In our ongoing series of interviews, the Ealdormere Gazette talked recently with Daya Speyererin, who has only been involved with the SCA for less than a year.
How did you find out about the SCA?
There is a lot of crossover between SCA and many of the communities I've traveled in, so I've known many friends who've been involved. Unfortunately, most of my friends who I've known were involved in the SCA have gotten involved in other things and lost touch with the local SCA happenings. However, I also have a friend in Atlantia who kept inviting me to come to Pennsic; I finally went last year. It was my first event! I spent most of my time there last year with my friend in Herald’s Point.
What attracted you about the Society?
I've been involved in the same community groups for some time, and I felt like I needed a change. I noticed that the SCA involves so many areas of creative expression, which attracted me to it. I’m a lot less interested in the battle aspects. So far, I've begun exploring heraldic armory, calligraphy, illumination, leather crafting, sewing, and archery. Of all of those, archery and sewing were the only ones I’d done before I joined the SCA.
How long ago did you join?
A friend of mine bought my membership for me last year as a gift. It’s coming up for renewal in July.
Are you a paid member? Why or why not?
I’m a paid member because of my friend’s gift, but I plan to renew.
Did you find it easy or difficult to integrate into the Society?
I've been finding it easy once I meet people and have people to talk to, but getting to meet people and do stuff with the Society has been a challenge (see below).
Was the first local group the one you decided to play with? Or do you not play with a local group at all?
I've been in the SCA less than a year. The first experiences I had with it were in Atlantia (for Pennsic) and then locally in Ealdormere. I’m open to playing wherever I can reach and have fun.
How do you keep tabs on what’s going on in the kingdom (and beyond)?
I read the Tidings, this new Gazette, and I’m on various Ealdormere and other SCA facebook groups.
So far what has been your most positive moment in the SCA?
I've met some lovely people who've been kind and helpful, answering my zillions of questions. It hasn't been so much of a specific moment as the collection of them.
And the least positive?
So far, I haven’t had any negative experiences with the SCA, though I've heard of many conflicts of opinion in which I've not been involved.
What barriers have you encountered to your participation?
As a SCAdian who lives and works in
Toronto, I have no vehicle with which to
attend most of the events that occur across Ealdormere, as it covers so much
geographic area. Until very recently, it’s been a struggle to find people who
are willing to give me a lift to/from events. I even went to my first
Ealdormere event with a ride there, but without knowing how I’d find my way
home, though someone kindly offered me a lift before the night was over. In
addition, I have choir practice that conflicts with the Eoforwic weekly
Just as I was about to give up on trying to get to events, I put out a call recently and some kind people have offered me rides to quite a few future Kingdom events, so I should be able to attend more regularly now.
What do you think the kingdom could do to make it easier for new people to find out about the SCA, join in and feel as though they belong?
For those of us without cars, some sort of rideshare program would be incredibly helpful. It would also be helpful to recommend some people who live nearby so I can get to know some local folks who are in the SCA.
It would also be helpful to have a few people listed on the FB or web site that are knowledgeable in specific areas (maybe laurels) so new members know who to ask about different things, like where to find research and crafting materials appropriate to the SCA period, etc.