[Bards] Topic: Is the usage of performers in your area, and events in general, sufficient?

Gerald Norris jerryn at houston.rr.com
Fri Oct 20 21:38:59 PDT 2006

Good brothers and sisters, gentles all, I bring you greetings from fair

Several months ago, our good Baron, Master Ihon Vincent McFergus, started a
discussion on bardic, and there was some good discourse.  I would like to
continue to use this venue for discussion of topics pertaining to our
performing arts community.

As the topic states, I'm interested in whether our performers think we're
being put to our best use?  Is there more that we, as performers would like
to do at events, or is our current practice satisfying for the performers of
our kingdom.  Please note, I don't use "bard" simply out of personal
preference and is not meant as a slight to anyone.

Our king and queen are firm and forthright in their support of the
performing arts community and, from every report I've had, are willing to
use the talents of their performers to good effect for entertaining the
populace in those moments during court (or other functions) in which
wrinkles in protocol or procedure might need to be ironed out.  It is hoped
that their heirs, and those beyond, continue to do so.

Because of the diversity of talent within the lands of Ansteorra, the vast
number of those who would gladly perform before their majesties and their
majesties' populace, it is often hard for our sovereign to know all those
who would answer the call to perform if given the chance.  In some cases
talent local to the event sponsors might get overlooked as entourage members
suggest familiar faces or those they know will answer to the call.  This is
unfortunate, but only a part of human nature.

HL Alden Drake conducts (herds?  Co-conspires?) Stargate's Bardic guild; a
group of people who gather to work on their craft, whether it's learning new
songs, working on a story, or offering a performance for critique (we're
gentle, really!).  At the most recent meeting we had a discussion of recent
bardic events within the area, and of the use of performers (bards,
minstrels, dancers, poets, etc.).  

The general consensus was that performers could be used more often by
nobility, for entertainment of the populace, head table, or kitchen staff
(and bards, if you haven't gone and performed a song or two, or played a set
of jigs for those who prepare our feasts, you will be hard-put to find any
more grateful audience).  While some of this may require some education of
the nobitiliy, we can make it easier for such occasions to occur by making
ourselves more visible as "targets of opportunity".  Years ago a group of
wise performers created a set of blue cloth sashes with gold tassles and
labled them "bard targets".  The concept is simple; any person wearing this
sash is declaring to all on site that they are available for performance.
Don't feel like performing?  Voice off, or just not inspired that day?
Don't wear the sash.

And so I'm curious, my brothers and sisters.  Are the performers throughout
the kingdom satisfied with the level and extent that they are used during
events? In court? During feast? At the list field?  Do the dancers dance as
often as they used to?  Do they want to?  Please, good gentles, let us
discuss this topic and see where it might lead.

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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