|Some fantasies come true...
||[Jun. 20th, 2007|09:15 am]
|||||Ant Music, Adam Ant||]|
So, you'll be pleased to know that since my last posting, I have indeed, managed to trim my toenails. (Although if you and I are now stuck on a cliff somewhere and our lives depend on my scaling said cliff...well, I no longer have toe claws and you and are going to be screwed, just screwed.)
And I managed to pick up the ant traps and even lay down new ones (although I suspect that I have only managed to develop a breed of ants that thrives on boric acid, since there is a near constant line-up at the feeding trough....)
I can't vacuum yet, since there is way to much garb, gear and assorted crap laying around. And my car....
In all fairness, I have to credit that funny to the Captain, as that was his response to my whinging about someone having varfed all over the house.
Why, yes, it WASN'T hot enough this past weekend, so I chose to spend Monday onsite -- because THAT my friends, was rip-roaring, deadly humidity kinda weather. And inside the ticket booth/office, where I had to to do the bulk of my work...well, let's just say, that tromping around the sunny field surveying the site was like air conditioning. I made the mistake of looking at the thermometer before I packed it up -- inside that shed it was 103 degrees. With no air circulation. I was sweating from places that I didn't think had pores.
All in all, the cast/crew did a much better job than last year, shutting things down. More got done, and more of it was well done.
Sometimes I think it's a miracle -- they give five weekends of playing the show, all sorts of rehearsals and set up time beforehand. Then work two long (and usually hot days) and as a reward, we make them take down all of the tents, the fences, the trash, the props...pack it all up, wrap it all up. Miracle, or they've got the same special kind of stupid that I seem to be inflicted by.
We have officially achieved a "faire that doesn't suck". Which was how I rewrote our business plan's slightly more grandiose goal. We're on our way to possibly achieving my secondary goal: "a self-sustaining faire that can afford to fund itself and take care of its people." My long-term goal: "a good little faire that volunteers can put on without feeling completely consumed and drained by it"...I'm not ruling it out, but I can't say we made huge inroads here.
We have actually managed to attract, accumulate, suck in, trap, some really fine people this past year and thankfully a lot of the good ones have stayed with us. Critical mass -- it's getting there. This is definitely the first year where I felt that a lot of people were actually working hard, and pulling their weight, instead of just the usual suspects.
And the usual cast/staff conflicts...a new tone. Conflicts, sure, but mostly the type of thing that come from lack of management/supervisory skills, differences in style, or being overstressed, underslept and inappropriately dressed for the weather. Most importantly, things that could be talked out. Sure, some mountains out of molehills...but again, things where both parties usually seemed interested in resolving the issue. If there was an "if I don't get my way, I'll quit" moment this year (of which there have been many in the past!) I didn't hear about it. attribute Sure, it could have a little to do with my counterthreat of "if you're going to threaten to quit, you might as well write up your resignation and bring a pen for me to sign it, 'cause I will." but I like to to everyone being more mature, better team building, and actually having a venture that folks want to stay a part of.
I'm madly in love with so many of the new folks who joined us this year and so relieved that the stalwart veterans now no longer have to carry the whole show, plus my own needs for emotional support, on their shoulders.
Oh, but now I'm getting close to maudlin and that's....icky.
We were up 20% in attendance for the entire year. That's frankly a little lower than my projected 25%, but we did have one entire day of rain, which did not have last year -- and if I take out that raindate, where we had only 115 patrons, up against last year's number of 757, and just compare the rest of the days...we're up 33%, which I can totally live with.
(and that, my friends, is called marketing and is why you should never, ever trust us when we start spinning numbers)
Sure, it's easy to feel inadequate when you're neigbhors with one of the largest and best renaissance faires in the country. Hell, our attendance numbers can be matched against....the number of people standing in the White Hart on a good day.
And, when bombarded by pissing and moaning from vendors (you need to do more advertising, you need running water and electricity, you need a real camping area) and entertainers (this stage sucks, where's the greenroom, why didn't I have a stage manager, I can't keep working for hat) and patrons (you need to have an ATM, I came all this way to see Actwhonevershowed, you need more shade, I had to walk to far to get to a privy) it's really hard to not break into tirade A: Look, dude, we're working as hard as we can. Did you know that we're all volunteers. Yup, I do this in my spare time. Spare, hee-hee, upaid, hah-hah....the problem with Tirade A is that I tend to dissolve into laughter and then tears and that's not good.
Or I can go with Tirade B: Oh, yeah, well, four years ago, we were ass-deep in mud playing to three patrons. Three years ago we had no site until a month out from opening day, no shade, one stage, one food vendor. Two years ago...edited for brevity...and you should be goddamned glad you have a faire at all because if the staff of this faire ever came to our senses and decided to have real lives, there'd be no faire at all....
Ahem. Thankfully there are plenty of folks who genuinely seemed to have a good time, be impressed with how much we've grown, and just plain ol' can't wait until next year....
Not to mention those large deposits I got to make at the bank, that felt good. (Although you rennies and your dollar coins. What a pain in the neck. And heavy.)
I'm going to revel in that a few more days before I have to turn to the unlovely task of paying the large bills. Toilets. $8000 worth of crappers. Next person who bitches about us not having an amenity...I'm gonna hand them a poop bag.