A cult for the average Joe… not the privileged
Not gonna lie: it’s not the easiest time to try and make it as a real-life vampire.
(And no, I’m not part of that whole New Orleans scene. I’m the real deal.)
Name’s Les Drake. (My agent’s idea—I wanted something a little less… drama, I guess. “Why hide it?” she’d said. “You’re doing this, right? Might as well go all the way. Make no bones—no fangs—about it. Plus, your real name just doesn’t fit. These things happen.”) You may—heavy emphasis on the conditional here—have heard of me. More likely not.
When I look back at it now, I guess you could say I probably first tried breaking onto the scene in the mid-2000s. That was an interesting time, what with social media just starting to take off. I made a few accounts with my real name—mostly going for the dark, broody black and white angle. I had a LiveJournal, too—remember that? Very much a “day in the (after?) life” kind of vibe.
Of course this was way before the influencer trend came into play. In a lot of ways I feel like if we’d tried those strategies, with the right creative team behind it today, it could have gone so much better. But back then? So much more was up in the air. You really had to do the heavy lifting to get noticed. The tech-giants of today were also still finding their way, figuring out how to lock down users and turn profits. I have a feeling when historians and sociologists or whatever look back to this time, tech is going to seem a lot more groping and less dominant than we’re used to thinking nowadays. If the tenor of tech now is more like so many multi-colored diodes and the gray of comment boxes, back then I think it was more of a heat haze—we were waiting for so much to settle. If I remember correctly, this was also around the time that the whole JT LeRoy scandal broke, and James Frey fumbled awkwardly on his live Oprah interview to argue that maybe some, but definitely not all of his “memoir,” A Million Little Pieces, had been fabricated. Old-school showmanship in a new tech world.