So I wrote these posts shortly after Fastaval, and have been going back and forth on whether or not I should post them, as they are rather personal. But now with a week and a day to go before the larp, I’ve decided to run them one a day as warm up for the larp.
So this summer I’m going to play my first real big larp lasting more than a day. And I’m starting out in the deep end with the, in some circles legendary “Just a Little Lovin.” It has been called the best larp in the world, and that is of course impossible to say as larps are so different, it would be the same as try and find the best movie or piece of art in the world. But enough to say that it’s seen as one of the best out there. And it’s another rarity: it’s one of few big larps that has been rerun many times, this is the fourth run.
That actually had me hesitate to sign up. Because having heard so much about the huge experience, that people had with it, you can’t help think: “Can it live up to that?” And when you hear who have played it you think: “well all the good ones have played it, won’t this run just be whatever is left?” (including me). But Oliver was on my case me until I gave in and signed up.
Seeing the player list has shown me, how wrong I was on that last point. The people going are amazing, and when I hear about the people that didn’t get in, I’m even more amazed, there might even be people for a fifth run. Apparently we have many more talented roleplayers than I had ever thought.
So any way what is “Just a little lovin”? (or JaLL) It’s a larp about love, sex, friendship and the fear of death. It takes place in the early eighties, when the AIDS epidemic hit USA. Most of the characters are from the gay and lesbian scene, that was sadly hit particularly hard. The other half of the characters is from other alternative sub groups, that was prevalent in the eighties. So it’ aslo a look into alternative USA in the eighties with spiritualism and alternative lifestyles.
The setting for the larp is three 4. of july parties, that each is one act of the game, so a year passes between each act. The game also runs for three evenings and in the morning we workshop and plan what has happened in the year between the parties.
The three years are: 82, 83 and 84. Each year has a theme. The first year is all about the party life. Times are great and it’s all about living to the fullest. The second year AIDS has started to spread and there’s a beginning panic, some become infected and a few die (yes you can die in the year that passes between each party, if that happens you get a new character, but still it’s a brave move, but I have been told that it works.)
So 83 is all about the fear for death and partying like there’s no tomorrow, because there might not be. 84 is about sticking together and friendship in the face of the tragedy. Many have now become infected and every one has lost friends and loved ones. Death is completely random, done via a lottery which is properly the most terrifying part, and rather real, that is how it must have felt.
So it’s in one way a very dark and sad game, but also a game full of love. As we have explored many times: when faced with loss we pull together and the emotions becomes stronger. But it’s also a game about the styles, looks and music of the eighties, especially the New York alternative and hedonistic party scene, (think Studio 54). And yes it’s in parts also about homosexsuality, but not in a front and center kind of way, and if you don’t want to play gay you don’t have to.
The game runs from sunday evening until friday afternoon. I’m don’t know much about the program after that, but assume that we will workshop a lot (I hope) and then for three evenings is the game itself with a ending party on friday (a real one mind you).
So having explained the larp a bit, I will in the next few posts muse a bit on my character and also on how I have worked with it so far. But just to answer the unspoken question: yes I’m going to be playing a gay character. It’s Bruce, a rich and confident stockbroker who parties all night. He’s differently out of my comfort zone, but the more I think about it, I think it’s just the right character for me. And everybody keeps saying that as well.