Oct 31st, I opened the bookstore and took off at 10:30am northbound to the farm, picking up a couple monitors on route for the band. I left Luka at home with Darby. Past walk of terrors have freaked her out with all the screaming and firecrackers and headless horsemen. One year we had a potato gun rigged up to explode pumpkins outside of a labyrinth. It’s always different but always disorienting. Not cool for a guardian dog.

IMG_3901I dropped the monitors off in the timber barn. Helped Anita tie up corn stalks to the speakers. Commiserated with Sean that the pump to the Crannog beer keg wasn’t working. Took down the barns electrical fence. Looked for tea candles in props and contemplated wearing a mask from wardrobe.

IMG_1014IMG_1017IMG_1012The Krampus horns from Old Nick two winters ago. The horns looked fantastic but I repaired them every goddamn day. They ended up completely encased in epoxy.  Every morning mixing chemicals, spreading delicately on with a wooden stick, whispering “Please just last fifty-four shows -eighteen more shows -twelve only twelve more -six -three – please tonight is all I ask!”

IMG_1011IMG_3907Two months since I was here last. I hugged so many people I had to take a break before my heart exploded. I walked the terror route in the pouring rain to see what the montage flow would be.

IMG_3911I built this plinth -turned epitaph- for The Story winter show… I can’t remember how many years ago. 2009? It was set in the middle of the asparagus field and the sleighs circled it on the route. Josh was so mad at me for using up all the plywood but its been in every Halloween show since. Bit of an albatross but we haven’t burned it yet! The farm weapons were from Macbeth; my bane, they were actually super dangerous. I let out the most relieved breath and felt my shoulders drop when we closed that show and -relatively speaking- no one was hurt.

IMG_3915Delighted by these sweet little mushrooms on the old Midsummer’s Night Dream trail.

IMG_3916IMG_3921I found this beast further up the road, tipped out of the ground either by its own weight, or horse hooves. There were lots like this smashed & broken.

IMG_3929I started seeing mushrooms everywhere. This is a bumper year! Staring at the ground, I sort of neglected the rest of the walk of terror and got soaked looking for all the different mushrooms.

IMG_3928IMG_3927Emerging from the earth.

IMG_3930These plate sized mushrooms were prolific. Other than humans I’m not sure what else forages for mushrooms. The farm is a feast right now.

IMG_3947I moved pumpkins over to the box office. By 6pm the rain stopped, the night was still and warm. 6:30pm we started letting audience in, most were in costumes. I’ve never worked box office before. The speed you process, check off pre-sales and stamp people, confirmed wearing a mask would have been problematic. A pack of 13 year old girls came through in a twirling, shrieking, giggling mass. I wished the mother/chaperone ‘Good luck’ and felt nostalgic for my teenage years when that wild, crazed energy was abundant. Moments later a woman, possibly in her late forties, looked up at me and said “Are you listening to The Cramps?!!” Of course, she knew it was. I could feel the same energy those girls had surging up through her as we corroborated over how awesome that band is. We never lose it. We just find it in different ways with age.

The walk ended. The band started. I didn’t check any of it out but that was okay. I was there to celebrate the night with the friends who are like family and stand around the bonfire laughing till my knees buckle and tears blur my vision. I went to fill up my tank till we start pre-production for the winter show.

IMG_3967I had to work at the bookshop the following day and woke up early on the farm to a thick November fog.

IMG_3966 IMG_3973I am so stoked by this nice pile of larch and fir outside the rehearsal hall; waiting to be carried in -likely by me. I think the tarp someone used is too small, but at least an attempt was made.

IMG_3975I made it to the bookshop at 10:30am. A successful 24 hour Samhain adventure. Sleep deprived; madly caffeinated; wearing the same clothes and reeking of campfire. I didn’t care. I was so happy. It was an awesome start to the new year.

  1. sounds like loads of fun (and the weapons look great!). I keep meaning to investigate what goes on here for Samhain, Beltane etc.

  2. lysette said:

    They did look amazing when the villagers/army emerged from Burnham forest but there’s a rule in theatre that props have to be actual props not deadly weapons. We had to separate what the props designer gave us into: totally lethal- not using; dangerous – give to responsible actor; could hurt some one but not badly- give to less responsible actor, and weapons that were safe for the two kids in the show; who might I add wanted the most lethal weapon till we decided which one each cast member would have.

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