As any one of the four people who clicked on “A nude photo” knows, I’ve had a lot of jobs. One of the more noteworthy was when I worked as a TV talent scout at a Renaissance Festival.
When you think of Renaissance Festivals, you picture strumpets, men in tights, jesters, tinkers, knaves and knights. But networking doesn’t usually come to mind. I worked for a television talent show and my job was to go to Renaissance Festivals and network with the “talent” on the lookout for people to appear on the show. Plum job. Especially if you are as fond of men in tights as I am.
It’s a different sort of business networking than what most people experience. Instead of listening to you when you speak, for instance, a Ren Faire player often interjects not particularly useful comments such as “Thou gleeking, unmuzzled, urchin-snouted puttock!” This is the sort of thing which they would declare loudly hoping to lure tourists to their booth with their hammy dramatics. “Yes,” I’d reply, “but the thing is, I just need a contact number for you. If you’d…” “Why, thou pottle-deep pignut!” he would shout as he gestured grandly at his authentic display of Elizabethan cod pieces and postcards. “Were I as spleeny as thou, I wouldst be no more than a hedge-born hugger-mugger!” When I scowled at him, he’d add with a flourish of his cap, “…M’lady.”
Before he could take out his quill to write his website on a piece of parchment, along would come a crowd of betighted men shouting “Huzzah!” and before I could shake my Day-Timer at them, I was being given a “sausage onna stick” and invited to quaff a tankard of ale. Quaffing seemed to involve more tankard crashing toasts than actual drinking. In fact, I wore most of my ale on my shirt front as I am not really known to be much as a defensive toast maker.
Taking control of the meeting, I would say in my firm businesslike voice, “Good, let’s check our schedules, shall we? I have some time later on this…” With a shriek, the strumpets would enter the tavern shouting about how their men and run off with “yon bottom-tufted, poxy, slack-mouthed slattern (me). After much bosom-baring, bellowing and general blousiness, and a bit more quaffing, I’d attempt to return to the business at hand.
Just as I was getting to the bit about exchanging contact information, more men in tights would enter and blow long cough drop horns. At this, everyone would drop into sweeping bows and curtsies as the King and Queen entered the establishment “My good sirs and ladies, I bid thee good morrow.” he would cry as the Queen sullenly adjusted her falcon. “What business doth we come upon here?” he bellowed with eye out for tourists.
“Your…Majesty, er Highness um…Dave?” I fumbled, feeling as foolish as a pignut. “I am networking with…”
“Doth she call this net work? Nay, I say!” cried the court acrobat as he propelled me out the door and toward the high wire in the square. “I will show thee about net working!” the nimble footed giant declared.
“Let me just leave you my business card…ooof! “I huffed as I was tossed over his shoulder and jostled aloft. “Perhaps we can get together later in the week?” I cried out tossing my cards to the wind.
“Huzzah!” cried all the Kingdom’s merry folk from far down below.