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Author Topic: How would you deal with this type of situation?  (Read 5705 times)

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Offline captainruby

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How would you deal with this type of situation?
« on: July 06, 2010, 12:56:19 PM »
I am posting somewhat anonymously, as I really need help with this situation. This has so crossed the line into creepy territory that I am at a loss as to how to deal with it.

Here is the problem: We have a vendor who is becoming more and more pushy about trying to join in the act, by constantly (and I do mean constantly) trying to get us to go along with his plan to capture one or more court members, and basically parade them around, before we "escape". This is not a 5 minute bit that he wants to do, but rather a full 30 minute thing, with no script, no plan, and no ending.

He presents the same plan every single year, or rather, every single event that he vends at where we are performing. We always say no firmly.

He wants to capture the princess who, by the way, is 15 years old, and gorgeous. Far, far, far too young for this to be anything other than completely creepy. He has tried to do this with this same actress, no matter what role she is playing, be it pirate or fairy (when she was 12 and 13), or lady in waiting (14). In fact, this is why we never let any of the younger ladies out of our sight, and stay right by them at all times.

He has tried to stop me from leaving his shop, saying I would have to be ransomed first. I can't even remember what I said to him when I realized he was not getting the hint that this was not welcome, that I did not want to play along, and in fact had somewhere else to be. I will never, ever go into his shop again, or buy anything from him again because of this.

Anyway, my question is, how in the world do we deal with this? We have to work with this person, as I doubt the management will do anything about it. I need some quips and techniques to get us out of this situation if he tries to do this again (and he will, because he is one of those people who will not take a direct no for an answer). Besides always walking with one of the adult gentlemen of the court, which is not always possible, what do we do to fend off this type of situation?

Help?

Offline Dinobabe

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2010, 01:43:49 PM »
The first thing I would do is tell management.  They may be more understanding than you think.  It sounds like the behavior is borderline sexual harassment if not already and I would make that very clear.  This poses a threat, esp to the child (and yes, 15 is still very much a child).  Does the girl's mother know about this?  The entire court?  The entire faire?  Let the word get around.
IF the management doesn't listen then it may be prudent to tell the guy that he is in the realm of sexual harassment and to back off.  He has left the bawdy friendly playing level and entered criminal.  This is where you have EVERY right to protect yourself (and others).  Be courteous but firm and direct the first time (I don't know the extent of your encounters).  He could really just be that clueless and modern day criminal consequences may get it in his head.  After that the gloves come off!  Get a clue or move on!
Don't be afraid to stand up, that is the biggest advice I can give.  Make a stink and protect you and others.  If your group is aware of the problems and so are others then you already have the support.  I had a sexual harassment event in college that I really wish I had handled differently.
Good luck.
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
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Offline holierthanthou

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 01:46:25 PM »
Best thing to do if you have no confidence in the management of the festival/Faire is to find what we call the men in blue.

Most faires have police officers working that would be more than willing to have a talk with the shopkeeper.   Make sure to explain all of your concerns and what you have experienced.  Officers know a lech when they see one. They just can't do anything unless there is a complaint.  If nothing else, they will watch the shopkeeper.  That alone may help deter his ways. Too many people, both men and women, think that being at a renaissance festival means that they have license to behave very badly.

We have had our share of lecherous people.  Many of the people at CRF have come up with a code a few years back to let each other know when there was a problem.  Our worst problem was a playtron and managment did not want to alienate anyone who paid money.  We would rush to the person in trouble and distract the problem person long enough for the victim to escape. Maybe you could do that with those you know and trust at your faire.

If I was there I would help you my dear.  I have no qualms about dealing with that type of behavior.
Good luck and best wishes!
There is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish a small candle.

Offline will paisley

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2010, 01:51:10 PM »
The first thing I would do is tell management.  They may be more understanding than you think.  It sounds like the behavior is borderline sexual harassment if not already and I would make that very clear.  This poses a threat, esp to the child (and yes, 15 is still very much a child).  Does the girl's mother know about this?  The entire court?  The entire faire?  Let the word get around.

That was my first thought.  Let the vendor coordinator know and odds are they'll drop him like a hot potato.  If they think letting a single vendor go would be "bad for business", you can let them know how much worse for business a lawsuit (or criminial prosecution) would be.
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Offline holierthanthou

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 02:08:59 PM »
Make sure to go with the buddy system. A trusted peasant, squire, Lord or even the clergy is better than being left alone with him there.

It may take a while to get rid of him, so make sure that no one is left alone.
There is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish a small candle.

McGuinness

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 03:08:17 PM »
I have to second and third what others have said. Management can't do anything about it if they don't know - at least give them a chance to help you. And if it needs to go further, at least it's on record that someone was told. Does the event you are referring to have any sort of security personnel? We've had some creepy patrons and vendors and cast over the years, but we also have state constables that work our event. We also have a "hotword" - Constable. That is the one word that is absolutely off-limits except in situations that need attention. If anyone at any time yells the word "constable", that is a sign to event staff (cast, vendors, staff, security) to drop everything and come help. Maybe a system like that would work for you. I would make sure whatever security and management you have is aware of it, and make sure other cast is aware that that bit is off-limits so they can help with the situation.

And, make sure that the 15-year-old knows that the situation is bad too. Make sure she knows that she can (and should) walk away from the bit, even if it means breaking character and saying "get away from me".

Offline Becky10

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2010, 03:35:13 PM »
Outside of telling management be sure to tell her mother and other court members that way if he does decide to go through with his plan those around her will be aware whats happening from the start and possibly be able to stop it or at lease make sure she avoids him. The fact it is always the same girl is beyond creepy.
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Offline Dinobabe

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2010, 03:53:26 PM »
The fact it is always the same girl is beyond creepy.

EXACTLY!!!!
Natasha McCallister
Bristol Faire 1988-2005
The Wizard's Chamber/Sir Don Palmist
59.2% FaireFolk Corrupt
midsouthrenfaire.com

Offline DonaCatalina

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2010, 04:02:25 PM »
Item one: If he keeps trying to play this ransom game even after being told no repeatedly, he has a problem and will not stop.

Item two: I'm not sure which state you are in, but some states have severe penalties including prison time for not reporting harassment or molestation of chidren. I'm sure that the faire management would care very much about his behavior if the alternative was spending time in the big house and possibly losing the faire.

Item three: If he tried this with you, he probably already has done something similar with mundane visitors to the faire. Going after a publicly visible character is an escalation typical of a serial molester.

Run, don't walk, to the nearest management representative.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 04:02:45 PM by DonaCatalina »
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Offline Bonny Pearl

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2010, 04:11:29 PM »
Caution, caution, caution!  There are two sides to this.

First yes, I have to say it sounds extremely perverse.  BUT, you have to look at this man's rights as well, whether he's a dirt bag or not.

Report your concerns to faire managament and the police.  Leave it to the police to follow up on.  They will most likely want a statement from the 15 yr old and that should automatically involve her parents.


In the meantime, keep away from him.  I don't think there is a law that says you have to be nice to the guy so you have every right to make it clear you want nothing to do with him.

It is up to the girls parents on how to proceed where their daughter is concerned.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 04:12:39 PM by Bonny Pearl »
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Offline Captain Cornelius Howard Duckman

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2010, 08:12:50 PM »
A good tip: Whenever you have to deal with him in these situations, Drop Character. Drop the accent, drop the pretense, and just lay it straight out to him that what he is doing is not wanted. If you can't trust management to deal with him, get some one else in an authority position to do it. There are a lot fo people out there who just don't get it, and think they're just 'playing along' or trying to add to the show.

Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2010, 10:06:53 AM »
If you haven't already, speak to the vendor as a group. It's important to present a unified front, but not appear to be attacking him; maybe a strongly worded but polite letter signed by everyone? Make sure he understands that his actions and suggestions are inappropriate, that he making the experience unpleasant and creating an atmosphere of fear. If he persists, speak to management and security.

Offline captainruby

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2010, 12:43:53 PM »
Thanks for all of the good suggestions! I am going to talk with our court director and share these suggestions. I am in agreement that we need to talk with management again and let them know the situation. I am hoping that she can make the management aware that this is a huge problem for us, and that it is getting worse.

The girl's mother is aware of the issue, but I am not sure that she has reported it. She wasn't with us for this trip.

We did have one of our largest gentlemen of the court speak with the vendor, and he emphasized that due to her age, it would be highly inappropriate for him to continue. It really didn't seem to help much, unfortunately.

(I will definitely not hesitate now to drop character if needed. I was so shocked last year that all I could think about was not making a scene in front of the patrons.)

Offline stonebiscuit

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2010, 12:47:18 PM »
OP, you might go to management with the court director. If they won't do anything, tell them you will go to the police (then do, obviously). I really hope this gets solved to your satisfaction; harassment like this isn't fun.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 02:30:40 PM by stonebiscuit »

Offline Captain Cornelius Howard Duckman

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Re: How would you deal with this type of situation?
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2010, 11:42:50 PM »
Let us know if it works!

 

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