Seeing the World with Kyle Perler
This week’s entry into the Where Are They Now series is centered on Kyle Perler. While Kyle is another creative type who came through Wayfinder, he works in a field where the connection to the work we do may seem a little less direct. Kyle runs his own photography business. While his introduction to the world of photography came through his family, Kyle still credits Wayfinder (or Adventure Game Theatre where Kyle, much like Wayfinder, started his experience with LARP) with a lot of skills he uses on a day to day basis. “I have a career where I am often standing in front of dozens of strangers who want to be doing other things, and I have to make them do what I tell them to by loudly, clearly, and confidently asserting myself. That is something that I never would have been able to do had I not been given the preparation and courage, and also the ability to focus on the role I’m in. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without Wayfinder.” The career Kyle is talking about is the photography business he runs where he works for the city of Boston, the state of Massachusetts, and fortune 500 companies. He has also published two books. As has been clear in every one of these features, Wayfinder gives people the confidence they need to succeed in their respective fields. It can provide more than confidence though.
In his time working at Wayfinder Kyle only worked in production departments. “I just really enjoyed that sort of spatial layout and giving people a thing to work with while they were in these different worlds and universes.” This work is integral to what we do at camp. We couldn’t have our adventures without our production departments. Much like Kyle said, they provide us with the immersion that is required to allow us to create that other world and space we play in. You certainly can roleplay without that kind of backdrop but doing so on such a large scale requires adding some degree of uniformity to the experience. Kyle has found another use for that skill. “I will walk into situations, and I have to find the best backdrop, the best this, or the best that, and it’s about bringing items together, and creating scenes in just a minute or two. Doing all of the scene work, all of the sets and props stuff at Wayfinder really helped me.” Often the work we do at Wayfinder can seem a little disconnected from the rest of our lives. Kyle was really able to highlight the ways in which we directly impact the lives of our staff members going forward professionally as well as personally.
That is not to say that Kyle wasn’t impacted personally or tried to claim that he wasn’t. Quite the contrary. Kyle started coming to camp at 15 because his dad was living on the property Adventure Game Theatre was running camps on. “I was introduced to AGT as being a theatre camp where you stood on stage all day and did improv stuff in front of a lot of people and there was a guy named Shaggy, and I was told I had to go. So being a very, very shy 15 year old I did everything possible to get out of it. My mom told me that I didn’t have a choice. She had to shoot 50 weddings that summer, and I had to go to theatre camp. I immediately realized that it was explained to me in the worst possible way and I fell in love with all of it.” As evidenced here Wayfinder can be hard to describe to people who haven’t seen it or its effects firsthand. I have heard us described as a theatre camp, a theatre gaming camp, live action Dungeons and Dragons, and (my personal favorite) dressing up like a fairy and running around in the woods. And much like with Kyle, our staff often were reluctant to attend something explained in that fashion, but never disappointed by their experience at camp. Past his introduction to camp, Kyle had nothing short of incredible things to say about Wayfinder. He said the following in comparing his other summer camp experiences with his experiences at LARP camp. “The other camp was fun and sort of like a very pretty, serene spot that had everything from horseback riding to crafts, but it did not have any impact or take away, whereas I couldn’t imagine the person I would be without Wayfinder. I would probably not be in the same career. I would not be living in the city or the state or the town that I’m living in. I would not know the people I know. The impact level is really just night and day as to which helped mold me.” Thanks, Kyle. We’re honored to have been a part of that process and look forward to whatever projects are coming next for you. Also we’d love to have you “running around as a wizard” if you can find the time to get away.
The Wayfinder/AGT experience was just totally life changing. It really has not only crafted me into the adult I am today as far as how I know the world, how confident I am, how willing I am to approach new situations and say yes to things even if I’m afraid to do it, or even if it’s not going to go the way I want it to. Being ready to approach a new situation is something that is ingrained in who I am, and it is that way because of this camp. Not only that, but I am still so close to the community because of the bond that it builds with people. I have one friend from that previous camp, and I wouldn’t have reconnected with her if we hadn’t gone to the same school together. So far this year I have interacted with, spent time with, and seen about ten people that I went to AGT with because it really is a community. Because of the bonds that are created, and the environment that it’s in, and the people that it attracts, they really are people that stick with you and become part of your life, and they don’t just fade out when summer ends.
Written by Judson Easton Packard from an interview with Kyle in 2016