I heard the rest of the nominees: Johnny, Tim, Don, and Rick. These men are GIANTS: The King, a Rock Star, The man I lost Cracked Cup to 4 years ago, and a man who is a known family legacy in these lanes. These are all award winners in their own rights: Three Unicorns (10+ years of outstanding achievement in entertainment), Two Keepers of the Flame (Lifetime Achievement), and a Cracked Cup (Rookie of the Year).
It's true what they say: It really is an honor just to be nominated.
I am amazed at what these last several months have brought. The things people have said to me. The moments patrons have had with our team. And we get to keep doing it! I have five more festival days left in 2023.
Let's leave it out in the lanes.
See you in weekend 6...