barnabas_truman: (oldstyle)
Dickens Fair, and everything that goes on therein, is the truest real-world example I've ever known of "bigger on the inside." Imagination turns sawdust into snow; booths grow into buildings, aisles widen to streets, curtained stages become music-halls, and by some theatrical miracle a warehouse is transformed into a city.
barnabas_truman: (army)
First weekend: "By the power of the Crown and Anchor, I call upon the magics of the Golden Square!"

Closing weekend: "The Golden Square is just an ordinary portable dance floor; the real magic was in us all along!"

Every weekend: "It's a Christmas miracle!"

Mr Scrooge

Oct. 23rd, 2012 10:16 am
barnabas_truman: (oldstyle)
I have received word that Martin Harris, best known for playing the role of Mr Scrooge at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair for quite a long while, has passed away.

His post-redemption scenes towards the end of every day were always one of my favorite parts of Dickens. The sheer joy he exuded brought a smile to everyone and gave genuine meaning to "I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy."

He was quite a musical fellow as well. I always looked forward to his renditions of "Fishfingers" and "Cornish Lads" at the December chantey sing. At Old Town Sacramento a year and a half ago I was surprised to learn that he played the spoons--and equally surprised when he leapt into my lap during a tune to play along.

During the Old Town gig, he dressed as a miner and wandered the streets telling stories to anyone who would listen. Whatever the story, each seemed to end with the same moral, a sentiment he often expressed as Redeemed Scrooge as well: "Don't spend money on the people you love. Spend time with them." That, I think, is the most important part of him to remember. Go out and tell his story; let it echo far and wide.
barnabas_truman: (oldstyle)

Thanksgiving luncheon in Motown with a variety of relatives. Good food, good company, good times. Highlights included my aunt's cornbread stuffing that I look forward to every year, music with my parents, and a game of Power Grid.


Got up early early early and drove to the Cow Palace for the first day of Dickens Fair! I'm playing pennywhistle for the Christmas Pantomime, which is the best show ever and you should all come see it several times. The show went well except for a few minor problems with costume changes taking too long (pantos typically involve a LOT of costume changes, and this one is really pushing the envelope on that front). My parents, my brother, and his girlfriend also came along, so I gave them the usual tour of London. Also bought a lovely bright purple waistcoat to complete my street outfit, chatted with various old friends, and ran into a co-teacher I hadn't seen in some time.

After Fair was over I spent the night at my brother's apartment in The City, where we ate leftover pumpkin pie, drank sort-of-grog (1 shot rum, 1 shot orange-mango-peach juice, 1 stick cinnamon, top off highball glass with boiling water), and played Settlers of Catan. Got some lesson plans done for next week too, and started planning out the final round of midterms.


Returned to Dickens Fair and continued to have fun. The best part of my role here is that I spend two hours a day playing music I enjoy for a show that I have watched probably a dozen times and still find hilarious and heartwarming, and then can spend the rest of the day wandering around and playing music with everybody else. So far "everybody else" consists of a freelance hammer dulcimer player, a freelance bagpipes-and-hurdy-gurdys-from-all-over-Europe player, the Brunos band, and Paddy West. Good times.

I also encountered groblek, kay_gmd, and silkfiddlerette, and bought a book about science for children from the 1870s. Did you know that there are 11 planets, and that electricity is a fluid present in all objects? (Rubbing certain objects together can cause a transfer of electrical fluid; the object with too much electricity is called "positive" and the one with too little "negative.")

After Fair it was back to my brother's place for Power Grid, pie, shower, and sleep.


Packed up the car, returned to Fair, more shows as usual. Still some problems with costume changes but overall getting better. Around closing time I heard that several accidents had occurred on the Bay Bridge, snarling traffic horrifically, so I decided to have a leisurely dinner with barelyproper, chaosloom, and ragani and wait for things to clear up. Got home around elevenish.


Realized upon waking that the Big Bad Wolf's theme song seems to be identical to Cinderella's theme song played upside-down and in a minor key, at least for the first measure or two of each. Will have to investigate further.

Went to work, got out of car, glanced at reflection in car window. First thought:
"Oops, my collar's not up. Wait, where's my cravat?... Oh yeah. Not at Dickens today."


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