Period Styles...

Nan Bradford-Reid n.b-reid at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Wed Aug 16 09:42:30 PDT 1995

>CAN NOT be mandated, unless we allow the SCA police to go put you in SCA
>jail until you put on a decent costume and start saying "my lord."
>Encouragement is the right method.  But HOW do we encourage people?

The only ~hard-and-fast~ rules I can really think of when it comes to any
sort of creative endeavor in the Society are those that govern submission
of arms and those rules have very specific reasons for being and a history
to them.  No one says you cannot make your costumes out of hot pink double
knit--you won't be taken very seriously, but no one has banned it--so go
for it, if you want to.  I was told when I first came to an event that the
only things that were absolutely required of *anyone* was to make an
attempt to wear something medieval and not to punch anyone in the face (by
way of saying "not to be violent or disruptive").  Nothing else was
required, not dues, not service, not nut'in'.  But then I began to see
things around me that inspired me to make things and learn and try to
document and authenticate--I wanted to do this, no one forced me--and
Antonio, you me well enough to know that if I don't want to do it, I'm not
going to, no matter how much someone else tells me I "should."

Encourage by example, and by teaching, those who wish to learn.  The others
will be themselves, no matter what.  Occasionally we even snag some of the
"I'm just in it for the fighting" crowd and they start to make nice
costumes and armor (or hide it under a surcotte), etc.

 I must
>admit that I feel that the only thing that seperates us from groups like the
>High Fantasy Society, is our base in History and our tradition of
>scholarship.  I think that the historical side of what we do is tres cool
>and I like to experience people who are good at bringing that history to
>life.  I do what I can, but I have a lot to learn.

***And you do quite well, Antonio.***

>So how do we encourage?  Currently there is a great "none of your business"
>policy floating around.  Somehow this strikes me like "modern parenting."
>We'll just trust people to work things out for themselves.  Now I know that
>the favorite response for many to this reasoning track is "We don't have THE
>right way to do things, and you have no right to impose YOUR beliefs on me,
>you mean-spirited-elitist-authenticity-police-minded-bastard."  But I think
>that it really is our business.  People get involved with our group because
>they see what we're doing and they want to be a part of it.  Then they
>arrive and participate and we trust them, with no experience or practice to
>work things out for themselves.  We need to take a hand in shaping and
>teaching them a little, so that they can conform.  I think many of these
>people want to conform.

You're right, people come in because what they see is attractive to them,
if they get in and realize it's not what they want, most of them either
leave or play HFS or whatever.  A very few sit around and bitch about
"being coerced" because they haven't a clue--or they wear elf ears and
bunny fur and blow everyone off, which is cool, too.

>So, how do we encourage them?  Surely there is a way with tact and genuine
>interest in these people that we can help them to experience what others of
>us enjoy.

Once again, by examples which are not rubbed in their faces  (yes, I'm
trying to train Conor...>8-}) but presented along with persona playing
(something I'm trying to work on more) and all the trimmings that make it
seem more real and will entice others to play the same way.  And then when
they ask, show them how it's done (with mirrors in your case, Antonio ;-}).
The next time you are at an event with Don Sentri' and Dona Juliana, check
out their gear (both clothing and cases and boxes, everything)  He has made
wonderful leather cases to carry things in and he makes the most incredible
period shoes and of course Juliana's clothing for the two of them is just
that, clothing, not costume.  Wow!  Those are the kinds of "examples" which
encourage me and should be taken as inspiration by all those interested in
what we are all about.  If all one wants to do is come to an event now and
then and sit there in a t-tunic and jeans and watch, that is fine, too, but
don't tell me I'm being elitist because I prefer to put more time and
effort into my game.

>I remain Yours, etc.
>Antonio Bastiano
>or cmwalden at


|Nan Bradford-Reid                    |HL Catherine Harwell, CIM, AST       |
|The Department of English            |Barony of Bryn Gwlad                 |
|The University of Texas              |Kingdom of Ansteorra
|Austin, TX, sister city to Adelaide  |~Simplicitas sum Venustas~           |
|512-471-4991                         |Argent, on a fret vert, a rose
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|           ******Fascination with the world keeps me going*******          |

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