[Bards] Thoughts from a [relative] newbie

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Tue Nov 7 21:32:46 PST 2006

Aleson is a perfect example of a problem I see at our events; the

Someone else had to bring Aleson to me; she was reticent about self
introductions.  In our first meeting I found that she had brought her flute
but was afraid to play it because it was a modern flute.  Geez!  Well,
within the first day of meeting me, she learned an Irish tune through oral
tradition, and she joined in sight-reading with the Gulf Wars dance band.
She new about me (and that might explain the reticence), but whether someone
else said something about period instruments only, or whether the idea was
born in her own mind, she thought that she shouldn't play because her flute
was not "period".

Now she sings, she plays, and if we are all only a little bit lucky, she
will prove herself an asset to her local group and to the kingdom at large.
And even after having introduced her to Master Avatar she STILL speaks to

The point:  Here we have a person who would like to perform, but afraid to
do so because they don't know the lay of the land.  I know a few other
instrumentalists who are afraid to come and play because they play
non-period instruments.  I don't know where the idea has sprung that we
should only be playing period instruments, but I haven't seen that written
into law anywhere.  Yah, I play some period-style instruments, but there's
nothing "of period" about either of my irish flutes, the bodhran, or the

What am I doing about it?  I'm trying to get people like Aleson, M'lady
Suise, and others to perform, to be welcoming to others that would like to
sit at my tent and listen to music, to sing, or to play a piece.  I have no
bardic flag, but I rarely have to worry whether bards know they're welcome
or not.  I suggest we all do the same.

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

Lori lilted:

"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.

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