?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Journal of No. 118


May 1st, 2006

Larpies @ 01:10 pm


Homer: Why won't anyone give me an award?
Lisa: You won a Grammy.
Homer: I mean an award that's worth winning.



If you need to get up to speed, some of the more recent events and data-mining results are in this no longer friends-only post. My meatier comments at the end cover Saturday's (non)events.

Now to Sunday. I arrived with Richard and parked. Surprisingly (to me) there actually was a red carpet set up and there were a number of photographers there already, but not much going on. This was perhaps 5:30 and the red carpet walk was supposed to be from 6-7:30. Organization was clearly still not the strong point of the Larpies production team, but I eventually found Joe and got my VIP tickets and then we were told basically to hang out in the parking lot until further notice. And there were maybe 100 Larpers and Larper-esque people there hanging out. The 501st was there, and obishawn had the H-Wing up on the sidewalk. The Sixth Legion was there as well, with some of the high-spirited centurions sparring with shields and live steel. And of course, lots of miscellaneous costumes from Faire to Furry. Honestly, though our games are small by many groups' standards, as the parking lot continued to fill, it was by far the most Larpers I've ever seen at one time. All in all, I'm estimating total attendance at about 250. At the eleventh hour (but not the last minute) the producers did tell us that "Enigma +40" was on the guest list. If other groups got the same deal, I expect that explains the turn out.
So Richard and I chatted with a few people and watched the goings on. I learned either from nathan_h or the WetMaynard people that the preparty HAD INDEED HAPPENED. There was a secret handshake and a batcave-elevator involved and maybe it was after we left anyway, but one would think that having Joe Valenti in your midst would have given you the best chance of getting into the party. One would have been wrong. And I was.
Back to Sunday, video camera crews wandered about, but they showed little interest in me, and I was not about to force myself on them. Many of the other attention whores in the parking lot were not as fastidious. I was intrigued to notice that the interviewer for some Playboy Channel show (who also (if I'm remembering the right interviewer) looked like a mini-Fran Drescher) had a Playboy Bunny tattooed on her lower back. That's some job requirement.
Anyway, a couple camera crews worked through the milling crowd, and some of the crowd was, I think, moving along the red carpet and into the theater. Again, organization was lacking - it was hard to tell what we were supposed to be doing or not doing. I've read elsewhere that the Larpers going through the red carpet were all but ignored by the shutterbugs, who were there for the celebs.
After about TWO HOURS of standing around in a parking lot, the remaining 50 or so of us who were still out there were approached by Ballard and Mitch (I think) who told us how things were gonna go down. This related to the opening battle sequence, with racing into the venue and fighting and racing up to the stage and bla-bla-bla-bla. Also (a new wrinkle never before mentioned until this very moment) they wanted groups of six Larpers to accompany the presenters to the podium. It was all very last minute and they had a sign up sheet and bla-bla-bla-bla. In one ear and out the other. If there had been more planning beforehand, if the plan wasn't vague and formless, I would have been happy to hang out on stage and let them deify Ford Ivey. But the pre-battle already sounded like an accident waiting to happen, and I was feeling slightly put upon regarding this new requirement of acting as an escort. Hey, pal, I'm not just some LARPER... I'm a nominee! You want me to, I dunno, help a Trashy Lingerie girl walk across a stage? (As it turned out, I was in no danger of that.) But my complaint is but a mere nothing compared to the guy who then piped up that he had PAID FOR A VIP ticket. And here he was, being ordered around like stage crew. Fortunately, his significant other was around to restrain him, but I would have been super-duper pissed.
The Larpers were told to go in. I as a nominee now had my chance to hit the red carpet. I'm afraid that hanging out in the afternoon sun for two hours in a parking lot may have detracted somewhat from my appearance, but I was pleasantly surprised that most of the thirty or so shutterbugs lined up along the walkway gave me at least one flashbulb. One guy is my fucking pal for life. He gave me some direction and asked me to lower my shades, so I gave him a double barrelled shot of my baby blues, while managing a strange mixture of Zoolander and I'm-about-to-bust-into-laughter. And the evidence exists!
Of the hundreds of Larpers that walked that line, are there pictures of furries? Knights? Girls with wings or elf ears? No! There's former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey, R2, PaperbagMan (from wet maynard) and ME, goddamnit.
There were some video crews set up after the still photographers, but they were dealing with the big celebrities, so Richard and I made our way into the Avalon and got directions to the VIP Lounge. We were let into the golden land of beautiful people. Now at this point, I had spent a couple hours on my feet in a parking lot and nothing so far had increased my confidence in or appreciation of the production staff. Running the red carpet gauntlet was interesting, but that was my fifteen seconds of fame after a two hour wait. HOWEVER, the VIP lounge had martinis. Free martinis. (Oh, and yes, Kirsten, they had veggies and snacks.) We met another couple there in the lounge - they turned out to be friends of producer John Ryan who had got them snuck in there, from what I could tell. "Are you with this game stuff?" she asks me. "Yeah, toots, thanks for your support." Anyway, Richard and I downed two martinis apiece and Richard got one for the road as they finally shooed everyone but the presenters out of the Lounge for the start of the show.
So in my mind, I see that there were two distinct populations inside the theater at that point. There were the hundreds of Larpers who had spent two hours in a parking lot and then got crammed inside the venue for maybe another hour, with nothing to do but buy NERO rulebooks and $8.50 drinks. And there was me and Richard and a very few other people who had spent two hours in a parking lot and then got two fast martinis tossed into our empty, dehydrated stomachs. I was ready for some goddamn fun.
We found the rest of the Enigmans up in the balcony and there was much greeting and meeting. The balcony areas were fairly well full of people, but the dance floor was largely empty. We had a row to ourselves, and I feel somewhat sorry for the people sitting in the row in front of us, because once the show got started, we were very naughty boys and girls for the most part.
But I'm ahead of myself. First there was a cartoon, in which animated things occured, to the amusement of no one. Then there was a stand-up guy-who-said-things, to the amusement of no one. Now trust me, I was a very easy audience at this point. Next, there was a short little film that I'm pretty sure was put together by the German Mythodea people. No one would confuse it for a Hollywood film, but it was well put together and got a great reaction from the crowd. I led a cry of "Deutschland, Deutschland, über Alles!" I at least got Richard to join me. This cry became an occasional leitmotif for the Larpies, since the Germans won a couple well-deserved awards later on.
And then, Zolar X came on. As they played, Larpers streamed onto the dance floor and battled. It was an astonishing display. I have to admit, I've never seen anything like it. I call it a bizarre success. Zolar X finished their song and Ford Ivey got his Lifetime Achievement Award. There was a short film tribute, and when the narration skirted perilously close to crediting Ford with being the originator of all LARPing, I let out a lusty hiss. The Larpies were well and truly underway.
My God this fucker is getting long.
TO BE CONTINUED.
 
Share  |  Flag |

Comments

 
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 1st, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)

Continuation

(Link)
So, we'd gotten to about this point in the proceedings. [It'll be interesting to see what else shows up in that yahoo group. Photos and posts.] So there's Ford on the monitor, and our Mistress of Ceremonies, Bobbi Sue Luther, at the podium. And random post-battle Larpers on the stage.
Let me discourse on Ms. Luther. She was clearly a little uncertain at the outset, and seemed to think it was a tough crowd. But rather than shrivel up, or escape to the VIP lounge and thence to the limo, she girded up and threw herself into it. She rocked us like a hurricane. She hit 12 on the ten-point extroversion scale and worked it. A pro... A trouper... you hear those show-biz terms all the time, usually in some made-up publicity crap about how Tom Cruise got a hangnail on the set and still did the scene. Bobbi Sue was the real deal. She deserves:
1) to be the MC for any future Larpies (should there be any (and she wants the job))
2) the next Larpy Lifetime Achievement Award.

OK, moving on, Best Monster was the second award announced. With this as my competition, I knew the only way I would win was either:
1) it's a trick of forced perspective and that dragon is six inches long
2) that's all it does. It sits there like a statue and can't even slowly chase people in a half-blind, clumsy and dangerous manner like I did in the bugsuit.
3) the judges are on crack
4) the producers wanted the winner to be in the house

aaronjv capered for me and demanded that I get down close to the stage just in case. Lo and behold, my name was called. I nearly trampled some fat furry fuck who was in my way as I tried to make my way on stage. Picked up the statuette in the wings and made my way to shake hands with not-Adrien Brody and give a hug to Vanessa Branch. Then I hit the podium. Cthulhu knows what I said. I confess I had spent some sleepless time in bed a few days ago, considering what to say. I sorta hit the main points that I wanted to address, but two martinis on an empty stomach will do something to your concentration. Whatever actually came out of my mouth, this is a reconstruction of what you were supposed to hear. It's sort of a mixture of what I 'planned' to say and the stuff that I can remember I actually said.

Thank you. First I want to not just thank, but honor Andrew Leman of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society, who built the monster suit. He couldn't be here, because he's at a screening of his short film adaptation of "The Call of Cthulhu". Since I had no hand in making the monster, I think of this award as the Best Stuntman award. I chased people, at night, over uneven ground, on stilts, wearing a helmet that I couldn't see out of. Why did I do it? I did it because it was fun. That why we all do what we do. It's not for the money, it's not for the awards [it's not to 'win' (I know I forgot this one)]. We do it because it's fun.
I want to thank Enigma at UCLA. If it weren't for them, I probably wouldn't be Larping and enjoying the amazing stuff we've done there over the years. [They are not just fellow gamers; many of them have become lifelong friends. (I forgot that, too - I forgot my lifelong friends! What a bad friend I am!)]
Finally, I want to thank my wife: the love of my life and my partner in crime. Thank you.

However, I bet the audio on the eventual DVD will be more like: "Thanks. Wanna thank Andrew... Cthulhu Film! Me and the monster suit, running around in my backyard 'n' I couldn't see shit! Fucking funny as hell, man. And that's why we LARP. Not money or this silly silly award, but fun. ENIGMA!!!! ENIGMA!!!! U-C-L-A Fight! Fight! Fight! Uh, my wife is hot! BYE!"

Whichever is closer to the truth, a couple photos were taken and I was heading off the stage. Where they collected my goddamn Larpy award. They only had one statuette to get cycled through all night long. I've been promised a real one at some point.
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 1st, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)

Continuation II

(Link)
I run back and hug and kiss my fellows. If the floor hadn't been liberally coated in Red Bull and chewing gum, I would have been doing my Jack Palance pushups.
Our little row was party central. If something cool happened, we cheered. If something went wrong, we cheered. Obishawn appears on stage? We start shouting "O-Bi-Shawn! O-Bi-Shawn!" The Germans win? "Deutschland, Deutschland, über Alles!" Adrien Brody's not here? Cheer! Lil Maxso is gonna accept the award for the goth band? Cheer! We're a full seated row of Waldorf and Statlers in the balcony. We're here! We jeer! Get used to it!
Boom: Kevin wins Best Action Sequence for his song and dance routine from Limbo Lounge. We go bananas. Kevin gets on stage and starts his speech "I'd like to thank Jesus Christ for this. I'd like to, but Jesus Christ had nothing to do with my performance!" He goes on to steal my partner-in-crime line, but I couldn't care less at this point. He also makes off with the award and gets back to his seat. Me, I'm thinking "Possession is nine-tenths", but Aaron takes it back down to the stage.
Boom: Colleenky wins for Best Make-up. We go bananas. She gives credit where credit is due: the make-up artist, colleency's dress. Enigma in general gets more snaps and props.
Not-So-Boom: : My wife does not win Best Lookin' Female Larper. She, of course, had wisely (?) given up on the whole concept of the Larpies weeks ago. She wasn't there, didn't care. I believe it was Chow who won, so let's at least credit the judges for not picking the entrant who took the most clothes off. She wasn't there, either.
Haw Haw Haw: : various awards are given to people who aren't here. Natalie Portman, Adrien Brody, Peter Jackson.
Creme-de-la-Boom: Funniest LARP sequence. The Bowmans win for Scooby Doo C-tuh-kit-a-hula, or whatever the poor presenter said. We go bananas. There are no Bowmans present, but Aaron & Kirsten (aka Shaggy & Velma) move toward the stage to do the honors. But what is this? ShoppingBagMan has come on stage ahead of them! It looks like WetMaynard wants to rumble for the award. Kirsten is game and gives the Bagman a good shove in the sternum. A different Maynardian grabs the award and in some manner manages to break the damn thing. The only Larpy in existence is now broken! Security is called and various elements of Wet Maynard are forcibly escorted from the building! Cheer!
All the awards are given away. Zolar X plays a couple songs & pick up their Lifetime Achievement "Ivey". As for the music, it's not Bowie, but I think they're a great space-age glam band. They're pros and they gave a good show. They fled. Lil Maxso came on and did his little pint-size thing. Zolar X returned for a last song as allegedly people would fight their way into the VIP room. I kinda wanted to his the afterparty, if for no other reason, to personally compliment Bobbi Sue and Zolar X for their contributions to the show. But other Enigmans were starving. With promises of "We'll come back" we hit a Thai restaurant, met up with the disgraced Wet Maynard people and had some food. Not sure what the Thai people thought of us, but we were their only customers and there were about 16 of us. After that jollity, we went back to the Avalon to find it a veritable ghost town. The afterparty was done by 11, far short of the 2AM schedule. I understand that the celebs didn't stick around for it, either. Anyway, Joe Valenti was out front, we bade him a fond farewell and took off.
THE END. Apart from the stuff I remember later.
[User Picture Icon]
From:firesong_jb
Date:May 2nd, 2006 02:50 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation II

(Link)
I'm also a LARPY victim/veteran...

and this: "But my complaint is but a mere nothing compared to the guy who then piped up that he had PAID FOR A VIP ticket. And here he was, being ordered around like stage crew. Fortunately, his significant other was around to restrain him, but I would have been super-duper pissed." was my husband and I...but we got our money back...

thanks for the recount and congrats on your award...
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 2nd, 2006 03:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation II

(Link)
Thanks for the comment, and I'm so glad to hear that you got a refund. The so-called producers of the show managed to alienate and harm a lot of people along the way. I hope you can tell from my post how much I sympathized with your position. It crystallized for me once again how this event was Seriously Not Fun for a lot of people. If you and your husband had physically attacked David Ballard in the parking lot, I would not only give the police a description matching Joe Valenti, but I might have kicked him while he was down.
[User Picture Icon]
From:snowtiger42
Date:May 2nd, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation II

(Link)
Too bad I didn't know that for later in the night...Ballard grabbed my shoulder and tried to shove me out the door to go to the after party and I came about an inch and a half from decking him. If only I'd known I could have had an alibi!!!
[User Picture Icon]
From:snowtiger42
Date:May 2nd, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation II

(Link)
Hi, I'm the husband! I would like to mention that the wife wasn't actually restraining me, we were both super duper pissed!!!!!
Had a time, and sorry we didn't get to chat with you...congrats on the award, though!
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 2nd, 2006 06:53 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation II

(Link)
I'm not surprised she wasn't really restraining you, but it made a better story that way. I couldn't think of anything else that could possibly be restraining you!
I loved reading your story in your own journal.
[User Picture Icon]
From:popepat
Date:May 1st, 2006 11:32 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation

(Link)
I was so flabbergasted that Enigma won that I was momentarily dumstruck. I believe I shouted "oh my fuckng god!" a few times and then I remembered that there was a button on Obishawn's camera that switched it to video mode. I actually taped your entire acceptance speech! But just as you finished, the camera summarily announced that it was "out of memory" and with several Enigma-nominations to go, I reluctantly had to erase the video.

I don't recall you saying the line about chasing people around on stilts, but I believe the rest was all said (minus the parts you know you forgot).

If you continue your recollections, we will get to the part where I shout "holy fuck!", and then the part where I scream "HOLY FUCK FUCK FUCK!" followed by the final "What the hell is going on here!!!???" But it's your story, many pardons.
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 1st, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)

Re: Continuation

(Link)
I barely know what I did, much less what anyone else did.
Feel free to add anything you want to this soon-to-be legendary post, or give it the full treatment at your own NSW.
[User Picture Icon]
From:servingdonuts
Date:May 1st, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You fucking rock!

I envy you and your glamorous hollywood lifestyle!!!
[User Picture Icon]
From:casketgirl
Date:May 2nd, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
What? You know these people? Please! Introduce me!!
[User Picture Icon]
From:freudinshade
Date:May 2nd, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)

Easy enough done...

(Link)
You're local and, based on your profile, of remarkably fitting interests, so I'm sure we'd be glad to have you drop in to our little world. I don't see a LARP on the calendar for a few months (we tend to do one night rather than full weekend affairs, but they're a blast...) Of course, LARPs aren't all we do so you don't have to wait that long.
[User Picture Icon]
From:casketgirl
Date:May 2nd, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Wow. I'm just amazed. I remember finding ENIGMA many years ago when I first moved out here. But I dismissed the organization as college student-only. Ok, dismiss is a bad word... It was more like "Crap. If I were 10.. err.. 15.. years younger, this would be perfect!"

Looks like I might have to go to World Con.

Ugh. I hope my budget can handle Dragon Con, Comic Con AND World Con. I might have to sell some comics to cover this...
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 2nd, 2006 02:18 am (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Sorry we somehow scared you away. Enigma's been around long enough (we celebrated our 20th anniversary this year) that many of us alumni are no longer spring chickens. And we've never kept people out who weren't connected to UCLA. If nothing else, go to the Enigma Website and click on the link on the mailing lists and get onto the email lists. LARPs and parties will get announced on the main list (which is low volume). Random chitchat goes on on the chat list.
[User Picture Icon]
From:rsheslin
Date:May 2nd, 2006 04:01 am (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Just to add to the chorus of examples: I'm 37 and didn't get involved with Enigma until after I graduated from UCLA, my husband never went to UCLA, and we're both inveterate RPG geeks (although I'm almost exclusively LRPG and he also does tabletop and online.)

And if you're at WorldCon, you are going to help us run our con-long live game, right? *(plug, plug)*
[User Picture Icon]
From:casketgirl
Date:May 6th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Hi! I'm so delighted to meet someone with my interests and my age! I definitely hope to meet you at WorldCon and I would certainly love to assist in anyway I can. :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:rizwank
Date:May 4th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Is 'our little world' Enigma, or is there another amazing group out there that I don't know about yet?
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 4th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC)

Re: Easy enough done...

(Link)
Who could possibly be cooler than multiple-Larpy winning Enigma?
[User Picture Icon]
From:servingdonuts
Date:May 2nd, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh, sorry. Where are my manners?

Random people I found by accident on the Internet because they LARP and have the requisite coolness, please meet my good friend from college and other LARP-related activity who long since moved far far away to the wasteland known as Los Angeles but who otherwise is overflowing with coolness.

Y'all should get together sometime. Maybe I could come visit.
[User Picture Icon]
From:casketgirl
Date:May 6th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
(Link)
I suppose you're forgiven. But I think I'm going to make you buy me a drink at DragonCon, just to be sure. Oh wait, I already make you buy me drinks! I guess you're off the hook!. Hrm. I should stop having all these conversations in Mike's LJ. :)
[User Picture Icon]
From:essentialsaltes
Date:May 1st, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)

General impression

(Link)
If you can't tell, I had a fucking blast, and everyone with me had a fucking blast. I expect the people in the row in front of us hated us. And I bet anyone who was really expecting Natalie Portman to jump out of a cake to accept a Larpy was bitterly disappointed by not even having a Trashy Lingerie Girl to look at.
The producers did fail at a lot of things from beginning to end, but given my perilously low expectations, the end result was an amazingly awesomely fun experience that I shared with my lifelong friends (even if I forgot to mention them).
[User Picture Icon]
From:notjenschiz
Date:May 2nd, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)

LARPies

(Link)
This comment will be lost in the sands of time. Or, more accurately, the sea of Mike's damn Tolstoy-lengthed blogging.
Anyway, to please him I'll throw in my two cents.
1) chasing semi-famous people around with a camera was fun. Actually, no chasing was involved. These people were un-famous enough to politely turn and smile on command, and I saw Goldberg stick out his trademark tongue about 10 times.
2) Mike failed to emphasize just HOW BAD the stand up comic was. Oh god, I wanted him to die.
[User Picture Icon]
From:obishawn
Date:May 3rd, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)

Re: LARPies

(Link)
Actually, the comic was so poorly received that we the Jedi were sent in to chase him off stage a full 5 minutes early.

To give yoe an idea of the typical punch line material, our original cue was to be "That's not love, that's domestic abuse" in regards to the King Kong film.

Journal of No. 118