When it comes to finding writing motivation, I’m at an advantage. Not only do I live in New York and have a reliable vehicle, I’m also willing to explore just about anything for the sake of writing. My ability to creatively procrastinate has proved beneficial on many occasions; such as museums, libraries and even theme parks. However, after a recent trip to the New York Renaissance Faire, I realized it doesn’t always work.
If the name didn’t give it away, the “RenFaire” is a Renaissance-themed faire that takes place in upstate New York. For nine weeks, fairgoers make their way to New York’s 65-acre Tuxedo Park to watch actors perform jousts, period-appropriate exhibits and performances. Diehard fans of the period even dress up to “live out” their Renaissance fantasies.
Aside from a morbid curiosity as to what it smelled like, I am not a Renaissance enthusiast. The closest I’ve come is admiring art from the period at museums. Call it a side effect of binging Games of Thrones, or an excuse to day drink at 10am on a Sunday; I decided to head up to Tuxedo for some inspiration.
Inspiration Didn’t Find Me at the Renaissance Faire
The “fantasy” actually began in the parking lot, where fairgoers outfitted in elaborate costumes exited their modern day transportation. I had once driven to a Halloween party in a vampire costume, I could only imagine driving in a cinched corset or tied leather vest was much more difficult. If that wasn’t enough, at 10am the temperature had already hit 85 degrees with no clouds in sight – and the costumes looked heavy. Fantasy or not, I was happy for my shorts and polo.
After making the half-mile trek from the parking lot, I arrived at the faire gates only to have missed the opening ceremony. It didn’t seem to be a problem; however, as every faire employee remained to promote their shows. It felt like walking through Times Square on a weekend, only everyone was Elizabethan.It was like walking through Times Square on a busy weekend, only everyone was Elizabethan. Click To Tweet
Much like any other theme park, the fee to get in was only the beginning. Shows were free to attend, but finding them meant purchasing a map for two dollars. That seemed a small fee; however my “discounted” online ticket purchase was actually two dollars more due to its “online service fee”. Food was significantly overpriced and, if you purchased it, bees followed you (no joke!).
Was this what being in the Renaissance was like?!
Not wanting to waste money (or calories) on a bee-infested turkey leg, I decided to drink. I convinced myself it was what any sane person would do in Renaissance times.
I could go on about my morning spent with bad accents, bugs and over-priced fun, but I won’t. After about two hours of walking around the fairgrounds and drinking an amazing concoction of mead and hard cider, I watched a glassblowing show and left to find a winery. As I walked back to my car, I wondered if I could’ve done something better with my time (writing and day-drinking, maybe?).
I’ve met enough fantasy writers on this journey to realize the importance of the genre. As a first time novelist, I’m always willing to explore new genres, but this just didn’t seem the avenue to do it. The winery, on the other hand, was very inspiring.
Huzzah and Happy Writing.