So, after longsword practice, our little group of fencers went up to the Prince William Fencing Academy to celebrate their one year anniversary tournament.
My buddy Dan Brown started the academy, and one year ago, they had their first tournament. This year, they had the one-year anniversary, and to celebrate, afterwards they did a catered dinner, whilst hosting the Pyrates Royale as the singing entertainment.
This was a surprisingly intimate venue. Even though they had the whole fencing area, which is an open bay for maybe 20-30 strips (maybe–I didn’t count), we all clustered around the entrance where the food was to be served, and there were maybe 20 people there. And four Pyrates. Brad Howard (“Captain Moone”) wasn’t there, but Chelle Fulk (“Molly Stubbs”), Darcy Nair (“Kat Fairbanks”), Craig Williams (“Long John Skivee”), and Paul DiBlasi (“Drake Mallard”) were.
And they were wonderful, as usual. Very personable, of course, a little off-color, but not very much, as there were kids (early to late teens) there. So the Pyrates couldn’t go too far off the deep end, but we did get a few good ones in, like the Sailor’s Prayer,
to celebrate Dan and the other staff there and their one year anniversary.
They took a break about half-way through, so that everyone could make a little line and get the meal. It was pretty good; Portuguese cuisine, which was rice, fish, and some good pot roast (I think Dan had made some like it before, at home), and Portuguese wine and port.
Daniel is of Portuguese descent–in case you were wondering about the choice of cuisine. He likes it, and so do the rest of us. And he’s into pirates and swords and Renaissance stuff, which is why we had the Pyrates Royale there.
During the break, I ended up sitting next to the band and we had nice conversation for a while. As I said, very personable. I ended up sitting closer to Darcy and Chelle (whose blue-and-white striped pirate pants blended in with couch she was sitting on 🙂 ) but talked with all of them. Somehow, we got on a discussion of the book I’m reading, Atlas Shrugged, and The Fountainhead.
Obviously, very piratical discussions… 😀 I’m trying to think of why we went there, but honestly, I don’t remember right now.
They are all very talented (and delightfully warped), of course. Chelle impresses me in particular with her skill at the fiddle, and how natural it seems to her (probably due to how much work she puts in at it, I’m sure). And they all have the ability to carry on amidst all the distractions that go on, both from the audience (which they encourage) and each other. They can pick up each other’s cues easily, and appear completely relaxed, so that if they try something, or it doesn’t work out very well, they don’t worry too much about it and go on full steam ahead and nobody cares.
About the only complaint I had is that they weren’t miked at the venue, and I had a hard time making out some of the lyrics because the acoustics of the fencing salle were terrible, and they were competing with their own instruments. Oh, well. That’s why we have CDs and iTunes, right? 🙂
Avast, and weigh anchor, me hearties!