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Well, Robin in the Hood 2007 is in the bag, and I’d generally consider the festival a success. Personally, I was pleased with my contributions on some levels, and not quite satisfied on other levels.

I was heavily involved in set construction, and we did a heck of a job. Unfortunately, that took up so much of my time that I didn’t concentrate nearly enough on performance. I spent the education day building and repairing things, so I didn’t get into character. As a result, I had trouble shifting gears from constructor to actor when the actual festival started on Saturday, and I felt underprepared. The first tournament was rough, but things got better after that. Still, I would have liked to feel more in control of the tournaments, as I have in past years.

Things began for me at 7am on Thursday, when we unloaded the van (it had been packed the night before) and started building. I went nonstop for the entire day, pretty much right until 9pm or whenever it got dark. Went home to shower, then back to the park for sentry duty. We had planned to continue working on some projects over the course of the night, but quickly realized that we didn’t have the right parts on hand. So we couldn’t do anything until the hardware store opened at 8am.

I got a couple hours of sleep, then went back to work at 7am on Friday morning, since the schools were set to arrive around 9am. Shortly before the buses began to show up, I was clearing the parking lot of cars. And that’s when it happened.

An actor who had just drove in as I was getting the lot cleared got out of his car, and I asked him to move it out onto the street. He decided that I was being unreasonable and said as much, essentially refusing to remove his car. In my somewhat stressed state, I told him that I didn’t have time to argue and ordered him to move his car, which he didn’t appreciate. So he decided to get in my face and tell me his opinion. And that’s the point when I snapped and started yelling at him to move his car, not thinking about the class of Grade 4 students that had just arrived. I tried to walk away from it, but he followed me, and eventually the assistant director stopped him up.

It doesn’t matter that I was stressed out. It doesn’t matter whether I provoked him or he provoked me. It doesn’t matter that a lot of people told me I was justified in my actions. All that matters is that it shouldn’t have happened. Yes, he should have just responded to my authority instead of talking back at me. And yes, I should not have lost my cool…especially in the presence of patrons. For that reason alone, I’m embarrassed by my behaviour, and said as much to anyone who asked about it.

You have to know what the consequences of your actions are, and in that respect, I failed to live up to my standards. That pretty much ruined my morning.

The fact is, people will come and people will go. You can’t entirely control who comes into your life or when they do, but you can control your reactions to the people who cause you trouble.

If more people understood this, we’d have a lot fewer problems in this world. Of course, knowing it and actually following through are two different things, as I proved this past weekend.

I know, I know. I’m being overly hard on myself. But that’s the point, isn’t it? People tell me it’s okay because they understand what happened and want me to feel better. I would do the same. But if I let myself believe that it’s okay, then that reinforces the behaviour. And I don’t want to do that. It doesn’t make me a better person.

So I’ll write about it on Scatterthought. I’ll try to remember the lesson. And I’ll move on with a smile.

Because even though I’m not happy with the incident, I’m happy that I took a lesson out of it.

After the education day, we got another early start on Saturday morning, this time around 5am for me. The day went well, though it was extremely humid, and everyone had a good time with no major incidents. We struck the sets and moved everything back to the school, and I was on my way home by 10pm.

Another Robin in the Hood medieval festival is in the books. Now I can catch up on the rest of my life.

Russ