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 Troupe Leader #6 – KiKi Marjeta

It’s been a while since I interviewed a troupe leader, so I thought I’d jump back in and interview one of the prettiest ones around.  Please welcome KiKi Marjeta!

KIKI IN THE PINK 2014

 

 

SL Name:  KiiKiiDoll Resident
Display Name:  KiKi Marjeta
Rez Day: 03/06/2012
Name of troupe/group: KiKi’s House of Burlesque

 

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
KM:  On another avatar – I started out in SL as a model, and did that for many years.  Through my connections I met someone who started the original Second Life Football League and was picked to be a Cheerleading Coach and eventually an All-Star Cheerleader. After that, I auditioned to be a Dazzler Dancer and was accepted.

How long have you been dancing?
KM:  Since around 2010.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
KM:  Too much…lol.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
KM:  When I was a Dazzler I danced in my first burlesque show.  I loved it so much I decided I wanted to start my own burlesque troupe.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
KM:  Yes, advertising – seems there should be a better way to reach out to people in SL as well as finding things for your productions. Hey – there’s a business opportunity …anyone listening? ;P

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
KM: It’s difficult at times keeping it all together. Most people don’t know or understand what goes into a production. If a dancer or MC doesn’t show up, it’s a scramble to keep it going smoothly. It can be nerve wracking – just ask my dancers and my husband lol…

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
KM:  We have monthly themed shows.  I try to keep it along the burlesque lines, but we have been known to stray from that.  😛

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
KM: It varies so much from show to show, it’s hard to say.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
KM:  Yes, we run the same theme three times a month and schedule our shows at different times so that people all over the world can find a time that works with their specific time zone. It also saves on production cost and time.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
KM: Yes, at least once a month.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
KM: That’s hard to say; sometimes things come to you easy, sometimes hours or days can be spent looking for the right outfits, set designs or dances.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
KM: MyANIMATIONS, Abranimations, and A&M Mocap.  But there are many other good ones.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance animations.
KM: I collect them from all over.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
KM:  Huddles EZ Animator – I learned on this one and haven’t found a better one yet.

What problems/difficulties in performing group numbers are there that are not present during a solo performance?
KM: Scheduling rehearsals – it’s difficult mostly because of time zone constraints.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
KM:  I really like Spot On; I’m not aware of any others.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they? 
KM:  We also use a communicator HUD so the dancers can communicate during a show.

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? 
KM:  Sometimes we work with a scripter.  It depends on what type of show we’re doing. The finale show is handled by the more experienced dancers and set designers.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
KM:  Cycle dances just before you go on stage. It helps keep the dance transition smooth.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
KM:  I usually do not emote while dancing. I feel if you’re emoting while dancing it takes away from guests watching your performance because they are trying to read what you’re typing.  Personally, I find it annoying when I am watching a show, but that’s just me. I have some dancers who enjoy emoting and guests who like emoting; that’s fine, everyone is different.

Where do you find your music?
KM: YouTube or iTunes.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?  What about voice-overs?
KM: On occasion, but I leave that up to the MC’s.

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
KM:  We used to start out with a huge stage, but I have learned it’s more prims, particles and space to fill, which means more for guests to rezz. We have downsized our stage, making it more manageable. I love to see special effects and surprises in shows; that’s our goal for each production.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
KM: There are too many to name.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
KM:  It happened just recently, I was supposed to strip down to my g-string, but when I did it was gone. I was dancing totally naked. What can you do? lol

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
KM: No one loves a show more than me with all types of particles effects and lighting, but in SL you have to take into consideration what your guest are going to experience. You can put on the best performance ever but if your guest can’t see it because all the special effects have disabled their viewing ability, what good is it ?

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
KM:  “I loved that KiKi, could you please teach me to dance like that?”

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
KM: I think an hour is a good length for a show.  Anything longer can become boring.

Do you have a blog/SL group/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
KM:  Blog – KiKi’s House of Burlesque

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
KM: Go to shows around SL every chance you get; you can learn so much from other people’s performances.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
KM:  Right here on my sim; there’s no place like home. 🙂

If you haven’t made it to one of the shows at KiKi’s, you’re missing out!  Be sure and check them out.  As always, a big thank you to KiKi for allowing me to interview her. 😀

Interview with a Troupe Leader #5 – Pathmaker Campbell

Most of the dancers in SL are female.  So I thought it would be interesting to get a male perspective on what it’s like to dance and run a dance troupe in SL.  Please welcome Pathmaker!

Path - 4-17-2014

 

 

SL Name:  Pathmaker Resident
Display Name:  Pathmaker Campbell
Rez Day: 06-04-2011
Location: Paramount Grand Theater

Name of troupe/group: Paramount Players

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
PC:  I’m a “born entertainer” (i.e. ham) – I love being on stage and and love dancing.  While I’m not a fan of “porn,” I’m definitely interested in “erotica” – both appreciating and creating.

How long have you been dancing?
PC:  Almost three years.  (Three years in July 2014.)

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
PC:  6 to 8 hours per day, usually.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
PC:  I had an SL “career” going, dancing at two theaters owned by others, but became frustrated at the restrictions upon my own creativity.  One of the things I try to push at the Paramount is for the performers to stretch their “creative wings.”

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
PC:  (Smiles) The most difficult thing about owning our own venue is paying the rent!!!

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
PC:  I love doing it – I guess I haven’t found the “hard” part yet!!!  My SL partner and wife Lotta Difference makes having and running the Paramount a true joy.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
PC:  Our main “staple” is variety burlesque shows.  These shows often have “themes” (such as spies, travel, Halloween) but we also have Dancer’s Choice where the dancers can choose any subject.  We also perform a couple of “Plays” per year.  This is a big part of MY stretching my creativity – as I write, and/or adapt plays to be performed in SL.  Our first play was an original adaptation of a mixture of George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar and Cleopatra” and Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” into a “Musical Sex Comedy.”  I’m currently at work on revising it and we plan to present it in June this year.  The other play we performed was my adaptation of “The Rocky Horror Show”, which we presented last November, December and January.  It was our biggest success so far and received RAVE REVIEWS.   🙂

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
PC:  Regular shows – we usually rehearse weekly for a month.  Plays take MUCH longer – much more preparation and rehearsals.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
PC:  Yes – because we like to make our shows look very good and polished, we spend a month on preparation and then run the show for 3 – 4 Saturdays, usually taking the last Saturday in a month “off” – to work on the next show.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
PC: Rehearsal is the life blood of our shows.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
PC: Lotta and some of our Dancers are builders.  I am not.  🙂  I have ideas, but I leave it to the builders to execute them.

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

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
PC:  +AFY+ IDance HUD because it is extremely versatile.

What problems/difficulties in performing group numbers are there that are not present during a solo performance?
PC:  It all depends on the number.  We use the AFY Hud to synchronize dancing – IF synchronization is desired.  The biggest problem used to be getting people lined up where they should be before the curtain opens.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
PC:  We use the Spot On movement system, but not exclusively.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they? 
PC:  The Dvandva NoteCard Reader – particularly for plays and skits.  It is a great help in timing dialogue.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
PC:  “Remember Path, if you screw up, the audience will not know.  Unless you try to ‘Fix it.’  Just continue on as though you did that on purpose.”

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
PC:  At one time we required emotes for all acts; however, we have rescinded that requirement.

Where do you find your music?
PC: I have a huge collection of CD’s – I also buy individual songs through Amazon.com.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?  What about voice-overs?
PC:I have a nice sound editor and do most of our mixes.  The editing software came with a large sound effects library – and I have purchased separate large sound effects library software.

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
PC:  We like for our sets to emphasize the dancer(s)/performers – and in the case of plays to help tell the story.  Our stage is rather small compared to some – we don’t like the sets to “swallow” the performer.  The shows are about dancing – which includes the dancers and the music.  Everything else exists to support and enhance the dancer.  Our sets are not the “stars” of our shows.  We have, however, received compliments saying that we have “Broadway quality” sets.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
PC: The store that has the costume we need at the most reasonable price.  🙂

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
PC:  I was performing at a theater in a large RP sim – toward the end of the act I clicked on SOMETHING in the theater – accidentally – and was teleported out into the middle of a crowded street.  I was not wearing a stitch of clothing at the time.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
PC:  Lotta, our builder, is extremely aware of the fact that not everyone is using a supercomputer to enjoy our shows.  She is a master at designing and building theaters with “understated elegance” – without using a lot of prims.  We are VERY “prim conservative” in a continuing effort to keep lag as minimal as possible.  The conservatism pays off by us not having to demand that our audience members get rid of all their scripted objects.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
PC:  During the curtain call of one of our performances of The Rocky Horror Show a member of the audience shouted, “I’m not even a fan of the Rocky Horror Show, but that was the best thing I’ve ever seen done in Second Life.”  That was one heck of a compliment.

Do you have a blog/SL group/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
PC:  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?
PC: Realize that you need to be practically obsessed with dancing/performing.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
PC:  LOL. The Paramount Grand Theater – working on upcoming projects.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
PC:  Actually I would LOVE to see a departure of any MESH clothing that requires an alpha.  Mesh clothing and props are not acceptable on our stage.

Are there any particular difficulties associated with running a theater on an adult sim, as well as doing shows that include full nudity?  Is the nudity a help or hindrance in getting audiences?  
PC:  A minor problem has been people wanting to hang out on our sim in the nude.  I can highly recommend several nude resort sims – we aren’t one of those.  Not everyone wants to see nudity – on stage – at a beach – whatever.  It’s like cable TV – if one doesn’t want to watch – change the channel.  We are not about porn.  Everything we do we try to do with class.  I happen to think that God’s most beautiful and wonderful creation is the human body – and in SL all of us can have bodies . . . perhaps better than those we currently have in RL.  Our shows are intended to be somewhat erotic – quite often VERY humorous, and definitely classy as they use the beauty of Homo Sapiens to entertain.

If you haven’t seen one of the Paramount shows, be sure to check it out.  I’m a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and I thought their adaptation was amazing!  Thank you to Path for taking time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed.

Interview with a Troupe Leader #4 – Aelva

It’s kind of hard to pin down a pixie, so when you do, you make the most of it!  Please welcome Aelva to the ‘Interview with a Troupe Leader’ series!

Aelva~_~The Dreamer~_~ 2014
Photo Credit: Graham Collinson

 

 

SL Name:  Aelva
Display Name: Aelva
Rez Day: 16th of january 2011
Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Dusty/168/126/28

Name of troupe/group:

~*~The Night Theater~*~

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
A:  There was to be a benefit for Jordan Reyne, and I offered to contribute an act to one of her songs.

How long have you been dancing?
A:  About 1 ½ years.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
A:  SL is always on, if I’m home. And I am almost always home.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
A:  I had already more or less run one for a while and figured I could just as well stand on my own two feet.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
A:  I do have my own place. And it’s ever changing. Always chasing a new idea. I am constantly working on one project or the other so prims are needed. And it gives me the freedom and space to do what I please, when I please.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
A:  Getting people to come see the shows.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
A:  It depends on what mood I am in. I want diversity. Do something new, with a twist.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
A:  Depends on how long the creative process is. On average, a full show has taken between 1-2 months.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
A:  Well, yes, between 2 and 6 performances per show. To try to suit as many timezones as possible. And any demand. I try make most of my shows portable too so I can set up at any place quickly. I still haven’t found the perfect regular time for shows.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
A: We do rehearse. How many times depends on how well rehearsals go. Sometimes setting up group acts takes a few times to adjust everything and get everybody used to the routines.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
A: That completely depends. Between a month to an hour. I can get very caught up in details and if I get stuck, sometimes I have to move on to the next number till the solution presents itself. If I’m inspired and things flow, it will just be a few hours.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
A: Abranimations – Cant really beat their quality and price, and A&M Mocap. It’s not a coincidence these dances are seen in almost every show.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance animations.
A: Don’t have one here, it varies.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
A:  Right now I make the choreo on the Barre and then run the show through the Performance Director from SpotOn. Absolutely love these toys. Looking forward to any new ones coming out in the future.

What problems/difficulties in performing group numbers are there that are not present during a solo performance?
A:  Always a million more variables when more than one person is involved. From rezzing issues to crossing mover paths to letting everybody’s voice be heard.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
A:  I’m in love with all my SpotOn toys. Thinking I’ll have to learn how to strip just to have an excuse to play with the Chat Stripper.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
A: The Barre of course. It’s just so easy to choreograph with. Playing with particle and lighting ones too.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?  Do you have specific team members assigned to this task? 
A: Well, I’m very used to doing it all myself. I am very thankful for my friend Martty Gerther who helps me make shows now. I’m pretty quick at building though – that is the easiest part in this. Even if I am a noob at it. So much to learn!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
A:  “Do what makes you happy.” (That’s from Momma Shadow by the way.)

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
A:  Nope. I just think it sounds fake when I do it. I hope I can portray emotions with animation, costume and scenery instead. I find I lose my words when emotion grabs me. Like with sex, I might not talk much but I doubt there will be any question about what I’m feeling.

Where do you find your music?
A:  There is always music. I fall in love with songs every day. And I can be extremely sensitive to sound. And every song I fall in love with, I want to dance, paint a pixel picture of.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find music and/or sound effects?  What about voice-overs?
A:  Not yet. I learned how to stream for the Christmas Show so I have a lot to learn still. But that would sure be one more piece to the puzzle.

What is your stance on the issue of music copyright in SL (and also in YouTube videos you might post)?
A:  As long as you give proper credit? I can’t really say I have submerged myself in the issue yet.

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
A:  Anything that makes a good show. We have the tools and our imagination. Those are our limits and our limitlessness in sl. Use them. It’s all about creating a moment of magic.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
A:  I have a few. Everybody that knows me knows how I adore Boudoir. But there are so many more – Mon Cherie, deviousMind, Purple Moon. I find a lot of things on MP and at different fairs.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
A:  Must be opening show for Theater Dramatiques about a year ago. We got so laggy I couldn’t get my HUD to respond at all. We had to cancel the show. Turns out every chair in the place had 6 scripts and we had planned for a full sim, and that is just one detail. Cleaned up good after that though and learned a very big lesson. The rest of shows went perfectly.  🙂  Which was good, since it was the first time I ran a full show and used the SpotOn and the then new version of the Barre. And it was at LEA and with a new troupe and I wanted so badly to make a good impression on those that had believed in me.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
A:  Yes!. And taking all that into consideration when setting up costumes and making sets. Take lighting, for example. Nowadays, I don’t always wear a facelight, I set my windlights to Canimod instead so I see everything clearly. You really can’t count on pleasing everbody this way because everybody has different setups. But you can try and make things easier – warm huds, props and costumes up in everybody’s memory. Go easy on other memory distractions.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
A:  I’m just happy people come back. That is the best compliment you can get.  And hope they leave a show feeling happy they came.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
A:  Between 30 and 60 minutes. It all depends on the show. Less than 30 feels too short. More than 60 can be hard to keep the audience’s attention.

Do you have a blog/SL group/website/flickr/facebook/other account you’d like to share?
A:  That’s under construction still.  🙂 I do post ads of my shows on Facebook though. Add me there if you would like.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
A: Follow your heart, make your dreams come true and don’t do it thinking you will make money on it. It will cost you blood, sweat, and tears, so burn bright for what you do and make it worth it. And don’t be afraid to ask for advice. I have met so many wonderful performers and creators here that I owe thanks for putting up with my thirst for knowledge.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
A:  I like my houses. (That constantly change.) They have movies and change to suit my mood. I need them as my hiding places. I spend most of my time working on projects though, so I don’t have as much time to explore anymore as I used to. I try to make it to the Photohunt on Mondays; that is a very good place to find new favorite SL spots. For those curious, I can share a note card of some of my favorite places in SL.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
A: Uhm . . . Naked Firemen Fridays? Or FireLadies – I’m not picky.

Any other thoughts/comments/ideas you’d like to share?
A:  This is everybody’s chance to live out their dreams. Let them, support them, as long as it is not at the cost of somebody else’s. RL is harsh enough, we have the power to choose who we want to be. Kindness costs a lot less than pettiness. And I like wings!  Oh! A shiny!!!  *Flutters off in a puff of pixie dust*

Well, I think that about sums it up – be nice to each other, and what SL needs is naked Firemen Fridays!  A big thank you to Aelva for taking time out of her busy schedule to be interviewed.

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

 

Questions:

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.
LD: MyANIMATIONS.

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!

Interview with a Troupe Leader #2 – Diddy Hyun

The next interviewee is one of the most prolific dancers I’ve ever seen.  She and her troupe are always busy putting on shows – so busy, I have no idea how they find the time to create new ones!  For this Interview with a Troupe Leader, please welcome Diddy Hyun!

Diddy Hyun 2014

 

SL Name:  Diddy Hyun
Display Name: Didds
Rez Day: 03/12/2007
Location:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/TSUNAMI%20BEACH%201/212/196/23
Name of troupe/group: Kittens N Tigers

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
DH:  Nottoo Wise inspired me to dance in the early days of my SL.

How long have you been dancing?
DH:  I formed my own dance group, Kittens and Tigers, in 2007.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
DH:  Too long, lol.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
DH: The inspiration of dancing.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
DH:  Yes – getting people to come to shows.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
DH:  Time zones.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
DH:  Variety shows and shows with a story line.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
DH:  Up to 4 weeks.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
DH:  We usually repeat the show 2 to 3 times.  We do the first production at home then travel to other clubs, just because it’s fun to go to other venues.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
DH:  Yes, we rehearse maybe twice to 3 times.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
DH: It all depends what we are doing.  On average, about 3 weeks.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
DH: A&M, Abranimations, and MyANIMATIONS.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance animations.
DH:  Tuty’s.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
DH:  SpotOn Director’s HUD – easy to use, less lag.

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
DH:  SpotOn movement system, I find it’s the best on the market.  You can do almost anything with it, it has smooth movement, and it’s easy to use.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
DH:  A HUDDLES HUD for dancing in clubs.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?  Do you have specific team members assigned to this task? 
DH:  I usually build the sets.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
DH:  I remember once Nottoo said to me, always watch your legs and arms when doing a tranisition from one dance to the next.

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
DH:  I don’t very often emote.  If I do, it’s just to explain the story of the next scene.

Where do you find your music?
DH: YouTube, mainly.

Do you make your own mixes?  If yes, where do you find your music and/or sound effects?
DH: Yes, I do do some mixing 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;
med sets/ particles / none usually effects/none)

DH:  I feel too many particles take away the viewing of the dance, the choreography.  People tend to watch the fireworks instead of the dance and they cause lag.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
DH:  We go all over SL to find costumes – no favorite store.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
DH:  We try not to let anything frustrate us, it is all for fun, but I think the worst thing is when lag strikes and we end up on stage hollow because our mesh hasn’t rezzed.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
DH:  Yes.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
DH:  The TITANIC Show, a lot of people said it was the best and most interesting show they have ever watched.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
DH:  Up to about 40 mins – any longer people start getting bored and stop watching.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
DH:  Be patient, keep trying – dancing in SL gives a lot of self-satisfaction.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
DH:  Nottoohot Blues Club.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
DH:  That we don’t have to wear alphas with mesh, lol.

Any other thoughts/comments/ideas you’d like to share?
DH:  Just dance and have fun!

A big thank you to Didds for allowing me to interview her.  The Kittens N Tigers do shows all over the grid, so if you happen upon a show, grab a friend and a seat!

Interview with a Troupe Leader #1 – Imajica Wonder

In addition to the tons of questions I have for dancers, I am also very interested in what it’s like to run a dance troupe/group in SL.  It’s demanding enough trying to perform as a solo artist, it’s hard to imagine the difficulties that go along with running a successful troupe of dancers.

To satisfy my own curiosity (and hopefully yours), I am introducing a new series – Interview with a Troupe Leader.  To kick off the series, I have interviewed a woman who runs a very successful burlesque club in SL.  MJ’s Burlesque is an intimate, art-deco themed club, with a reputation for some of the best acts on the grid.  Please welcome Imajica Wonder, owner of MJ’s Burlesque.

MJ 2014

 

 

SL Name:  Imajica Wonder
Display Name: Imajica Wonder
Rez Day: 12/21/2009
Location:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/XCLUSIVES/222/44/411
Name of troupe/group: MJ’s Burlesque Review

 

Questions:

What led you to/How did you start dancing in SL?
MJ:  I attended lots of shows, and it got me thinking about all of the things that I would like to attempt with dance in world. The challenge of doing Burlesque acts with limited dance moves was a motivator for me. I love Burlesque, both the classic style as well as modern, and did not see what I had in mind taking place anywhere so I thought why not give it a go?

How long have you been dancing?
MJ:  The entire time I’ve been here, its dear to my heart. Doing performances, it has been over two years.

How much time, on average, do you spend in SL each week?
MJ:  It varies, if I’m working on a show I stay up late and put in lots of time. If RL is keeping me busy, around 30 to 35 hours.

What made you decide to start a dance group?
MJ:  As I stated above above, I like Burlesque, and did not see the style I wanted to perform at any of the clubs. In fact, most of them looked like the Burlesque film with Cher. That is not Burlesque, that is Hollywood selling tickets for a dance show reminiscent of music videos. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, it’s just not my cup of tea. I study old Burly dancers as well as new and I get so inspired by them. The thing is you can only take that style so far in SL, factors here are very different, and you don’t want to bore the audience to tears.

Do you have your own theatre/venue?  If yes, what is the most difficult thing about owning a venue?
MJ:  Yes, I own a venue. I can’t really say that I have ever found any of it difficult; demanding at times, yes. I think I would have to say getting started was the most difficult. I wanted to open a little Burlesque theatre so badly, but did not have the skill set to do the building and all the rest that goes along with it. In time I learned and with help from my sweetie I took the plunge. I was so naive in those early days. I love meeting people and making new friends, I thought the dance community was one big happy family. I learned quickly that was not the case. I wrote to the owners of every Burlesque venue I could find, a simple introduction that explained I was opening a place and that I was excited to be part of the Burlesque scene in SL. I waited and I waited, no response, not one person replied. I got a bit depressed but decided I was not going to let it upset me and moved on. On a side note, most of them have since closed.

What’s the hardest part of running a successful dance troupe?
MJ:  I really can’t think of any one thing . . . ummmm . . . When I had a Mistress she was not thrilled with all the time I spent on performances. So I guess it can be hard on relationships. One thing that is very difficult is getting dancers. Many venues have dancers that have been with them for a long period and there are only so many to go around. On top of that, some have so many alts that they can do one person shows. More power to them, I struggle with one avi – it amazes me they can do it. I’m very happy to train new dancers but each time I have tried, it falls apart as soon as I explain they need to buy a hud, dances and all the other bits that go along with an act. People seem to lose interest very fast when I tell them we spend way more than we make in tips.

What kind of shows does your troupe do?  (ie – variety shows, shows with a theme or storyline, etc.) 
MJ:  All of the above. I have had many people write me and say they find us avant garde. We experiment lots; we are always trying to push ourselves to new limits. One thing that I really like is that we all have a unique style. I find it so fun that when the curtain opens you will be transported into another world, completely different from the last. From an act that is dark and foreboding to an act that has people laughing. Speaking of opening curtains, when I go to shows I don’t peek, I want to be surprised when that curtain opens.

How much time, on average, do you spend on a new production/show?
MJ:  Very hard to say, with RL we are always doing only so much and having to stop and start. It also depends on the performance. I have noticed that I don’t really have any set pattern as to how I do an act, and the other girls are the same. We start off with whatever moves us at the time. Some shows a song sparks me, others an outfit gets the ball rolling and other times I do the dance first or build a set. Most times emotes are the last thing I do.

Do you do multiple performances of the same show?  If yes, explain the reasoning behind it.
MJ:  We have only just recently started doing an encore performance of our shows. We skip a day and do it again, we never used to do that, we did all our acts once and it was done. We would do them from time to time if people request them. When we do road shows we now do acts that are the most requested. We did make all new ones for those shows as well in the past, but it just became so much work that we had to stop.

Does your troupe rehearse before a performance?  If yes, how often?
MJ:  Always, we rehearse on our own and the week of a show we do it like it’s show night. We rehearse together everyday before the performance. Our rehearsals can be tough; we look at every aspect of a performance. We look at emotes, dances, sets, costumes, you name it. We look out for each other, we are friends and want each other to look good. The closeness you develop is such a big part of this. I would never do a show without rehearsing, when I go to shows and see trees, buildings, and anything else you can think of sticking out of a curtain at a place that has a stage the size of a football pitch I know they didn’t rehearse or did not care.

How long does it take you to create a set (from start to finish)?
MJ: Once I have a clear idea of what I’m after it goes very fast, all the time is finding textures I like, or I have to make them and that increases the time. Finding props can be a chore as well at times. I’ll put it this way, if all goes well, anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour. But things rarely go well.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for dance animations.
MJ:  I don’t have one, I get dances from everywhere. Once I decide on a song, I’m off shopping and hit all the shops looking for what I feel works best. As all dancers know, it’s hit and miss. I have had times when things just fall together so fast, then I have others where everything is either too fast or too slow and I’m ready to scream. I will say this, I do favour dance shops that include the dance times, it saves so much time.

Name your ‘go-to’ store for non-dance animations.
MJ:  Once again, whatever works at the time. If a place has a pose that gives me a smooth transition I’m happy, and that may not be at any specific shop.

What dance HUD do you primarily use?  Why?
MJ:  Dance HUDs are a touchy subject with many dancers. People get used to a certain HUD and want to scratch your eyes out if you disagree with them. I started out with the HUDDLES, it was tough getting my head around it, but in time I caught on. It was not what I expected a dance HUD to be. I thought they did much more. After mastering that baby and putting together some dances, I was a happy camper. That happiness did not last long; the Barre was released and I gave that a go.  It was love at first dance and was much easier to learn as well as use. When I had issues and wrote the maker she was always quick to respond. I was in HUD heaven for a long time. Enter stage right, the Artiste . . . this is the HUD I’m currently using. I heard rumours about it for ages but that was about it.  I met a person that said they had one once and it sounded like a very nice HUD, but I was told it was not for sale yet, so I did not pursue it any further. About six months later I was given one by the maker to use and report any issues or things I felt it lacked, so I guess that made me a sort of beta tester. I must admit I liked that I was involved in a small way. The only other time I was a beta tester was for a collar. I made some suggestions and was amazed they were added.

The reason I was so excited about this HUD was that I have a screen full of HUDs when I do an act, this would free me from that. It has the flexibility I have always wanted in a dance HUD.  I’ll rephrase that, the Artiste is not a dance HUD, its a performance HUD. If a dancer wants a HUD to just do transitions there are many out there to choose from. This HUD is thinking outside the box.  I had to completely rethink what I knew from previous HUDs. One thing that I really like is that I can make things as automated or as interactive as I want. I’m very much a hands-on girl, but I don’t see doing repetitious things as a great skill set. We are using computers, they are meant to free us from doing the same tasks over and over. Behind the scenes I wear many hats, MC, performer, and I also run the stream. So a HUD that was designed with performers in mind was a dream come true for me. I still get carried away when I talk about it; my friend Nancy is ready to drive a stake through my heart. The feature list goes on and on, I’ve not even scratched the surface of what it does, as we are all different and something that one dancer does all the time I may never use. I’ll climb down from my soapbox now. *Runs as she sees Nancy dashing at her with a pointy stick*

Do you use a movement system?  Which one?  Is there a reason you prefer one over the other?
MJ:  I currently use the SpotOn, but not as much as I used to. I have had some difficulties with it and shy away now. If I’m doing a simple walk I will use it now and then. When I do complex things I always end up tearing my hair out. I build an entire routine and it’s perfect, after hours of tweaking and more tweaking. Next day I rehearse, my feet are in the ground, or the timing is now off. That sort of thing has kept it in my inventory. I must add that each time I had an issue, Rug from SpotOn would respond so fast she would leave skid marks on my platform. Very good costumer service from the SpotOn people.

Do you use other HUDs?  What are they?
MJ:  I only use the Artiste now.  Oh wait, I did use another. It was one for singing.

Do you build your own sets or work with a scripter/builder?  Do you have specific team members assigned to this task? 
MJ:  Everyone is expected to build their own sets at our place. We help each other all the time. Not in the building of the set, but more in locating items or textures or suggesting improvements. We have no scripter on staff. If we need a script to do something we try ourselves at first. If it’s beyond what we can do, we ask for outside help.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about dancing?
MJ:  Never had one for dancing. The best advice I ever had for running a Burlesque theatre came from my four-legged friend. Everyone turned their backs on me and I gave up on any help or friends in the Burly community. When I was still building the theatre, I was taking a break and this gruff-looking dog walked in and was so sweet to me. He offered all sorts of advice and answered any question I had without feeling threatened. I built my club around much of his advice and we are still friends today. Thank you, Nai.  🙂

Do you emote?  Why or why not?
MJ:  Yes, to work at our club a dancer must emote. If a person does not want to read them fine, then watch the dance only. I find emotes in a Burlesque theatre are a must, it is the emotes that bridge intimacy into the act. We don’t have the smells or the physical closeness that we do in RL shows, so we have to find ways to fill that void. Emotes are that way. I was going to Geisha school in SL at one time, the emotes were like fine art. It would have not been as nice if it was just dancing.

What’s your favorite store for costuming?
MJ:  I shop everywhere, just depends on the act.

What’s the most embarrassing or frustrating thing that has happened to you during a performance?
MJ:  Having shows fall apart from lag, or the sim crashing. It’s so annoying after you worked so hard, and people were kind enough to come see you.

Do you ever consider how an audience member’s computer setup might affect their enjoyment of your performance?  (ie – particles, effects, lag, etc.)
MJ:  Yes, we try to do things in a way that all people are covered. Of course we can’t stop from doing everything. I do lots of things without fx for that reason, but try to mix it up.

What’s the best comment/compliment you’ve ever received about your dancing?
MJ:  “I had such fun!” That makes it all worthwhile.

How long do you think a show should be in SL?  Is there an ‘optimum’ max length?
MJ:  Forty-five to sixty minutes. The attention span in SL is short, things happen faster here. I was at a show not long ago that was well over an hour. It got to the point that a person was telling jokes in the crowd and people found that more entertaining than the dancers. When I first started going to shows I would notice that after about an hour, (not counting bad shows) I would find myself looking around the theatre and not at the performers.

What’s the most helpful piece of advice you would give someone new to dancing in SL?
MJ:  Ignore all the people with the petty crap in the dance community. There are some good people out there that don’t have nasty motives, look for them. Don’t waste your time getting involved in things that only drain you from working on your acts. There are no stars in SL.  Some think they are, but remember they are most likely saying that as they curl their toes in those big fluffy slippers and pound away at that keyboard in mum’s basement.

Where is your favorite spot to spend time in SL if you are not dancing?
MJ:  Adult sims, I’m very trashy.

What is one thing you’d like to see ‘arrive’ in SL dance?  (Something that is not currently possible.)
MJ:  I would love to be able to start a dance anywhere in its time frame.

Any other thoughts/comments/ideas you’d like to share?
MJ:  If anyone has any sort of question regarding dance or setting up a club, by all means write me. I like making new friends.

And there you have it, folks, my first Interview with a Troupe Leader!  Thank you so much to MJ for taking the time out of her busy schedule for the interview.  As always, if you have questions you’d like to see asked, or someone you’d like to see interviewed, please let me know.