Has it really been almost two years since I posted anything? Wow. Reading through what’s here, though, I’m sort of reassured. I wouldn’t change anything apart from fixing a couple of typos. The Seven Bardic Deadly Sins are still the same, as are the remedies.
Not long after I posted that series, someone said that they should be countered with “The Seven Bardic Virtues.” According to Wikipedia, the early Church combined the four classical cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, courage with the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.
What might the bardic analogs to those be? Hmmm. This is just a short musing; I might explore these in more depth later.
This is sort of the opposite of Inappropriateness. Knowing your audience and performing something that’s appropriate – or choosing not to perform at all.
Justice is generally thought of as setting things right (especially when they have gone wrong), or at the very least making sure that miscreants get their comeuppance.
That first definition? That should be easy – word-fame! Tell the story or write a song about that Wonderful Thing You Saw. Even better if it’s something that DIDN’T happen on the battlefield or list! When was the last time you heard a song about a fabulous feast and the hardworking kitchen crew?
The second definition brings to mind the bardic WMD of satire. I’ve written exactly three satires in my career.
One was a reaction to a long-ago Pennsic that had gone very, very badly. People were injured, apparently deliberately. I posted the poem to the Rialto (I did say it was long ago) and a duke of the kingdom at which it was aimed got really mad. The bardic community had my back though, and essentially told him, “Your Grace, if the shoe fits, wear it. That’s what bards are supposed to do.” Interestingly, I can’t find a copy of it anywhere. The second was about a young squire who messed up Big Time. His knight made him learn the song. The third was a reaction to some really dumb event rules.
“Everything to excess! Moderation is for monks!” “Moderation in all things – especially moderation!” Cute t-shirt slogans. Not a great way to live, not if you want people to invite you back. I was That Guy for a long time. Don’t be That Guy.
This is the opposite of Timidity. Performing is scary for a lot of people. Really scary. But if you’re going to perform, you need to “screw your courage to the sticking place.”
Believe. Believe in yourself, most of all. Believe that by performing, you’ll be adding to someone else’s experience. And rehearse like crazy so that you know you are.
Hope isn’t wishful thinking, or leaving cookies out for Santa. Hope is simply expecting the best outcome. (Hint: When you’re well-prepared and know your venue, this comes easy!)
Be kind. Be kind to yourself, to your audience, and especially to other performers.