In our contemporary fast-paced society, people are busy in their lives. It is difficult for people to kick back, relax and be themselves after a hectic day. For some people, they need to escape their everyday lives because of the stresses, rules, and restrictions associated with it. Although most people do escape in their own way, some people want to become someone else. They will “dress out” or “get into character” and become a whole new person. In my documentary, Escaping Monotony, I wanted to bring attention to these people that escape into another reality. In the project, I documented a Star Wars Stormtrooper, the Olustee Civil War reenactment, a Ghostbuster, the Hoggetowne Medieval Fair, and Mega-Con.
While I was working on this project, the first thing I learned is that you never tell a Renaissance re-enactor that they are “dressing up”. I went to the Hoggetowne Medieval Fair equipped with my camera, a note pad, and butterflies in my stomach as I was trying to launch this project from the ground. One of the first people I encountered was the King of Hoggetowne, and when I was interviewing him, I asked the question, “What is it like to dress up for these events?” As soon as those words left my mouth, the king stepped back and exclaimed, “Dressing Up? We do not dress up, this is who we are!”
After working on this project for some time, I started to learn that people have many reasons for escaping their lives. Whether it being a personal reason or a family tradition, once they start participating in these events they can never stop. I have heard many uplifting, funny, and sad tales while working on this project about why these people are escaping. I want to show the viewer that these people are escaping their monotonous lives by becoming a different character.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Meredith Ramey was raised in Orange Park, Florida. Currently, she is pursuing her BFA in Photography and BA in Art History from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Ramey’s photography ranges from documentary to mixed media approaches. Website: www.meredithrameyphotography.com Blog: www.blog.meredithrameyphotography.com