|Image by Asha Ananda|
5.) DON'T BE SO CLEAN
This goes double for soldiers and sailors who regularly worked and fought in the mud, tar, gunk and grease of the world of old. Months on end on campaign would really take its toll on your uniform, even if there were dedicated people in the unit who did nothing but laundry. And have you ever seen a proper period laundry demonstration? The beating that the garments got was brutal.
Next time you're at an event and get a little dirt on your elbows or knees, let it stay.
4.) SHAVE/DON'T SHAVE
Facial hair was either 'in' or 'out' depending on what time period you reenact. If you're doing a time period where facial hair wasn't the thing, shave it off... conversely if you're doing a time period where beards were the thing, grow it out.
Facial hair, or the lack thereof can go a long way toward improving the authenticity of your period appearance. Razors are easy to lay hands on... and facial hair isn't all that difficult to grow back between events.
3.) TRY A LITTLE FIRST PERSON
Okay so I get that not every event is geared for this sort of interpretation, and honestly, not every guest or visitor to a historic site is going to be up for this either. But if they ARE, you should give it a try. It's a lot of fun and a great way to get outside yourself for a little while and come just a smidge closer to the period by portraying someone from the era.
2.) GET RID OF YOUR HAVERSACK
I'm liable to make a few enemies with this one, but haversacks weren't generally worn by civilians to carry your stuff around in (like a modern purse or messenger bag). Haversacks were primarily used by soldiers.
Need something to carry your stuff in? Make a simple market wallet. Baskets are also good.
1.) READ MORE
The best way to improve your reenactor game? Reading. Read everything that interests you about the time period you portray. It will serve to teach you new aspects about the period you enjoy, or even refresh your memory about things you read long ago that you'd forgotten.
Don't 'plateau' or get stagnant, don't be rigid in your interpretation, always be learning and working toward new and interesting things... and remember to always be as accurate as you can be. You might be the spark that ignites an interest in history for the next generation of historians, museum professionals or reenactors!
Do you have any easy suggestions for reeanactors to improve their impressions? Please feel free to share them in the COMMENTS section, we'd love to hear your ideas!
If you have enjoyed reading this or the other adventures of the HMS Acasta, be certain to become an honorary member of the crew. This is a easy way to show us that you're out there and paying attention. If you find a post that you are particularly fond of... be sure to share a link with your friends, over Facebook, Tumblr, Google Plus, etc. so they can enjoy it too!
The Acasta log is generally updated every weekday at 8am CST, visit back often, and encourage your History Nerd/Reenacting/Royal Navy friends to visit us.
Thanks for reading!
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