PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: The Tennessee Medieval Faire Memorial Day Weekend - 3 BIG DAYS!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Tennessee Medieval Faire Memorial Day Weekend - 3 BIG DAYS!

Interview with Chad Wood
performing as King Arthur of Camelot
at the Tennessee Medieval Faire 2016

By Barrie Paulson, VP-Manager & Entertainment Director, Darkhorse Entertainment, LLC

Q: What is the TN Medieval Festival like?
A:  If a patron walks through the gates, they enter a new world.  Characters take you to a distant time and place.  You see jousting, shows and entertainment wherever you go.  Master craftsmen showing off their wares….

Q: Since you live and perform in Knoxville, how would you explain to someone in Knoxville why they should go?
A:  It’s a good time.  It’s one of those experiences that you won’t know unless you go.  You have to come and see to appreciate what it really is.

Q:  Tell us a little more about yourself as an actor.
A:  I’ve been acting since I was able to walk.  I’m an adopted son of Knoxville and have been in the Knoxville theatre scene for a decade.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about the Knoxville theatre scene?
A:  Knoxville embraces its artists.  The theatre community is tight and small.  But I have never gone without a production to go to or a performance to be in.  That’s a wonderful thing about Knoxville.

Q:  How did you get the role of King Arthur?
A:  My good friend, Alex Riggs, told me there was an audition for King Arthur of Camelot for the Tennessee Medieval Faire.  I had also worked for the festival production company a few years ago, when they were doing props and sets.  I also have several years of stage combat experience, taught by Bob Borwick of the Society of American Fight Directors at Pellissippi State “the Success Connection.” (he sings).  I got to know the entertainment director, Barrie, from fight class.  She helped with the class and was there as a talent scout.  I auditioned and got the part.

Q:  What’s being the street character of King Arthur like?
A:  It’s a dream role for me.  I jumped at the chance.  It’s been a whirlwind experience and life-changing.

Q:  How has it been “life-changing”?
A:  I can see how one can become an actor and sell themselves.  To take a character from the stage to when you are interacting all day and not break character.

Q:  Compare it a little more to being a stage actor.
A:  It’s totally different than being on stage.  As a stage actor, when you go back stage, you are who you are and take a break.  As a street character, I find I’m staying in character on and off stage.  

Q: Yes, I heard you commanded the Producer/President to bow to you off stage.  You might not want to do that again.
A: Oh, yes, I did do that, didn’t I? (laughs)

Q: Do you feel this experience has made you a better actor?
A:  Yes, I feel I’m a better actor now.  Being a street character has freed me to improve my improv skills (not having everything scripted).  When someone asks me a question as King Arthur, I have to give them a response that they believe and that I believe.

Q:  Has it gotten easier to respond in character?
A:  Yes, we’ve had 4 shows days out of 7.  At first I had to think as my character.  Now I don’t have to think about it--I am the King.  And, it’s good to be the King.

Q:  What’s been your favorite thing about the Faire?
A:  My favorite thing about the Faire is seeing the light in the children’s eyes when they see me, as King Arthur, and Guinevere walking together.  Also the daily public Knighting Ceremony at 3:30.  These things spark the children’s’ imagination and interest.  It shows them that not everything is video games and movies, but reaching out and talking to the King and Queen as real people.

Q:  On Sunday, an actor had dragon puppet on strings and walked up to patrons and interacted with them.  A 2 or 3 year old girl bent down, petted and hugged it.  It was a beautiful moment.
A:   Yes, there are countless moments like this at the Faire.  Once the gate opens, Magic Happens!

Q:  How has attendance been so far?
A:  It’s been good but we hope to have a great final weekend because the show is really great.  We think the variable weather, other events, and bridgework between Kingston and Harriman has kept some away so far.  But, on the weekends, the bridgework is only a minor inconvenience and it is supposed to be finished this week.  We hope people will come and support the show, so it can continue.  I hear once these shows catch on, they really become popular.   

Q:  You have one more weekend?  Would you share some information?
A:  Yes, our last weekend is this Saturday through Monday of Memorial Day, May 28-29-30.  Hours 10a-5p ET.  Tickets are $16.95 ages 13+, $8.95 ages 5-12.  Free ages 4 and under, and free parking.  They accept cash/credit at the front ticket house.  The event is open rain or shine.  For your comfort and safety, dress for the outdoors and wear comfortable shoes, weapons must be sheathed and zip-tied, service animals only, no outside alcohol.  Site address is 550 Fiske Rd, Harriman, TN.  Website is  Office number is 865-248-8414.

Q:  Anyone you’d like to thank?
A:  Yes!  Specifically the jousters, the Hanlon-Lees Action Theatre, and all the premier stage entertainment.  They are showing us “locals” how it’s really done.  I’d also like to thank Lars and Barrie Paulson of Darkhorse Entertainment, LLC, for producing the show based on their life-time of entertainment experience.  Lars had a vision of creating a high quality interactive environment that is the TN Medieval Faire.    Many of us see that vision and are helping to make it a reality. 

“Camelot Lives!”  HUZZAH!  


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