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Re-enactors - are they snobs? - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
Re-enactors - are they snobs?
Today I found a yahoogroup, Chirurgeons, aimed at re-enactors playing medics. I was looking for good sources for medical equipment, since I could do with some medical props for LARP. The site has a rather tortuous application process involving a questionaire. I didn't feel like I could mention my LARPing interests to them, since their blurb says "not SCA", which while not overly detailed, doesn't make me think they'd like LARPers so much. So I go on about my interest in History of Medicine and connections to the medical field as well as an interest in doing historical re-enactment. (It's certainly something I wouldn't mind trying, although I don't really have the time at the moment.)

Got this message back:

"Your profile does not fit that of this group which is designed for Re-enactors and Living Historians who portray medical practitioners from the past. If we have made a mistake please try and rejoin with more details of your re-enactment interests.

If you are interested in taking part in re-enactment we suggest that you find a suitable group by buying a copy of "Call to Arms" http://www.calltoarms.com."

Now since this supposed application process is ostensibly to weed out spammers, is it just me who gets the feeling that there's a distinct element of cliqueyness going on here. So I may not be interested in total authenticity in my portrayal of historical medics, but I certainly care about research and knowing as much as possible about what I'm attempting to portay. Basically I feel like they've told me I'm just not hardcore enough for them.

Well, fair enough. I'm not sure I want to hang out with a bunch of people that anal, but it really doesn't encourage me to get into re-enactment at all. So I'm wondering, what's the perspective from the other side of the fence. Why is my interest in the social aspects of living in the past rather than say complete authenticity of props and costume undesirable from the point of a re-enactor?
6 comments or Leave a comment
brinker From: brinker Date: September 26th, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree. An app process like that does seem a bit over the top.

Good luck on your quest to find a more reasonable group.
aldabra From: aldabra Date: September 26th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
My guess is that it's a signal-to-noise thing, and they're looking for people who are interested in narrowly-defined technicalia and who won't get side-tracked into long hand-wavey discussions about social aspects. I imagine there's a tendency on teh interweb for people who know very little but have read some novels to think they have an interest in the social aspects of living in the past, and if you get three of them together nobody else is going to get a word in.

So I'd try again with more technical details of what you're after, in order to demonstrate that you know what you're talking about.

Except that it sounds like they're not particularly welcoming of LARPing, and that the level of detail you'd need is less than the level of detail they're looking at, so it may not be worth it. There're bound to be better groups out there. Their loss.
From: solitude_fairy Date: September 26th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wonders if she should hide under the duvet for being a living history re-enactor! They are many groups out there who are just plain snobs. They only want people they deem as being suitable for the group. No names mentioned, but I tried to join a company not all that far away from here. Needless to say I was rejected. This, apparently, was due to my being a gunner, and this was not suitable for their company. I know about many aspects of medieval life, but they only saw me as a gunner. I know many many re-enactors who are also larpers. Just go to a re-enactment market, (there are 2 of them the last weekend of October) and you will see the amount of Larping stuff there.

On another note, somewhere I have some medieval medical books if you want to have a butchers at them. Not sure if I have them or if they are with a friend in Swindon. I also have some knowledge of Apothecary if that may help. Also an old copy of Call to Arms. Also an array of old medical equiptment somewhere, but not medieval.

Goes back to hiding under her duvet!
sesquipedality From: sesquipedality Date: September 26th, 2005 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd love to have a look at your books and equipment some time. Let me know when it's OK to come round, please?
From: ex_lark_asc Date: September 26th, 2005 11:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Seems anal, but OTOH never assume malice where simple stupidity might explain it..
damianobf From: damianobf Date: September 27th, 2005 08:57 am (UTC) (Link)
like in all walks of life you get arses. It is the same in both LRP and Re-enactment that you get 'snobs' though this does sound like an extreme case.

It might be worth going back to them it might just be worth looking for someone else.
But don't assume because they are snobs all re-neactors are.

Though re-enactors in my experience tend to stay in the same groups more. I was thinking about this the other day and thinking that does re-enactment attract personality types who like routine where as LRP attracts people who are more happy to 'go with the flow'

This was based on a conversation of people we know and those who re-enact mainly and those who lrp mainly.

6 comments or Leave a comment