Have an affinity for Old English and a penchant for busting out the occasional but nonetheless rousing “oyez”? If so, bust out your bloomers — you may be exactly what the city of Alexandria is looking for.
Alexandria is looking for a new town crier to dress in period clothes — the official uniform includes a white poet's shirt, a blue vest and black breeches and stockings — unfurl scrolls and announce proclamations at city events.
An information session about the volunteer position — which requires the ability to “shout but still be understood clearly” and “a sense of humor that can stand up to the extremes of cold and heat” — will be held Thursday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, 134 North Royal St., followed by official tryouts at the same location next Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 7 p.m.
The town crier position in Alexandria is believed to date back to the 1790s. According to a brief crier history on the city Web site, one of the Alexandria’s first criers was Peter Logan, a former slave who purchased his family’s freedom, worked as a ship carpenter and volunteered as town crier and piper. In Logan’s time, a crier would have warned townspeople of fires and other events.
The most recent crier was William North-Rudin, who served at events like the city’s birthday celebrations and holiday tree lightings for five years before leaving the state. (There is no indication whether the period attire drove him to leave his post.)
Next week’s tryouts will involve a cry-off during which candidates will be judged on “call content, clarity, sustained volume, and deportment.” The city will assist with props. Click here for more information and an application.
The new crier’s first public appearance is slated for Tuesday, Sept. 13.