[Bards] (no subject)

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Wed Nov 1 07:38:54 PST 2006

Good for you!  Have fun with it.

Start with this fact: a competition is the easiest, safest way to perform, because there's somebody there to tell you what to do and when.  Almost certainly, somebody will take your name early on, and then call you up when it's time.  (If you can, find out who the two performers before you will be.)

Secondly, introduce yourself and the piece.  Yes, even if they just called you up by name.  I introduced myself at the Steppes competition at Warlord, even though the judges were my good friends Miguel and Conall.  Tell them anything you want them to know about the piece.  If you don't know the author, don't say it.  But if it's a speech from the Iliad that you translated into the appropriate dactylic hexameter, you want them to know it, so you tell them.  The most important part of the introduction was described best by A.A. Milne in the Introduction to the book of poems *Now We Are Six*:

"When you are reciting poetry, which is a thing we never do, you find sometimes, just as you are beginning, that Uncle John is still telling Aunt Rose that if he can't find his spectacles he won't be able to hear properly, and does she know where they are; and by the time everybody has stopped looking for them, you are at the last verse, and in another minute they will be saying "Thank-you, thank-you" without really knowing what it was all about.  So next time, you are more careful; and, just before you begin you say, "Er-h'r'm" very loudly, which means, "Now then, here we are"; and everybody stops talking and looks at you: which is what you want.  So then you get in the way of saying it whenever you are asked to recite . . , and sometimes it is just as well, and sometimes it isn't . . .And by and by you find yourself saying it without thinking.  Well, this bit which I am writing now, called Introduction, is really the er-h'r'm of the book, and I have put it in, partly so as not to take you by surprise, and partly because I can't do without it now."

Your introduction is the er-h'r'm of the piece, getting the audience comfortable with you and ready to start enjoying your piece.  Saxon scops would start by saying "Whaet!", very loudly, which Master Cedric translated as "Everybody shut up; I'm about to recite Beowulf!"

Yes, I'm deliberately being a bit silly here, because I'm trying to help you calm down.  It really is the safest place to perform.  Nobody's is listening unless he or she wants to hear you perform.  Everybody else went away when they started the competition.

Here's an important secret: *all* performers get nervous before a big performance.  Even professional ones.  (Ronald Reagan, movie star who graduated to the biggest stage in the world, said that's why he always started with a joke.  He needed the quick victory of a laugh to help him calm down.)  It's all right to be nervous.

Double check the rules on the website (they just got sent to this list, too).  Pick your pieces well in advance, and do them several times in the car, driving to and from work.

Don't worry about the outcomes.  There are only two possible outcomes, and they are both good.
1. You perform, everybody applauds, and you've successfully entered your first competition, or
2. You perform, everybody applauds, and you've successfully won your first competition.

There are no bad outcomes.  (Even if you mess up, it will fall in outcome #1.  The audiences at competitions are very sympathetic, and every single judge has messed up on stage at least once.)

Have fun with it.  I wish I could be there to see you.

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Geneva or Tracy Tanner 
  To: bards at lists.ansteorra.org 
  Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2006 5:34 AM
  Subject: [Bards] (no subject)

  Okay i have come out of the closet .. baring any major life instances I will be at Melee's with or with out the family bumming a ride with some one or driving my self AND I will be entering my very first bardic competition!!!!! Okay now before I start running around overtaken by terror at what I have just committed my self to. 
  Could someone please tell me what you do when you put your self in front of however many very scarey people I will be shaking in front of :-) 
  I mean do you get called up ...
  do you announce your self 
  do you pass out 
  be so scared you are stiff ..... WHAT ??? LOL 
  do you tell who wrote the song you are going to sing recite or tell, Okay now that I have run on at the terror mobile LOL .......please help 

  thank you Lady Gwen

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  Nov 06 Helps me choose to become a Car driver by 
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  Remember to check out my web site where you can shop any time even in your PJ's


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