One of the things that I’ve seen over and over again in the SCA Social Mediaverse is that people want to see more magic moments. A magic moment in the SCA is where time seems to stand still and where it seems that one has gone back into time.
Many of us want to have that totally immersive historical thing happen.
I think it’s awesome.
But people need to realize that it takes work.
Whether it’s by upping your soft or hard kit piece by piece, replacing or covering things like shoes or using period-style glasses, or even upping their camp game, creating that magic immersive moment takes time and money.
So, what do you do when you’re low on time and money? (which, yes, I have a shortage of both, so I feel this pretty hard-core.)
One: don’t complain or whine about it. It is possible to do the SCA on a budget, but it means that one has to be more creative about how one spends their resources. For example – I take the city bus, so I have a good hour or so to do sewing on small projects or even work on sharpening pins with a file. Sure, gets me weird looks, but it also gets me conversation starters. (or, sometimes conversation enders because I apparently look half-crazed sharpening things on a city bus. Oh well.)
Two: bartering. If you’re good at something that people need or want, and you have things on hand, it’s a great way to get things going. I’ve bartered jewellery and scribal items for new clothes. It’s period, too! And, there’s a bonus of creating community. (So, remember those names. Create and spread wordfame. It’s critical!)
Three: Do things by little bits. Yes, I know, it’s sometimes unsatisfying when you know what you want, and you might not have the skills or even the time or room to move forward. My friend Aline introduced me to the concept of the 10% Challenge, where one upgrades 10% of their SCA life. Things as simple as making veil pins or using leather or wool thread instead of silicone hair ties are both achievable and easy to start. Add a heraldic banner. Use fabric that is dyed colours that would have been used in period. The barrier to entry isn’t high, and shouldn’t be. But the little pushes do show up in the long run. Instead of flashlights, use LED tea-lights. A friend of mine has really cool solar powered lights that look like little torches.
By no means am I the best example of the 10% Challenge, since I kind of do what I want when the spirit leads me. On the other hand, in places where I have applied it, it has helped bring me greater understanding of my persona, so that’s a thing. It has helped.
Four: serve. Sometimes, creating the magic is less looking good, and more doing good. When the event runs smoothly, the magic moments seem to abound. Time seems to stand still. Serve feasts – I’ve eaten well and have had a lot of fun in serving food to my friends.
Five: give someone a hand up. Some of the best moments of warm fuzzies I’ve gotten were times where I got a major hand up from others noticing that I needed something and they’ve surprised me. I’ve watched a scribe being given a scribal deck to save their back. And I know of others, through things like Noblesse Largesse, who have gotten a major upgrade to their wardrobe. I love watching the legitimate joy in these situations happen, and it’s another easy thing to do. If the SCA is family, we do much to improve it by treating others in the group as family members. (It’s like getting my grandmother the Snuggie she coveted for a random present. Best squee of joy, and even better was watching her use it.)
As a culture, we might focus on the good old days or the things that we thought were cool back then – and that’s fine to reminisce. On the other hand, though, by putting in the effort to create those moments now, we make our own magic. We have to be proactive as a Society if we want it to flourish and grow.