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Dr. Giles's Blog

Reflections from Dr. C. Scot Giles, the Consulting Hypnotist and practice owner at Rev. C. Scot Giles, D.Min., LLC

The Renaissance Faire

Charles Giles

Most people probably regard the fact that I am a complete geek for Renaissance Faires with tolerance and humor. That’s okay. I don’t judge myself by how others feel, and the Renaissance Faire has been a part of my life for a long time. I started going as a graduate student (back when the same site was called “King Richard’s Faire"). 

The season at my “home faire” opened this past weekend. It was the 37th year I’ve been in attendance. My home faire is the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Bristol Wisconsin ( It’s about a 90 minute drive from my home. It is the second largest Renaissance Faire in the nation and the highest rated.

I am a Noble Level member of the Friends of the Faire, which means I attend in period costume. The Friends of the Faire are not members of the cast. In fact we pay to belong. We are there to help give the Village of Bristol some local color and generally speaking we are the people dressed up as whores, cut-throats, pickpockets and thieves. There are some perks. We get VIP parking right by the gate and have a private garden only we can use. We are also given an unlimited supply of water and gatorade to keep us going when the weather gets hot.

For me, it is a day in the fresh air, away from computers, fax machines and other interruptions that are an ordinary part of my day. As a Friend of the Faire I am not supposed to talk on my cell phone, and can be arrested for the practice of magic if I do. If one is caught doing that they put you in stocks and people get to throw wet sponges at you. Therefore, I am “call-free” for the day.

After all these years I know some of the vendors and performers personally. Artists often come to the Faire year after year to sell unique handmade wares, and there are 22 stage areas (some major, some minor) with performances held continuously all during the day. 

You will see jousting, sword fights, mimes, comedians, jugglers, falconers, acrobats and musicians. In addition to the stage areas, minor performances occur routinely in the streets that range from Morris Dancers to the cast acting out a drama as the day unfolds. If you’ve never been worked over by "Christophe the Professional Insulter” you have not fully lived, and this year he has a buddy offering “Expert Advice.” I don’t recommend you take any of the advice he gives. 

Fantasy is an important component in mental and spiritual health. It allows us to imagine what a just world would look like and what we need in our own lives to live fully and well. For me, the Faire helps me keep that in my life.

And so I raise my drinking horn filled with mead and say, “Huzzah!"