Actors

Week 11 Performance Highlights

As the end nears, intrepid Aurelians gather around Horatio Moncrethe for a trip to the deepest parts of the city. Others, with less noble motives, scheme against their fellow citizens; meanwhile, others face the menace of strange powers from outside the city.

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Congratulations to a Deserving Aurelian!

As we celebrate the final week of Aurelia, the show team was excited to learn that one of our actors, Marcus Rauchfuß, with his co-author Alex Jahnke, has won an award for his contributions to speculative fiction in the German-language guide Steampunk -kurtz & geek. (For our American audience, Marcus tell us this work is similar to The Steampunk Bible.) Marcus is also the curator of the popular blog, Daily Steampunk.

steampunk -kurtz & Geek

What can we say? Aurelians are an enterprising and talented lot!

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Storytelling in AURELIA: LARP, Improv … or Both?

AurelianAleEven the smoothest of collaborative projects is bound to hit a few snags along the way, at one time or another.

Aurelia hit one such “snag” a few weeks back when a confusion arose among players about whether or not this is a true LARP or a true improv storytelling situation.

Those not familiar with one or either of these great traditions might wonder why it matters.

LARP

LARP (Live Action Roleplay) typically organizes a group of people to act out characters from another time period, dimension, or fantastical setting. Often LARP systems employ a “gamified structure” in which player-actors strategize, perform actions in order to move “up” the food chain, and may (in some cases) actually “win” the game or experience permanent character “death.”

LARPers are used to coordinating their storylines and expect the game to impose a strict system of consequences. For LARPers, each story action has an equal and opposite reaction which which characters must contend. It’s both challenging and fun.

Improv

By contrast, and much more widely-known, improv acting invites actors to improvise their performances with little or no pre-scripting. Improv is spontaneous. Actors who enjoy improv love nothing more than being “thrown” scenarios with which they must run. Improv is about flexibility, creativity, and “in the moment” tag-teaming that yields entertaining results.

While the art of improv may observe some rules for interaction, to my knowledge, it leaves the decision largely to each actor, where and how to include consequences and obstacles into his/her storyline. Too much pre-collaboration or rule-setting could actually detract from the process itself.

So which is it?

By now, the divergence between the two art forms is probably pretty obvious. The confusion we experienced in AURELIA, however, was not.

It turns out, some actors had been approaching AURELIA as a LARP, and therefore expected the world to “strike back” at actors with consequences, handicaps, and other game-type elements which would heighten conflict and force actors to think more creatively about how to evade them. Other actors had been approaching AURELIA as an improv acting scenario, in which they would collaborate with other spontaneously, entering each others’ storylines at will and “running” with whatever elements were introduced to their stories by others.

This confusion, so far into the show, really stopped me cold.

I could see pros and cons to both approaches, but actors were looking to me for a decision.

And the winner is . . .

In the end, I decided that AURELIA is not a true LARP, since we did not start out with a game structure and could not easily implement one now without much confusion. However, AURELIA is also not true improv, because actors do need to keep one another abreast of potential interactions for planning purposes. The story is getting too intertwined for major actor-to-actor on-stage surprises that might actually be upsetting rather than exciting.

So maybe AURELIA is the world’s first improv LARP?

I’m sure I’d get plenty of objections on that from both artistic camps! But one thing is for sure: AURELIA is breaking new storytelling ground.

I’ll keep you posted on how improv LARP works out!

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It’s Launch Day! Welcome to Aurelia

The big day has arrived. This morning, AURELIA: Edge of Darkness show site went live for the whole world to view and participate! Hurry on over to see what’s been brewing around town. And while you’re at it, applaud these 16 citizens who entered Aurelia and made it their own—many of them, before they even really knew what it was. We would have never made it this far without our crew! Congratulations to them. (And now, go watch them PERFORM!)

EarlyAdopterThanks_WEB

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Beta Week 1 Performance Highlights

It’s that time! Time to show off our citizens—the crazy, the clever, and the creepy—who’ve already made Aurelia home. Meet them in this brief highlight reel, then take the plunge by joining them! Email aureliashow@gmail.com for your private invitation to participate in our beta episodes.


Actors Take Stories to Next Level

Who says AURELIA is all work and no play? Our creative actors have taken things to the next level with custom sets, costumes and props. Everyone’s approach is different—but we thought you’d enjoy this peek behind the scenes. Haven’t joined us in AURELIA yet? Email aureliashow@gmail.com for your personal invite.

Kelly_Costume

Kelly shows off his Flavius costume, pieced together from various sources.

Heather_Hat

Heather sports a jaunty hat for her character, Phaedra.

Marius_Set

Michael shared this photo of his home “set” for his character Marius.

Bird_Photo

Lisa hunted down this bird figurine, some paint, gears and other goodies to create a mechanical bird prop.



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Video

Meet Kelly Cook

Kelly Cook, a long-time live action role player and open-air actor, will be sharing tips throughout the summer as our neighborhood actor coach. In anticipation of tomorrow’s launch, get to know Kelly in this brief video: