[Bards] Situations That Ruin Bardic Circles

Cisco Cividanes engtrktwo at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 29 21:12:29 PDT 2007

Greeting, I read this post was was rather surprised and pleased to see 
how well it both summed up its points and mirrored my own opinions in 
many respects.
Well written, Lord Kennith.

However, I would like to interject my own, humble experiences and point 
out some specifics with my thoughts differ with your own.

Ken Theriot wrote:
> Bardic circles represent the primary type of venue for us to perform at
> events. 
Ok, I will not say that this is wrong by any respect, but I would like 
to offer an alternate opinion.

I think that we should strive to offer our arts to the general populars 
more than is the case now. I try to perform for (and WITH) small groups 
of people during during feast, near the list field, before court, and 
just in general. During some events I will just wonder and sing to 
myself, offering my song to the ambiance of the event, and politely 
retreating when I am asked. I really, really enjoy the chance to take 
people who say that they cant sing and ask them to follow me in a short 
round of "Three blind mice" or "Rose", even if they cant sing worth 
anything, they almost always walk away smiling after having shared a 
musical moment.

My point here is that I believe that if we go to events just saying 
"Okay, I want to compete and then Ill sing at the bardic circle." We're 
shortchanging ourselves and the event.

Please note, all of the above is said with the assumption that we as 
bards also observe and demand the basic rules of diplomacy and respect.

> Good Circles:  Smallish circle (no more than 15-20 people...around 10 is
> best), not a competition, well-ordered (turn passes from person to person in
> a specific order), and time-limited (performances should not be more than,
> say, 10 minutes).  

I would add only this.
Sing-alongs are an often overlooked and extremely enjoyable part of 
bardic. I have heard several people say (and I agree with them to an 
extent) that they like performing with more than they like being 
performed at.

So, more rounds, more sing-alongs, and more groups sings are good things.

> Summary of Common Problems with Bardic Circles and How to Solve Them: 

Here are a few problems that also exit.

I'm not going to make any friends here, but please understand, I say the 
below out of honesty and mean no harm or insult to anyone.

At least in the north, bardic circles attract bards, but not anyone 
else. So, for me, bardic circles in and of themselves are bad because we 
aren't sharing our art with the general populace, and I feel that should 
be my first priority (after having fun).

Also, they are often times intimidating (I HAVE TO FOLLOW MASTER 

They can be boring (sorry guys, but I call them as I see them, and I 
have been bored to tears before).

And lastly, (sorry, but this one has to be said) Bardic circles sometime 
attract bards that I don't like and don't want to hang around with.

> 1.  Problem: People who perform without waiting their turn.  
On this, I totally agree, and I think we should stand up and loudly tell 
being as blunt or polite as the situation dictates.

> 2.  Problem: Stories that are 20+ minutes long!!!!  Reason: Hogging airtime.
> Solution: If you have a 20 minute story, serialize it into 10-minute
> increments and do one increment per turn.  Circle leader must state a
> 10-minute (or some other agreed-upon time) rule up front, and periodically
> thereafter.  
anything over 10 minutes will kill an audience. If they don't get up 
now, they likley just wont even come back next time.

> 3.  Problem:  Songs filked to obviously modern tunes (A filk to "Will The
> Circle Be Unbroken" is one I have heard twice in the past 6 months).
Totally with you on this! I like modern filks myself, but stating the 
rules up front is always good.
> 4.  Problem:  Bardic Circles With More than 20 People.  ... Suggestions:
> 1. For every new person that joins after a certain point, reduce the
> time-limit per piece.  2. Hold a private, invite-only circle.
Okay, I see what you mean, but I don't like either of those 
suggestions.Shortening the time limit hurts the performer for something 
they didn't do, and invitation only circles wind up preventing new 
material from reaching people, mainly because the invitation largely go 
out to people you already know.
That being said, I'm not saying I have all the answers, as a mater of 
fact I don't have any suggestions of alternatives here. But the fact 
remains that I don't believe we have come up with the best possible ones 
as of yet.

> 5.  Problem:  Bardic Circle As a Competition. 


We disagree on some points, and as you may have guessed I'm not totally 
enthralled with bardic circles like some are. But I feel that our 
agreement outweighs our differences, and there is merit to your ideas, 
and substance to your words, let that never be questioned.

In service
Lord Ivo Blackhawk
> Kenneth            

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