Master Philip White, OL, OP (Craig Shupeé)
East Kingdom A&S Minister firstname.lastname@example.org
Goal: Understanding, preparing for, and participating in different Arts and Sciences competitions, fairs or displays. Have fun. Teach. Learn.
- Entrants of all levels of experience.
The Basics: Get in the right headspace
- Be kind.
- There is always a gracious way to handle a situation. For yourself, for other entrants, for judges, and for other volunteers.
- Be thankful.
- Thank the volunteers (judges and organizers) for their time.
- Be wise.
- If a situation starts to impact your mental or physical health then allow yourself to stop.
- There is no reason to make yourself ill or to cause yourself heartache.
- Be thoughtful.
- Pause. Take a breath and think about your circumstances.
- Ask questions before taking action.
- Share feedback with the Minister of Arts and Sciences Office. It is always appreciated.
To Start: Perform a self-assessment
- What first attracted you to historical arts and sciences? Has that changed?
- Have you participated in an A&S competition
- What made it a good experience?
- What could have made it better?
- Decide what you want out of the activity.
- To win (get a great score)?
- To teach and share new research?
- To learn from your peers and receive feedback?
- To set time frames and goals to motivate you to complete your project?
- To challenge yourself?
- To achieve recognition or word fame?
- Understand the competition and where you are. Local competitions may be less rigorous than a bigger regional event; regional competitions may be less rigorous than a Kingdom event.
- Understand when you are jumping into “the deep end”, and be prepared for more intense judging.
- Know Thyself. If you are not willing to accept any criticism or feedback of your work, then perhaps entering a competition is not for you.
Choose an Activity: Don’t let the activity choose you
- Are there event limitations for the activity?
- Are there time or location constraints?
- Is the activity a good place to meet your goals?
- What kind of activity is it?
Preparing for the activity:
- Be sure to look at the requirements of the competition
or display, so you know you are adequately prepared.
- Are there published rules for the activity? Timeframes? Deadlines?
- Is there a rubric or are there judging guidelines?
- Do you need to pre-register?
- Enter an item that is historically based or inspired. Some of the most popular pieces of “SCA-ness” may not actually show up in the historical record, and that can make your road hard.
- Decide what to enter. You may want to include anything from “progress pieces” to “master works”.
- Review your entry. Can you answer these questions?
- What makes you proud about the entry?
- What would you do differently?
- How is it historically based? What is it lacking?
- Did you have any surprises? What would surprise another person?
- How much time and effort did it take?
- Have you made something like this before?
- Review your documentation:
- Will it be verbal and/or printed?
- Consider different levels of detail. A short description, a one-page document, a full in-depth description.
- Seek feedback:
- Have your work evaluated first by a knowledgeable friend.
- Then have your work looked at by a friend who knows nothing about the topic.
- Observe the differences in reactions and questions asked.
- Prepare your physical display space will look like:
- Practice setting up your display. Your display should enhance your entry, not over power it.
- It helps to set up your work on different levels and to use stands rather than laying things flat on a table.
- Bring table coverings.
- Clean your entry. Bring labels. Set out materials for examples.
- Sometime you can leave food out to catch attention.
- Avoid setting up so much stuff that it begins to look like a garage sale. Think museum display instead.
During the activity:
- Whenever possible, stand by your work, physically. You are your best advocate, and only you can communicate what you know, and the judges may ask.
- Remember that the judges and the coordinator are volunteers. The judges may even have be “volun-told” or “volun-asked”, and are giving up a big part of their day.
- You may be presenting a piece in a specialized area, and the judge may not be familiar with that area. Use this as an opportunity to teach: start with your historical piece, and show how you extrapolated from there. Do not “condescend”.
After the competition:
- Thank your judges at the event. Thank your judges in writing after the event. Thank your judges.
- Do consider the comments you are given. Can you incorporate these suggestions into your next step?
- There is nothing wrong with a lower score. If it is your first time entering, or your first time entering a new project or art form, then a “middle” ranking is possibly an appropriate ranking.
- Recognize that, at the end of the day, you may be unhappy with the scores or suggestions. Give it a day, revisit, and then carefully reconsider. If it was about the judge as a person or if it was about the entry. It may have been a poor judging moment. Either way look for any opportunity possible to learn and try not to take it personally.
To Finish: Perform a self-assessment
- Think about what your goals were and whether or not you were able to achieve them.
- Decide what you can do better next time.
- Think about what you did not like about the competition and what you can do to avoid that situation or change it.
- Did you learn anything?
- Did you teach anyone anything?
Thanks and acknowledgements to Mistress Amy Webbe for earlier work on this document.