One of the questions that was covered in the first part of RVL’s “The Living Vampire” survey was, “Do you believe the modern sub-culture is doing enough to positively influence newcomers? A good many times we see people arrive in the online arena with a flurry of strong and opinionated statements of “Fact” regarding modern vampires, unfortunately, in a great many of these cases, the research has not been put in beforehand for them to coherently continue to explain their perceptions and ideas. Instead of asking they begin by “telling” us what vampires are.
Our guest this evening is one exception, recently having arrived in these online forums he had the good sense to ask for information rather than blast in and tell us what vampires are and for that alone he is to be applauded.
RVL takes great pleasure in introducing Bryce H.
RVL: Good evening Bryce, welcome to RVL and thank you for sparing us some of your time.
B: Hello, Thanks for having me along, it’s nice to put forth an opinion as it was. Also, thanks for taking the time out to speak to me.
RVL: Perhaps we might begin with a little biographical information about you and how you came to find your way to the online real vampire “community” and how long have you been here now?
B: Well me myself, Just one of those gothic types who takes an interest in things as it was, Not sure how to explain or what to say *laughs*. Born of a country town yet I speak anything but townie ha.
I found my way, in part, by complete accident; Marmoon Bey was asking questions of the Goths in “The Australian Gothic Society” Page, She was asking the members on their ideas towards vampirism and how they felt about vampires in the gothic scene. Sadly the answers were not forth coming as I knew they wouldn’t be. I feel bad I make such an assumption but I find my scene is stagnant in so many ways.
But I suppose in time here it’s been a month or so now? Not all too long, I’ve been reading up and gaining what understanding I can. SO many resources ideas opinions and beliefs…
RVL: Do you identify as a real living modern vampire? If so, when did you become aware of this part of your nature? If not, what initially drew you to our vampire cyber-world?
B: No I don’t BUT I don’t know what I am. In a strange sense I was hoping, or even hope, that it might answer some questions of my own nature. “That can be taken many ways I promise” In some ways they have been answered. And in others I search ever still.
But what drew me? I seek knowledge, we have some major pre-conceptions of what it is to be a vampire, So many claim knowledge of the topic yet I find credible sources lacking. Also, not to sound rude, it’s just plain fascinating, I hold no fear or judgment only great curiosity. I’ve watched documentaries on vampire groups in America and the pagan and spiritual aspects were both beautiful and in a way very… Appealing? They called to me… This has in part given me some food for thought.
RVL: In our informal chat the other evening you indicated that you had a friend who claimed to be a real living vampire, what were your reactions to this claim, initially?
B: This is a hard one, at first EVERYONE told me he was a fake a fraud and insane. In part I was quite happy to go along with that assumption.
I spoke to him in person, sadly he was so… caught up in the hate and drama he wouldn’t speak the truth to me even though I really wanted to know. But he told me different things each time we spoke also, which sadly didn’t help my beliefs. It was annoying he spoke of being a soul trapped in a human form and that he fed on the energy of other souls, WITH permission to add to his own vitality. It really made no sense to me.
RVL: When you decided to take the plunge and enter the online vampire world what were your first impressions?
B: I actually don’t think I’ve come to many conclusions yet, I’ve not spoken to many people on the subject, I’ve had good interactions with people when I asked on facebook where I can find some information and get ideas but I suppose I need to speak to people to HEAR them? Get their own experiences on the matter? So far though I’m finding the information both informative and in some parts confusing, As different groups have different ideals and feelings on what is and isn’t.
RVL: Since that time there have been number of people that sent you various links to a range of information, how have you found the reading to be going?
B: I have found some AMAZING articles which span from what it is to be and how to live in this day and age, through to beliefs on vampiric DNA even information on blood magic, WHICH helped me greatly to understand a few things.
I’m slowly getting into blogs and reading away, I’ve found one or two sites to be a touch “Over much?” but in general I find it has given me some real in depth ideas on the people and what makes those of a vampiric nature who they are.
But the HISTORY!! THAT has me in a state of rapture, to find out some of the things I’ve discovered myself were correct, and also that I didn’t know many a thing is a delight. Learning is fun, without it you just get a bit stagnant don’t you.
RVL: Have you found your way to joining any other online vampire groups besides RVL on Facebook?
B: Marmoon did put me forth for another page called Vampires/Vampyres which also has many a point of reading, But due to being new and having so much detail to view right now I’m keeping it simple until I can take apart some of the things I’ve already seen.
RVL: In general, how would you rate the reception you have received so far from members of the real vampire “community”?
B: Well from a good few members I’ve gotten a welcome and a good deal of information, so everyone is nice. But I’ve not had much of an in depth conversation with many people, Due to the nature of the subject I can in large part understand.
But for some reason I think if I was open and “Simple?” in my wanting to learn, or even go so far as to make friends, I think I’d have no trouble. Least that’s the impression I get. It’s one of those things in which people need a touch of trust; the witch trials were hard for my kind once also.
RVL: What is, at present, the biggest question in your mind about real modern vampires?
B: Due to movies, books, the internet even history, Vampires and their nature has been given such a romantic view. It’s so artistic and in some cases blown out of proportion that I suppose my question or wonderment? Would be to see WHAT a vampire in this day and age really is, to break misconception and to see someone properly.
It’s one thing to read and be told what something is but to see it is another matter entirely. I, due to my own empathic nature and curiosity, feel I could gain more insight from it. So I suppose that’s my question. What’s a real vampire in this day and age J
RVL: Before you came and began your reading journey what were your perceptions of vampires, real or otherwise?
B: Mine is based in occult readings and history, I, in part, had a love of the romanticism of it, even if not true the idea of an immortal being is something that drives my own inner longing for understanding. I, in my own head, pondered the idea of eternal life above and below humanity, yes I know this can sound rather “Fairytaled” But as I said movies and books all put it in a certain light.
But I, in part, saw it as I did from a movie perspective but in my readings I thought of them as a dark force of nature, the animal within a beast with humanity. It’s hard to explain.
RVL: You also mentioned involvement with several other “alternative” communities, would you tell us a little about them?
B: Well from a young age I was interested in the occult and had very pagan leanings as it was, so one of my friends when I was young gave me insight into Wicca and paganism. I grew into that easily enough and learnt a thing or two along my travels. I, “And I do laugh” Went Goth as a kid also, I found the dark side was my friend and not to be feared so much as loved as a beautiful kindred spirit. The gothic side of things was both art and further love of the dark side of life, to me darkness as I said isn’t a bad thing, without dark one cannot see the light for that light would be blinding only leading you back to the original thought.
But the gothic side of things was beauty in nature much like the pagan in me. Funny how it all ties up, at least in my head.
I later discovered Satanism, LaVeyen to be precise, I wrote for the satanic communities pieces on the basis of why religion isn’t needed “Sorry if that sounds offensive and even in funny ways a paradox”. In my time I discovered that many Goths were Satanists many Satanists, Goth and both were none at all… SO MANY things all tie in together yet each seeks its own path.
RVL: What would you like to learn, or confirm, from your involvement in the online vampire “community”?
B: Well I suppose I’d like to find out more on what it’s about as simple as that sounds, As a somewhat open minded being I seek to learn why things are, who they are, all the answers of what makes everything tick.
The funny thing is I find more questions as I read more and become ever more fascinated as I go.
RVL: Is there anything you would like to ask this evening?
B: Nothing I can think of, I’m a bit tired out from all the information overload but if I find some questions I’ll be sure to put them forth.
RVL: It has been a great privilege to spend this time with you Bryce; we wish you all the best in your research, thank you very much for participating this evening.
B: Wow! I must say this has been a great deal of fun to put some of my thoughts on the topic forth and that people will be reading my gibberish *laughs* I’m glad I could help and I think even from this I’ve learnt a few things and have some clearer thoughts having gone over them myself.
I look forward to further interactions and gaining my Vampire 101 certification.
It is always interesting to take a look at oneself from the point of view of someone outside your situation and environment. It can help you to regain perspective that may have been slightly distorted by familiarity, it can help you tune into the basic necessities of being and it can also be helpful in highlighting issues that are created without being meant to be, such as “confusion”.
Those of us who have been in the “community” for a long time recognize, more often than not, that the youngsters who come looking for answers here will, in all probability, be the “community” leaders of tomorrow, sounds like some corny ad for a less than reputable distance education facility; a sort of, ‘get your doctorate in six months with us’ kind of deal but the difference is that we know who and what we are and in order to survive the “community” needs to look to it’s practices in welcoming newcomers to make sure that good people aren’t being driven away.
Copyright RVL & Bryce H. 2013
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