[Bards] Competitions

Michael Tucker java_kensai at verizon.net
Thu Jun 12 10:06:37 PDT 2008

On Jun 12, 2008, at 8:29 AM, Gerald of Leesville wrote:

> I agree, Maggie.  Great article.
> Competitions.  I believe there are too many of them.  I will  
> struggle to keep this under half a page while I explain why.
> It's almost as if we're trying to give the performers something to do.
> I've made the same argument before; that we try to treat the  
> performing arts like many other activities in the SCA; make it a  
> competition and they'll feel they're getting the same treatment as  
> the rapier/chiv/etc. community.
> ...

Gerald, I'll venture briefly in from the back of the hall to second  
your view. In the best of all possible worlds it would be great if  
"the journey was the reward".

However... hm... I find that I've got a lot of "howevers" in mind.  
I'll follow your lead and try to keep this short (hah!).

* the other arts you mentioned virtually require competition,  
marshals, etc.
* I agree with you that bardic doesn't, really
* if anything, formal competitions can draw a bard's attention away  
from his art's purpose: entertaining
* informal competitions (fireside "pass the cup") serve that purpose,  
but mostly just to entertain each other
* that's not all bad :)
* formal competition with stated objectives can help to give focus,  
direction and specific motivation
* competitions challenge in ways that challenging oneself to do  
better might not
* prizes are nice, and great incentive to keep doing what you do
* if more largess and word-fame were given out, maybe tournaments and  
prizes would be less highly prized
* all of that being said, friendly competition -- tournaments -- can  
be hugely fun
* Robin's list of sample tournament formats is awesome

I'll leave it at that.

(I know. "Who is this briefly-worded person, and what have you done  
with Michael Silverhands?!")


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