So, I am totally going to bard hell, as promised. It’s a small price to pay for the joy of co-creating something that lifts spirits and promotes community and fun, and “The Zoom Where It Happens” seems to have done that.
But no one does anything alone. I threw out an idea, and it would have come to nothing without the dedication and talent of a large collection of friends old and new. So I have people to thank.
- First, I want to thank Hilla Stormbringer for her tireless, fearless service, along with her gleeful sense of mischief. Without her, I’m pretty sure there would not have been a Journeymen’s Concert to start with (Dayeinu!), much less The First Bardic War. (And if you missed it, the bonus scene was totally her idea after my first notion for that didn’t come together.)
- Next is Laila al-Sanna al-Andalusiyya, my predecessor as Queen’s Bard, my new student sister under Peregrine, and my dear friend and confidante. Her delight at the talent of this community was the spark that brought the coming War into being, and she and Hilla are the foundation on which it rests. Her willingness to sink her teeth into the “villain” of this piece made for great comedy, and playing Lewis to her Martin was a blast.
- Now I must honor Honor von Atzinger, who, as the Dragon Bard, got pulled into one last Interkingdom shenanigan with me for craziness that she wasn’t even there for at the time. But, as I’ve found out over the past year sharing space with her online, she is game for anything. Always happier to play hostess than claim the spotlight, I was excited to have a chance to showcase her delightful comedy chops and gorgeous voice (she’s irresistible whenever she is onscreen), and perform WITH her. She was the first one to get into full garb and makeup and put a video into the folder, and it set the tone (and raised the bar) for the rest of us.
- I only met Nezhka Orshinaia a few months ago at one of the Coastal Bardics she hosts, but it was clear right away why all my older Atlantian bardic friends already knew and respected her. Her talent as a performer and songwriter meant that she would be a natural for Rose Bard, which she earned right before the Journeymen’s Concert happened. But, much like Honor, she makes things happen and puts performers at ease during this challenging time of online only singing. She wasn’t sure what to make of the idea of being thrown into a Broadway rap filk, but once she read the script she was all in, and never flagged.
- My royals, Tindal and Alberic, didn’t hesitate to support the bardic community from the moment the idea of the Bardic War came up, including my ask that they participate in the video for the filk. Honor’s royals, Felix the Just and Madeleina de La Man’s, were also quick to step up—and when they realized they wouldn’t have garb when we needed to put their clip together, still made the time to meet me online and record their parts with eagerness and relish. When Nezhka’s royals were not able to commit, her Laurel, my good friend Johann von Solothurn, offered us another option, to stand in to rake his apprentice over the coals. His comic double takes alone were worth that creative detour.
- A large Company jumped quickly at the chance to help make this happen. First, thanks to Cerian Cantwr, Hilla’s Laurel and an old friend, for agreeing to bring the BOOM! to this, and create the sort of comic business I was counting on, without ever upstaging the main action. (The moment when he throws his finger puppets over his shoulders is gold—blink and you’ll miss it.) Éadaoin Ruadh, outgoing Sylvan Bard of Æthelmearc, had two answers for my invitation: “Yes” and “HELL yes!”, and brought winking joy to her solo. Ermagerd (“Ansteorra says HOLD MY MEAD!”) de Tours was ready to join us, but when circumstances and a dead phone put her out of action in the final stretch, Aibhilin inghean Daibhidh stepped up, and in addition to her own video, did a fun Ermagerd impression so we could present her as off-camera “having dinner”.
- There were no small parts in this thing. Everyone in the Company had to perform the main part of the song in a complete live take: Ambra Michelli (Samantha Moore, whose bardic recordings I had long admired), Berakha bat Mira v’Shlomo, Ciaran Mac Breandain, Dahrien Cordell, Dorothea de Beckham, Katrina of Coventry, and Zahra de Andaluzia all brought their A-game to this endeavor.
The bardic community is my home. My tribe. So many other performers have been part of this story. So many more will lead their armies, perform, judge, teach, and cheer as we come together to create what we hope will be the start of a new SCA tradition that endures.
But for this moment, this weekend, you all came together and helped me create a little piece of magic. An oasis in the desert that has been this year plus of isolation. Not just for the people who are enjoying it, but for each other.
I’ll never have the words to thank you completely. But these are the ones I could find.