The greatest furrier in the Village of Albright


Maiah Woodring

Maia Close, a senior history major, dresses as the fictional character Katherine Furrier for the “Louisiana Renaissance Festival.”

Maiah Woodring, Staff Reporter

Maia Close, a senior history major, portrayed the fictional character Katherine Furrier at the Village of Albright during the “Louisiana Renaissance Festival.”

Close discussed how she got the position, which was more for humor than historical accuracy.

“In March, we have open cast call, and I was very interested in joining the fair as the member of cast, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.” said Close. “And we fiddled around with a few ideas, and then we settled on, ‘Well, you know what, we need a furrier. We used to have one, and we don’t have one anymore, but it’s going to be more comic relief than actually being a furrier just so you’re aware.’ And I was like, ‘Not a problem.’”

Having acted as comic relief at the “Louisiana Renaissance Festival” for two years now, Close shared some of her tactics upon introducing herself to attendees.

Close said, “I pull out one of my lovely furs, and sometimes I’ll just have loose bugs stuck in ‘em, and I’ll be like, ‘See,’ and of course the bug flies up in their face, and everybody’s going ‘Ah. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.’ And I’ll pull a couple more out, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, goodness, my husband has packed the wrong furs. I must return to the shop and get the proper furs. I beg your apology.’ It’s just silly stuff like that.”

Close recalled an incident from last year about learning “to be silly and have fun with what you do.”

“Everybody was playing along, and they sent me on a big goose chase all around the festival site until I finally ended up at an intersection in the middle road where I was told there would be a unicorn talking to a beaver,” said Close. “I got there, and nobody was there and just like, you know, I’m supposed to do, I’m screaming, ‘I was taken. I was had. There’s no unicorn here.’”

Though the job carries some stress, Close hopes to be cast again next year.

“Along with other personal obligations, yeah, I did spread myself a little thin, but it still works, and it’s fun because people who I know here from the university every so often I pass say, ‘Oh, I know you. You’re from this class.’”

According to Close, one of the challenges of her work was to walk in circles for about eight hours a day, but the hardest part is returning to normal life after the fair.

Close said, “When it’s time to say goodbye to all your castmates, and you try to go back to your just normal, average, boring life as a regular American, instead of being this cool English person in medieval England, it takes getting used to, and you miss everybody in the off months.”

Close explained that the festival allowed her to interact with participants instead of being distracted by modern technology.

“We don’t have any modern convenience available to us when we’re working,” said Close. “Those are all back in our cars and in our homes, and they’re left behind. So, when we’re walking and we’re interacting, we are really interacting. We’re not being distracted by all these little things that everybody else seems to be distracted by. So that’s something. Everybody should stop, smell the roses, look around, meet somebody, say hi.”