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HomeMullica Hill NewsResident to transport audience to medieval times in fifth Renaissance Faire

Resident to transport audience to medieval times in fifth Renaissance Faire

Hook said since participating in the faire, he's been able to pick up various vital life skills and meet people along the way.

Full cast of the 2018 N.J. Renaissance Faire (Jesse C Photography/Special to The Sun).

Year after year since 2014, Taran Hook has been performing in the N.J. Renaissance Faire, taking on the personalities of the characters he represents.

Hook said he got into performing arts in his senior of high school at Clearview Regional and took a job as a performer and assistant director at a pirate cruise in Wildwood Crest. With his busy summers, he figured to audition for the faire.

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The faire, which is in its 10th season, is at Liberty Lake in Bordentown from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May 18 to June 2. The faire is a rain or shine event. Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for children ages 5 to 12 for a single-day ticket. Season passes (six days) are $60 for adults, $30 for children. Parking and admission for children under 5 are free. Visit www.NJRenFaire.com for more information.

Since then, Hook has played a variety of roles at the faire that have origins in England, Ireland and Scotland. He added his favorite character was a Welsh man named Dafyd Fyddleswyrth.

“I started taking Welsh classes and I became able to communicate in Welsh, and with [Welsh people] let everyone know they’re Welsh,” said Hook. “There are people who came – who are Welsh and they came from Wales – and they had conversations with me in Welsh. It was really cool to portray a country that doesn’t get played that often.”

He said when preparing for the characters, he often studies the areas they originated from and listens to the accents or dialects from the regions because he picks up accents easily.

What he loves most about the faire is the ability to “introduce people to other people and cultures that we wouldn’t have interacted with in a casual way.” He added the characters and scenes come from decades, sometimes centuries, ago and can help people see history unfold in a comical way.

He added with the faire being interactive, he’s able to play the part for the day and have conversations with people about what character he is and the time frame they’re in.

“With a scripted show, you’re doing it over and over again,” said Hook. “With interacting with guests, you never know what could happen. In a normal conversation, people wouldn’t really come up to someone to talk, but when you’re a pirate so to speak, you could talk to them.”

Hook said with the faire utilizing both improv and scripts in the performances, he’s been able to pick up various life skills. Notably, the ability to think on his feet and to hold a lengthy conversation with a stranger.

He added that when talking to someone, it is all about saying what naturally comes to mind and let it flow without much thought “because if you think, you wind up overthinking about what you’re saying.”

Not only was he able to pick up life skills, but also meet people he said he’s been grateful to have met and gotten close to over the years. He said, despite the shows happening for six days in the summer, he has become close with a number of the cast members and keeps up with those he met in his first year.

This year’s setting for the faire is 16th century fictional Village of Crossford.

“It’s like being in a giant interactive play and you’re another character within it,” said Hook. “You can interact with everyone, hang out in the wine garden with the music, and it’s basically anything you make it.”

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