1) How old were you when you moved to US and why did you come?
Lorebubeck had asked me that before. Here is the entry
As for why, it was following my divorce from husband No. 1, and I just wanted to start fresh and away from all.
2) Have you ever experienced overt prejudice because of your sex or ethnic origin (or both)?
Not for ethnic origin, really. But because of my gender? Absolutely. Any woman who has had to make it in the professional world, particularly any woman with big ambition, will tell you that there is still a lot of that going on. It's not that people go around telling you "you are a woman, make me a sandwich" all the time. But it is the subtle little things that really bug the crap out of you.
Example: Sometimes, I felt invisible when I came up with ideas during meetings. No one would listen to what I had to say, and they kept just talking over me as if I had said nothing. Then, one of the guys would parrot what I'd say, and all of a sudden it was a brilliant idea and everyone would gush at how intelligent and promising this guy was. I felt out of a scene of "Black Adder."
Luckily, the older I get, the more outspoken I am, and the more I don't give a crap about what other people think. I have now mastered the art of saying (loudly if necessary): "Excuse me. I have something to say. Listen up." And make the guys listen. When they interrupt, I raise my hand and look at them in the eye, and say firmly. "I am not done yet." They normally shut up, let me finish, and we can get going with our business, and I get listened to and given credit for my ideas.
It's great to become a grouchy old gal.
3) What drew you to fencing?
The Three Musketeers. The book by Dumas, not the watered old Disney crap. That, and I was looking for something to do after my divorce from husband No. 2, and this sounded like fun.
4) When you got interested in fitness, how did you start? (I ask this for purely selfish reasons!)
I had turned 40, and I realized that I was not going to get any younger or any healthier. I just didn't want to let myself go. I have seen too many people and family members deteriorate due to lack of physical activity and a plethora of bad eating habits. I decided that 40 wasn't too old, and that I wanted to see how long I could keep my body and my health going.
5) What attracted you to the SCA?
I love history, I love art, and I love rapier. That was a marriage made in heaven. :-)
1.) Having an absolutely fabulous spanish/mexican accent why did you decide to choose a French persona?
Because I have been a francofile since forever, and there is a side of my family that happens to be French. De Gyves is a family name, which after going through the College of Heralds, became De Givet. My ancestor came into Mexico with the troops of Napoleon. After we kicked Napoleon's butt, he decided to make love, not war, married a Mexican woman and stayed in Mexico. Plus Belphoebe de Givet sounds kinda cool. :-)
2) Would you ever "move on" to a different persona?
Oh, but I do have an alternate persona: Barbarella de Normandie. And it's even documented and registered :-)
3) What would be one of your best secrets for better garb making?
Simple. Think clothing, not costume. Stay away from the shiny, "Tudor glitz," unless you can afford it and do it properly. But mainly, do your own research, check your own sources, and stay away from modern shortcuts if you can.
Oh, and don't forget about the undergarments. You can make the most amazing gown, but if you don't have the proper underpinnings, it will never look right.
Last but not least, headgear is not optional. Wear the proper veil, headdress, coif, caul, or hairstyle. It makes all the difference in the world.
4) Would you take an apprentice that did another art other than yours?
Absolutely! Take Geoffrey, my student. His area of research is 16th Century maritime studies and woodworking. In that area, I must say that he has a lot more to teach me than I can teach him. However, our relationship involves my advising him on documentation, how to display his items, how to kick it up a notch, and various other types of advice. Mainly, we are very good friends, and we consider each other extended family. We don't have yet the formal apprentice/Peer relationship, but I don't see it changing that much if we ever decide to formalize it.
5) What is your dream SCA office?
So much to do! So little time! I have just stepped down from one of the most amazing offices anyone can hold in the SCA. I am not sure what can trump that. But I may try for Principal of one of the Orders whenever I decide that I have been de-crispified.
(And here I have yet mangled the English language once more by inventing the term "Decrispified.")
1. A&S or Fighting, if you had to quit one, which would fall by the wayside? Why?
Fighting. Hands down. Because as much as I love rapier, my love for art and history is even bigger.
2. Heraldic display on and around the rapier field, is it important?
Absolutely. It definitely helps create ambience, and that is pretty cool.
3. Who inspires you? Why?
Wow. There are many sources of inspiration. Marcellus inspires me because he believes in me. He is very kind and in many ways, a better man than I.
4. What was your fondest memory as Baroness?
Probably last year's Pennsic. It was our last Court as B&B, and there was a horrible storm raging on. Despite the fact that it was raining cats and dogs, and despite the fact that there was a tornado warning, the entire Barony showed up to Court, and so did Their Majesties, Valharic and Arielle. We had over 30 people in there!
The weather got so bad that we had to shout to make ourselves heard over the thunder and the rain, but everyone stayed put. In the end, we took a group picture of all those who braved the elements and showed up, and dubbed it "The Ponte Alto Swim Team -- 2007."
5. If you could change one thing in the kingdom what would it be?
Better mechanisms for conflict resolution and their implementation. I believe that a lot of trouble could be resolved just by getting the parties to communicate better. There are some mechanisms in place, but they are kind of optional and not that defined, and they don't always get used. This frequently results in a lot of kerfufle that could be avoided relatively easy.
And that's it for today. Let me know if I missed anyone.