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Stefan's Florilegium


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Persona-4-NC-art - 4/2/13


"Persona, do I need one?
" by Lady Alison Wodehalle.


NOTE: See also the files: On-Personae-art, Persna-Devlop-art, Persona-101-art, Easy-Persona-art, Persona-f-Beg-art, Persona-Play-art, persona-msg.





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



Persona, do I need one?

by Lady Alison Wodehalle


A persona is your alter ego in the SCA.  Some people have only a name, some have a complete life story that moves through the years with them.  Some stay in persona completely while at events, appearing to not recognize modern things like cars or cell phones, and others do not always realize that having a can of soda on the table can decrease the experience for others.  The game that we essentially play is at being a medieval person, and living a life from hundreds of years ago.  We all need to strive to create an atmosphere that helps us to momentarily be in another place or time.


It is up to you whether you dive all the way into the game or not.  How much someone wants to get out of the SCA varies from one person to the next.



Having a Name


The first thing most of us do is to choose a name. Take your time with your choice because it can be hard to change later on.  It is allowed to change your name, or even to register more than one name, but it can be hard to get the people who know you well by one name to begin to remember to call you something else.  And then if you have received any awards under the one name, your scrolls will bear that name, and that name will appear on the Order of Precedence. 


Think about whether you have a preference for a certain culture, or time period.  Consider the general sound of a name that you would like.  Think about how the name feels.  Try using it for a while, and see if you are comfortable with it.  Consult a name herald for assistance.  Try looking at the St Gabriel's website (see the resources section),  You do not have to register a name in order to use it, however it helps to initially choose a name that can be registered.  This is because if you ever want to register a device ("coat of arms"), you must have a name either in submission or already registered.  It would be easier for you if you did not have to change a name that you have been using (and that you like) due to it not being registerable.


Persona history


To create a life story more than just a name for your alter ego, there are questions you want to ask yourself.


When did your persona live?  You could choose a year of birth, and have your persona be your age, and advance in years with you.  Or you can simply choose a span of time that you find interesting, such as the age of the Vikings, or the age of the Black Prince, etc. 


Where did your persona live?  Again, you can be very specific by selecting a street in a town.  Or you can be less specific and just decide on a country, nationality, or culture.


What did your persona do?  Was he/she married?  Was he a soldier?  Would he/she have known the finer things in life?  Would he/she have traveled?  Why did your persona need to travel?  How did you get from one place to another?


How did see your persona see his/her life, and place in society?  What about religion?  Even if you are not religious, think about how your persona would have viewed faith.


What did he/she eat?  How did they acquire the food?  Who prepared it?  What utensils were used?  Was it spicy?  Was it nutritious? How many meals a day? And did that that differ depending on the time of year?


What did he/she wear?  Who made the clothes?  What kind of cloth was used, and where did the fabric come from? What happened to the clothing when they were done with it?


What was your persona's general health?  What did they do when not feeling well?  How did they maintain their health?


What pastimes would you have enjoyed?  Did you play games, gamble, tell stories, sing songs, dance?  Could you read?  Did you sew, spin, weave, or embroider?  Would you have known more than one language?  Could you read?  Could you write?


As you begin think about what interests you, keep some of these questions in mind.  You may find that your persona begins to develop as you learn more.  It's possible to pick a specific time and place, choose an occupation and research everything associated with that.  Some people join the SCA just to "play," and others love the education.  The nice thing is that there's room for both types to enjoy themselves within the same organization.


Copyright 2012 by Alison Choyce. <Greenfaere at gmail.com>. 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 is notified of the publication and if possible 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