Personal Preferences

PreferencesI got up early this morning – ready to tackle the day and the big list of to-do projects.  And then RL came a’callin’.  So here it is, afternoon, and I haven’t gotten a single thing on my to-do list done yet!!

First order of business – blog post.  🙂

Yesterday I asked the first QOTD (the poll is still open, so click here if you’re so inclined).  As of now, the unofficial results are that stage size doesn’t matter one whit.  What matters is whether or not people feel they’ve been entertained.  Something to think about.  (I did think about it, and it led me to even more questions!)

Everyone has their own personal preferences (different strokes for different folks, and all that), so I thought I would share with you my own personal preferences.  I’ve been contacted by several people who have opinions, but don’t want to voice them.  I, too, have been reluctant in some cases to say what I really think for fear of offending people.  But what I am sharing is simply my opinion.  You don’t have to agree.  You don’t have to like it.  This is my blog and my voice.

So what makes me feel like I’ve been entertained?  I think if you’re a performer, sometimes it can be difficult to achieve that ‘wow’ moment.  You learn all the little tips and tricks, so something that is a ‘wow’ for the person next to you is a total yawner for you.  You’re never going to be able to please everyone all of the time.  I know that.  But I’ll settle for pleasing most of the people most of the time. 🙂

Personally, I am not a fan of big stages.  For group numbers, when you have 5+ dancers on stage, having a big stage makes sense.  But for a solo performer?  It becomes empty space that needs filled.  Some dancers fill it beautifully – building wonderful and lavish sets, multiple particle effects, fancy lighting, etc.  But the fact is that if there is only one dancer on a large stage, you (as an audience member) are cammed in tight to see the performer – which means most of the set is wasted effort.  I have even been to venues where the MC tells you to ‘cam in tight.’  So why waste all that time and effort building something that, while beautiful, is lost on most of the audience?

Emoting is another area of contention.  It seems you either love emoting or you hate it.  I’m a writer, so I like emoting.  I like being told a story.  Other people will argue that the dance alone should tell a story.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  While I like emoting, I don’t like emotes that are so long that your screen is so full of chat you can’t see the performer.  I don’t want to read a book, but I don’t mind reading a few lines of well-written emotes.  In most cases (for me), the emoting adds another layer to the performance.

Another thing I’ve never understood is venues that ask you to set your viewer to midnight.  In the beginning, I used to do as requested.  But I would find myself squinting at the screen because I often couldn’t see the performer clearly.  Set back to midday and BAM!  There is the lovely dancer.  So now, I rarely (if ever) set my viewer to midnight.  When I am creating a dance, I don’t set my viewer to midnight, so it’s something I’ve always found strange.

And with the changes that inevitably come in SL, things have gotten more (or less) complicated, depending on who you’re talking to.  When I first began dancing, you made your sequence, hopped on a poseball or marker, and away you went.  These days, you need a fantastic set, special FX, movers (to move you, other dancers, and/or objects around the stage), tools to rezz your set, help you change costumes, and to make sure everything works, even in a super-laggy sim.

Or do you?

Keep watching for the next QOTD. 😀


11 thoughts on “Personal Preferences

  1. It does get daunting, doesn’t it. The huge mega-sets and all the effects… exhausting. I miss the simpler sets and stages where the dance felt so personal, these days I often feel us dancers get lost in all the bling. But the pressure to do these mega-sets is overwhelming.

    1. I think that’s an excellent point. But where is the pressure coming from? Is it really from the audience? Or are dancers/venues pressuring themselves? An interesting thought. 🙂

  2. The pressure comes from current / older dancers, and some venue owners.

    In some cases the pressure is valid. GB for example have had a high bar for year’s. Both audience and staff have high expectations. Unfortunately the pressure is there in a lot of clubs regardless of how successful they are.

    I often get told by people who dance at moons that its a nice break to just be able to focus on the dance. Yet on the other hand, last week I had 2 people tell / imply that I was lazy for having such basic sets at moons (sub 10 prims). Because filling a tiny stage with prima is a fan idea right?

    So yeah. Pressure comes from some owners, some audience members, and some dancers.

    1. I can understand pressure from venues/owners – many of them are trying to financially support the venue, so more success equals more L$ (we all assume). I guess the rest is self-inflicted. And there is always the option (if you are a dancer) to go dance somewhere else, isn’t there? For me personally, if I felt that much pressure to build the big elaborate sets, I’d leave. (And I have done so. :P)

    2. Naiki, you do not need to listen to those critics, because you have always been fun to watch, you write well, and have a great sense of humor! (And I totally did not realize that you are the author of the Naiux Linux blog. You are seriously my personal hero – I cannot tell you how many times I have used your blog for my IDJC!)

  3. I never imagined GB to make much of a profit with 2 sims there. But I do believe they would have to enforce some sort of standards there.

    Imagine watching 3 eye bleedingly good visual animated acts that take peoples breath away, then as a 4th act I came on and do a bawdy silly dance. It just wouldn’t work. So for the sake of the other dancers and the audience that come with expectations, Chryblind has to have a high bar for people that work at GB.

    All that said I haven’t worked at anywhere except Moons for 6 years, I do not know the internal workings or quality control that happens at other venues.

  4. Large venues with large stages obviously have some pressure on the performer to fill the stage with stuff, else you have to get the opera glasses out and hunt the tiny dot in the middle of the empty stage (you still have to do that when the stage is full of prims but it’s more interesting). I believe most of the pressure comes from the performer themselves, trying to “improve” on their last performance and trying to out do their peers. “I used simple particles in my last routine so I’ll use fireworks this time…”, ” fireworks? I’ll have a volcano!”, “My giant oversized champagne glass is bigger than yours”

    Venues do have standards (Moon’s excluded) but that doesn’t mean that you can’t follow acts that use lots of effects with a simple set, a sea of black with someone dancing in the light of a streetlamp can be just as effective if it’ done right.

    1. Perhaps the prevailing thought of dancers is that people want the ‘bling.’ I’m not sure if that’s true, or perhaps it’s just easier to add ‘bling’ to a performance to hide imperfections? Idk – but it’s an interesting thought that the pressure dancers feel may be an illusion. :/

  5. Welcome back Kat!
    You know my thoughts, but I will share anyways…the elaborate acts can certainly be fun, but I truly believe you do not get the “WOW” unless you are truly inspired by your work. If you are just building giant sets because you are “supposed to,” or you put in fancy effects and choreography, because it’s “expected,” I can promise you that “supposed to” attitude will show through, and it will be lipstick on a pig – a bunch of decoration on dances any one of us could turn on a HUD and do ourselves.
    Tell YOUR story, share YOUR inspiration, take my hand and take me on a journey WITH YOU…the set may be ginormous, or it may be small, you may dance wildly, or may even stand still, but let YOU shine, that is what is important, and when you show us you, it will be glorious, and I will not be able to take my eyes of you, and I will be WOW’d.
    I was talking with a RL theatre person this week, and he said do not ever stop inspiring yourself. As soon as you stop, as soon as the things you loved no longer inspire you, when you can longer watch over and over again, it is over for you…and it is over for your audience.

    1. I think that has been my takeaway from this discussion – why do it if it’s no fun? I’ve been in the position of feeling pressured to build ‘big’ and ‘wow’ with special effects. It was no longer fun. So I walked. And I’m so glad I did – it opened the doors for other opportunities for me. 🙂

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