This interview was conducted by email between Moogie and Joella Starwatcher
Moogie:What year did you start Amtgard? How old was the game? How old were you?
Joella: Day one with Tawnee. I was in high school, about 16 years old.
Moogie:How were you introduced to Amtgard?
Joella: We saw an article in a paper from Peter Le Grue. (Sidenote, I went to school with his younger brother).
Moogie:Were you initially attracted to the fighting aspect? If not, how did you become so?
Joella: I always was attracted to the fighting, just wasn't that great at it. I had always loved the "knight" saving the "damsel" idea. I just was into helping the defenseless however I could.
Moogie:What was the representation of women on the field? What was the status of female fighters?
Joella: At that time there were more of us than men but that quickly changed. Women fighters were a deciding factor on the field, we couldn't be discounted. Of course, there were also the damsels in distress too, some even male.
Moogie: Were there efforts to recruit or encourage female fighters?
Joella: We told our friends and tried to drag them in. I brought in Esuom since we had gone to school together since 5th grade.
Moogie: Were there obstacles for women fighters?
Joella: Nothing more than having to do twice the job that men did, hits were not taken so much by us so we had to slam as hard as we could. That got frustrating so I switched to fighting healer.
Moogie: Who were your main influences in fighting?
Joella: I learned most from Tawnee and Nashomi but Ariona and I worked real good together as a team. We once even beat Hellspawn and Zyax in a two man tourney. We fought with brains and some skill and that beat brute strength and glory hounds.
Moogie: What events have been notable or influential in your fighting career?
Joella: I liked the tourneys but loved watching other styles to learn.
Moogie:You were the first Amtgard Champion ever, and Champion to the first Queen. Was that something you set out to do?
Joella: I entered Crown with the intent to do the best that I could. I was rather dumbfounded that I did become Champion. It was a major highlight for me.
Moogie: How have you changed in Amtgard over the years?
Joella: Well, I haven't been out for a VERY long time. Still keep in touch with some members. Had to do school stuff and to be honest, SCA activities. Like I said, I was never good at the fighting so I drifted away since that was the thrust of Amtgard.
Moogie: Has the representation and status of female fighters changed? How?
Joella: Don't know since I haven't been out there.
Moogie: Do you think the overall experience of Amtgard women has changed?
Joella: I hope so. Since it is still strong, there must be something there and that's great.
Moogie: What advice would you have to new women fighters?
Joella: Listen to advice but do what's right for you. Everyone has their own
particluar strengths and weaknesses. Don't compare yourself to others since
that is often a no win situation. HAVE FUN
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