The area captain of la Ville Lumière, the city of lights, Aurélie tells us about her leadership activities in Paris, France, a wonderful spur the moment dinner with her community and RC, and why she became a judge in the first place. Read on to learn more about Aurélie Violette, this week’s Judge of the Week!
Name: Aurélie Violette
Location: Paris, France
Judge start date: July 2012
Occupation: Web developer
Favorite card: Griselbrand
Least favorite card: Deflecting palm
Favorite format: Standard
Commander General: Karador, Ghost Chieftain
Favorite non-Magic Game: Video games like Crash Bandicoot or Spyro
Best tournament result: PPTQ Top 8 (one win and another coming soon I promise)
Random fact about yourself: When I went to my first PTQ, I was there to judge it and not to play it. I was really scared about not knowing this type of tournament.
Why did you become a Judge?
I was too old to continue being a volunteer in my school club, and I needed a way to continue doing something and to focus all my energy on another volunteer activity so I became a judge to help a local club.
At this time, I had only played in one or two prereleases and I did not really know Magic very well. My mentor introduced me to a lot of other people and step by step I discovered Magic. From the competitive scene, going to Grand Prixs and Judge Conferences, Magic started to be a big part of my life !
You were nominated for your efforts as Paris’s Area Captain can you speak about the issues that are unique to Paris community?
Paris is a town with a lot of Magic shops and players. Lots of shops means lots of PPTQs and sometimes we have had a lack of level 2 judges because the shops didn’t know which judges were available.
In addition, all the players who wanted to become judges had difficulties finding the right person to talk to and beyond that people had a hard time meeting others judges usually only meeting during Grand Prixs despite living in the same town.
How did you resolve those issues?
First, as area captain I made myself as accessible as possible. I went to all the shops, talked to all the active judges, and instructed them to send me information about all judge candidates. Since we had a lot of candidates, I held judge classes by e-mail, which quickly became real life classes.
Each class had at least ten candidates showing up weekly. We spoke about basic rules and Regular REL policy. Having all the candidates study and work together week in and week out created a really strong camaraderie among the candidates.
When the candidates all certified, they were already part of the community. In addition to knowing the other L1s they certified with they also knew the L2+ judges who occasionally presented at these meetings. These meetings became so popular that I had to split them into a basic conference for L1 candidates and an advanced conference to discuss the Infraction Procedure Guide. As a result, the candidates learned quickly, because they have had people to exchange ideas and an audience to share presentations with.
These gatherings quickly produced many new L1s and L2s in the area. More importantly, I knew every one of them, and they knew me. Now when a new candidate comes to me, I explain to them the process of becoming a judge. Then I put them in contact with a mentor who can help them become the judge they want to be.
Another way I helped build camaraderie in the community was creating some custom badges that they can wear. Every judge in the area has one which helps to recruit new candidates in shops that I can’t visit.
Judges wear the badge during FNMs or prereleases. The badge helps candidates find judges who can help them get into judging. The badge also recognizes the achievement of becoming an L1, a surprisingly difficult task since L1s don’t get an official judge shirt or badge. Those badges have helped me meet many people in my local judge community.
As a result of these changes, the community in Paris has become very active. There are many L2+ judges involved, ready to mentor all candidates who need it. Also, judges of all levels are now contributing to the community because they love it. Since I know all the judges in the community, it’s now much easier to find judges to help the many stores in the area with their PPTQs and GPTs.
What is your favorite non-Magic hobby?
I really like Myrmecology (the study of ants). Magic and ants are the two topics that I can’t stop talking about. My favorite one are Messor Barbarus, which are south french ants that make bread with seeds!
What has been your favourite Magic event that you’ve judged?
I have very good memories of the first GP Paris by Bazaar of Moxen. Bazaar of Moxen takes very good care of their judges, we always have great food in the judge room.
During this GP I was part of the night shift, judging from 8 PM to 5 AM. The night was really funny, and by the time morning came around, I didn’t want to go home to sleep. So I decided to sleep in the VIP room, and then I had to move to the judge room where I slept between two chairs. Some people got the bright idea to add a cup and a sign that read “Need money” next to me and I collected 80 cents !
If you were a Planeswalker what would be your ultimate?
-13: You get an emblem with “Whenever a creature dies, return it to the battlefield under your control.” I love creature combo decks.
Proudest moment of your Judge life?
A few months ago, the french RC, Guillaume Beuzelin,told me he was coming to Paris and he wanted to eat with judges. That evening, I organized a last minute 25 persons judge meeting in a bar, and then a really beautiful judge dinner. During this dinner, Guillaume made a public recognition for my work in the area, and I was really proud.
Two Truths and a Lie
Two of the following statements are true and one is false. Figure out which!
1. I have ant colonies at home.
2. I dropped from a GP when I could still make Day 2 in order to pass my level 2.
3. I wore a Liliana outfit during a birthday party.
If there is a judge who is also doing something exemplary, please nominate a judge TODAY!