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Grand Masquerade, New Orleans

What a whirlwind weekend! When you’re on Bourbon Street or anywhere in the vicinity, you find yourself overcome with visual, auditory, and nasal overload. Time takes a vacation and leaves you standing on a crowded street at 2AM, wondering what more trouble you can get into.

For me, this trip was a memorial to my time in the Camarilla, a vampire live-action roleplaying club, back in the 90s. Back then, I dedicated much love, time, and energy to the club. It payed me back in full by evolving my personality and confidence, not to mention my social network. That’s what the Camarilla does for its players. When we’re pretending to be vampires, we come out of our shells in a safe environment. We’re all more beautiful, more powerful, smarter, and definitely sexier than we are in the mundane world.

CCP, the company that now owns the rights to the World of Darkness, put on an amazing weekend of panels, gaming, and partying. Just like old times.

When I went into the weekend, I was thinking it was my chance to say good-bye to this part of my life, but now that it’s over, I find that I don’t think I can part ways with it. It’s a part of me that will never go away. Those people, those gamers, are me. And though there’s a new generation of them coming into the fold, I find that looking at them is like looking at myself at their age. Not much has changed. They still dress goth, vampiric, and kinky. They still have tattoos and piercings. They still color their hair with wild creativity.

I love the Camarilla today as much as I did back then. If you’ve never played in a live-action roleplaying game, you might give it a try. You’ll find your inner actor emerging.

See photos of the weekend in my Facebook gallery.

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