|Photo by Jesse Gifford|
It's hard to judge. Could be zero, because I didn't perform in any sort of formal setting like a court or
a tournament. It could be about 5 for times that I sang or told a story and had an audience such as around a campfire. It could be a lot more than that, because my primary bardic art is storytelling, and I tell stories to people whenever they'll listen. At feasts, on quests, and just standing around.
Why do you opt to perform in Realms?
I love all the stories that the Realms creates. Everyone gets to be a hero, so everyone gets to star in a fairy tale. People are heroes as long as their stories are still being told. I like the combination of the nostalgia, education, and social bonding that story-telling brings with it. Realms is also the only place I sing because the small campfire audiences are incredibly respectful and appreciative, and even then it is only under rare circumstances.
What do you do for performances and what are some things you keep in mind that you feel helps to make you successful?
Again, since my "performances" are generally informal, it's hard to say. All someone has to do is ask me to tell a story, or mention something that I know a story for, and I start "performing". The hardest thing to keep in mind is that I only know one version of the story.
What are some of the challenges you face regarding performing?
I am very self-conscious. I really hate to sing, but I love writing songs. I don't think I'm any good at singing, but I also don't like having my songs sung by anyone else. It's quite a dilemma. That's why I tend to resort to story-telling. The challenge there is knowing how long to talk for. Some people have already heard these stories. Some people have their own stories to tell. I haven't found the balance between telling a good story and talking too much. I also tend to apologize before or after performing, and I know this is a very bad habit.
Tell us about a memorable moment you had while performing?
The best performance memory I had was singing a song I had written at a Feast of Chimeron court. It was in honor of the War of Shadows and the fallen soldiers in Darkvale. I had worked hard on it but was still way outside my comfort zone. Later I learned that I had brought members of the audience to tears, and that I had affected even some of the most stoic members of the community.
If someone wanted to get involved in performing in Realms what advice would you have for them?
Don't apologize for what you are doing. Performing takes guts. No matter how skilled you are or are not, you are incredibly brave for putting yourself out there. People won't notice the flaws in your performance unless you point it out to them. Once you decide to perform, be proud, not apologetic.