This page was created when Willa was being created. I had a hard time finding a site that would help me through the rough spots of picking out a name and figuring out the story behind Willa.
Since this page started, we have helped name a few people who also needed help! If you have narrowed down your search, but can't finalize your decision, e-mail Willa your photo and the names you have narrowed down to (we suggest giving us 3 - 6 names) and we'll put a poll on the site so people can vote to see which name fits you best! Not only will you get a nifty new name, but you'll be amazed at the people who will already recognize you at faire afterwards!
The first step in creating your persona should be to figure out where you want to be from. A good starting point is to explore your own personal heritage. I'll use myself as an example. I'm a mixture of just about everything offered in Europe, with the majority of my ancestry being from Czechoslovakia and Ireland. So, my persona is of Irish decent, mostly...with a bit of English and French thrown in. Do a bit of research into your past and find out where you come from. Incorporating reality can sometimes make it a bit easier to remember your story...
Next, you need to find yourself a name! This may sound very easy...but believe me, it's not! I just recently recreated my persona, which prompted me to want to create this page to help others in this quest. If you're looking for something that is documented (the SCA requires this), or just want something historically accurate, your best bet is to check out the following links:
They are very complete sites, and have links to other great sites! Sometimes, people want names that mean something, or would just like to see a more varied list of names. This is where I found my name...I love baby naming sites for help with this...they're great!
When choosing a name, you need to decide if you're going to be historical, common, or humorous. Since I'm a rose vendor at the faire and I want to be remembered, I decided on humorous. That is why I am Wilhelmina Wendeline Wylie...Willa for short. You may not know me YET, but you've seen my initials everywhere! WWW this and WWW that! Some people can be named Jane and remembered no matter what, so just go with a name that calls to you. And before announcing the name to everyone, repeat it to yourself for a few days...look in the mirror and call yourself by the name...see if it suits you and if it will stick.
Finally, you can work on your accent. For some accent hints, check our own Basic Faire Accent section for help. It's full of information on learning the right words to use as well as help on how to develop an actual accent, for those feeling adventurous!
Our greatest suggestion on how to feel comfortable at faire is to be well informed. I personally have spent tons of manhours reading book after book about life in medieval and renaissance times. Discuss what you learn with others so you can be more in touch with your inner rennie! Here are a few books we recommend to read to get educated! If you know of a really good book that helped you out, please e-mail us the title so we can put it on here! This is a mere glimpse of the millions of books out there, so dive in!
Of course, you can also get the feel of accents, garb and various other aspects of medieval life by watching movies! Here are a few of our favourites...note, most of them are comedies, but they're good! Sometimes you need to laugh and relax in order to get into the spirit of things!
If you want to expand beyond this, have fun with it! Figure out what your occupation is, where your birthplace was, what your religious beliefs are, who your parents were, etc...
And now that you have your persona set up, it's time to get your garb together! I've started putting together a list of patterns from various main-stream pattern makers that can be found at any craft store, plus there are some links to sites that will help you even more! Just click here to go to that page.
The faire is a setting to enjoy...so make sure you do just that! Want a few examples? Meet John-Paul and Willa! And don't forget the most important part...find a faire in your area! Meet some rennies from your area and read up on what's going on in the midwestern renaissance community by checking out our Faire Info section!
Do you have any good links for creating a persona that you just can't live without? E-mail the webwench...we're always looking for new stuff!
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