Saturday, November 30, 2013

Home-Grown Immersion

All the busy-ness of the fall reenacting season has finally slowed down, and it seems like it will stay that way for the next couple months. That's fine with me. There are plenty of fun things I wish I was doing with friends, but if there's anything I've learned this past year, it's that a little bit goes a long way. So I'm enjoying some weekends actually spent at home, and working on some very awesome commissions for which I've been hired.

But there's really no rest for the wicked, is there? Because two weeks ago, an event I have been planning for the last six months came to fruition. I hosted a day-long first person immersion event for some friends.

For those of you who aren't in the know, "first person" is a style of historical interpretation. First person interpretation is similar to the first person voice in writing - in the case of living history, first person interpreters behave and speak as if they are alive at the time they are portraying. They take on a role - sometimes composite (meaning created from a variety of sources) or sometimes an actual historical person - and interact with patrons and other participants as that person. And a first person immersion event is an event wherein all the attendees do first person interpretation for a set period of time, thus immersing themselves in the period. Through this, spectators and participants can get a feeling of "time travel", and participants often achieve a greater understanding of the time period through a process of experiential archaeology.

Over the past few years, I've been lucky enough to have several opportunities to do first person interpretation, and to try it with some really amazing living historians in amazing surroundings. Last winter, I was talking with some friends about the fact that we don't have a lot of opportunities for those kinds of events and interactions nearby. I argued that you don't need much to do first person interpretation, just a likely setting and a group of people who are committed to following the same set of rules and achieving the same experience by researching and preparing.

Well, that sounds like a dare, doesn't it?

So, I started planning a private first-person immersion event for my friends who either hadn't experienced first person immersion before and wanted to get their toes wet, or who wanted to experience more of it. This is the event we had two weeks ago. I'm pleased to say that by-and-large, it was a massive success, on so many levels.

Here are some pictures, for your enjoyment:

The dining room, with the table set.

Myself and a visiting friend

Discussing the dishes with the cook

The maid setting the table

Enjoying lunch with, apparently, animated conversation

Genteel company!

 That's just a sneak peek. I have more to say about this event, and the process of planning it, for those who are curious and might want to get a glimpse at the planning process. I'm organizing my thoughts, but hope to post it in the next couple days!

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

It looks like it was a lovely event! I can't wait to read more about it!