- Do not advertise. Having no audience makes an event super-lame.
- Have no attendance limits on a closed site. Intense crowds and no security makes an event scary. Add alcohol for intensity.
- Do not publish participant standards or a schedule. Confusion and laxity breed chaos.
- Publish standards, but do not enforce them uniformly. Creating the appearance that standards are only enforced for people you don’t know erodes trust and credibility and discourages participation, reinforcing adolescent clique behavior.
- Do not highlight (or provide) participant amenities like water, toilets, or dry firewood.
- Don’t bring your own lunch, water, or powder.
- Don’t follow the rules at a new event. Standards are for chumps. Text your friends while minding a rope line and acting as an interpreter.
- Get drunk. Who doesn’t love an inebriate around gunpowder? Safety, schmafety. Besides, drunkenness is authentic.
- Smoke cigarettes on the field. You can always hide your hand behind your back, next to your cartridge box…what can go wrong? The captain will never notice.
- Make critical comments about the public and other reenactors just within their hearing. Don’t smile.
For the Public
- Bring a dog. Dogs love guns, drums, and cannons. “Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war,” right?
- Ride your bicycle through the crowd. Make disparaging comments about the crowd interrupting your ride.
- Touch things and people. Touch reenactors’ tools, weapons, clothes, children, food. Heck, use their tools. It’s not real, it’s history, so it has to be safe–right?
- Interrupt people answering your questions, or better yet, someone else’s questions, and answer yourself.
- Get drunk, especially on a hot, humid summer day or night.
Then speak or act. Think about what you’re doing. Is it sensible? Is it kind? Is it how you would like to be treated? Does you behaviour foster a pleasant and welcoming environment?
If not, don’t do it.