How to, theoretically, earn a living with Larp.

This is entirely theoretical, as I have a day job. Most career advice is ‘follow your passion’. What if you passion is constructing fake weapons out of plumbing supplies? What if your passion tends to have more to do with leather, chain, and plate rather than spreadsheets and office work? These days there is not much call for larp as a career choice. But there just may be some tangential career paths that could be relevant to larp.

Become a Cosplayer

Building armor, props and costumes for other people can earn an income. Bill Doran of Punished Props can do full time work as a cosplay builder. But he’s posted a video ‘reality check’ about the difficulties in running a small business. So with some skill, determination, and maybe a day job for a year or two, so could also design and build for the cosplay and larp communities.

Join or start a Not-for-Profit Organization

In my mind the sense of community over cash makes not for profit perfect as an organizational structure for a larp. Unfortunately there are a few non profit larps out there to work for. You could start a non profit organization geared towards something that could align with larp. Perhaps getting young geeks to exercise. Or ‘community interdisciplinary arts’. However, with Larp still far from being main stream this is still a risky proposition. Too few participants might result in too little funding. Running a non profit larp could probably be a good side job, but don’t look to it to pay the bills.

Become an Educator

Larp is increasingly used as an after school activity and educational activity in the U.S. There are larp schools in other countries (well Denmark). Being an educator means that you can suggest using techniques from larp in the classroom or in after extra curricular activities. Schools are increasingly looking for ways to keep kids engaged and learning through physical activity. As well as ways to help them fight the obesity epidemic.

Become a Writer

Follow in the footsteps of Lizzie Stark. After discovering the world of larp as a reporter interested in the topic, she has gone on to write her own larps, and spread the Nordic Larp tradition in the U.S. Additionally Lizzie writes about non larp topics. If you’re going to be writing and designing games you may as well get a book out of it.

Work in a related field.

There are a few careers which would be really beneficial as day jobs for a larper. Event hosting, and running work retreats provide skills which can be put to use in the organizational development of a larp. They may actually be pretty fun as well. This option may have the most potential monetary reward because companies are always looking for ways to build teamwork, leadership, fun and engagement. What better way than with a larp?

Buy/Run a campsite.

There are increasingly a number of larps which purchase their own locations. Owning and running a campsite could earn income from non larp activities. When running a larp you would never have to worry about finding a host. There is advice online about owning and running a camp site. There are a few U.S. and Canadian camp sites devoted to larp, with kickstarters for more on the way. The Larp City Project is one such effort to find a location and create a park.

Become a Film Maker

There are a rising number of documentary films being made about larp. Youtube seems to have two or three web series about larp. Additionally it would be pretty cool working in stunts for motion pictures could be an avenue. Imagine begin an extra, stunt person, or even just working a set for the next Lord of he Rings or Game of Thrones.

Do you think there are any ways to earn a living with larp? Tweet me. Or post a comment with Google Plus. Practice is on hold until spring, but you can join the conversation on our Facebook group.

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