Erin Zapcic plays the queen at Medieval Times.

Erin Zapcic portrays a queen at Medieval Times’ Buena Park castle in California. 
Zapcic has worked most of the roles at the castle and helped lead unionizing efforts. 
“While I do love my job, there are certain aspects of it that could use improvement,” she says.  

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Erin Zapcic, who portrays a queen at dinner-attraction Medieval Times. It has been edited for length and clarity. 

It was not lineage nor marriage that solidified my role as queen. My royal journey up the ranks was far less glamorous.

It was 2011 and at the age of 27, I had just gotten laid off from my office job. Having no idea what to do next, my mother suggested I take a ride over to Medieval Times, since it was just down the street from where I lived in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and see if they were hiring.

I’m a trained actor who’s worked countless waitressing jobs over the years. I’d grown tired of waiting tables, so I made my way over to the castle and filled out an application.

Not long after, I was hired to work as a salesperson in the gift shop

My official title was “wench.” In recent history, the term has taken on a negative connotation, but during the medieval period, a wench simply meant a woman of common birth. The term never really bothered me, though some people were definitely uncomfortable with it. 

Like all staff, I was required to remain in character throughout my shift. We were always instructed to refer to customers as “My Lord” or “My Lady,” which went over very well with our guests. 

The job in the gift shop was the most fun I’d ever had at work

Though the position only paid minimum wage, which was $7.25 in New Jersey at the time, it was the only position I’d ever had that I actually liked. Two weeks into the role, I remember wishing I could afford to keep it. 

As luck would have it, around the same time, I was approached by the retail manager to cross-train at the castle’s bar since I had previous bartending experience. I jumped at the chance because that extra $25 to $50 in cash each week was just what I needed to remain working there. 

Within a month, the bar supervisor position opened up …read more

Source:: Business Insider


I started working at Medieval Times after getting laid off — now I play the queen. It’s a dangerous but really fun job.

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