[Cynnabar] Generalist Events- The real question?

Dennis Higgins mortisfan at comcast.net
Fri Sep 16 14:56:10 UTC 2011

I'm trying to figure out what your question is. Your post makes your
viewpoint clear but not a direct question as far as I can tell. So I'm going
to try to sum-up. Let me know if I have this right.


We shouldn't expect to comp anyone other than real hired (mundane)
professionals or the people traveling unreasonable distances to
teach/perform at the group's request.

We've been compensating the musicians at Terp for a while, so trying to stop
this practice "cold turkey" would not be easy.

So is your question "Should we stop compensating everyone, other than real
hired (mundane) professionals or the people traveling unreasonable distances
to teach/perform?"


That is the gist of what I got from your e-mail. 


My personal opinion still is that each event can be different in its needs.
And that it's up to the autocrat if they want to build compensation for
certain groups/people into an event proposal and then up to the group to
decide if it wants to support said event proposal. 




From: barony-bounces at cynnabar.org [mailto:barony-bounces at cynnabar.org] On
Behalf Of Randy Asplund
Sent: Friday, September 16, 2011 10:25 AM
To: Barony of Cynnabar
Subject: [Cynnabar] Generalist Events- The real question?


The real question comes at the end of this.

First let me say that I do appreciate the physicality of being a musician. I
spent many years in orchestra and have had times when I would literally play
my guitar until 4am. I get the whole "blisters on my fingers" bit. But...


Are musician and dance teachers at an event doing anything different to
warrant being comped? Not in my POV. 

For example: There are clear circumstances where fighters are taught by
people who are experts, people who came specifically for that, and who are
expected to work a whole lot harder than a musician. The event is called
TOC. At this event the chivalry specifically show up to work with the
fighters. They are in armor and on the field all day, which is a very hard
and grueling thing. We specifically evaluate what the fighter is doing and
work with them to improve their skills. Many of us are booked to teach
specific classes on aspects of fighting. We pay to be there. Nobody comps us
for our efforts. And why do we do it? Because it is our hobby and it is fun.


When I am asked to go teach scribal arts at events in our kingdom, I am
specifically asked to be there to teach. I am helping that event to succeed
in much the same way your musicians and dancers are helping, because it is a
hobby aspect of my SCA participation, even though it is also my mundane


How are these things different from the services provided by the people
Terpsichore comps?

With the exception of the few mundanes who come to the event as hired
professionals and the possible SCA person who is traveling an unreasonable
distance such as from far out of kingdom (not within the range that any
other SCA person would likely travel for an event), I don't feel that it is
appropriate to comp SCA regular musicians and teachers for participating in
their hobby.


Yes, I know that puts your community in a spot because it changes the sub
cultural expectation in the music/dance community. I understand that because
of that subculture's evolution what I personally believe is not appropriate
might nevertheless have to continue to exist or take a while to change so
that it doesn't totally mess up the Terp event. The bottom line is that even
though I feel it is inappropriate to comp these people, for the good of the
group it might be worse to just have all of the rest of us force you to
change "cold turkey". Doesn't work for smokers, so why should we expect it
to work for Terp?


Maybe THIS is the real question?





On Sep 15, 2011, at 9:37 PM, Monique Rio wrote:

My response to Gregoire is below. But to address some issues that were
brought up after his email,

I mention other organizations for a few reasons:

1)  To show that comping/discounting entry fee to events works in
other organizations and the events make money, and people still are

2)  Other groups are often better than us at developing intermediate
and advanced skills in an organized fashion. Part of this is because
they better recognize their teachers and volunteers. How many of us
with advanced skills got them just by going to events? None. Classes
offered at events are just the beginning; substantial outside work is
always required.

Also, the Renaissance festival is more like us than you might think.
Most performers are not paid particularly well, and there are only a
few true masters; most of them are there because they like performing
at the faires. (We say this as people who have performed at a
Renaissance festival.)

Here are my thoughts on this:

On Thu, Sep 15, 2011 at 5:55 PM, Greg Less <greg.less at gmail.com> wrote:


Hi All-


3) Teaching is volunteering. It's fun. It's also work. The fact that

in general the SCA doesn't recognize teachers through some kind of

discount (in effect making them pay to teach) doesn't make it right.



Back to who should pay...


  In my opinion, if we comp teachers for doing what they enjoy, we are

effectively subsidizing the hobby of some of the players and not othes.

Since this is an opinion, and one that not everyone agrees with, let's set

it aside for now and instead look at some of the various slippery slopes

comping teachers can take us down.

If I go to a dance workshop for swing dancing, the teachers get paid.
If I go to a music workshop outside of the SCA, the teacher gets paid.
We're not asking that SCA instructors get paid, but that they aren't
having to pay to teach. The slippery slopes I think are exaggerated.


Every time a fighter steps into armor and fights someone who is less

skilled, teaching occurs. Should my entry into Grand Tourney be comped? What

about a knight's? How about a duke's?

The way I see it, the experienced fighter doesn't have to give the
not-so-experienced fighter advice. Is it a good thing to do?
Absolutely. But it isn't required. If she's having a bad day, she
doesn't have to be there, and if she is there, she doesn't have to
give advice.

Now, if the experienced fighter is teaching a class on fighting
(perhaps like what Sir Jocelyn did), that changes things. Now this
person has specifically volunteered their time. People are coming to
see this person. At the very least this person shouldn't have to pay
to be there.

Also, weren't people talking about maybe comping a few dukes to
increase the quality of the fighting?

At Terpsichore the last two years Master Midair spent the afternoon teaching

Jason and I to play chess. We were so inferior to his skill level he was

playing both of us at the same time, while knitting. He clearly was acting

as a teacher at the event. I hope he had fun, but it might have bored him to

tears - we are really rank amateurs... Should his site fee have been


It wasn't a chess event. If Midair didn't want to teach he didn't have
to. He truly volunteered his time. He should have gotten comped for
the track of classes he ran at 9AM. :P

 What about people who work more than others? If one dance teacher at

Terpsichore teaches one class, and another teaches four classes should the

person who teaches four classes have four times as much site fee waived?

That's why you work it out ahead of time. There are many ways to do
it, and in any case as soon as a teacher's site fee is waived they're
no longer paying to teach/volunteer. They're actually volunteering
their time. To what extent they want to volunteer is up to them.

- Jadzia
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Randy Asplund

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