Just want to touch on a couple of points:
1) Actually, I'm a pretty alright guitar player, so I don't think the lute would be too hard to learn something basic on.
2) It IS a Renaissance fair; forgive my oh-so-gauche use of 'medieval'.
3) I have plenty experience drawing a crowd from years of busking on the streets of several college towns.
Oh, and, Melissa... I do the open-air preaching and message of God's love thing in 'real life' anyway, so material won't be hard. Speech is easy; I've done accents for years. And as far as shoes go, I'm going as a poor, mendicant Franciscan friar, hence, no shoes.
It's the PA (Pennsylvania) Ren Faire; starts in August.