We managed to pin down our friend, Raith, long enough to have him answer a few questions for the latest installment of our Spotlight series, where we give our readers the opportunity to “meet” members of the inner realm. Raith? What say thou?
1) What is your connection to NYRF?
Heh, this is could be a long-winded answer. We’ll just highlight it.
Started my “Faire life” years before NYRF, @ NJRK and loved it there. Found out about NYRF and made my way up to it in 1999. I had already known a decent amount of “Play-trons” or “Boothies” from my years at NJRK. It took some getting used to being on “new” grounds during my 1st season, but it was no longer “big fish, small pond”…it became “same fish, HUGE pond!” Put in my time over the years, created and cultivated relationships/friendships…stayed AWAY from “psycho drama” (that’s vanilla world drama x10…refers to faire drama) like the plague (and still do). Eventually got a gig working parade for Ruth Thompson’s Art Booth for a few years. Was cool to have a pass, but not have to be stuck *IN* the booth. Then from 2011-2013 I was involved in a Faire stage show called “Gimme Shimmy”, belly dance show, on the Fool’s Stage. It was an amazing experience! The following year is when I started walking parade for Annie and CatSoCo…and a perfect Segway into the next question…
2) Where did you and Annie meet?
We met at NYRF from just seeing her around, going into her booth…and then I believe “officially” through a mutual friend, Anabel. It was after I went to a home party at Anabel’s and was introduced to CatSoCo products there. I had loved the Goat’s Milk Slather!
3) What is your favorite CatSoCo product?
Hands down…the one and only No “Deet”er Skeeter Spray! OMG, this stuff not only smells AMAZING…it keeps ALL of the mosquitos off me. I literally watched a few of them over the years come and land on my skin or shirt…and instantly go “OH HELL NO!” and fly away. (well maybe they didn’t really say that but I like to think they did…because it makes for a funnier story)
4) What is your favorite fragrance?
For myself: Egyptian Musk & Nag Champa mixed.
5) So, what is the design and color of the new business card?
Hmmmm, let’s see…I really have no clue!
LOL Yeah okay!
That day, I saw (on FB) that Annie was working on a new business card and offered to help, since I use one of the MAJOR online “business needs” websites for all of my company stuff. So Annie and I worked on it together ONLINE while text messaging back and forth for about 2 hours. During that time, we spoke once or twice to iron out some details. I came up with the layout for both sides…searched online for the perfect ‘Black Cat’ clipart to represent CatSoCo’s mascot/icon properly. Even came up with the idea and made the little paw prints for the Buy/Get on the back of the card.
Now…hear me when I say this…ANNIE CHOSE THE COLOR…I SWEAR! Best choice possible, but it was ALL her idea! I even said to her that everyone that knows I helped create it is going to say that *I* made it PURPLE. Just remember, Annie was *the* final word on the layout.
6) Anything unique about you that some might not know?
I am a computer/tech nerd…meaning I can build my own computer and can work with most electronic devices without issue.
Also, I run a karaoke business. It is a blast. YES, I sing…not too bad from what I’ve been told.
I’m into so many things: LARPing, video games, voice-over acting, sports, tabletop games, music, motorcycles, cooking…a lot of things that make up my world.
7) What did you have for breakfast?
Two fried eggs, made with salt/pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, Cholula hot sauce (yep…spicy) and two slices of Pork Roll! Along with two cups of hazelnut coffee.
8) Tell me about your cool Son of Sandlar boots.
My original Faire boots finally decided to not be happy anymore, after resoling them twice over the 20+ years of Faires. Everyone knows of SoS boots at NYRF and I have been looking for over 5 years at making the choice to get some…but I didn’t want to have boots that looked like everyone else’s boots.
Ordered them in 2013 in the off season. Got them shipped to me in May 2013.
Custom made from the ground up, not a stock boot that was “added to”. I wanted the Square Front style or as they call it, the “Nine Button Square Toe”…it just has that *look* to it. Even their own description makes note of it “The squared toe is hand sewn to offer a more rugged and aggressive look.”
Went with the SKULL buttons in silver and black on black on black…nope, no purple…everything goes with black.
Now what makes *my* Sandlars different from the others…I had them create a custom leg pocket on the inside of my left boot. My old boots I wore forever had one and I couldn’t bear to be without it after so long. Even had one of the SKULLS put on it to act as the “button closure”.
9) What’s your sign?
Ready? ”The Twins”! But, before you roll your eyes and say “I knew it” or “that explains a lot”…lol…let me say this: I have had MANY flaws in my personality and how I interacted with the world when I was younger and I didn’t like them. So I decided, about 17 years ago, it was time to “grow up” and I began the journey to be a better version of myself and no longer needed to hang onto those bad habits and traits that defined me up to that point. I like to say that I have removed all the “bad traits” of Gemini and I ‘emulate’ the good ones. Sincerely, I never try to be a bad human…and I own up to it when I am. So…Gemini…yep…that one.
10) Which Faire guild(s) do you belong to?
Yeah, I know it’s all for fun and none of it is real. With that being said, I actually have a unique responsibility to ALL the Lundegaard Faire Guilds…I’ll explain after the list below.
I belong to four of them:
- International Brotherhood of Rogues, Scoundrels and Cads, a.k.a. “The Rogues Guild”
I have been a member since 2000. I wear *the only* Bronze pin ever given to anyone outside of the original 30 (33) cast in the early years of the Guild’s foundation. (Now you can buy your own) I am also “The Alpha Rogue” for NYRF, which means I oversee anything Guild related and make sure to protect the Guild on both sides of it: the fun side and the business side.
- International Fellowship of Royal Privateers, a.k.a. “Privateers Guild” (or incorrectly said “Pirates Guild”)
I am the Commodore of the “Scourge of Sterling” with a fleet of ships in an Alliance with mine, and I am Captain of “The Agavero” which is the 2nd largest ship, by crew, in the entire Guild. There are a VERY limited number of Commodores in the Guild…I only know of one other.
To differentiate between a pirate and privateer:
A Pirate: person who unlawfully robs people of their property by use of a vessel. This has been a death penalty offense in most countries going as far back as ancient Egypt.
A Privateer: is a sailor (or Pirate) that has been given license, with a “Letter of Marque” signed by their Monarch, to attack only enemies at war with their Crown/Country at any time and keep the plunder, on condition of paying the government a certain percentage.
- The Fraternal Order of Vikings, Barbarians and Berserkers, a.k.a. “Barbarians Guild”
Been a part of the Guild since its inception year. I am a member of high standing in Wolf Clan. I enjoy assisting, when I can and when I am asked, with the Annual FoVBB Maraud games by offering my very impartial “referee” abilities. No one gets impartial treatment; all calls are how I see them within the guidelines of the rules stated. Definitely fun!
- Renaissance Mercenaries Guild, a.k.a. “Mercs Guild”
Been a member for over 10 years. I had assisted security at NYRF one year in finding someone that they needed to talk to because they did something they shouldn’t have. I was given my pin that season. The Mercs Guild are regular patrons that volunteer to help with anything we can help with during a Faire day. We are NOT employees/security in any way…but we look out and try to make sure that no one gets out of hand and we “protect” the ideals of the Faire and will be additional eyes and ears for Faire. We fight the good fight with our most powerful weapons of all: a kind heart and a clear head.
Now, my “unique responsibility” to ALL the Lundegaard Faire Guilds: I am an Admin for the Guilds. I work directly with Lundegaard (Lars and Anastasia) on the inside of that world. I have been doing this since 2012 when I took over the daunting task of entering Guild members into the database…and editing/updating anything that needs it. Yep, it’s not a glamorous thing and can be quite tedious when actually doing it. But I love it and I do what I can to help and keep things “in some semblance of order”.
This has certainly been a very interesting and informative Spotlight entry. Thanks, Raith!! (you realize the border on those pics above just HAD to be PURPLE, right?)
We’ll continue to periodically
bug feature more of our friends. And as of Saturday August 5th, and until October 1st, you can meet us at the New York Renaissance Faire
Team CatSoCo ❤