These are 30 people that could be found in The Arcade District. However, you could put them in any entertainment area or faire.
1) Master Juggler:
He ia always on the same corner, just as you enter the Arcade from the Nicer district. He is a man of middling years; he could be young, he could be old. He can however keep eight or nine things in the air. He has a snappy patter and likes to juggle the classic plates. He will often be seen juggling 4 balls while walking through the crowd. He is the unofficial greeter of the district and can tell you about most of the comings and goings of people in these parts. He has an eye for detail and remembers everyone who goes by.
2) Singing Trio- April
The singing trio are girls in their younger teens who always perform together with great precision and harmonious voices. The three sound like a choir of angels. April likes finer things and dresses better than the others. She is also one of the girls that follows Lady December (24) to earn her extra money. This is the one who gave the girls their "stage" names, based on what she learned from Lady December. (She is the Blonde, think Brittany @16)
3) Singing Trio- May
This one looks like a little angel. However, she tends to dress down and not be as groomed as the others. Not because she can’t, but because she is hard pressed to do it without servants. She is a young noble third daughter trying to avoid an arranged marriage. She is a bit naive but the rest of the trio keeps her from doing things stupid. (She is the Redhead.. think Julia Roberts @14)
4) Singing Trio- June
Of the trio, June is the only one who really wants to be a minstrel forever. Her musical talents have gotten her out of her village and brought her to the city. This dark haired, dark eyed cutie is a friend with Motley (28) and is getting discounted lessons in entertaining. (She is the Brunette, insert singer of choice@15)
5) Singing Food Hawker
He should of been a bard, but his passion was food. He is a baker who hates to get up early, so he sells his wares (mostly sweets and hand pies) here at night. He normally sings to himself some lovely working tunes. However, now he sings loudly to draw people to his stall. He loves to flirt outragously (and in good fun) with any pretty young thing (or with any grandma, or any under escorted female). (Any Italian Character Actor)
6) Fiddler most country
Because of a robbery and an accident with his horse and cart, he was unable to return to his village. Now he plays country tunes on his fiddle for those who listen. He will, every few days, set up an area for a square dance. He does the calling as well as most of the playing. The Trio often come to these dances.
He is loud. He is slick. He sounds so charismatic, that he could get you to put your two coppers down to see this marvel in his tent. His snappy patter draws people in to his little tent. There you pass through a little display of odditites that sounded so much more interesting outside. The man is a greasy slime ball in real life, but his gift for gab is exceptional. He does have a gambling issue, but has so far managed not to get himself in too much trouble because of it. (I see Tony Shalhoub with a greasy mustache as this one, but you can cast anyone).
8) Trainer and Wolf Dogs
This trainer and his three fearsome wolves put on quite a show of snarling, howling, jumping through hoops and up on stools, flipping, walking a tiny highwire, and standing on their back two legs. The show is fairly entertaining. The Trainer dresses like a wild woodsman. The Dogs are kept in a fierce cages. Often one will "break out" of its cage, but he will reign it in with his loud voice and whip crack. Any forester or someone with wilds experience can tell they are not really wolves, but dogs with some wolf blood in them (and some touches of dye to make them more wolf like). Outside the show, the dogs are fun and friendly. So they are often running about after hours. The Singing Hawker (5) is often shooing them away from his stall.
9) Washed up Noble Singer
Though a bit in his cups (buzzed on drink), he can sing quite a tune. His clothing is a bit dated and dirty, but he can still draw a crowd. Given some time and some drink, he will weave a tale of woah (you did what?) and woe (awwwww) on how the nobles used him badly and thew him aside. He still has some inside dirt on the nobles that he has not the guts or the brains to try and exploit. (Insert any washed up male popstar from the 80s)
With his steely eyes and sharp mind, he can tell who you are and what you are thinking about. He dresses well (lower upper class), a mark of his success in his profession. He will play anything with cards and any game of skill. While he will toss the dice to pass the time, unless it is liars dice, random things do not interest him. He has come far from his street urchin days. He maintains his grooming and style because of his days of being poor. He will also toss coins to every urchin he sees. His keen mind and sharp eyes are useful when he helps the Kingsman (16) out from time to time. (Val Kilmer in his Doc Holiday look).
11) Street Magician
While he is a minor mage, he is a top notch performer. He likes to do street magic and stunts in the street, but he is best at stage magic. His skill at slight of hand and illusions of the mundane types are high marked. He only occassionally augments them with a real spell.
His act also stands out because of his Elven Assistant. In a world of few Elves or no Elves doing "lowly" tasks, she stands out. She is quite comely, with long hair and delicate features. She dresses scantily, like a wood nymph, and helps to distract the rubes. She really isn’t an elf. She just has the right sort of features combined with a little makeup and some special ears. She tries to keep in character most of the time. When she is "herself", she distances herself from the magician and everything, as to not spoil the illusion. She and the Bioshen (14) are friends.
12) Fortune Teller
She is all about the moaning and trancing and mysticism. She is practically a fake, as her ability to see the future is limited and sporadic at best. So she makes do with showmanship and cryptic remarks. She gets information from a couple of sources in the crowds so she can make her predictions spot on. She helped the Cardsharp (10) when he was younger a few times, so she can call on him when she needs to.
13) The Crazy Priest
Someone has to save all these people’s souls. This priest, who has a small shack of a church, fumbles about the Arcade.. accosting people, mumbling holy scripture, waving holy items at people, all in an attempt to save the souls of those lost to the entertainment. He occassionally has an escort (an actual acolyte from a real temple OR a new covert or some urchin looking for some coins/food). (I see Christopher Lloyd cast as this character).
This is an extremely beautiful young man, with an extremely polite and vaguely effeminate manner. In fact, many people think "he" is actually a she. This is not helped by the stylish (but foppish) clothing of rich fabrics. The Bioshen strolls the crowd, playing their lute and occasionally singing a love song in his contralto (a voice range that cover the lowest husky female singing voice or the highest voice in the male range). He has an opposites attract friendship with the Kingsman (16)
15) Pickpocket and Roustabout
Not a performer, but someone who hangs around the district doing odd jobs like moving trunks or scenery, taking tickets, acting as a watchmen for an open act (the one who acts as a bouncer should a patron get offensive for a street act), and so on. Most roustabouts are really honest folks. This is the exception that seems to reinforce the stereotype that all people around the theater/ performing arts are all criminals at heart.
16) Kingsman/ Marshall
The mighty often fall. He is one of them. He is an ex-Kingsman, who used to be a special guard for the crown. He did body guard work and the occasional "thing that needed to be done". (Think of him as a primitive detective/ investigator, a minor intelligencer (spy), Law enforcing, and bodyguarding. He did much of what a modern private detective does.)
Turned out for something he didn’t do (via politically maneuvering), he found his way to the Arcade to drink away his troubles. He was a lousy drunk, staying somewhat sober most of the times. After a short while, someone had a problem and asked him to help. Reluctantly, he did so. Soon many people came to him with private problems. Between the coin and favors generated by this "work", he is maintaining himself. He now has a network of people who work The Arcade who will look out for things for him. His main snitch is The Barker (7). The Cardsharp (10) is something of a Sidekick/ partner when he is investigating things. He and the Bioshen (14) have an odd friendship going too, as nobody, including both of them, understand why they are friends. (He is the perfect action hero, so choose yours and cast him as The King’s man.)
Momma is a hefty woman who is beloved by everyone, customer and Arcade performer. She is a street performer who sings, juggles, and plays a variety of wind instruments. She will also act, if the part is there. Having no children of her own with her Husband, The Big Fun Actor (21), she has adopted every young actor/ minstrel/ singer in the area. She also takes care of everyone in the Arcade, trying to make sure all the performers are fed (to some degree), clothed, and have places to stay (no matter how ramshackle). She is known to flirt for fun with the pie man (5). (Liz Torres of TV fame is a good hook)
18) The Cat
This tumbler acrobat has a whole shtick of being a cat. His costume is a mix of furs and tights, with cat makeup. (image google "cats" actors). He can cause quite the stir and is very, very good.
He is also the best burglar in town. Ne never wears any cat gear on a job, but sticks to black leathers and a kerchief mask. He has a reputation for being a "people’s thief" robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. People know he gives a great deal of money and goods to the poor. He will occassionally raid the pantry of the rich and give to the poor on holidays. The reality it a little different. "What is the point of robbing poor people?" he has been known to say. He does try to target more "annoying rich people", but anyone will do. (He will often strike when they are in a theatre in the Arcade). He does give money to the poor, just not very much of his take as people think he does. "My expenses are greater than expected", he says. The Kingsman (16) knows who he is and what he does. He will occasionally "tap" him to burgle papers and such for him. (Think a young Cary Grant)
He is someone who hangs about the district. He tends to win most of the Knife throwing contests, so people leave him alone. He seems to just occasionally drink and spend almost all his time at the Pachinko machines. He actually is an Agent of May’s (3) father. He is watching over her. It just so happens that pachinko places are right near where the girls are sleeping, where they eat, and where they frequently perform. So it is a perfect cover. Besides he likes the odd little games. (Think Nicholas Cage)
20) Fine Young actor
He is the current toast of the Arcade. He is the finest young actor in a decade. Not only is he good looking, but he has skill, timing, and charisma. He is destined for big things. A flaw he might have is that he is vain, but not overly so. He will take great offense to those who besmirch his looks. He always seems to have ladies on his arms, and at his sides. Some of them are older women who patronize the arts. Some say he sells his services on the sides, but most realize he just "loves" his fans. He is has a big friend in The Big Fun Actor (21). However, most people think he will just steer this bright young star down the wrong path. Note: he has a secret. While he has great innate talent, he has been intensely tutored and coached by Motley (28). Neither wants to reveal this connection; the young actor because of his vain pride (wanting to seem more skilled than he is) and Motley who is grooming him as a tool of revenge sometime in the future.
21) Big Fun Actor
He is a man of good size and great girth. He is always merry and gay, (except when acting a serious part). He likes to drink, carouse, and cause a bit of mischief. He is a bit selfish, thinking of himself first in almost everything. Everyone loves the charismatic and charming galoot, so they forgive him (most of) his excesses and flaws. He has been married to Mamma (17) for nearly 25 years now. (Think Falstaff).
22) Street Artist
The Street Artist is always in the Arcade. Sometimes he is painting sets. Other times he is painting signs for stalls or murals on building walls. If he is not doing that, he has his easel up and is doing chalk portraits of people on the sidewalks. (Think of it as the 13th century version of the photobooth at the mall or faire.) He is not a great artist, but he is not bad. This lack of skill keeps him from big commissions. He is familiar to people in the district, so he tends to get all their work.
23) Soup Guy
His fairy godmother hit him a little hard with the ugly stick. He is a round man, with a huge nose, balding, and fairly ... well… ugly features. However, he makes the best soups. He could make Stone Soup taste good. His stall always has several pots warm, each filled with liquid goodness. Sold by the cheap bowl at a good cheap price, the soup is the primary food source for many here.
24) Lady of the Evening and three of her friends.
Lady December, the only name anyone knows her by, is in charge of all the "ladies" that might ply the Arcade District. While they are not quite a guild, they have banded together for strength in numbers. Lady December is quite refined and seemingly well off. She is still striking even as she is approaching her middle years. Always has a number of "friends" looking for the right gentlemen at her side, she walks the arcade checking up on her ladies.
Note: most of the ladies here have "other jobs" and they use their "lady’s gifts" to augment their income. There are many "special tents" where her ladies can entertain someone scattered in out of the way sections of the Arcade.
25) The Funny Guy
A player known for always having a lute and a bawdy song. He is not a great singer or player, but he is a great performer. He tells jokes. He makes mild political commentary. He gets everyone around him involved in his act. Really he is a master showman. He just seems to be a total goof stumbling through life. Think Danny Kay.
Literally the Builder holds The District together. He works the "day shift" here, when things are not that active. He does most of the woodworking and construction around here, for tents, buildings, and stages. He takes pride in the fact that his tent staves do not break as easy as others. That his "guild secret" pole mounts and fasteners are better than anything else. (Think an older Harrison Ford. )
27) Pack of young lower upper class
There always seems to be one here. The pack always seems to act as one. While individuals in the pack might change, the pack never seems to. It is filled with young men, lower upper class, dressed well and with a few coins to drop. They are sons of nobles or just the retainers of the houses, out for some fun. It just roams the Arcade, moving from one diversion to another.
He once entertained Kings and Princes. Now, he has been cast out from court. He is an Ex-Fool. Yet he has his skills. He is the finest overall entertainer in The District, and that is saying something. He can sing, dance, juggle, tumble, recite poetry, act, and give comedic wit and jokes, all with equal ease. He could be doing much more with himself, but he seems to limit himself to drinking and entertaining here at the Arcade. He always has a crowd, but seems to cut his act short when a pack of young nobles (27) or certain older nobles come near. He is also making good income teaching those who want to learn greater skills. He is currently teaching June (4) and secretly, The Fine Young Actor (20).
29) Uptight Female Actress
She is the local Diva. She is thin, tall, and well coifed. She is a grand dame, expecting everyone to obey her whims and follow her directions. While she is a great actress, she is not nearly as good as she thinks she is. (Think of an older Joan Collins.)
30) Old Man Actor
He is an older and distinguished gentleman. He is a fine actor, with an impressive range. While he mostly acts, he sometimes directs and coaches the players in his plays, to make sure everyone is doing their best. He is the defacto leader of The Arcade District. It is not a role he wanted, but it is one he accepts. If anyone has a dispute or a problem, they seem to come to him to resolve it. Think Sir Laurence Olivier, with that degree of charm, wit, and charisma, and you have him.