Interview with a Dancer #15 – Myth Raven

This next dancer certainly lives up to her name – a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in mystery.  Or is that Myth-stery?  Please welcome, the one, the only – Myth Raven!

Myth Raven 2014


SL Name:  Myth Raven
Display Name:  Myth Raven
Rez Day: January 22, 2011

Location: Cottonwood





What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
MR:  Many moons ago, when I first started SL, I just happened to visit a wonderful Cabaret/Burlesque show called  “BEAUTIFUL FREAKS”. When Slappy Doobie took the stage I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen in SL. From that point on I was hooked on cabaret and I became a regular at the shows. Of course I wanted to (do that), but knew nothing at that time. So I suppose I started as a host with a few DJ’s in several clubs, which developed quickly to doing dance spots at those (non-cabaret clubs) with DJ’s. I was doing a one girl show more or less at SL dance club venues. That led to becoming lead vocals for the all female SL Rock Tribute Band Phoenix. At that time I was developing free-style stage dance with the band as Tina Turner, Joan Jet, Anastacia, etc., while still doing the (DJ plus me) dance shows around SL. And all the while attending every cabaret show I could find. Then one day I just decided (I can do this now), and do it well. So I decided to go pro. All inspired by that one girl on stage, and my now friend, Slappy.

How long have you been dancing?
MR:  3 years.

Where do you dance?
MR:  Winds of the Sahara weekly, the Empire Room bi-weekly, Jagged Rock bi-weekly, guest dancer at the Paramount Playhouse, and guest dancer at Starlite Theater.  I also do special event shows with Elysium and Euphoria dance troupes.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
MR:  Probably around 30 hours.

Of that time, how much (%) is spent working on dances/performances?
MR:  80%.

How long does it take you to create a set (start to finish)?
MR:  Well… that all depends on what I’m doing – solo, group, stage sets, theme sets, etc. Theme sets and group sets can take days. A Vegas-style solo stage set I can do in a day if I have to, but I prefer to have 2 days.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
MR:  Abranimations, A&M, Henmations

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance anims.
MR:  Tuty’s and ##CI## for the odd animations I may use in my sets.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
MR:   Spot-On Director. Best performance I’ve found under heavy lag conditions. Lots of unique notecard options (dance layering for example) and made just for use with Spot-On choreography design system.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
MR:  I use the Spot-on Choreography Design System. I’ve never used another system so can’t compare. But I’m a hard core Spot-on Director fan and since the two systems go hand in hand, I would be hard pressed to ever change.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
MR: Spot-On Costume Assistant, ankle locks, com huds, and various lightning/effects huds depending on my set.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?
MR:  I build my own sets.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
MR:  Take it to the front of the stage . . . in their face!

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
MR: I do not. I want people to see my performance, not be distracted. Emote story sets have their place, but it’s just not for me.

Where do you find your music?
MR:  YouTube.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?
MR:  I edit most every song I do in some manner or another. I may up the bass, clean it up, extend the intro, add sound effects, etc.  And I always adjust to a consistent 128kbits to make things more stable for SAM. I find everything I need in a search on YouTube.

What is your stance on the issue of music copyright in SL (and also in YouTube videos you might post)?
MR:   SL shows can be a means of direction. YouTube displays ads on your uploads. And a lot of those ads direct a viewer to buy the CD that your track is from. This is at the discretion of the rightful music owners. They can also elect to block your video if they want to. But most don’t because it is a means for possible additional sales and more exposure. So I hope some sales are actually made from these advertisements for the original artists. I also hope that my YouTube channel videos get hits from my SL shows. And I always post a disclaimer that my videos are for entertainment purposes only and that I do not own the music used in my performance.

What are your preferences when it comes to dance performances?  – Large/small sets; particles/none; effects/none; faders/none; emotes/none; movers/none; lighting/none;
MR:  I’m a mixed bag of nuts. I do it all depending on my set. The exception is emoting, which I don’t do.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
MR: Avid.

Is there a particular artist (in SL or RL) that inspires you?
MR: Can’t name names here as there are several and there all my friends. Smile!!!

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
MR:  Sigh…  well…  I had a mover rez sideways once and had to cancel the set, lol.   But the most frustrating thing is what we all experience from time to time. And that is – you put a ton of work into a routine, and you have it perfect, smooth as silk, and here comes a lag spike and screws your routine’s timing up. You can hear me cursing two sims away!

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie. – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
MR:  Yes.  I do use effects from time to time, but always try to use the low lag gear. Trust me – there are different levels of lighting, fog, particles, etc.  It’s best to always shop around and test.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
MR:   *I hate going after you* hahahhaha.

Do you have a blog/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
MR:  YouTube and Blog.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
MR:  Learn how not to *slide* your dance routines. (My pet peeve – I hate seeing a person sliding across the stage from one end to the other.)

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
MR:  I think one hour to an hour and a half is about the attention span in SL.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
MR: The Lesbian Teahouse.  🙂

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.) 
MR: I’m not sure what I would like to see happen as far as the technical end. Less lag in heavy populated venues is perhaps a dream. However, on the social end I would love to see a non-biased ranking system in place for pro dancers.  What a can of worms that would open!  But, oh, what fun on the competitive end!  🙂

Any other thoughts/ideas/comments you’d like to share?
MR: I love the community. There isn’t one dancer I dislike. I love you all!!!

And there you have it, straight from the mysterious lips of Myth herself!  A big thank you to Myth for taking the time out of her busy dance schedule and allowing me to interview her.