April 21, 2015

The 3 Things You Need to be a Good Reenactor

How to Become a Civil War Reenactor

Do you need a gun? A new dress? Better display? More shirts? Trousers? The answer is: None of the above.

Reenacting has developed a "stuff" problem. And why shouldn't it have? Most people knew they were destined to reenact the moment they imagined themselves in period dress. The stuff is a big draw. It is a big part of reenacting, but it's not the only thing.

In recent years the stuff has become more important than it should be. The current trend of "Accuracy is King," has reigned long enough. The beginnings of the trend were innocent enough. Everyone wants to be as accurate as possible. It's a noble goal and it's a great thing to aspire to; however, it has had some unforeseen negative side effects that have been a great detriment to the hobby.

The stuff became more important than the people. It stratified the hobby, fostered elitism, and dare I say it--promoted bullying under the guise of help. But the time has come for this to end. In the next few years we need to see a shift from a stuff focused hobby to a community focused one.

We don't need to hear about how farby one company dresses. We need to hear how friendly they are. We need to hear about how well they interpret and interact with the public. We need to hear how much money they raised for preservation and what research they are working on. The costumes are only one little part of it. After all, people learned, taught, raised money and had a taste of the past, even when the costumes were made out of nylon. Getting nice clothing is the easy part. It's time that we focus on the harder things like interpretation, preservation and community.

When I first started reenacting, I thought that I needed a lot of things. But now I realize that we only need 3 things:     

1. Respect for the safety of yourself and others.
2. Pleasant Disposition
3. Willingness to learn and share with others.

The rest will grow from here. 

A crotchety reenactor can have the best kit in the world but they're still crotchety. A better kit does not always equal a better reenactor.

Tweet This Tweetable:A better kit does not always equal a better reenactor. http://ctt.ec/gadsV+ #worldturndupsidedown #reenactor 

April 11, 2015

Crossing the Elbe: WWII Event at Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation 2015

WWII Colonial Plantation 2015

I don't believe that this has happened again. One minute I'm prancing out of work in my pretty, ankle grazing dress in rural Pennsylvania in the year of our Lord, 1763 and the next minute, POOF, I'm in EUROPE in who knows what year. I hope you all see the automaton cart below that sounded like the gnashing of teeth of thousands of tortured souls. I was afraid to go near it but wouldn't that be a big help on the farm!    

This happens every time our farm is converted from it's usual Colonial goodness for WWII day at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. I have to admit that this is an event I never really stayed for in the past as it was not a period I was interested in recreating. Also, despite what you may have heard or what you may have seen me wearing today, I am not switching to WWII anytime soon. :) 

This is a small event but a good event if you've never been out to the farm, you have no problem sensing that you are in a different time period. There are no telephone lines and you are surrounded by woods so it's easy to get lost in the time bubble. 

Civilians, Russians, Americans, British, and Germans among others were represented at this event and in addition to the lovely displays there were also 2 veterans present to tell their stories. The event continues tomorrow, if you are in the area you should check it out.

WWII Colonial Plantation 2015
WWII Colonial Plantation 2015
WWII Colonial Plantation 2015

WWII Colonial Plantation 2015
WWII Colonial Plantation 2015
WWII Colonial Plantation 2015

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