minstrel: Re: performing at feast
J. Michael Shew
jshewkc at pei.edu
Thu Mar 13 16:33:31 PST 1997
Perhaps my missive has begun to gather too many comments? Ah
well, that's the job of a skald...
Allow me to explain what I tell my students:
First, If you wish to perform at a feast; Choose your feast well!
Don't try to perform where the crowd is noisy, or the room is poor in
accoustics, or the feastocrat/autocrat really doesn't want bards. The
successful performer must try to find the venues where he/she can shine
without being a pest.
Second, choose your material well. No feast is so good that
something will not sit right with the crowd. Long period songs may not
appeal to the room at times. Filk may cause the Laurels to throw food at
you. Humor works only if the crown and the room is is in a laughing mood.
Three maudlin songs in a row will get some of our less civilized folk to
lynch you. Learn to read the room.
Lastly; choose your length well. At times ten min. is the
preffered maximum. Sometimes fifteen, but I won't try it. Sometimes
three is the best idea. If this is a Kingdom event where half the people
haven't seen the other half in six months, I suggest 1 min! It's nice to
hear a good bard. It's hard to sit through a bad performance. It's hell
to wait for anyone who doesn't know how long is right for the room, no
mater how good they are.
I have a rule: I try once. If I don't succeed, before I try
again, I find out why.
I have a second rule: At a feast, the critique I need isn't from
the Bardic fellow at the table. It's from the regular guy in the middle
of the room. That tells me how the audience is percieving what I do.
Mikal the Ram; an annoying Bard of no redeeming qualities
__________________________(jshewkc at pei.edu)________________________________
Dread Jarl of the Vanir in the storm wind victorious
By your grace this sea steed treads pathways of silver.
We honor with whispers like the sound of wave song
Your wild waters and fair wind words
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