minstrel: Fyrewalking and hospitality

Harold Feld hfeld at ids2.idsonline.com
Fri Apr 25 02:21:18 PDT 1997

At 10:40 PM 4/24/97, Edwin Hewitt wrote:
>>On Tue, 22 Apr 1997, barbara shuwarger wrote:
>>> I've been meaning to ask this for quite some time:  What in the world is
>>> fyrewalking?
>Fyrewalking can be the voluntary service a performer gives to many camps
>at an event.  The event does not need to have a campfire.
>Fyrewalking can also be the activities of a "Bard" whose main goal
>is not to perform, but to get free food and ego gratification.
>One sure way to tell one from another is thus:  If they offer their service
>freely and ask nothing but your ear, then give unto them bountifully.  If
>they hold their talents hostage pending food and drink - let them go hungry.
>If you walk into a private camp and then tell them that bards expect to
>be gifted, then you are a boor and a churl.  You insult your host and
>If you give a performance freely, and are rewarded freely then both bard
>and host are exalted.  This is the time to tell of the greatness of the

Strong disagreement and note of different expectations depending upon
location and surrounding culture.

I have, on occassion, used the 're-fill the glass' thing as an ice-breaker
or schtick.  I have found that announcing "Is this a place where a bard
might trade a song or a story for something to drink" works better than
simply strolling in and offering to perform.

I have also taken commissions (which are a different matter from simply
wandering around fires).

Be chary of the term "boor."

("boor", apparently)

Harold Feld
Yaakov HaMizrachi

"Do not ask 'Why are these days not as good as the days of old?' This
question is not prompted by wisdom." -Eccl.

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