In the vein of asking people stuff, I thought I'd put up an "ask an historical interpreter" thread. I have been working at an open air/"living history" museum for the past six summers (this will be my seventh), and volunteered there for two summers as a teenager as well. My job is basically to dress in period costume (I've spent most of my time in, and now supervise, the museum's Edwardian/turn of the century based era) and inhabit the various homes and businesses at the museum, interpreting my city's, province's, region's, and country's heritage (as well as general world history to provide context) to our visitors. Well, it used to be. Last summer (and again this summer) I was hired on as a supervisor, which means that I'm very rarely in costume, and spend most of my time either in my office or running around the site (160 acres!), supervising my staff and responding to issues around the site. It's still a lot of fun, but it's a different kind of fun, for sure.
My work has really informed my academic interests, which in turn have informed my work. So that's one amazing benefit. I also love working outside so much. And I've met some of my very closest friends there (put fifty twenty-something-year-olds into an enclosed 160 acre park and guess what happens?!). In fact, I like it so much that I hope to pursue public programming at museums as a career.
So, go ahead and ask me some stuff!