[Bards] Thoughts from a [relative] newbie

Lori Wyvill lori at drweakley.com
Tue Nov 7 20:02:23 PST 2006

Wow!  Great discussions here. I am absolutley in awe of 
the collective talents and creative minds in this group. 
 I am still trying to digest everything.  However, to move 
along a little....

I saw several posts requesting to hear from 'newcomers." 
 Well, not entirely new (as I have posted previously), I 
am probably "new enough."  I have been playing about 2 1/2 
years and involved at some level in the bardic community 
for about 2 years.  Most that invlovement has been sitting 
on the outskirts, watching and admiring and wishing to 
join in.

Before I start, I want to apologize for the length of this 
email (and also any typos).  I have intentionally withheld 
posting because I was very interested in seeing what 
others with more experience and knowledge than I had to 
say; however, the question has been asked and there is no 
"pat" answer and much to be said if i wish to be 
understood.  I will try to be as concise as possible.


Fisrt things first; what I am seeing through all of these 
posts is that EVERYONE wants to find ways to (in no 
particular order):
1) increase performance opprotunities for bardic 
performance by:
     a) increasing venues during events
     b) increasing classes and education opportunities 
throughout the kingdom
     c) creating badic/performing collegiums/events
     d) introducing newer bards to the "powers that be" at 
a particular event/venue
2) draw in NEW bards
     a) how can they find the "community"?
     b) how can we make them feel welcome and worth 
"getting to know"?
3) assist other bards with training, education and 
4) improve the particiaption of the Eistedfodd (sp?)
5) increase/improve communication amoung ALL bards
6) provide the TOOLS needed for ALL bards to "improve" 
7) find ways for us all to have more fun and possibly even 
spend more time together as a group at events (i.e., how 
do we "find" each other?)

Am I missing anything?

I applaud everyone of you who has responded.  I, like 
others, am not sure what the solution will be, but perhaps 
we could start off and deal with one small chunk at a 
time.  Some questions I would like to ask those of you who 
think that the "staus quo" is working just fine for 
everyone - why did it take me nearly 2 years to find 
someone who was willing to help me get my feet wet in the 
bardic area?  Was it because no one cared?  NO!  The main 
reason was because I didn't know who to turn to and being 
a bit (ok a lot) more shy than most you, I did not feel 
"worthy" enough to approach anyone on my own.  Couple that 
with the fact that my Hospitaler is not a bard and really 
didn't know who to direct me to (our local group did not 
have an established guild).  Wouldn't it have been nice if 
she could have said, "I don't know any performers, but 
here is a website and email list OR at your next event 
find someone with a light-blue sash/belt favor/whatever 
and they will be more than happy to talk to you about 
getting involved in performance."?  I would not have had 
that fear of approaching someone.  There were some along 
the way who nudged me along in different areas (Mea, Ihon, 
Kat), and Gerald really encouraged me to stretch and 
learn; he helped me find tools and then introduced me to 
Avatar.  I have had nothing but encouragement from others 
I have gotten to know since.  Even still, I know I have a 
long way to go and a lot to learn.  And there are still so 
many of you I would like to meet.  DId you all know that 
there are over 130 of us on this list?

The question comes back, do we need a college?  I don't 
know.  I am still reeling from all the information being 
tossed around. I am open to solutions, whatever form they 
take.  Ihon's roundtables are a good start.  We need more 
of them and we should not depend on the same people to do 
all the planning(yes, I suppose I am volunteering to help 
with this task). I see a very talented group of people who 
have much to give and to share with this Kingdom; I also 
see talented people who want to get involved in performing 
arts and to learn so that they too can share with others. 
 What I don't see is a solid way for those less 
experienced to easily get involved (Gerald, I know it 
boggles your mind that not everyone is as outgoing as 
you).  One possibilty that I see to help in this is that 
we can work together to educate our hospitalers about this 
list, the website, etc.  Tell them to give newcomers our 
contact info.

In closing, please note that I will make every effort I 
can to attend as many 
that I can.  I will learn from anyone wanting to teach me 
and if there is anyone who thinks I have something worth 
learning, I will be willing to teach.  I will fire walk 
with anyone who wants me and join in any bardic circle 
that doesn't turn me away.  I will be at Bordermarch 
Melees and  would love to join those of you who are trying 
to organize circles - don't get discouraged that you 
haven't heard from people, some of us may not have 
realized you were expecting to get a rough head-count 
before the event.  Alden, is it possible to have an area 
on the website for people to post bardic 
activities/circles/fire-walks that they are planning to 
host at various events so that we can plan our time?  It 
can get difficult to wade back through all the posts to 
find the ones that people issued invites.

Anyhow, I'm really closing this time - I am really excited 
to be a part of this community and I certainly hope I 
didn't bore everyone to death.

Alesone Leslie

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