Back in 2000, I had some friends that were going to audition for a Renaissance Faire up in Lebanon, Maine. I had been attending The Maine Renaissance Faire (MERF) since it's inception in 1998. Somehow, I wound up expressing interest in also auditioning. They had to drop out due to pregnancy but I auditioned anyway.
I was cast in the role of one of the Queen's yeomen. I was one of four guards. I used the name John Thomas. The other guards were Paul Richards and George Peters. And there was a sergeant as well who's name I forget, but I kept calling him "Ringo". I learned stage combat and some acting. I was a pretty shy person but I met some nice folks.
My second year of the faire, one of the staff members was actively attempting to get me to audition and be cast in a specific role, the Sheriff's Rackmaster - Seth Snudge. The other staff members had other ideas when I showed up to audition and I was cast as "Sir Richard Hanover, Herald to Queen Elizabeth". There were several jokes involving the fact most other characters referred to be as "Herald" or "Good Herald" including the queen. This led to some humor with people thinking the character's name was Harold. Well, actually, someone called me "Herald" one time and I said, "I do have a name... it's Richard... Sir Richard actually." This led to one person calling me "Harold the Herald" and on the funniest one of these bits, when "Sir William Cecil" called me "Sir Richard" the Queen got a dumbfounded look on her face and said, "Sir Richard? I thought his name was Harold," at which point I sunk my head in shame as those around us laughed and she followed up with "I could have sworn his name was 'Good Harold'!" It was a lot of fun. I'd had a chance to be in the tavern brawl the year before but not in the chess match. This year I was in the chess match.