Windlight Magazine May 2016 Issue Is Now Available!

A big thank-you to John for including me in this month’s issue. Take a peek – lots of great and informative articles, and some amazing art!!

KULTIVATE

This issue features Rebeca Bashly. This issue also features, Peace is a Choice Gallery, cabaret dancer Kat Feldragonne and Meshopotomia’s owner Reven Rosca. The Windlight Magazine Contributors have many articles for you also! Veruca Tammas brings you another voyage, this time at the Embryo Sim; Ilyra Chardin features artwork inspired by sea ports, Kamille Kamala interviews writer Netera Landar, and The Edge Editor in Chief, Eleseren Brianna has tips on how to style in the age of mesh. The Edge Contributor, Stavaros Gracemount makes his Windlight debut with a great article on male fashion, and to round off our fashion articles in this issue, we bring you a great interview with the new Miss Virtual LatinoAmerica 2016. Very special thank you to Inara Pey for her cover photo! Click the cover below to view the issue:

Windlight Magazine - May 2016

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Interview with a Dancer #17 – Barney Helendale

As I have reported before, there seem to be more men performing in dance troupes these days.

Barney is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet – he’s friendly, entertaining, and a real sweetheart. 😛

Barney Helendale 2015

 

 

SL Name:  Barney Helendale
Display Name:  Barney Helendale
Rez Day: July 9, 2008

 

 

 

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
BH:  Another method to reach people and make friends, entertain the public, so I joined a dance theatre and became involved.

Where do you dance?
BH:  Guerilla Burlesque and Starlite Theatre.  I also do dance routines with some of the model agencies I am a part of.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
BH:  30 hours per week.

Of that time, how much (%) is spent working on dances/performances?
BH:  10 hours per week – 33%.

How long does it take you to create a set (start to finish)?
BH:  I have not had much experience at building sets, yet.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
BH:  Abranimations.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance anims.
BH:  Isomotions.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
BH:  Ultimate & Barre.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
BH: Strut It Model HUD.

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

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
BH:  Don’t worry, if nothing is working, just keep going.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
BH:  I have emoted. Another skill I have learned in SL.

Where do you find your music?
BH:  YouTube.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?
BH: No.

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;
BH:  At this point, movers. As I am learning, it takes time to be comfortable. Small sets, limited exposure to other props.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
BH: The Bare Rose.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
BH: Not fully rezzing.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
BH: Sharp dressed, great presentation.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
BH:  Be patient, do not expect to be “perfect” al the time, we roll with how events unfold. Don’t Worry, Be Happy. 😀

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
BH:  45 minutes, depending on how many routines.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
BH: Home.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
BH:  More groups.

You can catch Barney dancing at Guerilla Burlesque during their season and at Starlite Theater every other Monday at 7pm (next show is Feb. 9).

Interview with a Troupe Leader #7 – Kismet Coy

Running a troupe is a lot of hard work, and for this interview, I thought I’d get the perspective of someone who is just opening a new club. 🙂

KismetCoy 2015

SL Name:  Kismet Coy
Display Name:  Kismet Coy
Rez Day: November 5, 2011
Name of troupe/group: Kit Kat Club and Cabaret (also Lady Garden Cabaret and The Luxe)

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
KC:  I saw my very first Burlesque show at Ellie’s Burlesque Club 6 years ago and never knew anything like it existed in SL. I decided that I wanted to do that. Ellie’s had a ‘So You Think You Can Burlesque’ contest and chose me as the winner and took me on as a permanent dancer. I had never danced before so it was very exciting to be a part of that group.

How long have you been dancing?
KC:  5 years in total.My beginnings at Ellie’s were on another avatar.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
KC:  Between 20 and 30 hours, sometimes more.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
KC:  I had a Club after Ellie’s went on sabbatical. I love burlesque and dance in SL. I wanted to keep the group together and I did for awhile. Things in SL change and grow and recently my friend who owns an RP SIM, Eridan, wanted a club to have OOC events and asked if I would set up a burlesque theater. It has proven difficult to find dancers, but we are still fairly new (only a month or so) and I am working on that.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
KC:  I think the most difficult thing for me has been trying to find dancers and getting established initially. It takes a few months to a year to really get established and have a following.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
KC: Finding reliable, committed dancers seems to be the toughest part of owning a dance venue. One you get a solid group though, it all falls into place and works out.

Has it been difficult to find dancers for a new venue?
KC: I find it to be difficult, yes. Dance Queens is a great resource, though and BabyPeavonphoenix  bikergrrrl, the moderator, is wonderful to work with. She helps above and beyond.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
KC:  I dance once a month at The Luxe and it’s burlesque themed.  Same with The Lady Garden. I try to make the set, the music, and the costumes all fit to tell a story. Sometimes I will emote a story with it.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
KC: I have put together sets in a matter of hours with good working ideas. I have also spent 3-4 months building one set once because I needed to figure out the scripting.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
KC:  I try not to do multiple. I create a new set for each show I do because I love to build and create that way. We did a “Best of” show at The Lady Garden and that is the only time I have repeated a set.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
KC: The only time I rehearse with others is when I do a set with another performer or group. We will rehearse to get the set just right and the choreography. For the most part I am rehearsing while I build. I will do a final run through before a show, though.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
KC: It depends on whether or not I can get an idea to work. Sometimes a few hours are all I need; other times I need months.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
KC: I love Abranimations and Henmations, those are my go-to places. I do have some dances from My Animation as well.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
KC:  I use the Barre Dance HUD. I like that it has a record feature. I start the music and Spot On mover and record and then when I perform it allows me to click one button instead of switching between animations.

What problems/difficulties in performing group numbers are there that are not present during a solo performance?
KC: As a solo performer you are not dependent on people showing up, lol.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
KC: I have only used SpotOn.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they? 
KC:  I use Spot On and Barre. I did use the Hurly Burley HUD that was created by Slappy Doobie intially 5 years ago, but she does not make it any longer.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder? Do you have specific team members assigned to these tasks?  How do you decide who does what? 
KC:  I do all my own building and scripting, though I will work with Syn Beresford when we do a duo act. She likes to build the set and I do the choreography.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
KC:  Wear Paisley shoes. That way if you puke on them no one will notice. I used to get very nervous before dancing. I still do at times.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
KC:  It depends on the music I chose. Sometimes I do, sometimes I let the music and dance tell the story.

Where do you find your music?
KC: All over. I have very eclectic taste in music; sometimes I will hear something on the radio or the internet or at a club in SL.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?  What about voice-overs?
KC: I do not make my own.

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
KC:  I just like to dance in SL.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
KC: It depends on the set. Outfits typically have to fit the theme of the song so I find them everywhere.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
KC:  I think things go wrong all the time. Clothes don’t come off in time, particles don’t always come on when you expect. Lag is a huge factor in whether a set goes smoothly or not. The audience doesn’t seem to notice it. Once I tried to click on my HUD and ended up in the middle of Slappy’s set during her performance. I managed to get out as quickly as I appeared, but it was very embarrassing.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
KC: We do try to take that into consideration. I do build on an average setting.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
KC:  I love to hear when people pick out specific things from my set that impressed them and tell me.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
KC: I think anything longer than an hour and people get bored. We try to limit the song length to no more than 7 minutes and typically no more than 5 dancers.

Do you have a blog/SL group/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
KC:  I blog a little – Virtually Situated.  And take pictures – Flickr.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
KC: Keep learning everything you can. And just get out there and do it.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
KC:  I love spending time at Elysion. Syn Beresford has the best themed parties on Saturday evenings.

what is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance? (Something that is not currently possible.)
KC:  I would love to be able to drag and drop things like I can on my desktop, lol.

I have seen Kismet dance at LGC, so I’m excited to see her dance at other venues!

2015_TheLuxeGirls_BurlesqueFairThe Luxe dancers will also be dancing at the Burlesque Fashion Fair (it opens on Feb.1).

The performance will be Feb. 8th at 12PM SLT at the Luxe Theater on the Les Reves sim.

Please Note: The  Luxe Theater located at  Elysion Adult Lounge on the Les Reves Sim, which is a members only lounge/sim.

However, for the duration of the performance the Luxe and grounds will be open for all to enjoy and attend . . . so come enjoy!!

I will certainly be attending, so mark your calendars now for this ‘don’t miss’ event. 🙂

A huge thank-you to Kismet for taking time out of her busy schedule to let me interview her!

Interview with a Dancer #16 – Lil Angels

I thought Lil had retired from dancing in SL.  Boy, was I glad to find out I was wrong!! I can’t wait to watch her light up the grid again. 🙂

Lil 2015

 

 

SL Name:  LilAngels
Display Name:  Lil
Rez Day: June 12, 2011

Location: USA

 

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
LA:  Way back in the day, on an older avi, I did the whole stripping thing.  The owner of the club took a bunch of us to a show – I think it was an early incarnation of Ellie’s.  We thought it looked like fun, and a couple weeks later, we were doing shows.  Back then, we had no idea of HUDs, so our screens were outlined with dances, and we manually clicked them, along with copy/pasting our emotes, hoping the whole time that we didn’t lag too bad to finish.

How long have you been dancing?
LA:  I don’t really count those earliest shows, we knew nothing.  This time around, 2-1/2 years.

Where do you dance?
LA:  Velvet Vixen is my home, but I’m excited to be a part of the new Le Artiste troupe managed by Yummy!  It’s a troupe made up entirely of Artiste HUD owners to showcase all of the neat tricks we’re able to conquer with it.  It’s very exciting to be a part of!

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
LA:  That depends, some much more than others.  Just depends on what all I’ve got going on.

Of that time, how much (%) is spent working on dances/performances?
LA:  Generally most of it.

How long does it take you to create a set (start to finish)?
LA:  Some are easier than others.  I can totally dive into a set and have it done in a day….or it can take up to a couple weeks or more.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
LA:  It depends on what I’m looking for.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance anims.
LA:  Generally Purple Poses for single, static poses, but for anything else, I look all over til I find it.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
LA:   Right now, it’s mainly Spot On.  I like the ability to do multiple groups, all with their own timer – that was kind of a big selling point for me.  I did recently purchase the Artiste Performance Suite, so I’ll be tackling that next.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
LA:  I use Spot On for movement as well, but will be exploring the Artiste way.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
LA: As I said earlier, starting to learn the Artiste HUD, and of course, I’ve used the Barre in the past as well.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?
LA:  I generally build most of my sets myself, but thankfully I’m blessed with some amazing builders as friends, and they’re willing to help pull me out when I think I’ve gotten myself in too deep.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
LA:  DO NOT let SL glitches in your set get you down.  As long as you know how it looked on a perfect run-thru, and it made you dance in your seat, that’s all that matters.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
LA: It depends.  (I’m answering so many of these questions with that!)  Sometimes, emoting does help tell your story, but at the same time, you don’t want emotes so long that your audience is only able to read your emotes and not actually watch your set.

Where do you find your music?
LA:  Everywhere

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?
LA: No, not that techy.  🙂

What is your stance on the issue of music copyright in SL (and also in YouTube videos you might post)?
LA:   I’m certainly not making anything from my shows.  It’s just a passion!

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;
LA:  Once again I find myself answering with “it depends.” It’s all about the individual set – some need effects, some dont; some need emotes, some don’t.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
LA: There are too many to name, I’ve found so many great designers for all types of sets.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
LA:  I think the shorter list would be what HASN’T happened to me during a show.  🙂

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie. – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
LA:  Yes and no.  for the first year, my computer was terrible all around – I lagged, had horrible graphics, but I pushed through.  Even though shows were a struggle, I knew what it looked like during my own practices.  After getting a really good computer that handles SL quite well, I tend to go for what looks good to me with my graphics maxed – just cause I can!

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
LA:  Do not let small obstacles deter you….there are so many people and resources out there that are willing to help you with anything.  All you gotta do is ask.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
LA:  No more than 2 hours….and to last 2 hours, it better be a complete show where you want to stick around that long.  People get bored easily in SL.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
LA: You mean there’s time spent away from dancing?

The Velvet Vixen just had their first show of 2015, here’s looking forward to many more with the wonderful Lil.  😀

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

 

 

 

Questions:

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.

Interview with a Dancer #14 – Misse Tigerpaw

This next dancer is one known all over the grid for her fantastic sets and amazing particle effects.  If you haven’t seen a show at Club IMAGE, you’re missing out!  Please welcome Misse Tigerpaw (if you look close, you’ll see her rezz day is coming up, so if you see her, tell her happy rezz day)!

Misse 2014

 

SL Name:  misse tigerpaw
Display Name:  misse
Rez Day: December 19, 2007

Location: Club IMAGE

 

 

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
MT:  First I saw someone dancing with particles and I wanted to make the particles. I started making particles, then I started making the set and a year later finally I made something like an act with dance sequences.

How long have you been dancing?
MT:  Since September 2012.

Where do you dance?
MT:  Club IMAGE.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
MT:  About 40 hours.

Of that time, how much (%) is spent working on dances/performances?
MT:  90%.

How long does it take you to create a set (start to finish)?
MT: 1-4 months.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
MT:  Abranimations

What dance HUD do you primarily use? 
MT:   Barre HUD and HUDDLES EZ Animator.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
MT:  *NDS formation system – it has Japanese instructions and it’s easier for me to understand.

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

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
MT:  Cache your animations before the show.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
MT:  No, I don’t.  We don’t usually emote in Japanese.

Where do you find your music?
MT:  YouTube, internet radio, iTunes, or some royalty-free music on the internet.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?
MT:  I make some mixes using Audacity.

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;
MT:  I like small sets with particles, effects, faders, movers, and lighting.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
MT:  I guess I was nervous and my hands were shaking while I was dancing.  I accidentally clicked on something and I jumped out of the stage. That was kind of embarrassing.  Of course, I got back to the dance sheet right away and pretended like nothing happened. 😀

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie. – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
MT:  At IMAGE, we set our graphic setting to “High” and set particles number to 2056.  But we do not using “Advanced Lighting Model.” We try to make the effect work with lower settings as well. Also, we ask the audience to turn off their HUDs, face lights, and remove scripted objects to reduce lag and ensure everyone can view the show effects properly.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
MT:   Some people told me that they never thought we could do something like this in SL.

Do you have a blog/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
MT:  I have a blog and an instructional website for making particle effects.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
MT:  Start making something simple and take time making it and enjoy making it.   And remember, more practice makes it better. 😀

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
MT:  About an hour.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
MT: Shopping for hair!

Any other thoughts/ideas/comments you’d like to share?
MT: I hope more people will start dancing and make more dance acts, and I hope more people will go to see dance shows.

I second Misse’s thoughts – I would love to see more dancers creating in SL.  Again, a huge thank you (Doumo arigatou gozaimasu – hope I spelled that right!) to Misse for allowing me to interview her.  Catch her amazing sets at Club IMAGE.  Their shows are on Sundays at 6am SLT.   (It’s early for some of us, but it’s well worth the missed sleep!)

Interview with a Dancer #13 – Diiar

I’ve never been to Denmark, but if the people are anything like this next dancer, I have a feeling I would enjoy myself immensely.  For the latest installment of ‘Interview with a Dancer,’ please welcome Diiar!

Diiar 2014

 

SL Name:  Diiar Resident
Display Name:  Diiar Dembo
Rez Day: August 20, 2012

Location: Denmark

 

 

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
DD:  My customary answer would be I’m not really a dancer, and I consider myself a host/emcee first and foremost. However, somewhere along the way from when Winds of the Sahara Cabaret was opened and now, I had the urge to try my own hand at making a performance.  Seeing all the talented ladies of SL dance grace the stage week after week was an amazing motivator and while I didn’t really feel all that passionate about dance in itself, I was very curious to see what I could do. Cyllene of course was a huge influence! She invited me to warm movers for her sets and I got a first hand glance at how a performance works.  I was soon to learn it wasn’t as easy as it looked, but by then I was already too busy learning to build, to chose dances and put it all together to stop again.  So I suppose the short answer would be curiosity, Cyllene and a chance to try my hand at some things in SL I had yet to explore.

How long have you been dancing?
DD:  Being the host of the (until recently) only show I perform at has it’s perks and a little research in my notes reveals that I debuted on September 22nd 2013 – so just over a year ago.

Where do you dance?
DD:  Primarily at Winds of the Sahara, but have taken the plunge and affiliated myself loosely with The Elysium Cabaret. Being European makes it tricky at best to fit the schedule of SL dance into a SL schedule.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
DD:  Now that is a tough question. I am not on any timetable when it comes to dance. I’m not in it for the money or the fame, but simply because I like making the sets. That being said, I can go weeks not doing a thing dance related except host at Winds, and other weeks I can barely be dragged away from my newest build. I really can’t give an average – when I do have a set in the making my best guess would be maybe 30 hours.

Of that time, how much (%) is spent working on dances/performances?
DD:  Most of it if not all – 95% at least.

How long does it take you to create a set (start to finish)?
DD:  Again – tough question. Since I’m not on any timetable (I only sign up to perform when I have a set ready and rarely take to the stage more than once per month), I mostly work in spurts. So it’s not really all that unusual for a set of mine to sit untouched for days, weeks, a few times even months and not ever get any closer to being finished. Until suddenly I feel like working on it again.  I haven’t really made many sets – the fastest I’ve been was 1-2 days (LOOONG days), 15-20 hours or so. And the slowest…gee, I’m not sure I ever want to reveal that…but it’s a lot more than 20 hours.  To be fair though – when I’m slow, I’m not very focused either. Building a new performance is nice and all, but I get distracted easily, so it’s not unusual for me to have a few IMs open, a few searches on marketplace for costumes or whatever, iTunes or YouTube running for some auditive distractio…I mean motivation, numerous Facebook breaks and other things more or less unrelated to the work in progress – WHILE I work on that…  And also – I barely knew how to build when I started out – and truth be told I am still leaning! Things that most consider common knowledge are in many cases things I’ve yet to discover or learn…Hell, I only just learned how to edit a texture only on one side of a prim…. That level of ignorant bliss is just bound to slow you down. *laughs*

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
DD:  I really like A&M! But recently I’d have to say my go-to store is Henmations.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance anims.
DD:  Errr…Marketplace? – though I do have a tendency to buy a lot from F*cking Ninjas (yeah – it may be the name that’s drawing me in).

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
DD:   I am in the process of switching from Barre to Director actually. I really like the control Barre offers – if something goes wrong you’re not bound as tightly as you are with Director – but I recently tried Director (and been testing it in the worst possible circumstances I’ve been able to find) and found that as long as you do your choreography design properly and start the sequence at that golden moment where it’s SUPPOSED to start – then you really don’t need the same level of control as you do with Barre.  So I’ve gone back and picked out my own favorite sets and converted them from Barre to Director (also gave me a wonderful opportunity to fix a few glitches that got on my nerves when I originally performed those sets – AND change the builds with my newfound knowledge. *laughs*). When I did Breath of Life – with 11 different movers, 7 dancers – doing 4 different sequences and a costume change (using the Spot On Costume Assistant) on a sim with 70 people and there was NO lag, NO delay…I knew I was switching from Barre to Director.  For the first draft of the dance sequence, however, I still use Barre and will probably continue to do so. With that I can do it wherever and whenever.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
DD:  I use Spot On Choreography System – and it’s the only one I’ve ever tried. I saw others using it before I started building myself, got it, tried it and since then it’s just gotten better.  I don’t own and probably never will own the Spot On Group Formation System though, even though I rarely make solo sets. Sure using the Choreography System for group performances is more work, but I much prefer the control it gives me to just make each path individually (okay, so now we’ve also established I am indeed a control freak)…

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
DD: I use the Spot On Costume Assistant (as mentioned earlier) when I have a costume change (obviously) – it is probably my favorite of all the stuff I use for a performance to be honest – I’m completely head over heels for it.  Besides that, no, not unless I am running some kind of effect.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?
DD:  I make my own sets, from build to dance to costume. And frankly I think it’s lazy to not do so.  (Oh, I’m going to get unpopular now.)   Furthermore, I like that the sets are personal and the best way to do that is to just do it yourself (it may also have something to do with the aforementioned controlfreakishness….). I’ve even taken to scripting a tiny bit when there was something I needed and couldn’t get – but that really is a tiny, TINY bit.  I’ve had another builder/scripter make parts for me on 2 occasions, but normally if I can’t buy it or make it myself I find another way . . . blahblahsomethingaboutcontrolblah….

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
DD:  Have fun!  It’s a completely selfish notion really, but it’s great advice. If you’re in this to get rich you’ll soon be disappointed. If you’re in this to get famous you’ll soon learn that there are bigger ponds in SL (and life in general).  Yes, people have to watch what you put on stage, so don’t be boring. Nothing is worse than a solo act with 5 textured prims and a dancer standing in one place doing some dances (even worse if they aren’t cached *shivers*). But if you have fun doing this – then making something more than the bare minimum should be easy, and a pleasure!

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
DD:  On occasion, yes. Which is to say rarely, to be honest. I really like it when people emote, though.  One of my biggest pet peeves (and I have many) is that I like to see progression in sets, story – perhaps I see SL dance more as a mini theater. Emotes are a really easy way of achieving that. On the other hand, the more people have to read the less of the actual set they see, so emotes to me are something to be used in moderate doses.  I like to try and tell a story with no use of emotes – at most maybe a quote or the like somewhere in the build – not as an emote. But really it’s all about style – if I was a better emoter I probably would use it more, though.

Where do you find your music?
DD:  Yikes….All over really. YouTube is a huge sinner in that department for me. Movies and especially TV series too.  I rarely use songs I don’t like, so most of the music I’ve used and have on my to-do list are songs I picked up somewhere and fell in love with. Songs that spoke to me and put images into my head – but those songs can come from anywhere really.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?
DD:  Mixes is perhaps a bit of an overstatement – but yes, I do make my own mixes at times when I feel the need for it. Mostly it’s just a matter of cutting 2 songs together though. Lastly I combined Jen Titus’ Oh Death with a remake of Bad Moon Rising for a Halloween set – both songs I found on YouTube and the bridge between the songs was just the last few seconds of Bad Moon Rising reversed and put between the two songs – I thought it gave a spooky sound effect that fit Halloween quite nicely.

What is your stance on the issue of music copyright in SL (and also in YouTube videos you might post)?
DD:  I really don’t think much about it. If I were to worry about copyright I’d just limit myself. But it’s hard to see the issue from where I stand – it’s not as if anyone claims the music is theirs just because they put a dance to it and made a build. In fact artists probably should be happy to see their music inspiring other creative souls, bringing joy to a number of people and even in some cases spreading their music to new audiences…

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;
DD:  I stated this earlier – I like story sets! Emotion, story, personality are massive keywords for me when making a set and watching other people’s sets.  It’s not so important for me HOW it’s done – my own preference leans towards big sets though – multiple scenes (mostly using faders to change between them) and dancers (always on movers and at times with separate dance sequences), a few effects depending on the setting, and always lighting. Multiple scenes and dancers makes it easier to ensure progression in a performance, just as movers can ensure dynamics and effects depth.  Likewise it’s not so important to me that everyone makes story sets. It’s my preference and I’m well aware that others have different preferences. And being all blue-eyed I believe there should be room for everyone…as long as they bring some quality to the stage!!

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
DD: Hummm – I’m not sure I have ONE. *laughs* I shop all over and when it’s right, it’s right, regardless of the seller. I do really like stores such as Dirty Princess, Soedara, Graves, Ezura and N.A.M.E.

Is there a particular artist (in SL or RL) that inspires you?
DD: Many!  Patrick Rothfuss – author extraordinaire – whose settings, moods and character motivations are an ongoing source of inspiration for me when I perform. And whose wit and quirky ways with the English language on his blog is a never ending stream pouring into my work as an emcee.  Lykke Li – Swedish singer – whose musical melancholy have set the mood for many, MANY hours working on and thinking about my sets (yes, she may be the number one reason half of my sets are utterly depressing).  Scottie Young –  comic book artist – whose cheeky style always inspires me to keep a young mind, have fun with what I do and most of all try to think out of the box and be different – and proud to be like that!  And lastly, my father – who was taken from me much too soon, whom I miss every day and who had hidden talents in all the creative endeavours he set his warm and intelligent gaze upon (okay – so he was not strictly an artist, but take a walk through my mother’s house and see the paintings he painted, the glass he engraved or the wooden tabletop games he carved and perhaps you’ll agree that an artist was indeed slumbering there).

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
DD:  Oh God… Me and my nerves in particular really don’t like performing. While performing a set to Soon We’ll be Found I missed my mark, then trying to catch up I got ahead of the song, and then in panic I got even further ahead, then I forgot my costume change, then I forgot my faders…basically it ended up as one big messy pile of half faded scenes and a story that made no sense….  And that’s just the most frustrating that I know of – who knows what have happened that I didn’t realize myself… *frowns*

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie. – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
DD:  To be honest….no. I make the builds I like, I light them so they look nice to me, I rarely use effects so that’s not really an issue. And I’ve never had any reason to think other people saw something drastically different from what I see myself.  I do, however, usually see my own creations from 2 different computers and 2 different viewers and if I ever saw something completely wrong on one of them I might adjust whatever is off. But until then I go under the assumption that it’s impossible to meet EVERYONE’s different settings, computers, viewers, connections and so on, so rather than limit myself to try and please everyone I just do what I want to *laughs*

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
DD:   We did a themed show at Winds this summer – The Seven Deadly Sins. And I did a set about Wrath set to a song by Mumford & Sons – Dust Bowl Dance.  The set was 3 scenes – one of which was up twice. Starting out on a farm, sunny, warm and healthy. 3 dancers, 2 of them a little posh looking and the 3rd (myself) kind of average girl-next-door looking. When the 2 posh people left the stage the scene changed into a darker, worn down version of the farm with a foreclosure sign, the one dancer left then changes into a personification of Wrath (my version anyways). The scene then changes again – to a bank and reintroduces the 2 extras as bankers who took the farm away from the girl, she rages and finally shoots one of the bankers executioner style and hangs the other from the ceiling fan. Then she dances on their bodies (yeah…sick and twisted). Finally the scene changes back to the run down farm, where Wrath walks up to the house and sets it on fire, leaving the last 10-15 seconds of the song or so just as a still of Wrath standing and watching the fire.  It was an immensely personal set for me and I didn’t care one bit if people ever understood the meaning of it or the story of it – I made it solely for me. But after I’d done it someone IM’ed me and said something along the lines of “WOW – the changes between the scenes made the story SO clear – well done!” And suddenly I found that I DID care what people thought and it made me beyond happy that at least one person had appreciated it and understood the meaning.

Do you have a blog/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
DD:  You can find me on Facebook, the Winds of the Sahara blog, and YouTube (there are a few of my performances there; Allein Alene (which have recently been given a major overhaul) and I See Fire).

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
DD:  ASK!  It’s the best way to learn and improve! If you see something you think looks cool, ask how they did it! And no one is a bigger star than they are most likely willing to give you a few quick pieces of advice.  Besides that – watch, listen and warm many movers *laughs* (You’d be shocked at how much can be learned just by watching other people perform!!)

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
DD:  1-1½ hours tops. I advertise Winds’ shows at 1½ hours of length – and have worked very hard and insistently at setting a top at 8 performers per week. Any more and my concentration starts slipping and there is (in my opinion) too many for the audience to really appreciate the individual sets and dances.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
DD: Hard to say – anywhere there is an opportunity to shop, I suppose. Otherwise it might be at home. Used to be at Disparity – a dance club, but sadly they closed. *sniffs*

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.) 
DD:  Actually most of my most pressing desires were answered with the arrival of Director, so I’m not really sure. I’d love the ability to include multimedia into a performance, but honestly I haven’t looked into it at all, so guess it’s not really something I miss all that much. *laughs*

Any other thoughts/ideas/comments you’d like to share?
DD: Yes! Never ask an emcee for a last minute comment…..  I was incredibly honored to be asked to give this interview! I don’t think of myself as a dancer in SL because I work sporadically, have far too many pet peeves and insist that if you can’t deliver quality you should at least aim to learn to improve!  That is the crux of dance for me – I am always looking to improve, try something new or learn. The very first set I ever made will also be the very last I ever do (only completely redone), simply because my learning curve from then to now have been insane! (No really, I didn’t know how to copy a prim back then, so I took the prim into my inventory, made a copy, rezzed it and placed it….). I firmly believe anyone can do this – dancing isn’t hard, but it takes time, effort and above all passion! I love to help where I can – if you’re willing to listen then I’m willing to share my secrets, and I haven’t met ANYONE who didn’t feel the same way.  Because of this I don’t see SL dance as something you can be “famous” in; it’s not an elitist game only for the chosen few, which is a paradox because as much as I hate a diva in SL dance, I also cannot stand the uninspired. The ones who think a textured box and 4 dances make a performance. Which in the end boils this final comment down to this – RESPECT.  Respect. Because none of us are perfect, NONE of us, and anyone can learn if they are willing to ask and listen, ANYONE! Even you! Even me! *smiles, waves and goes to pick someone’s brain*

A huge thank you to Diiar for allowing me to interview her!  Catch her at Winds of the Sahara Cabaret at their weekly shows – Sundays at 5pm SLT (if she’s not dancing, she’s MC’ing, and you’ll get a kick out of her either way). 🙂