Real Name: Phoebe Waller-Sharp
SCA Name & Title: Baroness Ysabeau Tiercelin, OL, OP, OGL
Years in the SCA: 36 years. Wow!
How did you find out about the SCA? I had actually discovered it at Brandeis in Boston, MA, where I went to college. I went to a newcomer’s meeting run by Ælfwine and Arastorm, but never really had the time to go to events. After I graduated and moved to DC I went searching again (keep in mind those were the days when you had to send a physical letter to California to get info), found the local group and never looked back.
Where did you start, what was your first event? I joined in earnest in DC in the Barony of Storvik (where I watched a young Timothy of Arindale fight in the Novice Tourneys, met a somewhat young William de Montegilt, and just missed Morgan Elandris by about 6 months). I started by going to the weekly Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society meetings (I heartily recommend attending smaller local gatherings first before plunging into your first event).
I have no idea what my first event was, but the minute the lights went out at feast and the dancing began, I was hooked. Plus, Cavalier garb was REALLY in at that point with the Michael York Three Musketeers having just come out.
I do remember that on the way to that event, my friend Robin and I figured we had better have medieval names. I conjured up Tercelyn Brynn MacFairen, which lasted until the heralds got hold of it, hence Tiercelin (which is documentable as a last name) and the Ysabeau picked out of a hat.
What is your persona? Not sure I really have one – it depends on the garb I am wearing. I did Italian 1550s for a while, but now it’s more Mongolian and Ottoman for the comfort. So basically just random medieval.
Do you have any group or household affiliations? I live in the Rhydderich Hael. While in Meridies I was in the Ashley household. Now I have my own household with two proteges/apprentices.
Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA.
I run an estate sale company, and spend each week delving into old treasures and garbage, looking for that elusive item that will make both our client and us rich so we can retire and build a castle. My husband, Jock, is also a SCAdian.
What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?
Definitely arts (mainly scribal and garb), equestrian, cooking. I sang with a choir when we lived in Meridies.
Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.):
You name it and I have probably done it. Except for being an exchequer; I’m not that much a glutton for punishment. I have autocratted numerous events including Ice Dragon, been head chef for many events, been Chronicler in several Kingdoms, Kingdom Chronicler in Æthelmearc, Society Chronicler, started the Æthelmearc Gazette, and am currently the Kingdom Equestrian Officer (and obviously an equestrian marshal).
When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?
I really got into it for the garb. As you’ll see in the picture, I started making costumes in my teens, so finding the SCA was like coming home. I just wanted to wear pretty things with lots of pearls.
What are your goals now?
To see if we can expand the equestrian program in Æthelmearc, proudly take back Rhiannon’s equerry belt when he finally gets to have his elevation (darn pandemic!), drive my mini pair at the next Kingdom Equestrian Champs, and make splendid new garb for both myself and the minis, with lots of pearls.
What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA?
After the unexpected shutdown ends, what is one thing you would like to accomplish in the SCA?
See our proposal for the Omnibus Peerage finally come to fruition. I was one of the original sponsors of the proposal, which will provide a final peerage for skill in all martial arts under the purview of the Earl Marshal that are not covered by the Chivalry or Order of Defense. When this happens, there will be a path to Peerage for every activity in the SCA. Along with that, I want to see people able to have Peerage be an open goal (as it is for the Chiv but somehow not the “done thing” for the other peerages) and something to actively strive toward.
What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself what question would you ask and who would you ask it of?
Go to local meetings first and meet the people in your group. That way you will have friends when you attend your first event.
If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?
If you had to join the SCA in another “era” (1970, 1980, etc.), what “era” would you pick and why?
Well, since I did (70s), I really wish I could go back. I honestly believe things were more magical then – there was candlelight at every feast, dancing between courses (and woe betide the squire who was not up dancing), there were no cell phones, and there really was more of an attempt to be in “character”. Often now I feel like we’re just having a party with costumes on. Although the costumes are definitely far better now.
Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why?
Since I kind of already have a full slate, let me say that the two awards I have been given that mean more to me than anything are my Cornelian for hospitality (I really do miss the days of going to events and crashing at the after-revels) and my Golden Lance. The Golden Lance (the grant level award for equestrian) was something I worked hard to deserve and I was immeasurably thrilled when it happened.
If you could pick one thing you would like to see more of in the SCA, what would it be?
Dancing, event sites that are actually medieval in atmosphere, and candlelight at feasts. Ok, that’s three things.
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