WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE VAMPIRE SUBCULTURE?
The people in this community come from all walks of life - students, lawyers,
medical staff, IT professionals, factory workers, etc. There is no single
unified appearance or occupation - while some go for the "overboard"
goth look, others prefer to dress in a manner than blends in, particularly
if they're working for a living.
The best way to get an understanding is to read the FAQ pages of some of
the better sites out there such as:
Vampires Support Page (This article's home base)
for Real Vampires
WHY ARE YOU RELUCTANT TO APPEAR ON TV/RADIO/ETC.?
There have been some media staff in the past who have said "We
plan to treat this subject with respect" and what was actually
delivered was a "Ewwww, look at the freakshow!" final product.
This is embarrassing to those of us who have done such shows in the
past, and each time it happens is yet another reminder of why we don't
believe people are ready to understand us or treat us fairly.
Example of shows that are done better are:
- A&E's "Secret Lives of Vampires", 2005
- History Channel's "Vampire Secrets", 2006
- History Channel's "Monster Quest: Vampires in America",
Examples of shows done "badly" is an"In Search Of"'s
epsiode on Nikolai Tesla, Vampires, and the Loch Ness Monster, as well
as the various talk shows that seem to thrive on conflict between guests,
and radio shows run by sensationalist "shock jocks" that delight
on shocking or horrifying their listeners/viewers and mocking the guests,
rather than simply informing the listeners.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
The people who LEAST object to being on TV tend to be the entertainers,
lifestylers and self-employed - people who can "put this away"
if they work a normal job, or don't have to worry about being fired.
They tend to have the more flamboyant appearances and go for the more
dramatic approach. Entertainers and lifestylers who are not vampires
themselves, but only play the part, and are not qualified to speak for
more ordinary REAL vampires in the community.
If you truly wish to speak to the "more normal looking" people
in the community, most of them will not appear on TV without some sort
of anonymity guarantee - either disguising voice, face or both - because
many of us have spouses, jobs. children and non-vampiric friends, and
are concerned about the impact TV or radio appearances will have on
our private and working lives in the long run. A couple of these impacts
When job markets are tight, employers are less likely to hire "that
freak from tv" than someone with no apparent weirdness because
they're worried about the impact "that freak from TV" will
have on company morale or customers...or they just plain give the
hiring manager the heebie jeebies.
Divorce / custody court: Things like this HAVE been brought up in
the past, in an attempt to discredit a potential custodial parent's
ability to raise a healthy child. Some vampires are parents, and can
raise children just as well as anyone else, however the courts don't
always see it that way.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PUT YOUR MINDS AT EASE?
We want to see and/or know:
1) Who are you?
2) What company/network do you work for?
3) Your contact information at the company/network?
4) Toll-free number if you want any of us to voice-call you?
5) If your show is part of a series, what series is it?
As well as:
Summary of how the subject matter will be presented, or how you would
like to present it, on the show. The oh-so-generic "present things
in a better light", "let the subjects tell the story",
and "treat people with respect" has been used SOOOO many
times before by people who have produced a "ewwww, look at the
freaks!" final product, that at this point it is 'kiss of death'
for interview negotiations. We want details, not fluff assurances.
If you are unable/unwilling to provide details on how guests on the show will be treated, don't expect many willing participants who are not either entertainers or lifestylers themselves. If you truly want to present *all* sides, or at least the side of real vampires that most people aren't aware of, we must know how we will be treated first.
If this is for an established show, let us know how we can view or
listen to previous episodes of the show. You can offer to send tapes
or discs, but not everyone will take you up on it for privacy reasons.
If clips of prior shows are available online (even as a low-bitrate
stream) via YouTube or something, it will help greatly. If your company
hosts it on their site, provide more than one format please - not
everyone will install RealPlayer because it comes bundled with spyware
and other malware that can compromise a user's system and create security
risks. MPEG is a common format across multiple platforms and is recommended,
but Windows Media Player will do as an alternate to RealPlayer. Otherwise,
YouTube or other movie sites are certainly an acceptable alternative
to post something for us to see.
Examples of shows you've done in the past - especially if the current
show has no prior history - with people who are also extremely unusual,
such as drag queens, psychics, voodoo practitioners, etc. This will
allow us to get a valid comparison between how you've treated them,
and how you may treat us. However, historical shows on the history
of Salem witchcraft or profiles of people such as high profile criminals
or even inventors of weird or unusual things - while not "mainstream"
- are not unusual enough for us to make a valid comparison.
If you've worked with someone from our community in the past, we
want to know who you've worked with, and how we can contact them.
IS A SHOW ON THE VAMPIRE SUBCULTURE FEASIBLE?
Only if the guests are treated with decency and respect. We ARE people,
you know, even if what we do is not something people accept as "normal".
If you wouldn't treat your loved ones the way you plan to treat us,
what makes you think we'll appreciate it any more than they do?
This article is presented as part of an ongoing
effort to present other views outside of, as well as within, the online
vampire community. As such, the views and attitudes contained in this
article are entirely those of the author(s), and may not necessarily
be shared by SphynxCatVP. The webmaster is not under obligation to update
or otherwise keep current the contents of this article. Most
importantly, only you can decide for yourself whether this article or
any of the author(s) other views are useful or applicable to you - use
your own reasoning and judgment.