[Bards] Wordfame, and Some Thoughts on the College

Michael Silverhands silverhands at sbcglobal.net
Thu Nov 2 12:12:03 PST 2006

On Nov 2, 2006, at 1:13 PM, Alden Drake wrote:

> That was a really great story, Kat.  Thanks for sharing it!
> My entry to the bardic world is (I think) pretty funny.  I got into  
> it by trying to stay out of it.
> <snip>  From there, I hit the path of bardcraft and am loving every  
> step of the journey.
> So yeah...I'm a bard...and it's all Gerald's fault. :P
> Alden

I actually wanted to be a bard from the beginning. I was a musician  
(since age 7), in a family of musicians and entertainers. Doing  
something in the SCA with music and entertainment just seemed natural  
to me, and something I very much wanted to do.

At one of my first events, I saw this awesome bard (Robin) get a  
crowd to *stop* and *listen* while he told a story... and I thought  
"Wow! I want to be that when I grow up!"

I was so keen on the idea that my first SCA membership card, before I  
had the name Silverhands, was for "Michael the Bard". Someone with a  
blue sash told me, with utmost solemnity, that I couldn't claim such  
a name since that was a title and I hadn't yet earned it. They  
explained that it would be like naming myself "Michael the Knight".  
Like most newcomers, I didn't know any better so I took what they  
said as gospel.

That sort of put me off of bardcraft for a while. I got interested in  
fighting. Some friends took me into their household, helped me make  
my first set of armor, taught me how to fight well enough to be  
authorized, and took me to my first fighting event. I was smaller  
than most of the other fighters, but the equipment was a good  
equalizer -- speed and accuracy were just as important as power and  
bulk -- and I found that it was *great* fun! Along the way, I kept  
seeing things that needed doing, and kept doing them -- not because I  
wanted any recognition for service, but just because I couldn't not  
do the work.

The whole time, I kept imagining myself getting into bardic. Sort of  
like that James Garner movie, "Support Your Local Sheriff", where he  
keeps agreeing to do things but says "Ok, but I'm actually on my way  
to Australia". :-)

Somewhere along the way, I got roped into entering Loch Soilleir's  
baronial championship tourney. I fought all day, got thoroughly and  
repeatedly beaten, and had an absolute ball. At the end of it, those  
same friends roped me into entering the bardic championship. So I  
wandered over, exhausted and half-dressed in sweaty armor, to the  
pavilion where the judges sat. I had nothing prepared other than a  
couple of period tunes that I happened to know and a period Irish  
children's story that I had just read... but that day, I was the  
best, and I won. To this day, my feast gear box (the prize) is one of  
my most precious SCA possessions, and being Cadi's last bard is one  
of my dearest memories.

So... then Avatar happened to me. And Gerald. And Kat. And Eleanor.  
And others who continue to inspire and motivate me. And here we are.

Funny how things work out. :-)


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