Every Memorial Day weekend since I was 16 years old, I’ve done an annual LARP. It’s my weekend away from reality, and that break works wonders for my mental health. That’s why I enjoy introducing others to the delights of live action role playing whenever I can. LARPers have gotten a bad wrap in the past, but the communities are changing. New players are opening themselves up to the idea of embracing make believe, and veterans welcoming friends and strangers alike into their games.
Getting started can seem a little daunting because you’re plunging yourself into an unknown world full of history and rules. Fortunately for everyone, LARP House is here to guide you.
LARP House is a new YouTube channel from Cheyenne Rain that teaches you the fundamentals to get the most our of your LARPing experiences. The tutorials cover things like costume making, period-authentic cooking, prop building, special effects makeup, fighting techniques, product reviews, and more. Rain has a background in art, specializing in special effects makeup; but she also suffers from social anxiety. Since she started roleplaying, she discovered that the LARP community was a safe space in which she could take risks she couldn’t take in real life. The amount of attention and support surprised her, and worked like a form of therapy to help her overcome her anxiety. Now Rain wants to share her passion and experience with others looking to try it out.
Rain tells Geek & Sundry:
“I actually got into larp when I saw the movie Role Models. I had no idea that this was even a thing before that. I ran my own one-off battle game in high school that racked up over 100 participants, then life happened, and I found myself in California. I started coming to a fighter practice but it was almost a year before I attended an actual game. I had a crippling amount of social anxiety, and I wanted to fix that, so I started taking acting classes (because I hate myself apparently) and later started LARPing regularly. The effect was incredible. Acting paired with LARP completely cured me of the social anxiety and LARP has gone on to help with my generalized anxiety, and even my crushing death anxiety. In case you couldn’t tell, I had an almost comical amount of anxiety… My characters I created for LARP have given me the chance to literally defeat the figurative demons of my real life. You can’t ask for a more healing experience than that.”
In the video below, Rain dug up some really interesting factoids on LARPing before it was actually “role playing”:
LARP House is still growing and exploring new content each episode. If you’re interested in learning more about LARPing and meet others who enjoy it, check out the LARP House Facebook community. Behind the scene photos are also available via Instagram. Rain even offers some of her special effects makeup items for sale via Etsy.
Have you tried your hand at LARPing? Share some of your favorite scenes and experiences in the comments!
Image credits: Anthony Bellisario