Saturday, September 28, 2013

Preparing to lead a workshop

Recap of This Post: I was unhappy with SBM’s level of Role-Player training, and I was unhappy with our spring workshop. When given 5 paid hours of research time I decided to research first-person historic interpretation.

When given the opportunity to research what we do, my first thought was to go through my bibliography of Living History and pick out some bits from each book to share with my co-workers in the form of a paper. It gave me a good excuse to go back and actually read some of the books on my list that I had only skimmed, and pick out the more relevant parts. I started in on two of the skimmed books, then buckled down on three of the never-read ones. So far I have completed (and reviewed) only one, but I’m really close to being done with one of the other two. I’ve promised myself I’ll get at least two more of them finished and reviewed before the end of October.

This spring we role-players were scheduled for two workshops, one at the end of March (the crappy one) and another in mid-April. It was scheduled for a Monday morning, and I was spending the weekend in Fort Wayne, Indiana (I blogged about that event here.) I drove through most of the night trying to make it back to the east coast for that workshop, and at about 2 am somewhere in the depths of New York state on a very empty highway I decided what the workshop would look like if I ran it. In order to stay awake I wrote it all down, and that basic outline is what I eventually used for the workshop I ran this past week. I did not make it to the second role-playing workshop, we stopped at about 4 am and I overslept, ah well.

The basics of that I wrote down that night are this: the skills needed for historical role-playing (sometimes called costumed interpretation, sometimes called first-person interpretation) can be broken down into three categories: history, education, and theatre. Without skills in any one of the three categories you will have a much harder time role-playing, good RPs have skills that fall into all three. That night I started my list of skills, and listed them in the category I thought was most appropriate. Over the next few months I kept thinking about my list and adding to it.


  1. I'd like to read it or listen to it in a podcast! Would you do this?

  2. Hi Jezaza,
    Since it was more of a discussion than a lecture I'd have to have a whole group to re-create it. If you have a group I'd love to give another workshop.