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Persona-101-art - 4/19/08


"Persona 101" by L. Kyleena of the Ansteorran Rom.


NOTE: See also the files: On-Personae-art, How-to-Behave-art, newcomers-lnks, SCA-Personas-art, Persona-f-Beg-art, persona-msg, Som-Per-Ideas-art, Gypsies-art, Gypsies-msg, per-literacy-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



You can find more of Lady Kyleena's work on her website at: http://www.freewebs.com/mary-andrews/



by L. Kyleena of the Ansteorran Rom


So, you’ve joined the Society for Creative Anachronism and you’re trying to figure out why everybody gets all dressed up with nowhere to go.  Well, you’re in the right place.  


The following is a direct quote from the SCA website:




Each member creates a "persona," a personal character from a specific time

and place, which the member becomes for events. The goal is to create

someone who "might have been" rather than to pretend to be an actual

historical figure. The persona is a jumping-off point for research into that time

period and place—what the person would have worn, eaten, etc.

Our areas of interest are as varied as was medieval culture: heraldry,

knighthood, manuscript illumination and calligraphy, archery, armor making,

costuming, jewelry making, needlework and sewing, theater, poetry, dancing,

singing, cooking, brewing, equestrian arts, and more…


The SCA also attempts to create an atmosphere embodying those lost ideals

that are found in medieval romance: chivalry, honor, and courtesy. Our goal is

to re-create the Middle Ages as they should have been, without the strife and

pestilence, but with an attempt to preserve the ideals of beauty, grace,

chivalry, and fellowship.



The events we put on are participatory, rather than shows put on for spectators. Instead of putting on a performance for the public, we strive to learn and live in what we call the "current" Middle Ages. --excerpt from SCA  PDF  DOCUMENT what is the SCA? http://www.sca.org/docs/for-siteowners.pdf

PERSONA BENEFITS:  persona play creates atmosphere, brings history to life,  draws attention to our organization, and  allows everyone a chance to start unfettered by mundane limitations.  


PERSONAL PITFALLS:  if not done right, can encourage prejudice and restrict options.   Therefore it is important to understand the purpose of persona play within the SCA.                  


To help generate your persona, I recommend  the following:


Costumes many people choose persona by what they would be comfortable wearing, or look best in and then research backwards.


Timelines quickly helps to pin down the parameters of your world.  It also provides additional names and events  for additional research.


Period  Maps to learn period names of the country you lived in, and what the geography was like…where cities were located….


Folk Tales tell you current morals, and illustrate aspects of normal life


Past times/Games tell you about what people did in their leisure hours and allows you an opportunity to meet others and small talk of the "good ‘ol days"                    


Names can be found everywhere during research


Creating a persona is much like developing a character for a book.  It is good figure out as much about your alter ego as you can, but start by deciding what you, personally, want to do.  Here we all start with a clean slate.  Your mundane career, education, wealth no longer define you—a mundane sanitation worker can become king.  


Feel free to try new things here.  We are a teaching & learning society and we love to share all the cool things we’ve found. So, do not be afraid to approach others with your questions, especially those among us who have gained rank.  They started out just like you did….


WHO are you ?

WHAT do you want to do?

WHERE do you live?

WHEN do you live?

WHY are you here?


Though it is always fun to develop an elaborate back story, the best way to deliver it is in small portions.  Just like in writing, the rule is ‘show, don’t tell.’  Work in bits and pieces; axioms, remembrances, references.  Bring it to life as if it were real.  OR simply exude the character  and attitude of the people/nation/profession that you have chosen.   In the end, life is the adventure you make it.


Online Resources










THE COSTUMER’S MANIFESTO: http://www.costumes.org/ethnic/1PAGES/ETHNOLNK.HTM


THE HISTORY OF COSTUME by Braun & Schneider:  http://www.siue.edu/COSTUMES/TEXT_INDEX.HTML








ANCIENT ATLAS-MAPS AND GEOGRAPHY: http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/maps/ss/mapsindex.htm








ARTS AND SCIENCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE: http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/arts_and_sciences.html


Copyright 2007 by Mary Andrews. She is best contacted through her website: http://www.freewebs.com/mary-andrews/ . Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org