On Becoming Queen's Bard

The past month and a half has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. My SCA schedule has been packed near to bursting, and I’ve found it hard to make time for things like my blog and instagramming my A&S projects. In fact, as soon as King and Queen’s Bardic was over, the job of being Queen’s Bard began - and it’s a big job.

I’ve also been finding it strangely difficult to start writing this particular blog. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just that my feelings are deep and complicated. I am honored to have won. The competition was fierce, and my fellow competitors were outstanding. Being a champion in an area so rich with talent and passion feels like a real accomplishment.

There’s also a twinge that accompanies such a win. I don’t want my joy and pride to come at the expense of others’ disappointment. And yet, when you compete, there are always people who leave disappointed. It’s a bitter edge to an otherwise sweet victory.

For the next year, I have a job. I serve three constituents: the Queen, the performing arts community, and the Kingdom of the East.

The Queen who chose me, though she has moved on from the royal life, will remain dear in my heart. Vienna and I made a connection on the day we met - the day She became Queen. After I sang at Her feast, She offered me a drink from Her cup, a gesture that moved me to tears. This was a pattern throughout Her reign - for some reason, we always brought one another to tears. It was as though our souls knew each other long ago. Her embrace of me and my family helped us to feel as though we belonged here in the East.

The Queen I serve now, our radiant, newly crowned enchantress, Queen Fortune, has also become a dear friend and companion in the short time I have been in this kingdom. A fellow courtesan, She shares my love of beauty, art and theatre. This will be a reign where I can let my creativity loose and use my art to help elevate the court experience, together with the amazing King’s Bard, Mästarinna Margreþa la Fauvelle. Perhaps I feel a bit too familiar with the Queen for proper decorum, but I can’t wait to get up to shenanigans with Her Majesty.

Then there is the East Kingdom bardic and performing arts community - my beloved community, diverse and talented and full of passion. Thank you for accepting me as one of your own. I feel included and appreciated for who I am. Over the next year, if you have ideas or critiques or any thoughts at all that you want to share with me, I will try to be as accessible as possible. I am here to serve you.

I especially need to hear feedback from people whose experience and ideas are likely to be very different from my own: people who are newer to performing arts, or the SCA altogether; people who do performing arts that I don’t, such as storytelling; people who live in distant parts of the kingdom; and of course, people who have been a part of this community for far longer than me. Tell me how I can better serve this community.

My final constituent is the Kingdom of the East itself. It is humbling to represent this kingdom, which has been so kind to me. I spent more than twenty years in a different kingdom, and in all that time, I never truly felt that I belonged. Yet here, where I’ve been playing for less than a year, I feel deeply embedded in the community. I plan to stay in the East for the rest of my life. Thank you for making the transition so easy for me and my family.

Over the coming months, I will be rolling out a number of projects, such as fighter and consort poems for Crown, a Comedy Bard competition at the Great Northern Thyng, and #writingchallenges and #performingchallenges. I’m also here to provide support for your ideas and projects, especially ones that will benefit the larger community. So please, come to me.

I’m deeply honored to represent you and to serve you.

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Sayyida Laila al-Sanna’ al-Andalusiyya’

Queen’s Bard