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The World Is MY Stage

...and men and women merely extras

Robin Goodfellow
21 June
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permit me an introduction, gentles
Either I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Called Robin Goodfellow. Are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery,
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern,
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn,
And sometime make the drink to bear no barm,
Mislead night-wanders, laughing at their harm?
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck,
You do their work, and they shall have good luck.
Are you not he?

Thou speakest aright;
I am that merry wanderer of the night.

--William Shakespare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

"'I am that merry wanderer of the night'? I am that giggling-dangerous-totally-bloody-psychotic-menance-to-life and limb, more like it."

--Peaseblossom, in Neil Gaiman's Sandman #19
for all the world's a stage, and men and women merely players

Robin Goodfellow

Aliases: Puck, Hob, Robert Goodfellow, Mr. Fellowes, "that merry wanderer of the night"; certainly he has used other names

Occupation: Troublemaker, confusticator and vexer of mortals, mogul in the entertainment industry

Age: "Not old - fairly long-lived, as folk say hereabouts. ...I came into England with Oak, Ash and Thorn, and when Oak, Ash and Thorn are gone I shall go too." (He appears to be somewhere between thirty and forty. On a bad day he looks like he's been under the knife a few times to keep looking that age.)

Sanity: Dubious

Height: Six feet even

Hair: Impossible. Also, 'fraise-blonde' (ginger)

Eyes: The clear, innocent blue of a summer sky

Freckles: Yes

Personality: Changes moods like others change underwear. When he is pleased, Robin Goodfellow is charming, kindly, helpful, exuberant, and often extraordinarily generous. When he is... not, he is spiteful, childish, petty, bitter, and cruel. The only constant is caprice.
...a kind of character in thy life, that, to th’ observer doth thy history fully unfold
(For mun-knowledge only, unless your character has supernatural knowledge)

The puck called Robin Goodfellow is an old, old creature; he himself cannot or will not remember where he came from or how he came to be. It is possible he originated as one of the many small genii loci, the resident spirit of some small stream or forest wood, in ages gone. But where many of these puca/pooka/poukha/pucks remain bound to their locations and rarely achieve more individuality than the fleeting impression of a self, Robin Goodfellow may be said to suffer from an excess of personality, and appears to be linked to no particular place, unless it is the British Isles in general. With some arrogance, Goodfellow tends to refer to himself as the Puck.

However he came to be, Robin Goodfellow was an acknowledged figure in the tales and legends of the common folk throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He served Oberon, King of Faerie, in the position of court fool; some tales of his exploits reached human ears and were retold in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Other poems and stories concerning Goodfellow exist, some with more truth to them than others.

As human knowledge increased and the light of science began to challenge old superstitions, the Faerie Court found further existence in the mortal world to be distasteful, and withdrew to their own realm. However, Robin Goodfellow-- out of perversity, or stubbornness, or the desire to create mischief-- chose to remain in our world.

He has not weathered the intervening centuries altogether well. A fairy is a creature of belief, sustained by the imaginations of those around him, and that sustenance has been harder and harder to come by in modern times. Robin has adapted, if not perfectly; he survives by continuing to exploit the human tendency to worship... and if mankind now worships pop stars and celebrities rather than gods and spirits, so be it. Accordingly, Robin has created a persona for himself in the entertainment industry.

To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, if I may, "Readers are advised to remember that the Puck is a liar. Not everything that Robin says should be assumed to be true, even from his own angle."
art’s false borrow’d face
(Public knowledge which muses have access to)

As Robbie Fellowes, he is a British music and film producer of not-inconsiderable influence. He has dabbled in music himself, releasing a few singles to some acclaim and commercial success, but he finds it easier to ride on the coattails of those whose talent he "discovers" and coaches to usually-successful careers. (It is something of an industry in-joke that those who get on his bad side often find themselves plagued by terrible luck and tail-spinning careers.)

Fellowes owns an independent and prestigious recording label, Serptichore Records, as well as holding interests in several film studios. He is extremely comfortable financially, and spends most of his time in a stereotypical constant whirl of parties, starlets, and VIPs. He owns residences in London, New York, and Los Angeles, and divides his time between them.

Like everybody else in the entertainment industry worth speaking of, Fellowes is in therapy.

His most prized possession (at the time of this writing) is a Segway.
exeunt omnes

If we shadows have offended,

Think but this, and all is mended,

That you have but slumber'd here

While these visions did appear.

And this weak and idle theme,

No more yielding but a dream,

Gentles, do not reprehend:

if you pardon, we will mend:

And, as I am an honest Puck,

If we have unearned luck

Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,

We will make amends ere long;

Else the Puck a liar call;

So, good night unto you all.

Give me your hands, if we be friends,

And Robin shall restore amends.
stage directions
The puck/Robin Goodfellow is of course an actual figure of British folklore, though I am taking considerable liberties with my bringing him into the modern era. I acknowledge the definite influence of Neil Gaiman's sinister version of Robin Goodfellow, as seen in the pages of Sandman; the influence of some of Kipling's lines in Puck of Pook's Hill; and of course the influence of William Shakespeare's rendition of "that merry wanderer of the night."

I am using the actor Julian Rhind-Tutt to portray Robin Goodfellow. This journal is in no way connected with Julian Rhind-Tutt, nor do I claim to be him.

This journal is meant as a creative writing and role-playing exercise. The typist for ifwebefriends may be found at dien.