Monday, February 10, 2014

New generation

Orientation for faire was this past weekend. It was bitterly cold at times, it was long hours of hard work, and today I am so sore that it actually hurts to type. None of that really matters considering I got to spend time with my much missed faire family doing something that we all passionately love. There was also the added bonus of getting to welcome in all of our new SAPA (Scarborough Academy of Performing Arts) members, oh which there were 31.

31 SAPlings (the nickname an incoming group coined some years ago and has stuck). This is a huge incoming class. I can't remember having this many in recent years. I think the last class close to this size might have been the year I joined cast, and I am pretty sure our number was in the low 20's if that many.

The amount of new talent that just walked through our gates is actually a little intimidating if I am being honest. I mean with these new folks we have upped our numbers to around 120 cast members. The more of us there are, the more amazing things we can do. It is going to be epic.

It is also a little intimidating that the majority of the new SAPlings are young. A large number of them are between 17 and 21. In recent years the majority of our incoming cast members were in there late 20's and up with the occasional under 18 thrown in for good measure. The median age of our cast just dropped by a decade.

I really do love seeing all these kids joining cast though. I know they probably don't think of themselves as kids, and I typically don't think of myself as being old, but that is the way it felt on Saturday as I was looking at them running about with boundless energy. They were everywhere taking everything in, and I was doing good not to be exhausted by what I was doing.

They were like magic though. They were all so excited. They are these little balls of potential that are so eager to learn what we do and go out and create the magic that is faire that it was almost inspiring. Listening to them get excited about the prospect of the adventure they are embarking on was invigorating.

I remember when I started in SAPA 12 years ago how thrilling it all was. It was also mildly terrifying, but the terror could never overshadow the sheer exhilaration of what we were doing. No matter how intimidating any of it seemed (and trust me I was truly intimidated standing next to the vets) I couldn't get past the overwhelming excitement of the performance that we were preparing for. I remember the anticipation was so intense, I never thought I would make it to opening day.

Of course I did and I never looked back.

I hope that all of our SAPlings, not just the young kid, can find what I found here. I hope that they are as excited as I was and still am. I hope that they soak all of the next eight weeks up, and then give their everything for the eight weeks that follow. I hope that they find that they are part of our outrageous family and know how excited we are to have them here. I hope that they get caught up in the magic and find the intense joy of sharing that magic with every person that walks through the gates. I hope that this is an epic adventure that they will cherish forever. I hope that they hit the ground running with us and never look back.

I love this time of year.

Time to make the magic.

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