This week a friend and I were lucky enough to sit down with a local Vampire, Vlad the Gothic Magician, and got a peek into both the world of stage magic and the life of a living Vampire.
Since he is a professional magician I figured that was the best way to start our interview. Apparently Vlad actually created the term Gothic Magic himself. It seems that while working in a haunted house he developed an interest in theatrical magic. He enjoys pulling the viewer into the story and crafting a magic show that really awes the spectator. In his own words his goal is to be the Vincent Price of magic.
He is obviously well on his way to achieving that goal. As a Gothic Magician he has performed for The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel and the Canadian Broadcast Channel. He was also asked to perform for MGM studios at the premiere party for their movie "Lord of Illusions". Recently Vlad was asked to speak/perform at Dinning with the Dead hosted by the New England Ghost Project.
Now of course one has to wonder, and so I had to ask, if being a vampire has helped his career as a magician. Vlad answer was an interesting one that will make you think. He said that to him all performers "feed off the energy" of the crowd. Anyone who has ever performed onstage or given a speech will know right what he's talking about. Its that feeling of euphoria you get when a crowd starts cheering. Or how an athlete is able to put on one big surge to cross the finish line because the crowd is cheering him on. After all isn't that why people enjoy being in the spotlight? That rush they feel when everyone is staring at them cheering. Amazing, how could anyone deny that's true?
Of course there are other forms of Vampires out there so let me give you the rundown courtesy of Vlad and The Lure of the Vampire by Bertena Varney.
Modern Vampires tend to fall into a few different categories;
- the Psychic Vampire or psi who feeds off the energy of others (by consent)
- the Elemental Vampire who feed off nature
- The Tantric who feed off sexual energy
- The Sanguanarians who consume small amounts of blood from healthy consenting donors
- The Lifestylers who are attracted to the clothing, costumes, and etc and enjoy interacting as a Vampire
Vlad went on to tell us that he had his awakening slowly throughout his young adult life. First as an interest in general occult studies and then after that being brought into Vampire society in New York by a friend. He explained that the Vampire society in New York was based on a court style monarchy. A Regent was elected to reside over the court, the court consisting of houses and citizens. With each house having a sire and consisting of the sire, elders and newer vampires. (for all of us who read the Chicago land Vampires- makes you wonder if Chloe Neill did a bit of research before starting that series)
In order to enter this Vampire Society you needed to know someone who would bring you into functions and then continue to show up at court until you had been going for a year. During this year period you would be considered a fledgling and have no voting privileges. After a year you would then become a citizen and then after some uncharted amount of time could become an elder. A Sire would be someone who has brought a new Vampire into the community and would be responsible for their actions and by extension safety.
The New York Vampire Community eventually voted into practice a code of conduct know as The Black Veil. These rules to live by were designed to help Vampires stay quality members in both Vampire Society and in the outside world as functioning adults. Now it does appear the Black Veil has been changing slightly depending on who you talk to but the premise is the same. Use common sense and common courtesy when dealing with those in your community as well as those in the outside world.
Like every reader and movie goer out there I was wondering what kinds of movies and books stand out as worth watching to someone who is in the Vampire lifestyle. Vlad let us in on a few that stood out to him..
For movies he said he enjoys Bram Stokers Dracula since it a period piece and visually beautiful to watch. He also thought that cult-films like The Addiction and Nadja were worth watching.
As for books he thinks The Strain a vampire trilogy co-authored by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan is an interesting take on Vampires. He is also friends with the author of the YA series Vamped by Lucienne Diver and rumor has it there may be a character modeled after Vlad in the near future so you know I'll be checking that one out. He did also mention that he personally doesn't mind when authors make the vampire legends their own, as long as they are adding something to the genre.
Now since we are talking about books I think its worth mentioning that Vlad is friends with another author Bertena Varney author of Lure of the Vampire and is even the Vampire who graces the cover!
If you read this blog you probably have at least a passing interest in Vampires so I hope you found this interview as interesting and informative as I did. I would like to thank Vlad again for taking time out of his schedule to meet and share his world with all of us. If you'd like to find out more about Vlad and Gothic Magic be sure to check out his website and facebook fan page!