<<< A friend of mine is interested in learning to be a court jester as an A&S project. I assume that means some Bardic songs, story telling, period jokes, maybe some magic for the kids, making jester garb. Can anyone tell me where to start looking?
The good, the bad and the ugly...
Okay, some of the info on court jesters in period is going to be ugly and not PC by today's standards. Those with physical and mental deformities sometimes found themselves hireed as court jesters because it gave the court something to laugh at and congratulate themselves on being above.
There were those courts that hired entertainers because they could provide more genteel type entertainment such as songs and stories and jokes. In earlier cultures these might have been considered bards.
There are a number of files in the Florilegium which might be of use to your friend. If neither of you are familiar with the Florilegium, it is a fairly large SCA and medieval website with now about 2300 different files on a wide variety of subjects. You can find the address in my signature line below.
The main section to look through will be the PERFORMANCE-ARTS section with files such as:
jesters-msg (15K) 9/20/99 Court jesters, jonglers.
Jestrs-Mumrs-lnks (6K) 2/ 8/06 Links to info on medieval Jesters and Mummers by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.
The-Fool-n-SP-art (18K) 3/ 7/07 "The Historical Fool in Shakespeare's King Lear" by Lady Eleanor Cleavely.
juggling-msg (68K) 4/18/97 Jugglers in SCA and period.
bardic-msg (28K) 11/ 8/01 Period and SCA bards. Bardic topics.
Entrtng-n-SCA-art (14K) 2/18/05 "Entertaining in the SCA: a short essay" by Baron Hrolf Herjolfssen.
In the UNCATALOGUED section:
humor-msg (41K) 1/11/96 Period and SCA humor.
jokes-msg (18K) 5/15/96 Period and SCA jokes.
Clothing will depend upon the time period and location. Despite Hollywood, there wasn't any sort of jester's uniform. Figure out your persona's time period and location and then dress it up or make it more humorous. Exaggerate the colors and style.
For stuff for children, see the CHILDREN section.
If either of you are new to the SCA, I would also recommend looking through the NEWCOMERS section.
I hope this helps get you started.
THLord Stefan li Rous Barony of Bryn Gwlad Kingdom of Ansteorra
Mark S. Harris Austin, Texas StefanliRous@...
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at: http://www.florilegium.org