In the middle of 2014 I met a guy at a coffee shop. He was the barista and I just wanted some fancy single origin coffee, not a conversation. But we got to talking and somehow got onto the topic of what seemed to be a medieval fight club. This long hair, bearded barista (my new band name) shared that there are groups of people that get together on a weekly basis and participate in what's called Live Action Role Play (LARP). The moment he said LARP I immediately was taken back to a few movies that I had seen with geeky little guys fighting with foam swords and talking with really bad english accents. But as I listened, and watched this man share his passion for this group of people, I could see a fierceness in his eyes. He wasn't some skinny pushover kid trying to live an alternative life to reality, he was a soldier. He was different, and that conversation is what sold me on Live Action Role Play.
Months later I took a trip with him to the largest LARP in North America (Duchy de Bicolline) located in Quebec, Canada. While there I filmed a short documentary called: "The Voyage North." Now this isn't a camping site, it's a city. Filled with people from all sorts of backgrounds and work forces. Athletes, geeks, soldiers, politicians...we all come together to play out this massive game with over 2000 people. Being there changed my life.
The draw for many is to become something your not, or to pretend to be a type of character that you could be in a game. But what I found was much greater. As a christian man, I have too often seen other christian men castrated by fear and complacent in life. Living a life where the idea of a warrior or soldier is immediately taken to the thought of carrying a gun or "gettin'swole." But when you put on the armor and stand in a line up of brothers ready to fight and die for you...that reality, that fearful life of caution and insecurity begins to fade. You are a hero. You get to know what if feels like to fight and die for something...and live to do it again and again.
I will make one final statement here to cover my bases. If this hero mentality that is developed stays in the game and never leaves, then it is a waste. I never could've imagined that I would go to a LARP to make a film...and never in a million years did I think I would become a LARP warrior (but it happened). Obviously this is a game made to enjoy yourself with others. But if the game doesn't show you something new about yourself or change the way you live for the better...Then it's a fantasy that should be discarded. I don't LARP to be something that I'm not...I LARP to be more of who I was created to be (A Hero).