Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Feast Heralding

I seem to have stumbled upon something of an ill defined art as of late.

As a herald, I have always been happy to announce nearly anything that people ask. And at times I am usually the messenger for less than wanted news. People think I'm kidding when I say they should ware running shoes while doing wake up calls... trust me, the joke is on them half the time.

However, something that I am becoming increasingly asked to do is Feast heraldry, that is calling out the courses as they are served for each feast.

On its surface, its the simplest of heraldry. With the exception of a simple intro, most of your minimum wording is handed to you in writing by the cook.

However, as most people who know me will guess, I am not one to leave it as the simple stuff. As with any heralding job, I enjoy engaging the crowd, adding color and flare to any circumstance, and putting on the best show I can.

At this point, I think I have been heralding feasts for a few years now, but lately Ive been asked to herald them with more frequency. Though I am not complaining in the least. I think one of the parts that I really enjoy is the ad lib moments.

One of my favorite moments from Namron's feast was heralding the first course. At the time I had never heard of Welsh Rarebit. But one of the ingredients to Rarebit was beer. So, capitalizing on that, I announced the first course, and when half of the hall looked at me blankly, I said "And if you have no idea what Rarebit it, that's okay. I don't ether. But fear not, I have it on good authority that it includes lots of beer!" That quickly became a crowd-please announcement.

I got a good responce to the final course. "Hear ye! Hear ye! Hear ye! I bring news of things sweet and wonderful. I bring news of things sugers and spices and things to make children smile. I bring news... of cheesecake!" as much work as the kitchen put into a specific type of cheesecake, at that point the crownd didn't care. "Cheesecake" by itself almost got a standing ovation.

At Yule revel this weekend, the feast steward had me heralding a Russian meal. Two of the four courses had me stumbling over the names in a language that I had never even attempted before. One of them amounted to me stumbling over the word twice and ultimately saying "I'm not drunk enough to say this!"

But when it was all over, the steward was glad for the performance, and commented that she didn't really appreciate how much I actually enjoy heralding until I was out there and doing it. She wasn't surprised, per se, but I could tell she was somewhat taken about by how much I actually enjoy it.

Lord Ivo Blackhawk
Protege to Master Robert Fitzmorgan
Nordsteorra Herald
Kingdom of Ansteorra
"God Save the King!"

"Non unus step tergum"

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