[Bards] Just a few words

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Sun Nov 5 20:20:51 PST 2006

Why should I want to join a bardic college?

Why do we need one?

Two good questions asking different things.

Let's take the second first.

When I asked my original question, it was posted to see if others around the
kingdom were thinking similar thoughts as the performance community here in
the coastal region.  I got way more than I bargained for, but some topics
are like that on mailing lists.  What I've sensed in the emails of those who
de-lurked long enough to put two pence worth of opinion on one topic or
another is "No.  We'd like to become more integral within an event, whether
it's places to perform or better venues for championship (definitely better
venues for Eistedfodd, but I seem to remember that the competition was moved
to the room upstairs from the stage because it was too noisy for all the
competitors or the judges.  Robin, could you refresh my memory on that?).

So why do we need a college?  As a conduit for advice on furthering our
craft, whatever field.  As a gateway for introduction to those who might be
interested in bardic.  As a resource for pointers to reference material
(online AND in print), new songs, tunes, or a place to debate on sing-along
vs. solo bardic circles.  There are a few things about how this is being
done now (sporadically at best) that caused me to think about how to change
things, and of course the 1st thing I thought of doing was checking to see
if it was just me.

We need a college to act as that conduit; to provide
encouragement/ammunition/ideas for performers within the realm to actively
seek out ways to further the performance community in general.  I like the
idea of the kingdom bard acting as the spokesthing for the college.  If the
"office" of deputy kingdom minister of arts and science for the performing
arts were to become a permanent position, then that office could act as a
good liaison between the college and the kingdom minister of arts and
science.  All of this hinges on whether the above mentioned
offices/positions are even INTERESTED in the task to begin with.  I urge
caution in trying to come up with a new body-politic from the start, in part
because I want a certain set of standards concerning any office within the

I want officers who are entertainers, using whatever form, that have at
least a PASSING knowledge of how to perform, as well as exhibit a desire to
encourage others to perform; who, in essence, are already doing those things
that I think the college should be pursuing.  I don't want someone in an
"officer" position in the college who aren't at least competent at getting a
crowd's attention.  What credence, what respect, could the community give
such an office-holder.

As to the first question; why should you join?  "Because you want to," is my
answer.  Like Darius, Finnacan, and others, I don't need a sash, ribbon,
chest pin, or walking billboard to be a performer.  To be a bard.  I am what
I am, and being a member of the college will not change that.  I'll join the
college, when we get through putting the ideas of the pieces of the puzzle
together, because I want to help improve the lot of our performance
community.  I'll join it because I have a desire to encourage others, to use
the resources available to us, to communicate with other regions, other
bards, and to create a forum where we'll gladly exchange ideas, and the
wallflowers/lurkers within the community will feel less intimidated when
Robin or Finnacan or Michael expounds.  

You'll join because you want to.  You'll join because you understand that
joining the bardic college doesn't make you a bard, that's stuff inside you.
The college should be able to help you find a way to be a better bard.

In service to the dream with a song in my heart, I am,
HL Gerald of Leesville
A bard of Stargate 

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