Heroes and Hunters: Make Friends with Unusual Passions

Somewhere in the middle of two-days in a crowded field hollering “Archery! Learn to shoot a Hungarian Horsebow! Archery!” over-and-over-and-over in a sing-song British accent, it occurred to me:
I get to do some crazy things because of my friends and their hobbies, careers, and passions.

Actors alone make up a mixed lot, and it’s just so easy to find yourself involved in another show, another theatre scheme. Someone yells, “Let’s put on a show!” and off you go, traipsing about for a barn big enough. This friend is making a Zombie web-series. These ones are in a film-fest and need some actors.  Can you help scrounge up some costumes for the youth play someone is directing? Oh, and can you act in and direct this short play in a couple of weeks? Sure. And that’s all in addition to whatever regular acting work you’re trying to keep going.

But the last couple weeks we’ve been able to be a part of some non-theatre related things that never would have crossed our paths if it weren’t for our kooky friends.

CousinJon acts as ref during the 2009 Kyokushin Challenge.

CousinJon acts as ref: 2009 Kyokushin Challenge.

Kyokushin Show Down
Earlier this spring, CousinsJon&Holly’s new Karate dojo, Eastside Kyokushin, hosted the annual Kyokushin Challenge. This is a big deal, people! They asked me to sing the National Anthem at the beginning, so the husband and I got to see our first Karate tournament!

Drumming, lots of kicks to lots of heads, cute kids, scary-good fighters… the best part was seeing the family in action, in their “native environment.” They are so passionate about what they do, and they are excellent leaders in their sport.

Capitain America!

Meeting a Hero
Last week, the husband got to meet Captain America! Our friend owns Comic Book Ink, here in Tacoma, a comic book shop that is an absolute labor of love–for the genre and for the people who dig it.

It’s Marvel’s 70th anniversary year, so Captain America was out to blow out the candles and encourage morality, all in a Marvel-copyrighted and sanctioned, giant muscle-suit. Apparently they don’t let just anyone in that suit… this guy is the Captain America for most of the United States, and Marvel jets him around from shop to convention. Not a bad gig, huh?

This is particularly awesome because Cap is one of the husband’s favorite superheroes (the other is Superman– he likes the do-gooders). And, because the event was hosted at a friend’s shop, he a) found out about the appearance, and b) could go hang out without feeling too geeky.

"Archereeeeeeee!"

"Archereeeeeeee!"

Archery Range at the Renaissance Faire
This is, of course, how I came to spend a weekend as an archery range barker (I much prefer that designation to “booth babe”… or even worse, “that chick with a bow.”).

Our friends from Seven Meadows Archery import and sell handmade horsebows and all the accessories (yes, arrows!). As you may imagine, Faires make up a big part of their sales, especially with the archery range.

While I was out front, barking and encouraging shy kids to try shooting, the husband spent both days at the range, showing kids and adults how to properly shoot the bows.

Please excuse the port-a-privvies. It really was a convenient (if not pituresque) location.

Please excuse the garish blue port-a-privies. It really was a convenient (if not entirely picturesque) location.

I also spent some time learning to shoot, but not quite enough… a few bruises are still in evidence. Like the rest of the “full-time archers” manning the range, the husband couldn’t seem to get enough! Long after the sun went down, they were shooting by flashlight. Into hay bales. Not each other. Don’t worry.

Traditional Hungarian Horsebow and Costume. (Yes, those are pants.)

"Just a little different." Traditional Hungarian Horsebow and Costume. (Yes, those are pants.)

The fun part about this group is that, as Barbarians, they’re already a little anachronistic… we’re just “a little different” from most of the participants.

We can also be a bit lax on the rules that apply to most of the vendors and performers. Girls can wear pants, for example, and we don’t have to bow to the queen as she makes her rounds (still advisable, though, especially when you’re right across from the Pirate camp).

In any case: My point here is, life can be so much more interesting when your friends have bizarre, quirky, flat-out strange, and certainly non main-stream passions and hobbies…

Thanks for including us and introducing us to it all!

Well shoot. Documented evidence of Our First Garb purchases.

Well shoot. Documented evidence of Our First Garb purchases. (In my defense: it's supersoft ostrich)

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