By Brianna Holt
Photos by Yanhuan Ji
When you first hear the word vampire, the chilling Count Dracula may appear in your head. Or perhaps you are thinking of a more sensitive or lustful vampire like those of “Twilight” and “True Blood.” But vampires are more than characters in a book or on screen. Little do many know that vampires roam the streets of Austin, living normal lives, working normal jobs and raising families.
The Vampire Court of Austin is an organization of local vampires. Their members live casual lives similar to any Austinite — with a few exceptions. ORANGE Magazine got the chance to meet up with some members to shed light on the life of an Austin vampire.
The Vampire Court of Austin was founded in 2012, in order to provide a community for vampires in Austin. “Austin needed a court for vampires to gain a sense of family and be able to connect with people who have similar interests,” VCA founder Logan South says.
Members of the court go about their days in dark clothing, colored contacts and sharpened teeth. Despite the stares and laughs some of the members may receive, VCA members claim that people are usually intrigued and interested in knowing about the court and what the life of a vampire entails. “People love asking questions like, ‘why are you dressed like that’ or ‘what exactly does a vampire practice,’” member Joey Slain says.
So what exactly is a vampire according to the Vampire Court of Austin? A vampire is anyone who needs an outside source of energy. That energy can come from drinking blood or feeding on someone else’s energy. The blood comes from donors who give their blood to VCA, in order for the process to be safe. Energy, in the physical and spiritual form, is only taken from others with verbal permission prior to the “feeding.”
Vampires differentiate themselves from others by their abilities. Some abilities include assisting people with healing, connecting with the dead, astral traveling, reading moods and heightened strength or hearing. “We have jobs just like everyone else. I work in a psychiatric ER part time, and I am also a professional aerialist,” new VCA member Alex Andersin says. “I have the ability to be sensitive to my patients, so this is very beneficial when working in the ER.”
When first scheduling an interview with Daley Hodges, one of the founders of VCA, she mentioned that she would not be available until after 3 p.m. — a normal time for vampires to begin their day. Many members of the court have professional jobs in dancing, yoga, meditation and healing. “Many of us are dancers or work in the entertainment industry because the energy level is very high,” Hodges says. “It’s the perfect field for vampires because they can feed while at work and doing something that they enjoy.”
The Vampire Court of Austin hosts yearly events open to the public and takes part in community service and outreach in Austin.