Alla inlägg under juni 2015

Av Frojd - 29 juni 2015 09:27

 


Something I forgot in the last blog post to mention is I will only talk about character name in these blog-posts. Since it is my and Lester’s story I will not elaborate too much away from our story, the other stories are not mine to tell.


So act one started with the characters mingling around the flag. Getting reacquainted with old friends. Soon Mr T held his new year’s speech for the attending crowd, welcoming both his friends and the Saratogas. Then Kohana from the Saratoga held a short speech. Pen handed out lyrics for the American national anthem which we proceeded to sing while the flag was raised.


Saratogas followed Kohana who drummed all the way to the secret hiding-place for the Saratoga friendship pact, where Joanie dug up the metal box containing the signed pact of ten years ago. We opened it and read aloud together and renewed the pact with each other to live our lives to the fullest. Everyone made a commitment, shared it with the group and wrote it on a paper. Lester wrote that he should be himself. After that the group let some new members in and thanked the group before they buried the box again, for them to be open it back up next year. They left with good spirit and went back to the party up in the house.

I, as a player, had a hard time to get in to character during the first act so I had a lot of time out-of-character in my head. I think that was really sad as it made my experience of the first day less than I would have wanted to.


During the evening I had three black box scenes together with three other players. The first scene was when Lester and Gwen decided to introduce Mickey to their daughter Isabella 6 years old. The player playing Isabella did a fantastic job of being annoyed and bombarding her parents with questions. The scene ended with Lester and Gwen arguing in upset voices and Lester sent Isabella to bed.


The scene following this was when Barbara (Gwen’s best friend) met Mickey for the first time. She didn’t approve of Mickey moving in or for that matter what he did to Lester and Gwen. It was a good intense scene where Barbara threw guilt around and made Lester and Gwen question how they had acted when they let Mickey move in. Lester and especially Gwen started to feel like very bad parents.


The last scene we played together was when Gwen’s mother, the day before the 4th of July, was going to pick up Isabella to baby-sit, and she comes in to the living room where Mickey and Gwen sits and cuddle, Mickey only dressed in underwear. This scene was a really awkward one with many blameful looks. Really good scenes to set some reality behind the characters. I really like and thank the player who played Barbara who also played Isabella and the grandmother. We talked a little about the scenes afterwards and then we went back in game again.


Lester went around feeling awkward at the party. That was mostly me feeling awkward for not being in character at the same time being on a party, which is a place I’m not that fond of being at.


Later in the evening Mickey comes to Lester and orders him to follow him. Mickey takes Lester and Gwen out to a tree and forces them to stand against a tree, bent over, their eyes closed. Then Mickey started to whip them with full force, no warm up what so ever. Both Lester and Gwen tried to hold out, but soon it was too much for Gwen, who yelled out Red (which was the in-game safe word for their S&M-relationship), but Mickey continued. Gwen yelled another time, but still no response from Mickey. He at least switched target and beat Lester again and Lester soon shouted Red - still no response, not until Lester said it a second time. Then Mickey quit and was remorseful.


This was a great scene for me as a player since it helped me to get in to character.We each held a short monologue, before we talked a little out of character to check that everyone was okay, before we returned to the game.


Up at the party, Lester ended up on a chair in the disco, alone for a while, before Gwen came and they could talk a little. He found out that she was okay. Then they talked some about if they had seen anyone they wanted to have sex with. Gwen told Lester to just go and find Evelyn so he could get fucked, since Gwen had checked out some guys she wanted to inspect.


Said and done Lester went to find Evelyn and I offered the player behind the character a pink feather which she accepted. We went away from other players to talk it over out-of-character what kind of mood we wanted in the scene, what outcome and when the scene should end. Then Lester and Evelyn had sex which ended with Evelyn noticing Lester’s bleeding back. She asked what had happened. He told her and made some small excuse about Mickey which she accepted, to Lester relief. After a sex scene the players shall each have a monologue in which they say what the characters are thinking in that moment. Lester said “What did I do to deserve that from Mickey?” or something like that. I don’t remember what Evelyn said.


They returned to the party where Lester was lost a little when I lost contact with the character. But Lester danced a little on the dance floor and then went to bed. I can’t remember much more of that evening.


I woke early as I usually do in new places. I took a shower then headed out and got some breakfast. They had really created the diner feel with the white and red chequered table cloth and even a small menu from which we could order a very tasty breakfast.  Lester and Gwen went for a morning walk around the little lake after breakfast. Other than that nothing really happened to Lester in the morning.


The player had gotten instructions of being in the diner at 11 a clock, to create a meta-scene. We were all gathered, chit chatting between each other when a song started playing without lyrics and everyone got silent and two persons dressed in black suits entered with a sad mood and told the character to write their names on 1-5 lottery tickets and put them in a hat. How many you were supposed to put in was depending on how much risk of receiving HIV you had. One was very low and five was very high. I thought for awhile and wrote Lester name on three lottery tickets.


Then the two angels of death (the persons in black suits) told Pepper (the owner of the diner) to come and draw the names. Which he had a really hard time doing. He had to draw ten names and read them aloud, all those who were read had to stand up and then follow the angels of death. The music came on again and we sat there waiting for what felt like 15-20 minutes but was probably not that long. Then a woman dressed in what looked like old (19th-century?) funeral clothing came in and just said “Follow me” and then went out. Everyone rose and followed. Outside death (the woman in black) said to gather a flower, branch or a leaf. When everyone had one she started walking again, everyone followed. Rushing through the forest were some of the characters whose name had been drawn in the lottery of death. They had survived the contact with death. We walked on and came to a funeral with two coffins in which lay two dead persons. It was Lester’s old friend Max and another person. Lester kneeled by the coffin crying as he lay the flower on Max’s chest. Lester went back into the crowd and after a while they played the funeral march and death read a verse from the American national anthem. Then they again played “Just a Litte Lovin - Dusty Springfields” as a mark for the end of the first act. When the song was over we had 15 minutes to talk to each other before we were to gather in our debriefing groups.


That was a really emotional experience. True sorrow shining through, not just played emotions.


I must say that I really loved how the meta-technique around the lottery of death was orchestrated and how it worked out. They really did a second random drawing out of who died.


One question that really was on everyone’s lips was “Why do we do this?” referring to exposing ourselves for this heartache and pain. The only answer I can give for this is we are experience and thrill seekers in the same way as a person doing extreme sports. I love that I can play around and gain these strong emotions.


After the 15 minutes break we gathered again in our debrief groups, where we talked about what happened and what we felt, so that we could process the game a little at the time.


The first act ended a lot better than it started.


/I truly deeply love you all.


Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
Beats a cup of coffee
For starting off the day

 

Just a little lovin'
When the world is yawning
Makes you wake up feeling
Good things are coming your way

 

This old world
Wouldn't be half as bad
It wouldn't be half as sad
If each and everybody in it had

 

Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
That little extra something
To kinda see them through

 

Nothing turns the day on
Really gets it dawning
Like a little bit of lovin'
From some loving someone like you

 

This old world
Wouldn't be half as bad
It wouldn't be half as sad
If each and everybody in it had

 

Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
Just a little lovin'
When the world is yawning

 

Just a little bit of lovin' ah
Oh, in the morning
Nothing turns the day on
Really gets it dawning
Make a little bit of lovin'
It's so good, it's so good

Av Frojd - 28 juni 2015 01:23

I will write this recollection of the 2015 of the larp Just a Little Lovin' (JALL from here on) so that all my non Swedish friends can read this.


JALL was a larp set over three 4th of July parties and the morning after in the lgbtq world of New York in 1982-1984. A big part of the larp was focused on feelings and the pressing part of the “gay cancer” (Hiv-Aids) being a big death-threat to the characters.


The larp was set into three acts, each with its own theme, each act being one party. The first act had the theme “Desire” and was the party of 1982. The second act had the theme “Fear of Death” and was set in 1983. The third and final act had the theme “friendship” and was set in 1984.


Before the game started and between the acts we had workshops as well as debriefings (between the acts), to make everyone feel more secure. We got updated information on what was known about Hiv-Aids in the upcoming year.


There were very interesting techniques. First of all we were all split into different social groups of about 5-10 people (I can remember the numbers wrong) where we were close and had interaction between us. We also had smaller groups, or rather, closer groups. Those were called core groups. In the core groups you had your true friends, family, or lover, or something similar. These groups could change between acts at the will of the player for their characters.


I played a character called Lester, a straight married man at the age of 31. Lester was a survivor of stomach cancer. This was a worry I had before the larp. I lost my mother in skin cancer in 2006, so I was worried about whether or not it would be too much emotions from that or not. At the start of the larp he was married to Gwen and they had a daughter called Isabella who was 6 years old. Gwen and Lester were swingers and liked S&M (as it was called back in the 1980’s). The problem was that both of them were submissive. It was really hard to find a person who wanted to dominate two persons, but they found a young and upcoming male artist (Lester had no problem with being dominated or whipped by a man) called Mickey. The starting core-group that Lester was in was with Gwen and Mickey. The social-group Lester was in was called the lifestylers (or lifers for short), which was the people with alternative life style of swinging.

The reason why the characters were at the party was different for the three big groups. First there was the Mr. T’s party, where all characters were gay men. Then it was his assistant Pens’ party guests who were a group of lesbian women. And finally it was a group of mixed people with both straight and bi people. It was The Saratoga friends. The Saratoga friends was a group of Cancer survivors and their close friends and family. They had all survived cancer and was together at Saratoga (the place where the party was set) to rehabilitate after they got well from their cancer. The Saratogas were having a reunion at the 4th of July every year for ten years since they were there as youths. In 1981 the two parties accidentally collided and interacted with each other. So from 1982 Mr T invited the Saratogas to the party.


During the day when the larp was about to start we had workshops of different meta techniques. One of them was the phallus technique for having in game sex where everyone involved would feel secure. You have this pink phallus that was quite big which you use as a substitute for the genitalia. Both men and women used it. It was to get the feeling that it was more visual than other meta techniques for example Ars Amandi (google if you don’t know what it is). You used the phallus against one of the involved person’s bodies and rubbed it. It could be between the legs or just against the leg or between the involved persons. This really worked as a good technique for the larp. 


Another meta technique was the three feathers. There were pink, blue and black feathers. You could hand a feather to another player during the larp as an out-of-character question to the other player if they wanted to do something with you. What, was depending on the colour of the feather. You hand the feather to the other player and if they take it you have agreed to talk outside the game to set up the scene. The pink feather was a question to the other player if they wanted to play a sex-scene with you. A blue feather was asking for a black box scene where the receiving player would be its (your?) own character, and a black feather would be a black box scene where the receiving player would be a different character than their own character. When the feather had been accepted the involved players went for a walk and talked over what they wanted to do and how. Both the feeling of the scene and somewhat of the outcome.


The use of black boxes is something I love. You go in to a room which is out of game, it is often like a small theatre stage, where you play out a scene you can’t play in the larp. For example a scene from a character’s childhood, or a “What if…” scene.


Then everyone dressed up in their 1980’s outfits and we met up out of character, which was necessary. If we hadn’t done that everyone would be laughing so hard. Everyone looked really great, like collected from an 1980’s movie. After a while of chatting we presented some of the important characters everyone new about. Than we had to go to our starting position where we “froze” in position. Think of it as you would have paused a mingle scene in a movie. Then they started playing the song “Just a Litte Lovin - Dusty Springfields” which was cue for the larp to start when the song finished. I just love that idea, it works so incredibly well. It was the first time I heard the song and fell in love with it immediately.


That’s it for part 1. I will split them up in one part for each act and maybe one part for the aftermath of the larp.


/I truly deeply love you all.


Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
Beats a cup of coffee
For starting off the day

 

Just a little lovin'
When the world is yawning
Makes you wake up feeling
Good things are coming your way

 

This old world
Wouldn't be half as bad
It wouldn't be half as sad
If each and everybody in it had

 

Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
That little extra something
To kinda see them through

 

Nothing turns the day on
Really gets it dawning
Like a little bit of lovin'
From some loving someone like you

 

This old world
Wouldn't be half as bad
It wouldn't be half as sad
If each and everybody in it had

 

Just a little lovin'
Early in the morning
Just a little lovin'
When the world is yawning

 

Just a little bit of lovin' ah
Oh, in the morning
Nothing turns the day on
Really gets it dawning
Make a little bit of lovin'
It's so good, it's so good


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