Friday, October 28, 2011

Fan-Gasm Friday

Know what I love? People in costumes.

I love Comic Con. I love Renaissance Faires. I love drag queens. I love the Society for Creative Anachronism's meetings in public parks.

Costumes are probably what drew me to acting and dancing and writing growing up and as an adult, too. Going to the theatre, even if the show blows, is always partially good simply because there will most likely be people in costumes. Often, there will be wigs.

But let's go back to the Society for Creative Anachronism for a bit. I happened upon them in college one evening. As I strolled through Union Square Park in NYC with my best friend, I heard screaming and the clashing of what sounded like swords. Walking towards the ruckus proved that I was not just overly imaginative. I had indeed heard swords. They were being swung through the air at wooden targets and men, women, boys, and girls wearing makeshift armor.

In New York City in the 2000's, one does not really ever know what one will see, but people in oddly fitting chain mail, battling with medieval weapons is not usually high on the list of guesses. However, that's what we found that night. When everyone got tired of swinging their homemade and/or ordered online weapons around, they took a Powerade break. My friend and I cautiously approached these armed strangers and asked something along the lines of "what the hell?"

One spotty-faced boy with plastic sports glasses strapped to his face said, "We're the Society for Creative Anachronism. We have a permit. It's okay."

Thank goodness he told us about that permit, because obviously that's the only reason we were asking. Also, thank goodness for the internet, which explained the Society for Creative Anachronism, because my previous sentence is a lie.

The Society for Creative Anachronism, or SCA is, according to their website, "an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skill so pre-17th-century Europe. Our 'Known World' consists of 19 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more." So what does that really mean? People wear costumes from different time periods and do whatever they want in them while claiming that those things are from SOME time period other than the one in which they currently live. Sounds pretty fun to me.

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