Live Action RolePlay, or LARP for short, is a form of role-playing. In LARP, participants physically portray their character, including costume and everything: you dress up as your character and act and speak as your character during the game.
Since there are no scripts that are rehearsed like in a play, there are some similarities between LARP and improvisational theatre. This is because none of us knows what will happen on any given night – it is the different characters, their motives, and plans that create action. Quite a few characters make plans for an evening, but whether they work out that way is another question altogether. In any case, there is always play.
Over the last few years, this hobby of LARP has become more and more present and, fortunately, more accepted. Documentaries feature all kinds of people who dress up in their free time and slip into other worlds: teachers, bankers, authors, students. There really is everyone.
Dressing up at LARP?!?
Yep, you read that right: At LARP we dress up. Sometimes including make-up, wigs, contact lenses and teeth.
But don’t worry. Our setting takes place in our real present time. So, your character can walk around in modern clothes and you don’t have to buy a rococo dress – unless you want to do so 😉
Basically, any vampire can get any clothes that are available nowadays. Some are stuck in the time of their creation and dress more or less correctly historically. Others have switched to (also more or less) modern garments. Still others wear a creative mix that reflects their personality.
You become your character
But the core element is this: In LARP, we try to portray our character’s appearance convincingly. This sets you a few limits. Because if you are male, 190cm tall, and beardy, you will never be able to portray a 150cm filigree ballerina.
Of course, there is a little concession – you don’t have to use cinematic make-up to be allowed to play. At the same time, people should be able to see what your character looks like. If you have any questions about make-up and acting tips, we will be happy to help you!
There is no “wrong” LARP
At this point I would like to make one thing clear: There is not one Vampire Live. Every group or chronicle has its own style and focus. None of these groups play wrong per se. If all participants enjoy what their group is doing, even though it looks rather lame to outsiders – why not?
LARP is about experiencing something you enjoy without others judging it. So, if you find that a group doesn’t offer the game you are looking for, it doesn’t mean that you or the group are playing wrong. On the contrary, it means that you know what you want and can look for it.
In some groups you will have a lot of fun, in some it will be ok, in some you will feel completely out of place. This is normal and not a bad thing. In addition to the focus of the group, it is also important that the interpersonal relationship is right and that you get along well with the actors in the group.
The right group is worth its weight in gold
The good thing is that there will also be groups in which you will feel right at home and have the time of your life. So don’t give up if things don’t work out at the beginning. And if you had bad luck at the beginning and ended up in the wrong group, please don’t be discouraged!
Go ahead and try out different things and let it surprise you whether you like it or not. Together with the right players who encourage and support you in the off, it can be incredibly great to face things in the game that you would never have dared to do before.
I speak from experience: I always had incredible stage fright when I had to speak freely in front of more than 10 people. Even today, I’m not a stage daredevil. But thanks to the positive feedback from many other players, I can now perform spontaneously in front of 80 people, half of whom are just waiting to tear me apart in public.