Real Name:  Jennifer Bahor

SCA Name & title:  Meesteres Odriana Vander Brugghe, OL

Years in the SCA:  34 total at varying levels of participation.

How did you find out about the SCA? I went to High School with someone that was very active in our local group and then after High School, I dated someone that was also active in the local group and they introduced me to Adriana Ramstar, who was my SCA mom.

Where did you start, what was your first event?  Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands. I don’t remember the name of my first event, and I basically spent the whole event in the kitchen. It was a Royal Progress event (Randal and Katherine) and my boyfriend got his Award of Arms.

What is your persona?  Odriana exists in the late 16th century and lives in Brugge, near the town center. She has an adult daughter who has taken up orders in the Beguinage (the only Roman Catholic institution permitted to still exist in Brugge at that time) and her husband is a ship builder who lives most of the year in Antwerp as there’s no work for him in Brugge. They are nearing retirement and are looking forward to spending their remaining years together enjoying the fruits of their labors.

Selfie from Crown Tournament some time in 2014.

Why did you pick this persona? I originally was focusing my work on a 14th century Scottish persona as that felt the most meaningful to me at the time. I started studying Netherlandish cookbooks and fell in love with the culture. Particularly in Brugge. It reminded me of Pittsburgh in the 1980’s, not quite dead but dying and work moving out of the city to elsewhere. My name means “Odriana of the bridge” and was another nod to Pittsburgh.

Do you have any group or household affiliations?  I’ve been in the Debatable Lands my entire time in the SCA, and my household is Huis Witschoof, which I founded after I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel. It includes members from Æthelmearc and the East.

Cooking Ian’s Inn (2013)

What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?  Cooking (obviously), sewing, pattern making, illumination, heraldry (name heraldry), and knitting. I do a lot of service as well.

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.)  In the Debatable Lands I’ve been the Seneschal, Signet, Web minister, Historian, Steward, and Room Reservationist when I
worked for CMU. I’ve also served at the Kingdom level most recently as Kingdom MOL and Deputy Authorization Clerk, but I’ve also been the Deputy A&S Minister, Provost of the Æcademy, Chancellor of the Æcademy, and Clerk of the Fleur.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?  Absolutely none. I was 18 and enjoying myself.

What are your goals now? I want to serve my Kingdom and mentor my apprentices so that they can reach their goals.

At my elevation with my Laurel, Master Huen Dambrygge.

What was the most intimidating thing you encountered in the SCA? I didn’t feel that anything was intimidating as such. Mostly I had the normal concerns that one has when stepping up to do something, the judgement of others. When I was younger, that had more weight. As I’ve aged and had more time in, I’ve learned to listen to those who matter in that regard and understand that you can’t please everyone.

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? My biggest advice is to find the things that you’re passionate about and that make you happy and focus on those. If you aren’t enjoying what you’re doing, you need to take a step back to understand why and if it’s correctable, then do that. If not, then don’t. Move on. You aren’t here to build a career; you are here to enjoy a hobby.

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