Even though this post is about the Ren Faire, I felt like it belongs here on my personal blog. Unfortunately, my Anne-Drew blog has gone without post for a few months and while I'd love to write something for it, now is the time to focus on what's going on in my life and not my character (even if this post really could have been posted on Anne-Drew's blog).
This year as the Faire season started with rehearsals and classes through BAPA, I knew that I wouldn't be able to stay the entire season. This Friday I'll be moving into a dorm and starting a new chapter in my college journey. The thought of leaving Bristol early would make me feel sick and torn up inside. Like someone had walked into my sanctuary and smashed it to pieces.
Bristol really is like a home to me. I call it home. It was and always has been a sanctuary for me. Especially this summer, as I got more and more worried and stressed out about college and various other things in my life (that shall not be posted on the internet because the internet is forever), Bristol gave me a place where I had friends and a place where I belonged and was supported.
Last year, Bristol taught me that I am not alone in my weirdness. Growing up, I always felt like I was too much in one way or another. Bristol also taught me that I have gifts and can do much more than I thought that I could. It gave me healing from some of the baggage I was working through. Bristol gave me laughter and I learned how to feel again. This year I've worked really hard on working through feelings instead of shutting down and going numb. I lived in a strange sense of numbness for several years of my life and then was slowly coming out of it, only to be slammed back in full force. Bristol really helped me through the kindness and friendship shown me that first year.
This year, Bristol has taught me that I have family (more than my biological one) that love me and support me and will continue to do so, even outside of Faire. I gained an 'older sister,' who calls me mei-mei. Any of you Browncoats will understand the reference.
During the week leading up to my last weekend at Faire, I really was mourning the loss before it happened. I felt like I was about to leap out of one of the safest places I know into a world of strange uncertainty that was both exciting, but deeply terrifying.
This past weekend I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who came up to me and made a point to tell me that they had a couch open if I need a night away from college, or a homecooked meal, or just some familiar companionship. The amount of people who said "We're going to have dinner, or lunch, or tea, or come to me when you need help- with anything." made me realize that these are people who won't let me drown. Not that I ever doubted them, it just took me a while to realize that I'm counted as friend and family to these people. The compliments about how well I'm going to do at school and the kind of performer I am almost brought me to tears. The surprises and bits that I was able to perform with people amazed me and had me laughing all day. Heck- I was GIVEN a really nice printer and some ink!
I really owe my onstage acting work to two people in particular. The first is my drama teacher from my homeschool co-op whom I've studied under since 7th grade. She pushed me and held me to standards as an actress that stretched me and helped me grow in my character as well as in my acting.
The second is my Captain and now Director of Street Cast. He has been the best mentor and friend I could have asked for to teach me how to work in the streets of Bristol. From pushing me out on my very first day and forcing me to start interactions, to giving me ideas for bits that really had nothing to do with my character but made fantastic patron interactions (and I still managed to slip Anne in there somewhere).
I was anticipating to be a wreak after closing gate on Sunday. However, I found that my eyes were dry and I was at peace. I will not be forgotten or abandoned by these people who I have gotten to know and have come to love like my family. Even if I can't make it back for Labor Day weekend (and I'm going to do my damn best to make that happen), I'm going to be okay. The hugs and well wishes made me feel like I can face this next part of my life and have a shot at excelling beyond even my dreams.
I feel like I'm ready now. I'm sure that feeling will ebb and flow, but I feel much more sure of myself that I did last week.
"And one day we'll meet again, it shall not be long
And I will remember when we both sang this song
Of a place called Bristol
Upon England's shor
And there we will sing our farewell song once more"
~ Dan the Bard's Farewell to Bristol