Interview with a Troupe Leader #3 – Lotta Difference

There are a lot of burlesque theaters, cabarets, dance venues, and theaters around the grid.  The Paramount Grand Theater is run by Lotta Difference and Pathmaker Campbell.  If you haven’t caught one of their burlesque shows, make a point to visit.  It is an adult venue, so the dancers are often (usually) nude – if that offends you, please don’t attend.  They also often have live singers, so if live music is an interest, check it out!

Without further ado, welcome Lotta Difference!

Lotta 2014



SL Name:  Lotta Difference
Display Name:  Lotta Difference
Rez Day:  Sept 18, 2010
Location: Louisiana

Name of troupe/group: Paramount Players



What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
LD:  At the time I started, I was dating a man that worked at a theatre. His girlfriend asked if I wanted to join the dance troupe where they both worked. Pathmaker “taught” me one afternoon how he did things and I picked it up from there.

How long have you been dancing?
LD:  Since October 2012.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
LD:  About 25 hours.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
LD:  The man I was dating turned into my business partner and husband. It’s a passion for him as well for me now.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
LD:  Yes I am part owner, along with Pathmaker Campbell, Paramount Grand Theatre. I’d say the most difficult thing is wanting and not having the audience we’d like every week. Paying rent is also a burden.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
LD:  Not having loyal and trustworthy dancers like we do now.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
LD:  Our dance troupe, Paramount Players, do a variety burlesque show on Saturday nights, but our venue has singers and entertainers on Sunday afternoons in our Gazebo.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
LD:  We decide on a theme at the beginning of a month and while we are doing one show we are working on the next. So, we work for a month preparing for a show.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
LD:  Yes, we do the same show for a month on Saturdays, or at least three Saturdays, depending on the month. We do this because we take a month to prepare the next show and most of the troupe can take the time to do their acts the way they want instead of feeling rushed.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
LD: Yes, we have a rehearsal/discussion every week. We get comfortable enough on the show we are performing for the month that we can discuss the upcoming events, costumes, sets, and ideas.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
LD: It depends on my idea and how creative I want to get with it. Most of the time, within two hours I have a set built to my liking. During that time I search on the web for ideas, ask my partner’s opinion or a friend’s, generally trying out ideas and see if they work.

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

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
LD:  +AFY+ IDance HUD, because that’s the HUD my husband uses and said it’s the best. *laughs* I only had one other dance HUD before and I do find this one easier.

What problems/difficulties in performing group numbers are there that are not present during a solo performance?
LD:  Having everyone show up at the time of performance or lag, the usual!

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
LD:  For group numbers we have been using the SpotOn more. Takes time to figure out the timing of the points, but in the end we’ve been having success!

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?  Do you have specific team members assigned to this task? 
LD:  I’m the builder for a few of the dancers and acts. I used to build them all, but we have dancers now that build their own, so it’s easier for me. But if they need help, I’m there for them. I love seeing what they come up with!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
LD:  Enjoy yourself, and if you mess up, the audience doesn’t know it, just keep moving!

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
LD:  Yes, I do. My first job as a dancer, the troupe did emotes and I followed suit. It helps to tell a story. I think it makes the audience member feel part of the act.

Where do you find your music?
LD:  I get it from the internet.  During work I listen to spotify most days. Or from tv shows I love.

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
LD:  If I knew how to create scripts, I’d use those more instead of buying them. I love to create more then spend my lindens! BUT the lag issue, I hate to do that to anyone including myself. Large sets, I don’t care for, if you have to zoom in on the dancer, you miss the effects or sets around the dancer that they intended for you to see. Emotes, it’s hard sometimes for myself to think of an act concept but I think they help to get your point across. Movers, if they move smoothly; we all know lag is an issue for everyone.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
LD:  RagDollz and Costume Creations.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
LD:  Once my screen went black. Thank goodness it was a group dance and I wasn’t on my dance hud. Once the music stopped i closed my viewer and logged back at home instead of landing on stage. No one even noticed I was gone. 🙂

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
LD:  It’s why I don’t care for doing a lot of particles and things, I have an older computer by now, only 5 years, so it’s even bad for me!

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
LD:  I was in a show at the first place I worked at, it was a James Bond themed show.  A dancer couldn’t be there that night so she asked that I do her acts. By the end of the night I was worn out, but my bosses and co-workers thought I did a wonderful job. It was my third ever show and I was so thrilled I got the most tips. *laughs*

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
LD:  An hour to 90 minutes or even I get antsy.

Do you have a blog/SL group/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
LD:  Blog – The Paramount Grand Theater    Facebook – Paramount Playhouse

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
LD: Take your time and think of a song you like that you can picture yourself dancing for people’s enjoyment. If you need help with anything, ask. Some veteran dancer was once in your shoes and will be happy to help.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
LD:  Once I’ve come home from real life work, I take sometime and after I’m settled I come on Second Life for a few hours, which fly by during the week when you have work the next day.

Any other thoughts/comments/ideas you’d like to share?
LD:  I and Path love to go and watch other troupe’s shows and we wish we could be able to see everyone’s performances.

A big thank you to Lotta for her time and participation in this interview series!