We once had a saying going around: old role-players never die, they just grow up and join the SCA. Why role-play when you can get out there and do it for real?

When you’re playing the game, actually out there doing events, it’s really hard to be your persona because here you are standing next to a ninth-century Viking and a fifteenth-century Italian. If you’re stewarding or if you’re marshaling, you’re so busy doing the job that you don’t have time to play-act.

I find the persona a mental exercise that you do on your own. It gives you a framework, a mindset that you can step into, but it doesn’t really come across in what you do. You can’t know everything about the Middle Ages. If you tried, you’d go nuts. You can know lots and lots of facts of history, but then you miss all the underlying stuff of how it was actually lived. So your persona gives you a focus, like a place or a time, for thinking about the Middle Ages.