[Bards] Bardic college Events

Robert Fitzmorgan fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Sun Oct 29 13:30:15 PST 2006

On 10/29/06, Darlene Vandever <annescvb at gmail.com> wrote:

> * My goodness, this person is going to be asked by Their Majesties to
> stand up in Court or at Feast and command the attention of a group of
> people...sometimes in a very busy and noisy atmosphere! *Why* isn't it held
> in the center of the main hall? Let me tell you, if a Bard could stand up
> and deliver a piece which made that whole hall go quiet, (which I've seen
> happen at one Baronial event in the past) then that would be a strong
> indication to the Judges as to their suitablity to be the Kingdom Bard! *

     The main hall at Twelfth Night is VERY busy and very loud.  I can get
louder than most bards, but being that loud tends to strip away a lot of the
subtlety from a performance, and doing it for any length of time can be very
damaging to the voice, particularly as many of our bards do not have any
professional voice training.  Many bards can't get that loud and would have
difficulty in competing.  With all that noise can chaos going on the Judges
will have a hard time hearing the performances, while the rest of the hall
will have very little trouble ignoring them.  The only people who are going
to hear are those who specifically go to where the competition is and place
themselves where they can hear.  And these people can just a well go
upstairs to where the competitions is and where it is a bit less noisy and a
lot less chaotic.
     Also if it is in the middle of the hall and the competition runs long,
we have to end when they start setting up for feast whether we are done or

*Second, beyond the challenge of that staircase, is the fact that if you go
> up there to watch or compete you are there *all day*. There is an awful lot
> to see and do at Steppes. *Any* competion that lasts 7 or more hours  (in my
> humble opinion) is about 3 to 4 hours to long! *

   You know, I've never really understood why some people think that
spending 6 hours in a room listening to the best bards in Ansteorra to be a
bad thing.  Maybe that's just me.  8^)

    Suppose that we have 20 people enter this year.  That would be a fairly
decent turnout.  There have been more, and a lot of people here would like
there to be more.  Even with a time limit, when you figure in time for
performers to get up and sit down, judges to make notes, introductions,
breaks. etc.. You will have more like 8 minuets per performance.  All 20 get
to do 2 performances.  That's about 320 minuets or a bit over 5 hours.  Even
if you get the the average down to about 6 minuets you are still looking at
4 hours.  Give the judges 30 minuets to chose the finalists then another 30
to 45 minuets for the finalists to perform and you are looking at more than
5 hours.

* There are many ways to make sure that the competition is a speedy one. The
> simplest is to limit the Bard to 5 minutes or less....and use a time keeper!
> Every high school drama cometition does this...why can't we?
> *
> **
> *My 2 cents*
> *Annes*

      I for one don't want Kingdom Eisteddfod to feel like a high school
drama competition.  I'm sure that's not what you meant but I feel it could
be the overall effect.  Hustling people on and off the stage as quickly as
possible, "got to keep things moving", someone with a watch calling "Time".
What could be more mundane?

    As a storyteller, I get annoyed when I hear judges who want documented
performances done in a period style with a 5 minuet time limit.  I like to
do the High Chivalric tales of France and Provance.  They were not short
stories.  With a lot of cutting and a lot of pain I can squeeze some of them
into a 7 minuet time limit, but at 5 minuets they pretty much aren't worth
the trouble.  The people of the Middle Ages didn't have our limited
attention span and our obsession with keeping things on schedule.  Yes I can
do shorter stories, but the stories that really move me and seem to move my
listeners tend to be longer.  It takes time for a good story to unfold.
    I really feel that short time limits penalize storytellers.  I'd be
interested in hearing what the other storytelles on the list think.


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"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much
of a day."     John A. Wheeler

Fitzmorgan at gmail.com
Yahoo IM: robert_fitzmorgan
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