Hey there! It’s me, Bri, with my first blog post! If you haven’t taken a look at my bio yet, I recommend you do so. It’ll give you a better understanding of where this is all coming from. Once you’ve done so, read on!
I’d like to make this post not just on my own behalf, but on the behalf of everyone that struggles to prove they’re just as deserving as everyone else.
By being young, by being female, by being tiny, by being bubbly, people think that I can’t do this. You’re probably reading this and thinking to yourself ‘but I respect you!’ and that’s awesome! You’re awesome. Unfortunately though, not everyone thinks like that. Some people look at me and they see someone unqualified for the job because I’m not the stereotype of a Story Teller or a Game Runner.
Let’s give a little info on a few types of disrespect I’ve run across in just my 3 years of larping.
1. “I can’t believe she got the spot and not me. I really thought I deserved it more”
2. “They only picked you because you’re a girl and they want more females”
3. “I know that you wrote this, but I think this would be a better idea so we should do my idea”
4. “I’m too tired to do what you want me to despite the fact that I chose this shift to staff/npc so instead I’m just going to not do it”
5. “I can teach you how to larp better because I’ve been larping for 10+ years”
Now let’s address what it is you are really saying with these phrases.
1. This is telling me that I am underqualified. Not only are you saying I don’t deserve to be staff for whatever reason, you’re also saying whoever chose me made a poor decision. I applied for my positions just like everyone else did. I worked hard to get where I am. You are ignoring all the hard work, all the hours of writing, editing, prop and costume making, and everything else I put into being staff.
2. This is pretty obvious. Again, this is saying you saying I don’t deserve what I got, and I only got it because of another reason. Such a shame that you aren’t a female in the larp community, right? Look back at the history or larp. Look back at the amount of females that have held important positions on staff. It’s very limited. So to be told that I’ve got it easy because I’m a girl is just ridiculous. I worked my ass off to prove I deserve what I have, I did not use my gender as an advantage.
3. This one drives me the most insane. I don’t mind some advice. If something needs to change suddenly and you give me a recommendation, that’s great. The difference is if I know exactly what I want, it’s been pre-written, pre-approved by my bosses, so why should YOU get to change what’s happening? If you want to write the story, then apply to be a Story Teller. Don’t tell the ST on shift that you don’t think something would work simply because you’re not crazy about the idea. Guess what, not every plot I write will be for you. It also undermines those who hired me and those who check my work.
4. If you picked to be on NPC until 4am, then I expect you to at least try until then. I get it, you’re tired, we all are, but when I ask you to do something, please don’t tell me no. Please don’t complain. Don’t make me out to be the bad guy because I’ve asked you to do your job. I hate being the bad guy. I try to keep high energy through my whole shift. At 4am you’ll still see me smiling, jumping around, telling everyone how wonderful they’re doing because I really do care about you guys. I’ve had occasions where even my staff doesn’t want to do work for me. Imagine telling your boss ‘I don’t feel like working because I didn’t sleep a lot last night so I’m just going to nap at my desk. Don’t bother me’. How quickly would you be out of a job? Now what makes it acceptable to tell me basically the same thing? You chose to take additional responsibilities as a staff member, so please respect the rest of your staff and the players, do your job, then go sleep for 10 hours.
5. This is one I get when I talk with larpers outside of my community. I can tell them I ST for two games, but they will take one look at me and treat me as though this is my very first time larping. I’m not asking to be given staff responsibilities, but a little bit of respect would be great. Don’t talk down to me, don’t treat me like a child. When I don’t understand a rule at a new game it’s not because I’m some dumb little girl that can’t figure out larping, I simply have a rules questions because I’m new to the game.
Now, let’s go over the points again, but let’s go about it with the proper responses. Even if you reeeally feel that you’ve been done wrong because I have a staff position that you don’t, try to look at it like this:
1. Wow, we both applied and she got the position. That must mean she really did something good to deserve it. I should congratulate her. Maybe I should talk to someone and see how I can improve my own writing so I can be staff too one day!
2. It’s so great to see more females taking control in larp. It’s something that’s we really need to be seeing more of. Maybe one day even half the staff will be females!
3. I don’t find this as something that I would personally enjoy, but I bet there’s people out there who would find this great! Maybe I should apply for staff one day because I too have great ideas. This way I don’t have to try and change someone else’s hard work to fit what I want!
4. I know every time I choose to go to NPC in the morning/late night I’m too tired. I should probably pick a shift where I can work to the best of my abilities. And if I have no choice, I should change my schedule so I sleep more, or nap prior to my shift!
5. Welcome to our game, if you need any help or have any questions let us know and we will be glad to help!
Look how easy, friendly, and respectful these responses are. By choosing one of those responses, not only are you keeping away toxicity, but you are showing that you respect the person. You are showing that you recognize they are where they are because they earned it. You may not realize it, but saying the things previously listed do hurt sometimes. I try so hard to give you the best experience I can, all I’m asking is that you show me some respect in return.