Wranglers

Welcome to Wrangling for the New England Garrison, Alderaan Base, Firaxan Clan, and Ziost Temple. A few things to make your experience more comfortable and fun:

  1. First of all, thank you! We often get focused on trooping and prep and forget to say this, so Thank You. It sounds silly, but really we couldn’t do this without your help.
  2. If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. Command staff is always available, as are more experienced wranglers. Someone will be able to track down an answer for you and odds are you aren’t the only one thinking it. We try to have wrangler meetings before the kick off of major events to keep you in the loop.
  3. Here’s a vague primer for those of you who aren’t super into Star Wars costuming(shocking, I know):
    • We are all volunteers. Nobody is getting paid for this. The 501st/RL/MM/TDE are charity assistance groups which means we get to dress up in cool costumes and collect money on behalf of other organizations like Make-A-Wish, Dana Farber, or NAMI (among others).
    • 501st/NEG: These are the bad guys. Imperial Officers, TIE Pilots, Stormtroopers (TK), Scout troopers (TB), Snowtroopers (TS), Vader, The Emperor, Kylo, etc
    • Rebel Legion/Alderaan Base: These are the good guys. Jedi, X-wing Pilots, Rebel Troopers, Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Rey, Finn, etc.
    • Mandalorian Mercs/Firaxan Clan: Most of these are completely custom made, but a few Mandos you might be familiar with are Boba Fett and Sabine Wren.
    • The Dark Empire/Ziost Temple: This group covers custom Sith and Darkside characters. Since the 501st no longer covers custom characters, this is where those costumes can be found.
    • Be ready for everybody to ask what you’re working on in terms of a costume. We’re very excited about helping and talking about it. If you’re not interested in making something, that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to say so. If you are working on something, don’t be surprised if people offer suggestions and feel free to ask for advice when it’s not too busy.
  4. What is expected of you:
    • You may be joining us as the friend/significant other/parent of one of our troopers! Most of our wranglers come along to help out someone they know, but that person cannot be your only priority. If wranglers are in short supply, you may be responsible for the health and wellbeing of several people. Especially for large, ticketed, or limited access events like conventions, sporting events, parades and concerts, you are here to help the group. Expect your attention to be divided, and know that many people may be depending on you.
    • Helping our troopers to dress (and undress): a lot of our costumes are difficult to get into on our own, if you see somebody struggling or looking lost please ask if you can help. Some of them will say yes, some won’t. Don’t be offended if they say no; they might not need help, they might need somebody who’s already done it before because it’s complicated (Boba Fetts, I’m looking at you), or they might only be comfortable with someone they know helping them. Once you have their consent to help, let them tell you what needs to be done. All the costumes are handmade by their owners so everybody has different ways of making it all stay together.
    • Making sure we don’t pass out! We try to have water and such available at every event. If it’s looking like somebody’s feeling a bit woozy or is complaining about a headache, see if they’d like some water. There are usually “go bags” around with straws for those who have helmets on. Also, small snacks :) A lot of our troopers don’t want to be the first one to need help, so encourage them to take breaks if they’re looking off. Sometimes all it takes is a few gulps of fresh air!
    • Keeping us safe. Both from the general public and from the environment. If we have helmets on, usually the field of vision isn’t so great. We can’t always see small children, dogs, stairs, tables, the Kylo who stopped to get his picture taken. This also covers things like people trying to fight a stormtrooper or grope a twi’lek.
    • Helping us navigate. Stormtroopers especially have a lot of problems with stairs, it usually helps to have someone in front of them saying where the steps are and how many there are.
    • Taking pictures. We can’t take our own, but we love to have them. Alternatively, it gives the public a chance to be in the picture with their favorites if we have wranglers who can help out. We want to make sure everybody has a good time, but there are a few things we can’t take pictures with:
    • Political Signs. We can’t be seen to endorse any candidates or sides of an issue.
    • Alcohol. If someone if holding a drink, ask them to set it down. We’re an all ages group and we spend a lot of money on our costumes, so no beer near us.
    • Business Logos: The same general idea as Political Signs. Star Wars characters can't be seen endorsing a brand. If there's a small logo somewhere in the background, it's not a major concern, but we can't be seen behind an organization's table, or with a sign that says “Drink Coca-Cola.”
    • Keeping an eye out for costume malfunctions. There’s a lot of little pieces on some of our costumes and sometimes they come apart. Usually it’s easy to pop things back into place, but not always! In the go bags, we usually have tape, velcro, pins, and glue.
    • Being the ‘public’ face of the local group. Many members of the public don’t expect our members to ‘break character,’ or the characters can't’ hear very well, so questions about the group, how to request an appearance, where we’re from, what we do, etc will often be directed at you. If you don’t know the answer to a question, or aren’t comfortable answering it, don’t. If a member of command staff or the POC is available to speak, refer the person to them. If not, refer them to the website as a stopgap measure.
    • Assisting the public in feeling comfortable with our members. Many children love Star Wars, but finding themselves face to face with a full sized Trooper can cause panic. Do not force anyone into contact with the members, and try to discourage parents from doing the same. Often times, explaining to a child that ‘The Empire made them promise to be good today,’ or ‘The Zoo told them to leave all their weapons back on the ship, don’t worry,’ will go a long way. Remember, we’re here to foster a love of Star Wars, not scare anyone.
  5. Event Specifics:
    • Parades:
      • Make sure everybody’s doing okay, especially if it’s warm or a long route. We try to have some support vehicles so that if people need a break they can take one. Every time the parade pauses, use that opportunity to check with your assigned crew. Asking for a thumbs up at minimum will let you know if anyone’s struggling.
      • Keep the crowds away and our troopers moving. We can’t stop parades to take pictures, high five every kid, or witness marriage proposals. We move when the parade moves. It seems harmless to let one person run into the parade route to take a picture, but if one person gets away with it, it’ll only spawn more.
      • Keep our troopers more or less to the middle. Some of us are hams and want to interact with the crowd, generally this isn’t a good idea since it’s a good way to get off track and for costume tragedies.
      • Watch out for horse droppings and potholes. We can’t always see these things, so please stand in front of them and direct us around so we don’t get hurt or stinky.
      • Hold props. They get heavy after a while, so if someone asks you to hold something, please do. We will love you forever. Just be gentle because some of these things are held together with paste, tears, and hope.
    • Conventions:
      • Unlike at most other events, at conventions we collect funds for a charity. We never charge for pictures or interactions with our members, but will gladly accept donations for whatever cause we’re working with. As a wrangler, you’ll likely be assigned a spot and a money bin to hold. Do your best to talk to people about the charity.
      • Keep the promo table stocked, and make sure people know they can take trading cards, coloring sheets, temp tattoos or any other giveaways we have. Engage anyone who comes up to the booth, even if it’s just a simple greeting and a smile. Try to keep things looking neat. Keep drinks and food off the tables and make sure trash goes into bags and adjust the materials as needed.
      • If the con has guests related to Star Wars, they may or may not make a pass by the booth to say hello or pose for pictures with our members or our props. Be on your best behavior if this happens; this is not the time to fan out on the guest, or make demands of their time. Be polite and friendly, but above all, be professional. (No matter how much you might want to fanboy/fangirl out!)
    • Sporting Events:
      • Sporting events have a higher instance of access to alcohol than most of our troops. Although drunken behavior can accelerate as the event goes on, be aware that some attendees ‘pre-game’ and will show up already well on their way to intoxicated. Use particular care when you suspect someone has been drinking to excess, they will occasionally try to ‘fight’ the bad guys (Troopers and Vader are particular targets) or get too friendly with our female members. Be prepared to get help from other members of the group or the arena/park staff. Security and ushers are more prepared to deal with this than we are. When in doubt, yell for help.
      • There is a temptation to let the costumed members wander from their assigned spots, especially when the game is on and the concourse/corridors are mostly empty. Many of our members tend to be restless and like to keep moving. But a break in play can happen at any time, and a sudden rush from the seats can separate you from others. Be aware of everyone in your assigned group and do your best to keep them together.
      • Some teams will have a ‘Star Wars’ promotion that involves giveaways. If these are lightsabers or inflatable “boom sticks,” the attendees will try to ‘fight’ the troopers with these. Posing for pictures is fine, but try to head off any horseplay. If kids see one person doing it, they will all go into attack mode.
      • Keep an eye on the time. There are events when we need to be on the field or helping with an event at another area, so move us when we need to start heading that way since most of us can’t wear watches or check phones.
events/wranglers.txt · Last modified: 2017/11/08 11:31 by Freq