suggest ways to improve re-enactment

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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby wiblick on Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:44 pm

brendan wrote:
Also none of these activities are performed for the paying public (at the hobby level) nor are they used to advertise and publicise our countries heritage.

Thing is, I didnt start in reenactment to advertise anything. I do it as a hobby, for me. The other stuff may be a consequence or side effect, but it has nothing to do with why I am in the hobby.
And there is no need for municipal investment - the historic buildings and sites are already there! (that may be a bit flippant)

Brendan



I'm with Brendan on this one. I do the hobby for me, people can watch me if they like. I am sick to death of the money grubbing in Irish re-enactment. It should be treated as a hobby. And as a hobby you pay for it out of your own pocket and you are glad of a place in which to play and if you don't want to show off to the public then rent a hall or a field and play for yourselves but don't expect to get paid for any of it.

People pay for the use of the facilities that they need for their hobby. The hall/park may exist but you pay to use it. You rent a squash court, you pay for the use of a golf course. If anything we're lucky because all we need to do is get ourselves to a location, we don't have to pay for the use of it. And don't talk to me about the people who are getting a show out of you, any local football team could say the same thing - and no one is paying them.
I am off active duty for 2009 & 2010. I continue to research but will be attending few if any shows for these two years. I got some chickens and hope to bring them along with a more fully rounded household display in 2011.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:01 pm

brendan wrote:
Also none of these activities are performed for the paying public (at the hobby level) nor are they used to advertise and publicise our countries heritage.

Thing is, I didn't start in reenactment to advertise anything. I do it as a hobby, for me. The other stuff may be a consequence or side effect, but it has nothing to do with why I am in the hobby.
And there is no need for municipal investment - the historic buildings and sites are already there! (that may be a bit flippant)

Brendan


Yup it was flippant :D Also I except its not why you do the hobby, but if you don't want to deal with the side effects of being in front of the public then stay in your back garden...see I can be flippant too :lol:

No that is a fair point Brendan, and maybe that is part of the greater issue. How many people see the public as just "looking in" on an essentially private hobby? For me the private side of my hobby is done at training sessions where the viewing public is definitely not welcome. Our public persona is just that, a show tailored for public consumption. Views folks?

Yes wiblick but football teams are often sponsored, also there is a difference between money grubbing and being treated like any of the other "acts" that are hired for events. But that is not the issue here, I would be more than willing to enter a private debate with you :) .
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby wiblick on Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:09 pm

Indeed we're drifting again. Happy to discuss my muddled thoughts on the public nature of the hobby elsewhere.

But I think we've got the basics covered on making re-enactment more appealling to people who have no interest in combat and/or want to make the hobby a family affair.

An emphasis on living history with real effort being made to create a daily life atmosphere, a good cooking fire, a few tents and plenty of bustling activity. I also think people should be encouraged to think of their tent as home and their kit as clothing and to really live it for the 36 hours they are on site.

It'll require a bit of a change of attitude with regard to what the hobby is about but it can be done.
I am off active duty for 2009 & 2010. I continue to research but will be attending few if any shows for these two years. I got some chickens and hope to bring them along with a more fully rounded household display in 2011.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby azure on Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:52 pm

I think the paid/hobby debate is a useful one in the contect of making re-enactment more appealing to a broader range of people.

I agree with Brendan and Wiblick on this one. I have spend literally thousands of euro on my equipment and clothing for re-enactment, and nobody could pay me enough to make it worth my while to stand in the rain trying to stop hyperactive children putting my naalbinding needles in their mouths for hours on end. I HAVE a boring, stressful job, which I work at in order to fund my hobbies.

I do re-enactment for fun, and if it isn't fun, I will stop doing it. Which is pretty much what is happening at the moment.

I have done both living history and combat. A good living history display generally requires a lot of specialised equipment, which have to be stored, transported and set up at an event. If I am displaying a craft, I am in the public eye for the entire length of an event, and that can be from ten in the morning until close to six, talking, demonstrating and manning my display. It then has to be taken down and transported home. If I do 'have a go' crafts with children, anything I use (like wool, wax or ink) is at my own expense. They are not large amounts, but they add up over a busy season. And no matter how busy my display is, the moment the battle is on, I will be called upon to 'keep an eye' on several other stalls while the 'real' re-enactors head off to the field.

If I turn up with a bow or a sword however, I can appear in the clothes I stand up in, loll around until half an hour before the battle, play around on the field for an hour, then loll around some more. Walk out of the event, throw my sword in the boot, and home I go.

With a few honourable exceptions, organisers in this country seem to place no value on living history, and it is hard to see it as something that would appeal to a potential new member. The bewildering lack of interest in historical accuracy is another very offputting element. It is hard to see how we can claim to be promoting Irish heritage when the basis for may events (again, there are exceptions) seems to be purely an excuse for a 'battle' between two groups of mismatched and variously garbed warriors.

So, it's not about 'roles for women', it's about roles for anyone who does not want to do combat. It's about history, and having fun, and sharing our interest with the public. And it's about attracting a serious amount of new people to the hobby, before it disappears entirely.

On the funding front, I have no idea why people think they should be paid to do a hobby. I have been a leader in the Irish Girl Guides for over 20 years, over that time putting in a LOT more hard work than I do in re-eanctment (and incidently doing a lot more to genuinely promote Irish heritage). It was all voluntary, and absolutely no sponsorship was involved.

If people are taking part in an event as a paid attraction, that's a differnt matter, and then they should charge accordingly. And declare their earnings, and pay tax on them.

If events provide 'expenses' and we have the opportunity to play around in a venue for the weekend with a little money towards petrol, then that's even better.

But this all depends on the hobby being a fun way to spend the weekend, and generally, in this country, it isn't!
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby knightofredemption on Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:16 pm

azure wrote:
If people are taking part in an event as a paid attraction, that's a different matter, and then they should charge accordingly. And declare their earnings, and pay tax on them.

If events provide 'expenses' and we have the opportunity to play around in a venue for the weekend with a little money towards petrol, then that's even better.


Agreed, indeed Aoife and myself had a conversation via PM and found we were in total agreement as well. It is two sides of the same coin (pun intended)

But it is a diversion from the topic.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby brendan on Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:48 pm

erp! :o :? :oops:
My intention was to try and surface the type of issues that I see which (I think) need to be addressed - as a starting point.

But you are right of course. I will be positive(ish) in the future

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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby wiblick on Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:53 pm

That's pretty much topic sussed then isn't it?

Re-enactment is not in a fit state to be family friendly at the moment.

We need to create a family atmosphere by a stronger emphasis on the LH camp and then we need to recruit in families. It needs to be camping in costume with fun for all the family!
I am off active duty for 2009 & 2010. I continue to research but will be attending few if any shows for these two years. I got some chickens and hope to bring them along with a more fully rounded household display in 2011.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby bethc on Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:58 pm

This is a post which I posted earlier in the 'gender 'thread, however I think it fits better here........

Couple of points here guys...

Firstly, where do people get the idea from that re-enactors get any sort of funding from in other countries??

Having been been involve in re-enactment for a good few years in the UK before movinbg over here I can tell you that funding is not an issue. IT DOES NOT HAPPEN! You may get the odd paid gig, just like here, but individuals dig deep into their own pockets.

The weather...... where do I start??? Well coming from Cornwall I am well used to the wet and mud. The weather is no more wet here than it is here. When I started out in this game, my kids were aged between 8 and 18 and spent many a happy hour at various shows. The weather should not deter a family from joining in and doing something constructive with their time....beats sitting in from of the playstation! There's a name for all the wet stuff that falls from the skies here I come from....LIQUID SUNSHINE!

Just a thought but on the subject of involving the girlies.... I used to belong to a group that performed medieval dancing. This was open to all, and indeed a good few of the guys found it helped their performance on the field as it improved their co-ordination. You could also get the public involved as well. Maybe something like this could help get the girls doing stuff. Trouble is you need to be able to get together regularly to practice.
bethc


Would just like to add a couple of points.

When my kids were younger they were all involved in the group I was with at the time. Mine were by no means the youngest either. One member had a newborn which fitted in quite nicely as well.
My two youngest were both boys and started out as 'Pages'. They then progressed to 'Squires' as they learned more. All this was hands on learning for them. They were involved in helping the fighters and other adults and in doing so were feeling a part of things and getting one hell of an education as well. My youngest was pretty nifty with a longbow by the time he was 10.

My youngest daughter also dabbled in the male thing as well, but decided eventually that she rather liked her dresses and stuck with the dance group! Still she could wield a sword pretty well by the time she was 14.

And yes I know that they can't go on the field at that age, but they were all learning and when they were old enough there was nothing to stop them. Think of it this way......if we change the attitude a bit and accept that re-enactment is not just for the boys, but can be for all the family then the kids of todays participants are tomorrow's re-enactors and if we get it right with them, then our hobby can only grow.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby bannerman on Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:44 pm

Hello again,
Just a quick post - specifically I am impressed with azures post about the difficulties of doing living history as opposed to just combat. When I do the 1913-1923 period I always set up a rebel campsite from the war of independence and try and fill it with period kit making it look as accurate as possible, from time to time i have played around with this and set up police checkpoints manned by a Black and Tan or a 1916 style street barricade manned by members of the Irish Citizen Army. This is very difficult as you usually have to buy and haul all the kit around yourself, protect it from rain and theft etc. Its tough work but it gets the public a lot more interested, and they will be more open to asking questions - basically you put yourself in a very specific timeframe and prople want to know more about the period. If its just a bunch of guys and galls swanning around with kit or uniforms on, far removed from the campsite then it just looks like a fancy dress party. If you are just wandering around in kit the public will ask you to pose for the odd photo graph and move on. They have to chase you around if they want to ask questions - but if your group has a manned campsite the public know where to find you and have a chat all the time. Also the photos look better as they have a period background.
Bringing the campsite for the 18th to 20th century has its ups and downs - you can usually get origional kit to fill the site a lot easier but the manufacturing processes have become so technologicaly advanced that its hard to do crafts on site - so we are forced into really researching stuff to do on site while we are waiting for the public to arrive. We have had good success doing 1798 rebel camps at Charles Fort and Dungarvin Castle Heritage weeks where the crafts on display included smithing pikes, knapping flint for the muskets and melting lead into bullet moulds.
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Re: suggest ways to improve re-enactment

Postby bannerman on Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:05 am

By the way I should also give an honourable mention to Mock A.K.A. Tony Vaughan of the Leinster Regiment from Monasterevin who not only does a WW1 campsite with full kit - about 90% of the kit he displays is origional British Army issue from the war!!! And as for the replicas its a stomach churning sight after a night drinking like a black and tan to see Tony wolfing down Corned beef from a replica WW1 issue tin! :oops: Talk about accuracy. Good man Mock.
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