ANST - A questionnare.

Elyh at Elyh at
Wed Jul 30 20:20:24 PDT 1997

> How did you first get started in the SCA and how old were you?

My turn!!  I was actually 14, but when I truly got going was half a year
later, at 15.  My best friend, who sat next to me in band and competed
continuously with me for the number one spot in the french horn section, told
me about some of her really close friends.  I wondered where she had made
such good friends from such diverse backgrounds when all my friends were also
13 and 14 year olds.  She then invited me to a dance practice.  The dance
practice turned into the stepping down court of a beloved and long-reigning
seneschal.  The pomp  and ceremony were so impressive that I wanted to join
right then.  I even had the allowance to cover the membership dues (then $25)
in my pocket at that very moment....but understood the wisdom of waiting
until I knew the group better.

My mother had other ideas.  She didn't like it one bit, and grasped at straws
to keep me out.  I shot down all her objections....until a less than lovely
report card gave her the edge she needed.  She grounded me for a semester and
prayed it would get out of my system.  

Finally a custody battle with my father left my mother desperate for a way to
win my goodwill--so she stopped objecting to the SCA and there was peace in
my house once again.

> What make[s] you stay?

Friends!!!  No friend I've ever made in my mundane life has been as close to
me as my SCA friends.  When a friend and I decided to be SCA relatives, our
SCA friends encouraged us, saying "you're alike enough to be twins!"  So I
got a twin brother, and have never treated him as less since.  In all SCA or
mundane situations, excluding actual family stuff, I consider myself to have
a twin brother.  In fact there are many people who don't know we aren't
actually related.

My mundane friends would not let me crash on their couch for weeks at a time.
 My mundane friends wouldn't be my entire system of transportation for a
complete car-less school year.  My mundane friends wouldn't rescue me from
cafeteria food for that same length of time.  Basically, my mundane friends
don't accept me and treat me like family as SCAers do.  In fact, some of my
closest family members are not as close as my most distant SCA friend.

And it's cool, as one gentle pointed out, to only have to deal with one
club's peculiarities and yet have so many things to explore.  I only need to
learn the ins and outs of the SCA and I can still do so many things--dance,
sew, embroider, fence, flirt, camp, learn about history.....

And the ettiquite we all learn to pratice!  My mundane boss and co-workers
are constantly astounded by how 'wonderful' I am, and yet I only treat them
as I would any gentle person...

I know when it is time to drag my brother to an event; when he gets rude and
churlish.  It only takes a weekend to undo years of boorish behavior.  I
notice that kids in the SCA are much more mature and better behaved than
mundane children.  I want to raise own kids in this environment.

> What did you do to develop your personna and why did you choose it/them?

When I was three, we had a french foreign exchange student.  She assimilated
me in instants.  My mother had also had a pen pal from France since she was
13, and we went to France to visit him when I was four.  Our house was full
of souvenirs/gifts from France. When I was old enough to care, I discovered
my early immersion had given me an affinity for the culture, a talent for the
language, and an inner feeling of Frenchness.  So I chose.

I was translating a sheet of French sentences for a class, when, after two
solid years of searching for a name, "Ghyslaine" lept off the page.  I think
it even knocked the breath out of me.  I rushed to the library (ummm....after
class) to look it up, and discovered the Y should be an I.  My mother's
friends, who had adopted me during that trip at adorable age four and still
sent me letters, were Fontanneaus.  So Ghislaine Fontanneau was born.  La
Famille Fontanneau, by the way, was very amused when I visited them the
summer after my senior year and told them of the SCA an "Ghislaine."  Now
they write letters addressed to Ghislaine Fontanneau.

I knew I wanted to fence, but I balked at the constraints of Elizabethan.
 Getting me into a corset is like gatting a cat into the bathtub.  But when I
was in France last summer, I saw Chenoneau, the castle given to Diane de
Poitiers by Henri II.  The waxed museum in the former stable convinced me of
the beauty and glory of late 16th century clothing.  That night I drempt of
my personna as it is now--

Madame Ghislaine Fontanneau, the only girl of 8 children of a minor nobleman
in Bretagne.  I see myself barefoot in a burgandy colored dress, sitting
amongst the branches of an apple tree in our cider producing orchard.
 Unmarried, I care for my widower father and the few brothers remaining at
home, and generally take care all those lady of the chateau duties, when I'm
not fencing with a brother or climbing more apple trees.


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