Re: picking a persona (was: Ontario newbie)
- Coblaith, that was a great post. I know it was directed at Ontario
Newbie, but I got a lot out of it.
I'm going to be at Denvention this August. Surely there will be some
SCA people there to talk to, if I don't get in touch with a local
group before then.
I'm kind of leaning toward Welsh/Irish fighter/archer, but there's
plenty of time to decide. I still want to wear my Italian Renn gown,
though. I put enough work into it, after all.
--- In email@example.com, Coblaith Mhuimhneach
>about. . .persona.
> Freda wrote:
> > Plan on getting involved and would like to find out
> Like almost everything else in the SCA, the type and degree of
> play you do is a matter of personal choice. Many people never domore
> than choose a personal name (a "first name", in modern Americanbut
> parlance) to use at events. A much smaller group do "high
> persona"--meaning they never break character while at an event,
> speak and behave (as much as they are able) as though they actuallyare
> the individuals they portray. The majority fall somewhere inbetween.
> Around here (and things do vary from region to region within theGaelic,
> Society), almost everybody has selected a culture (I'm Irish
> for example), a general time period (I'm from the late 9th toearly
> 10th century) and a locale (I'm from Munster). It makes thingslike
> putting together outfits and a name easier, because it narrows theto
> A lot of people pick a name they like or identify clothes they want
> wear, figure out the where/when/who that relates to that, andbuild
> from there. Others start with a culture they're interested in--maybe
> that indigenous to an area they've visited and loved, or that oftheir
> ancestors, or that from which a particular craft they do or want todo
> comes. Still others begin with an SCA passion, and put together a(Rapier
> persona who would've been passionate about the same thing.
> duels, for instance, were done only at the very, very end of theSCA
> period, and were of widespread popularity in a limited number ofthose
> settings. Some rapier enthusiasts select their personae from
> settings at that time, specifically, so that rapier "makes sense"as
> part of their persona play.)rules
> You can do whatever works for you. There are a few hard, fast
> you should remember:your
> 1) You're not obligated to do any persona play. You can even use
> mundane name, if you choose to, at events, though it's recommendedthat
> everybody have an SCA name because it helps distance events fromthe
> "everyday" for them and everybody else.activities
> 2) You're not obligated to fit all (or any) of your SCA
> into your persona. A 10th-century Dane can fight rapier, and anpersona
> Elizabethan gentleman can recite skaldic poetry. Choosing a
> should never mean limiting your involvement in any part of theSociety.
> 3) You're not limited to one persona. Some SCAdians change both
> clothes and name between the archery range and the dance floor,
> again before they present their Arts & Sciences competitionentry.
> People will probably know you by one name more than others, and ifgood
> you're given awards they will bear one name, though, so it's a
> idea to decide for yourself what your "primary name" will be, andmake
> sure people are aware of it.sure
> 4) There's no hurry. Take your time deciding on a name, and make
> you like both it and the persona that goes with it, before youstart
> telling people that's who you are.or
> If you WANT to choose a persona right away (whether your only one
> just one to go with your primary name), and want a fully-developedDoing
> persona where everything "makes sense" together, here's my
> Step 1: Think about what's really important to you as a SCAdian.
> Fencing? Big, poofy dresses with pearls sewn on their bodices?
> Opus Anglicanum? Learning more about Spain? Not having to beis
> Christian? Using your own hand-made stoneware at feast? The idea
> to identify those elements that you really want to make a big partof
> your S.C.A. experience, and pick a persona into which thoseelements
> fit logically. Often, when you read that list, where/when youshould
> "be from" becomes VERY obvious. And even if it isn't, you shouldbe
> able to use it to start narrowing down your options.a
> Step 2: Visit the Medieval Names Archive
> <http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/>. Read the articles on choosing
> medieval name. Then visit the guides to names for the culture(s)yet,
> you're considering. Or, if you haven't narrowed it down that far
> pick a few that seem likely (countries you've always wanted tovisit,
> cultures whose music or art you admire, etc.) and read up onthose.
> You may find the names from certain cultures grate on your ear,while
> others seem to resonate. Remember you're choosing a name to useevery
> day, not just to put on scrolls. You want to like the sound of it,and
> be willing to answer to it. (What's the point of picking out ancall
> authentic moniker if you're going to end up telling everybody to
> you "Candy" because it just doesn't sound like YOU?)A&S
> Step 3: Visit the costume and clothing section of the Atlantian
> Links sitefor
> action=displaycat&catid=10>, and look at the recommended resources
> the cultures and periods you're most strongly considering. Ifthere's
> not much there (or if there is, but you want more), go to the Webof
> Gallery of Art <http://www.wga.hu/index.html>, the Artchive
> <http://artchive.com/ftp_site.htm>, or the Wikimedia Commons list
> illuminated manuscripts(This
> Illuminated_manuscripts_by_century> and look at period images.
> will be more effective for later periods.) Some of the clothingmay
> make you giggle, or wrinkle your nose in distaste. You maythink, "No
> WAY I'd go out in public in THAT!", or, "Ooh! I want one!",or, "Now
> THAT looks comfortable!" when you see what's characteristic. Oryou
> might realize that you don't have and don't plan to develop theskills
> necessary to make it, and must consider whether you could afford tobuy
> everything you'll need. Remember you're choosing clothes to WEAR,You
> maybe for a week or more at a time (if you go to the big wars).
> want to like the look of them, and feel good putting them on.steps
> Step 4: Consider all of the things you learned about yourself in
> 1 through 3. Is there a single place/time that stands out, now,as
> being "just right" for you? If not, investigate the front runners--the
> politics of the time, the other cultures with which they hadregular
> contact, the technologies they used. Remember, the S.C.A. is allabout
> learning. If you pick a persona from a place and time you findultimately
> interesting, you'll enjoy fleshing it out more, and will
> learn more in the process.be,
> If you do all of that and still don't know what your persona should
> you're not ready to pick one. Chill out, enjoy getting your feetwet,
> and wait for inspiration. There's no rush.
> Coblaith Mhuimhneach
> Barony of Bryn Gwlad
> Kingdom of Ansteorra
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]