Part of a series of interviews with event stewards.

Portrait of Fianna

Who are yer?

Lady Fianna Rua Nic Mhathúna, (Mother of Students, Wielder of The Wooden Spoon, Standard Bearer of House Fitz-Fevre)

So, what got you into running an event then?

Watching my friends and helping them out where I could - I really “found my tribe” who always have my back with the SCA. I’d been part of the college Drama Society and studied Sound Engineering so working behind the scenes was something I already liked doing. And when people get to have fun and experience something special that you helped make, that’s the best reward possible for your efforts.

How early into your SCA membership did you start?

Maybe a year in? It was a simpler time - crash space and pot-luck events, just tell the Event Steward you were going so they could figure out where you’d sleep. The biggest impact was having a great crew of people behind me who would take anything off my hands if I asked (and sometimes if I didn’t). As an event steward your event team and fellow populace are your biggest asset, and I have some of the best!

What is your idea of a perfect event?

Top priorities? No injuries, no fires (where they shouldn’t be), comfortable accommodations, everyone well-fed and entertained. After that, I like having classes of all sorts, a Court that’s meaningful but light-hearted, a quantity of Shtick, family-friendly activity, outdoor activity, indoor comfort, hot running water, Bardic arts, the three main streams of Marshal activity, and lots of willing helpers to get things done! I have lots of half-ideas for activities but I’d need several weeks to fit everything into just one event…

What do you enjoy the most about running events?

Happy attendees, and coming in under budget even if it’s by 2c! I’m also a control freak and like to do Reservations for myself so I know who’s coming (and what they’re happy to help with), can colour in the spreadsheets, and have most of the paperwork done before the event even begins!

Improvisation is an art, what is the craziest/funniest situation you have faced when things got sketchy?

Thankfully this doesn’t happen much because the Brain Weasels think of [nearly] everything!

I’d have to say the time I sent my Other Half to collect someone from the airport but we didn’t think about how they would recognize each other until after he left. A very kind person who knew her well accepted the phone thrust at him and gave a very clear description, so they found eachother and got back to the event safely. And now we keep paper and a marker in the car at all times…

Early feast or late feast?

Somewhere in between - I have a small kid and have had to day-trip on public transport, so not too late but not too close to lunchtime! For day events it’s nice to have a lunchtime Feast and Fika (afternoon tea) if we have a Court, but if there’s no Royalty then a “linner” feast is good.

Who does the washing up?

If there’s one on-site, the dishwasher! I like to muck in with clean-up when I can and HAAAATE when the feast crew are still in there. Volunteers make events happen and people are sometimes surprised at the basic little jobs that make a big difference.

What three tips or tricks do you have for your beginner self?

Learn how Excel works, get deputies trained up, pack some takeaway trays to bring the leftovers home!

Do you have any events lined up this year?

At the time of writing, Champions of the Court of Love was yesterday. I will be on the event team for Eplaheimr’s Second Baronial Investiture this coming July, so keep an eye out for news on that one!