For the past several years (6, to be exact), I’ve worked at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in August and September. I adore it!! My parents took us there every year when we were growing up (so I’ve attended every year since 1986), and it was always my favorite time of year, so when my brother got a job out there through a friend of his, I followed suit. I sold chocolate for the first 5 years, and last year I was a beer wench at Mac’s, the pirate pub.
My character for the last few years has been a pirate (my first couple of years I was just a merchant-class maiden) named Charlotte Rowan. I have a whole character backstory and everything. This year, however, I’m actually on cast, playing flute in the ensemble for the courtly dance troupe. Since a pirate doesn’t exactly fit in with that theme, I have to go back to wearing merchant-class garb again. That’s fine, no big deal – skirts aren’t difficult to make, and that’s really the only thing I HAD to make. Same bodice and chemises will work, and although my tricorn is not appropriate, I already had a straw hat that will work for Fest. But I wanted to keep my same character, so I just modified her backstory a little to give a pirate a reason to be at court:
Charlotte Rowan, half sister of the famous Irish pirate Grace O’Malley, usually roams the seven seas with her sister, but she frequently visits the court where she earns her keep as a musician. Although she is a most fierce and scurvy pirate, she is given amnesty at the court due the fact that she is married to one of the Queen’s favorite knights.
I wanted to make my merchant-class garb reflect this mixture of worlds, so I will still wear my piratical jewelry, and I bought a small dagger to wear instead of my pirate cutlass, and I am also making a bag in which to carry my flute and other things. The bag is made out of burlap (lined for structure) and I’m sewing seashells and other piratical trinkets onto it to add another little touch of pirate.
Here’s a picture of me in my new “hint of pirate” garb. (Sans bag, since it’s not done yet.)