There is a magical land nestled in the rolling hills of the Hudson Valley. It’s a land set apart from time, from history, from narrative convention. It’s a land where Queen Elizabeth progresses through the summer countryside, where Robin Hood and his Merry Band fight against the injustices of the diabolical Sheriff and his brutish Guards. It’s a land where you can buy turkey legs, swords, bodices, incense, henna adornments, mead, camel rides, and pewter goblets. Its village is peopled with eccentric, amazing, ridiculous, charming characters. You’ll find acrobats, mystics, knife throwers, and musicians. Surrounding this enchanted land is an enveloping cloak of forest, a protective barrier of root and branch and vine that has kept this place safe from the ravages of the ages, the dearth of imagination. This is the Greenwood. This is my other home. This is the New York Renaissance Faire.
I first visited when I was in my early twenties, fresh out of college and certain that love and chivalry and fantasy were absolutely attainable.
My true journey through the Greenwood, however, began in ’96. I auditioned and was cast as part of the improv company. My role: Willamina Swampwallow, ragpicker.
Next season I was a Farmer. After that, Caitlin Copperpot, Tinker.
After that, a heroine: Maid Marian.
Later still, a singing pirate.
Part of something greater.
Part of a story. Of legend.
Through every character, through every moment, the land itself shaped my story.
It’s shaped every story that has come before, and those yet to be told.
There is magic in this land.
The Greenwood abides.