Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Medieval Faire - Fort Myers

Barely Balanced
I have been attending local Renaissance Faires for over ten years. Prior to that I was perfectly happy to get the bulk of my entertainment from the comfort of my couch at the end of the TV clicker. I would only consider live acting if it required a $70.00 ticket.

I brought my young daughter on my first visit to the FL Ren Fest. I was never a big fan of street performers but when I saw the absolute wonder in her eyes, I took a long, hard second look. The performers at these events are unbelievably talented yet every single one of them will sit down after the show and have a conversation with you. Same with every one else who works at the fair. I now consider myself a huge fan and I have even gotten to know several of the performers quite well over the years.

My all time favorite acts, Barely Balanced as well as Tribal Circus were not performing locally this year. There was nothing to do but make a pilgrimage to the Fort Myers Medieval Faire to catch their shows. Just a two hour drive from Fort Lauderdale.

This being my first visit to the Medieval Faire I was not sure what to expect. I found a smaller show than I was used to but it still took a full day to enjoy it all and less than $20.00 to get in. There were plenty of acts and vendors and absolutely no shade on a brisk 80 degree winter's day in South Florida. The crowd was pretty sizable on the day I went and the shows were packed and loaded with energy.

Shelli Nock
Barely Balanced is the first show I saw on my first ever visit so I have a particular fondness for them. The cast has changed over the years but Margret (Small) who I met in person for the first time this weekend came up and talked to me like we had known each other 20 years. It helps we have written back and forth on Facebook but it is certainly a never ending thrill that such amazing and famous performers will talk to their fans like they are just hanging out in the living room.

Martin Hill
Shelli Nock, former BB member and now in her own show Tribal Circus with Husband Martin Hill was also at the faire. If you want to get a taste of what these live shows have to offer, visit my Flickr page. There are plenty of action shots and a few from around the show grounds.

If you have been going to the shows as long as I have, there is a pretty good chance you will find yourself on stage. As much as I try and avoid it, I've been called up twice. This weekend I saw a new act, The Davinci Bros Comedy Opera. I know when I was on stage, the audience did not really get their money's worth. Bob Davinci's show consisted of himself and 4 audience members. By sheer luck he picked the most hilarious people ever. I had tears literally running down my face and totally forgot to lift my camera for even one shot. Everyone in the audience had to sing before the end of the show and the sound was so loud people came streaming over to see that was going on. You really can't get that intensity staring at the TV.

There were plenty of other things to watch like the jousting or enjoy like a Scotch Egg at the concession stand. The thing to keep in mind is that all these acts work for tips. You get to see the show first then decide what it's worth to you. If only everything in life worked that way. If you have never been to a Ren Faire I urge you to give it a try - just once. If you become hooked - then you will probably see me there.


  1. Great post...and great photos.

  2. You are amazing and so kind to us. I can't wait till we see you again Bob. Hopefully when I'm back in South Florida we can grab a drink sometime.

  3. @Anthony - Thanks.
    @Cameron - We said that last time and we didn't do it. Next time for sure.

  4. Those pics are great! Looks like a pretty 'modern' fair. I like it! :) Glad you have been enjoying the sunshine and sunny 80 degree weather. Jealous!

  5. Well, at least I knew what a 'Ren Fair' was this time! And is that MORE red I see above??!!

  6. @Tex - This winter has seen about 3 cold days in the 40's. Are you sure you like living in Finland??
    @Red - I was concentrating on the Reds just for you.