WARNING! LARPing is a gateway activity that can lead to increased confidence and taking part in other fun and interesting activities that may leave you looking at yourself and laughing!
I was a fairly shy person before I started LARPing. At least shy compared to now. I wouldn’t have volunteered myself for anything before, would have kept my head down and followed like a fish with the rest of the shoal swimming upstream.
So what did LARPing lead to for me? Mostly getting involved in more fun! Nowadays if I see something that looks interesting, exciting or unusual and I have the chance to sign up to it, I do. Not all of this confidence and pro-activity is purely down to getting involved in live action role play, but some of it is. I also blame Al for it as he is much more outgoing than I am and has a family that takes part in all sorts of things.
A bunch of us (LARPers) went out to Venice during Carnivale in 2005 to have a go at wearing a costume and standing about in the Piazza San Marco. This was amazing, we took traditional looking costumes and posed for the tourists to take photos of us.
It was amazing, but we realised that we could take it one step further. There were a few people who had moved away from the traditional looking costumes and were bordering on fantasy or different themes. So we had a discussion about what we could do, as we had all decided we wanted to come back again, and we decided on rats.
Sounds crazy, doesn’t it. Rats? Why rats? Why not? Part of the decision was based on what we would be able to get our hands on, and oddly enough rat masks were relatively easy. Somewhere in the process of that and being in Venice we found out about the Pantagane, Venice’s canal rats. It seemed that we had hit a theme.
The next trip to Carnivale was like the last one, but more so. We could not go more than 10 metres without being stopped by someone for a photograph. Definitely an experience and one I would recommend to anyone. Having a mask on helps with the thousands of strangers too, they can’t see who you are. Oddly liberating.
So what now…where else can rats go. The Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square of course! I signed up for the One and Other project by Antony Gormley. In fact, I signed up because Al and most of his family signed up. I was the one who was chosen to actually get on the plinth (week 12, 1am, Charlotte_B)
So that is a snapshot of some of the fun things I have done because I have developed some self-confidence and an ability to laugh at myself. There are more, I am sure they will get mentioned at some point.