Huzzah! The Movie

500 Years in the Making

Huzzah! The Movie is an exploration of the modern subculture of renaissance festival enthusiasts -- patrons, performers, and players who look to the 16th Century to find what is missing in the 21st.

An Inclusive Definition of "Rennie"

At Scarborough Faire in Waxahachie, TX, what we would consider our home faire, we have what you might call our "local." The White Horse Tavern. This open air pub is completely outdoors and kind of separate from the rest of the festival. Everybody makes their way through the White Horse and the Ren vibe is in full force, but you're not going to be overwhelmed by parades, hawkers, or families -- all of which have their place, but sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ;-) This is a great pub for a pint of ale, losing a little money (coins for verisimilitude) over a game of chance, and a bit of music in an intimate venue.

Anyway, this post isn't about the White Horse, it's about what we found just outside; or, rather, who. Walking down the steps out the back of the pub, as we would do numerous times a day, we kept running into a character we knew for the longest time only as, "The Courtesan." She just kind of lounged outside and chatted us up as we passed. Banter with her was part of the ritual of visiting the White Horse, and just a ton of fun. Performances are great. Shows are great. The entertainment at renaissance festivals is great but we don't go there to be entertained. We go because there's something special about being there, and sometimes it's the little things. Merilee Effingham, as we came to know her, wasn't doing a show, but she added so much to our festival experience. By just being a character, she added character -- to the festival, to the White Horse, and to the whole scene.

So, we were delighted when Merilee agreed to be part of "Huzzah! the Movie." Glenn and Robbie made it down to Texas Renaissance Festival one weekend to take a peek behind the scenes and get a look at how she prepares for a day at faire; how Amy becomes Merilee. And, as we did every time we talked to someone, we asked for her take on the word, "Rennie." Her definition is a pretty inclusive one and I rather like it.