[Bards] docs vs no docs (and does it really matter?)

Darius of the Bells masterdarius at earthlink.net
Tue Jan 13 18:45:33 PST 2004

OK I have piped up and outlined a basic form for documentation and generally just watched most of this thread. However I am now going to stand on my rickety little whisky crate and well be a long winded bardic type :P

It is my view that a "bard" in the SCA should be able to do one of two things (though both is pretty darn cool) 

1. Write an original piece. I really don't care if it follows a period model or not, but I like hearing original pieces. Our history in the SCA and our Kingdom is carried on through this type of work as well as some really kick A** stuff that is just happens to be on period topics

2. Find a period piece to perform. This really isn't all that hard a thing to do. 

The whole documentation issue to me is not a big deal. I can write it really well, but I don't like to. I am just as happy with getting lost in the performance being given. My personal ideal when watching, judging  or performing is a piece so gripping that the audience is lost in silence for 10 seconds or so before they realize it is done. Some want to move the audience to tears, others want to raise the marshal spirit with the stomping of feet and raising of tankards.  

In order to any of this we have to learn to read an audience and chose our piece accordingly. ie it is usually not a good thing to walk into a circle of late period types discussing the merits of Marlowe vs Shakespeare and sing "A Grazing Mace" on the same token wandering into a party camp and singing a tragic Irish lament doesn't always work well either. 

To me the major difference between ours and other performance arts in the SCA is that we princely act as soloist, usually without accompanist. (ME Dance comes the closest and they have the choice of the canned music or hoping the drummers are good tonight) Stepping out before the audience on a star lit night with no net and no where to go but into my own imagination as the piece carries me away is a rush like none other I know. If I have to write docs to be allowed upon the stage I will, but I will also keep doing my own thing as long as I am able. 

Ok enough rambling my whisky crate is starting to crumble
In Service
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