NR - Court & Herald Idea dssweet at
Fri Feb 27 10:28:57 PST 1998

Mistress Kat says:
>If I had to pick a culprit for long courts, it really wouldn't be the 
>awards I'd pick on.  Awards need to be given in Court (there are 
>exceptions to this in special cases).   The presentation of gifts, 
>contest prizes, thank-you's etc. easily take up as much time as 
>awards and are often where we lose the audiences interest.  Still, if 
>someone has been practicing hard for months (years) and goes out and 
>wins the knife throwing competition, they deserve public recognition 
>for their efforts and I, for one, am not for taking that out of 
>court.  The same with *special* gifts.  

>I guess I feel that if we took more time to plan courts and organize 
>presentations we might be able to streamline stuff a bit more.  Also, 
>I think we miss opportunities to present stuff in morning and 
>afternoon courts.  I received my AoA in a morning court and don't 
>feel slighted by that in the least.  These things might not save much 
>time, but every little bit helps.  

     Also another big eater of time is when they call all the members of 
an order into court. It always seems to take forever for everyone to get 
up there, and once everyone's there, most of the audience can't see 
what's happening (or hear). I admit it's probably necessary for the 
Peerage, but is it really necessary for the baronial awards? Presumably 
the members of a baronial order know beforehand that an award will be 
given. Perhaps the number of people attending in court could be decided 
before court even begins, limit it to say, four or six people (by random 
lot, begging, rank, whatever the group decides). Would this work? Why or 
why not?

     Another thing that would help the atmosphere of court would be to 
have musicians play more during court; ie, the herald calls someone up & 
while waiting for her/him to approach, the musicians do some music. The 
musicians should be able to stop & start playing with a minimum of fuss 
(which means they need to practice this style of playing before court 
starts). While listening to music would tend to keep some people 
quieter, I also think it might cause a few people to speak louder to be 
heard above the music. So it may not be a perfect, but I'd like to hear 
more music.

>Here's another idea.  How about if feast was less a "social" time and 
>more a time for everyone to get together and enjoy special 
>presentations and/or special performances (bardic, dance, other).  
>Personally, I miss getting to see the best our performing artists 
>have to offer.  Just a  thought....

     For those of you familiar with Mooneschadowe's Valentines Feast, 
would you want an SCA feast to be similar (which is kind-a what Kat says 
above)? Or in other words, would people be interested in making sca 
feasts more authentic to the medieval/renaissance period? I would 
certainly be in favor of Kat's idea above or truly "period" feasting. 
IMHO, feasts have become more related to dinning out at a mundane 
restaurant than a reasonable facsimile of a medieval feast. And I *want* 
that medieval feast in all its pomp and circumstance, including 
performing artists, rather than a mundane meal for the masses (though 
it's become something of a status symbol among feast stewards & groups 
as to how many people were served at their last McFeast).
     (Performing artists have a much more difficult time of displaying 
their craft than static artists do. It's so much easier to leave item x 
on the table, and have people drift by during certain times and look at 
it & judge it with beans or whatever, than it is to have, say, a dance 
troupe perform, or jugglers, or a singer do their thing(s), then have 
them judged with beans or whatever (or not-as a display only). People 
have to actively seek out the performing artists [which often as not is 
limited to bardic stuff]; while it's "Oh, I'll go look at the static 
arts when I pass the tables on my way to go....") 

     Enough rambling.

(And then there was that thread on the Ansteorra list about how several 
of the big baronies down south did buffet lines to serve their feasts. 
Shudder. Twitch. For potluck feasts, it's understandable, but for a 
single-menu, sit down feast for 100-200 people, it's just sad. Very very 

     enough already.....

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