[Bards] Off on a tangent

Manners, Tabitha tabitha.manners at okstate.edu
Fri Jun 13 08:50:34 PDT 2008

I suppose that does happen and rather often.  However, I have experienced a lot of feedback from many people in every competition I've entered.  I almost always have someone come up to me afterwards and comment on the material that I presented and what they liked or didn't like.  I rarely have written documentation (I am working on improving that), but I can tell where the piece is from or what history it is based on.  I have several times received tokens of appreciation directly from those who saw me perform and liked some aspect of it or were inspired.  In my experience when my daughter or I receive largess for a performance it is presented with a thank you and what they specifically enjoyed.  This can be soooo useful.  It was nice to hear at Castellan that I had finally succeeded in portraying a monologue as a real woman having conversation with another, rather than a memorized dramatic work.  It was a far different response than the encouragement a couple years ago to continue working on my Shakespeare performances and not to be discouraged which included tips on what aspects needed adjustment (namely staging) and some largess that reminds me of her words every time I see it.
The one time I have done performance A&S we did receive judging sheets back with wonderful feedback, but it was a different venue, it was performance A&S and documentation was expected.  In other competitions it was difficult to get even the A&S judging sheets because they weren't available when the entries were picked up and you had to find the right person (and remember to find them) after court.
In A&S competitions, I've noticed people will leave tokens of appreciation, but the feedback is usually only from the judges and you often don't hear what others liked or felt could be improved on your work. (Some of this may be because they don't have the supplies to leave a note and entries are anonymous, but I'm not sure) This is even more evident in children's, youth or novice competitions where people seem to be scared to critique a piece for fear of discouraging the entrant.  Maybe that is the same reason applause is still given to bad performance as well.  I don't know, I'm just throwing out my own experiences.


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