This is somewhat disjointed, mostly my reactions to the day.

Went to the science faire yesterday.

Eulalia did some neat pie crust things. There was some cool stuff, including an amazing replica of the mona lisa, which was a “capstone” entry; not for competition, more of a “i did this because I’m awesome like that”.

I performed the Tain episode where Ferdiad is slain by CuChullain. Afterwards, the audience seemed very happy. The judges less so, but that’s ok. Mistress Jacqueline and Vicountess Bernadette (who is authentically Irish and loves the Tain) loved my story and suggested I team up with them at antir west war to do parts of the story in Westie court three nights running, like Scherezahde.

My judges were Luther Magnus, Rauthulfr inn Orthstori, Bieris du Roman.

Thoughts? This story is too long. Reading it out loud from the Lady Gregory version, from when Medb needs a hero to when Ferdiad dies takes about 35 minutes. I condensed it down pretty much as far as I could while keeping the contexts, and it clocked in at 20 minutes. Which means they had 10 minutes for questions, which makes sense to me. Maybe not to them. But a 20 minute story won’t work well in a campfire context. The beer and icy hot got great reviews though, and one judge gave me three points for the beer.

A couple of interesting questions came up. What was my reason for performing? And why this story? Jacqueline and Bernadette seemed to think I nailed it in terms of answering questions while in persona. I’m not sure what they meant; I’ll have to find out.


All the judges said I sounded good but the story needs many more tellings. Rathulfr suggests that I read the Lady Gregory version out loud a bunch of times to get the cadences of her heroic descriptions. Rather than speeding through the arming, wounding, healing. Bieris might agree, she said cadence and repeats would help cement the feel of the epic piece. Bernedette (not a judge) said I should be more expressive. One judge felt lost in the beginning, because they didn’t know who the characters were. They suggested a sort of dramatis personae. One judge said I obviously knew more than I let on (maybe in the documentation, maybe in the discussion after, not completely sure where that came from).

Looking at the score totals is funny. One judge seemed to be the most positive. But their score was lowest. One judge seemed to be the most critical. Their score was highest. Just an interesting data point. Rauthulfr gave me 3 bonus points for the difficulty of the piece, in addition to the highest possible score for “does the piece involved extra complexity.” In other words, maybe the piece was like doing a triple axle butterfly flip in kindergarten skating.

I was thinking afterwards that I’d never perform this piece again, with regards to a competition setting. But maybe that’s a mistake- obviously the audience enjoyed it. And the judges seemed to like it. So maybe going forward just practice it more. Champions (which I never plan to be) had to perform 5 pieces at least this weekend. Three for the judges, one in court for populace, and one today for “finals.” I think it was one. Might be more. But still- that’s a little daunting. I can come up with five total right now. I’ll have to work on broadening my stream.

Also, documentation is lacking. One judge offered me their email address to email them and get some ideas on sources. Another insisted that I needed more sources and listed areas that are missing from my documentation. In addition, the dramatis personae might go well into the documentation as well as the performance. I can’t assume next time that all these people can keep up with these names. I’ll be emailing that judge.

Overall, I had a great time. I might not do this again. I told the wife that Celtic Bardic is on my bucket list, and I think I’d rather do Celtic Bardic than go to Kingdom BAS. Maybe less of a competition flavor. I usually have a sour taste in my mouth for a few days after competitions, especially ones where I’m not recognized. Maybe I should work harder at recognizing the hard work of the non-winning bards as well. In fact, that’s a real good idea, right there, Conchobro.