Like all great shows, the second time I went out to perform Militia! The Review I totally screwed it up. Forgot commands, failed to wheel correctly, started on the wrong foot, you name it. For example "make ready!" means to fully cock your gun and take the hammerstall off the frizzen...not attempt to aim in in preparation for firing. Which is what I did. Oops. Sometimes the yelling at the raw recruits bit is not actually playacting.
This was the first time that most of my coworkers saw my outfit. Somehow, I don't know exactly how, I've gained a reputation as a Fan of Breeches, so the sight of me going through my laundry chores clad in eighteenth century garb garnered more than a few snickers and playful jabs. I get dressed on my break, since I don't have enough time to change and get over to the magazine after work. Naturally, everyone also gives me the once-over to make sure I'm picture-perfect. Luckily, I'm man enough to wear my buckles all the time. Not everyone in CW is. My hair-tie (a bit of selvage from some period fabric) did not pass muster, however, causing the accessories ladies to fuss a bit until I had a proper black ribbon. When my captain came in to get his laundry he heard about this momentary lapse, and made sure to poke fun at me when I arrived at the guardhouse. Since everyone knows I'm with the costume dept, I have an extra duty to make sure that my clothes are accurate and correctly worn.
Well, duty, yes, but also the fact that the clothes are just so much more fun if you get picky about little things like buckles and ribbons. Hee.
After my spectacular performance, I was walking back to turn in my musket when I noticed a pair of young boys following the militia group. One of them was cooing over my gun. I stopped to chat for a second, and their mother came up and asked if we could have a picture. Well, sure! Why not. I let the kids pat my gun afterward. Believe me, I know a thing or two about geeking out about historical goodness.
Then I had to trot on up to Merchant Square to catch the bus. It was sort of sprinkling by this point, so I tucked my hat down low and walked quickly. As I went past a school group, huddled under an awning for protection, I could hear some of the girls whispering and pointing--then one of them exclaimed: "Look at that guy! Look at his clothes! Do you think I should go talk to him?!"
It took me a minute before I realised they were talking about me. I wanted to stop and tell them about being a woman in the militia and show them my black powder marks, but I was afraid I was going to miss the bus, so I kept walking. I should have stopped though, because I was waiting for ten minutes. But it was still kind of a kick to hear that I could "pass" for "Nick" even if it was because I was on the move with a low slung hat and man-clothes.
Oh, I do like the militia. I love marching around and having my picture taken. And you don't have to talk to people if you don't want to...I think I might have to mingle a little more on Friday. Get in a couple more photo albums...