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.
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.
What can we say? Aurelians are an enterprising and talented lot!
October 16, 2013 | Categories: Actors, Press | Tags: award, Daily Steampunk, German, Marcus Rauchfuß, Marcus Rauchfuss, Role-playing, speculative fiction, steampunk, Steampunk -kurtz & geek | Leave a comment
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 (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.
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!
August 22, 2013 | Categories: Actors, Behind The Scenes, fantasy LARP, Story | Tags: Actor, Aurelia, collaboration, Edge of Darkness, Game, improv, LARP, Live action role-playing game, storytelling, Theatrics | Leave a comment
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!)
July 17, 2013 | Categories: Actors, Behind The Scenes, Launch | Tags: actors, Aurelia, Crowdsourcing, Edge of Darkness, launch day, performance, Recreation, Rise of the Tiger, social TV, Theatrics, transmedia, web drama, web show | Leave a comment
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 email@example.com for your private invitation to participate in our beta episodes.
July 8, 2013 | Categories: Actors, beta show, Story, video | Tags: actors, Aurelia, beta, Edge of Darkness, fantasy, interactive, LARP, LARPing, performance, Rise of the Tiger, role play, social TV, steampunk, Theatrics, web show | Leave a comment
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for your personal invite.
July 6, 2013 | Categories: Actors, Behind The Scenes, Costuming | Tags: actors, Aurelia, Edge of Darkness, interactive show, Kelly Cook, Live action role-playing game, props, Rise of the Tiger, social, Theatrics, web show | Leave a comment
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:
June 27, 2013 | Categories: Actors, Behind The Scenes | Tags: acting, actor coach, Aurelia, cosplay, Edge of Darkness, interview, Kelly Cook, LARP, live action role play, Rise of the Tiger, steampunk, Theatrics | Leave a comment