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Gig&Tell: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire

  • Fun, hot summer job    
    02/13/2016  9:32pm

    This contract is end of June through the end of October. It is a lot of work on long hot days outdoors.
    the rehearsal period is a month 6 days a week 8am-5pm with an hour lunch break. Once the faire starts you work the 2 faire days (3 on labor day) from 7am until 7pm give or take a few hours. You still rehearse 3 days a week 8-5 (even if you have nothing to work on, which is ridiculous).

    You are paid a weekly salary, starting salary is $250. Housing is provided, it is college dorm style with communal bathrooms, living room, kitchen, and (almost) all rooms are shared (bunk beds that are interesting to say the least)

    Faire days are very long, but very rewarding. I have never done interactive theatre before, but I really enjoyed my life on the Shire. There are several different tracks among the Bacchanalian cast including Music, Fight, Improv, and Lead (there used to be a drama track, but I think they got rid of it). You also work closely with the volunteer cast of Blackfryers who are wonderful humans who LOVE the Ren Faire, they are good people to get to know early on in the year because they know all the ins and outs of the drama with the owners and higher ups at the Faire. (There is A LOT of drama)

    I worked there the summer of 2015, most/ all of the Artistic staff quit/ were fired after last year, so this year will be in limbo. (Mind you the artistic staff was LOVED by the cast.)

    My biggest issue with the Ren Faire is the way the actors are treated. We were paid as salaried employees and worked our butts off all summer in the blazing hot sun and torrential downpours. But after the Faire opened and we were working very long hours on Faire days we were still rehearsing the same shows over and over again in the blazing hot sun instead of resting. Everyone on cast got sick/ lost their voice at some point in the season and I think if the management had not required us to work hourly we would have been able to rest and get better. The upper management does not understand how hard it is to be an actor and our work was vastly under appreciated.

    Would I work here again? Yes, for more money and the assurance that Actors would be treated better than they were the summer I was there. I wish I could rate this 3 1/2 stars, but I'll round up to 4