bardic Pennsic SCA

Pennsic 43, part 1: Look at Me!

2010-09-06 22.01.31
When will I learn? they ask. How often must I do me harm? It must be fifty times, but still a fifth might be the charm…

Ah, the unseemly part of sharing about a major event as a performer: showing off.  (Not because I find it uncomfortable–sadly, I really really enjoy it.  But I know it’s uncouth to do in excess, especially in the SCA.  On the other hand, there’s a long history in period of boasting, so within certain limits it is considered acceptable.)  And so, like a cat laying dead mice at your feet, I give you the “Look at Me!” part of my Pennsic recollections:

  • My first solo concert, Middle Sunday from 6:30 to 7 pm, went beautifully.  Lorelei Skye, the Dean of Performing Arts at Pennsic and a good friend, wasn’t kidding when she told me she’d given me a plum timeslot for a singer.  As she’d predicted, the house was packed by the end, since I was opening for Duke Moonwulf and Michael Longcor, one of the most popular concerts at the war.  I felt my set list worked well: “Call Me Will”, “My Thirst”“The Name of the King” (which had been little-performed and thus was fresh), “The Bastard’s Tale”, and finally “Mug Your Gate”.  I was genuinely surprised by the call of “Encore!” sweeping through the audience, but after a moment of blank shock, I remembered that I did have a piece in mind for this occasion (yay for not being stupid), and delivered Dowland’s “Can She Excuse My Wrongs”.  It was a complete rush.
  • My teacher, Maistre Lucien, greeted me with a warm hug backstage after the show, and presented me with token for my performance of “Bastard’s Tale”–the first time he has gifted me with a token since we began our formal study together.  My objective for this concert was a controlled and intimate performance, and the Bastard’s rage is an emotion I all-too-often overplay, particularly in a large crowd when I’m nervous.  I’ll leave it at that, and respect Lucien’s wise penchant for privacy.
  • Another item of note: Lorelei, who tied me for first place two Pennsics ago at Baroness Morgan Wolfsinger’s Depressing Song Contest, publicly called me out, along with Master Dolan Madoc, who won the first Depressing Song Contest the previous year, for a grudge match at this war.  Lorelei is a crafty one: her hyping of the challenge ensured a decent audience turnout, given the promise was an hour of songs to make you cry into your beer.  And the competition was indeed stiff.  However, I was able to carry the day with “Changeling”, winning first place outright, and becoming the only two-time winner.  It’s not a big thing…but then, it’s not nothing, either.  (*cough* inyourfacelorelei *cough*)
  • It was pure joy taking over the running of the Bardic Collegium series with my friend Widow Kate this year, and co-organizing the Bardic Arts Exhibition with Lorelei and Kateryn Draper.  I’ll save the rest of this for the “Ain’t We Sexy?” post, since what made me happy about doing both of these things was that I (mostly) managed to keep a low profile and remain in organizer mode for these events, even to the extent of giving up my performance slot at the Exhibition when I saw we were pressed for time, and allowing other bards with less exposure to perform.  Which brings me to the next point:
  • A good deal of the fun of the last few Pennsics for me has been going from a baby “wannabe” bard two years ago, to someone a number of bards knew by name last year, to an established bard with some reputation and connections this year.
  • The other great pleasure, of course, has been the response to my work.  It’s very exciting to launch into a piece and see people light up (and once or twice exclaim with excitement) as I introduced or launched into a piece they knew.  My “Binding of Isaac” piece (to the tune of “My Love Hath Vowed”) earned me a unique and valuable token from Yaakov Hamizrachi, a performer I greatly admire.  “Tam Lin of the Elves” received warming praise from several bards of note (including Emer nic Aidan, another performer dear to my heart from my first bardic event).  And I was asked on a few occasions for the words and permission to perform “Call Me Will” and “The Bastard’s Tale”–the greatest tribute a songwriter could ask for.

So…look at me!  Done now.  🙂

One reply on “Pennsic 43, part 1: Look at Me!”

[…] “Plantagenet”, in particular, with its specific historical focus, ended up being a large part of why I performed “Name of the King” so seldom. In my mind, the songs are so similar thematically (a king whose reputation is buried by the historians) that I don’t want to perform them together, lest people accuse me of repeating myself. Of course, they’re really not that much alike: “Name of the King” is a fable and something of an adventure story, while “Plantagenet” is history and a deconstruction of Shakespeare. Musically they’re very different, and while they both have five verses, “King” clocks in much shorter because of its faster tempo (which is why I chose it over “Plantagenet” for the 30-minute Pennsic 43 concert). […]


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