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Friday, December 9, 2016

Bringing the Metaverse Alive : Author Huckleberry Hax- Seersha Heart Reporting



“Text is the medium in which we find our connections in SL, and in which we communicate our core desires. It works because what we want is ultimately very basic; the descent to rawness in our words is like the shedding of our clothes. But when things become complicated, words trip and stumble and fail. They’re not enough. The very things through which we found each other turn against us and rip us apart.” From “AFK, Again” by Huckleberry Hax

            Author of eleven VR novels, including the AFK series, a novella, a non-fiction book, a collection of poetry and a short story collection, Huckleberry Hax is a prolific writer detailing stories some of which occur in SL.  Those that are not part of the SL landscape are heavily influenced by it.  He also has a website playfully titled “WHAT the HUCK”.  His first book, “AFK”, was met with rave reviews by its readers.  The series centers around the life of a SL detective, Definitely Thursday and the exploits that befall him.  He has also received acclaim for his other works, another of note is his non-fiction publication “Second Life is a place we visit”.

“For some of us, our experiences in SL serve as a catalyst, an awakening, a leap in our level of personal consciousness which then needs to be fed into our real lives if its ultimate purpose is to be fulfilled.  For some, SL is a respite, a place to just pause and get our breath back.  For some, it is a playground, a chance to experiment with being something different.  For some of us, it is all of these things together.”
From “Second Life is a place we visit” by Huckleberry Hax

Huckleberry Hax demonstrates a keen understanding of human interaction in SL and has taken it to the next level by developing engaging literary works that you don’t want to put down.  Once you begin reading, you are hooked.  I caught up with Huck recently and asked him a few questions.

Seersha Heart: I noticed that you wrote AFK in 2007 but did not follow up until 2013 with AFK, again.  Was this always planned as a four book series?

Huckleberry Hax: No, it was originally just a stand-alone novel.  I got a few requests over the years to write a sequel, however, and in the end I gave in.

Seersha Heart:  I can understand that since the first novel whets the appetite for much more.  Inch Sideways, a character in the AFK series, forbids the usage of lol.  Do you have any pet peeves with communication?

Huckleberry Hax: I do have an issue with the proper use of apostrophes.

Seersha Heart: you feel there is a difference between single and double quotes?

Huckleberry Hax: Well, I don't think there is a definitive grammatical answer on when you should use one and not the other, but personally I tend to use double quotes to indicate direct speech and single quotes to indicate a saying or slang expression.

Seersha Heart: Ahhh nods appreciatively. Tell me a bit about Amazing Metaverse.  You wrote it after the AFK series and I believe it is also a detective story?

Huckleberry Hax: It's a collection of short stories.  I've designed it to look like an old-fashioned pulp fiction publication such as the 'Dime Detective' series (I think that was what it was called).  A number of the stories feature an SL detective I like to write about from time-to-time called 'Hard Luck.'  Several of the other stories are about a group of people from SL who meet in RL to have dinner and solve SL mysteries - I call them the 'Avatar Dining Club'.


Seersha Heart: You write female parts very well.  Where do you feel you get your skills to write as a woman character?  Did you have help from women friends on certain aspects?

Huckleberry Hax: Well I know a lot of women in SL.  And I work with women.  Other than that, I guess it's just thinking myself into the character.  I didn't receive help writing any of the plot from women.  All my own thinking!

Seersha Heart has noticed Huckleberry Hax likes to use !

Huckleberry Hax: A few people asked me if I was in fact a woman in RL after they read AFK lol.  No - all male, I'm afraid.

Seersha Heart:  Your latest novella is titled SIM and the description on your website reads “A man is in a house, in a square region of land which is walled off on three sides by impenetrable glass and on the fourth by a huge black barrier. He is completely alone but for the occupants of three other houses, with whom he can only communicate via virtual reality.” From WHAT the HUCK website
With your latest book SIM, I am curious, did you build an inworld environment to use as reference for the writing in that book?

Huckleberry Hax: So SIM is quite different from my SL books (though SL as an influence should be obvious).  I didn't build an inworld environment, no - why do you ask that?

Seersha Heart: I am interested in your process of visualization.
Huckleberry Hax: ah, All in my head.  I'm actually very bad at visualizing, which is why a great deal of my writing is dialogue.  I don't close my eyes and I don't walk around.  I suppose it would be fair to say I'm a character writer and I spend most of my time trying to figure out what such-and-such a character might say or do.

Seersha Heart: I noticed you dedicated your first novel to your father, now about 20 years deceased.  Sorry for your loss.  Can you tell me how he influenced you as a writer or as a story teller?

Huckleberry Hax: Hmmm... interesting question.  I wouldn't say he influenced my writing a great deal, however as a parent he had a strong belief in the importance of children being given the opportunity to explore the world with their imaginations.  So me being into story writing as a kid fitted nicely with that.  I can't really think of a time when he specifically encouraged my writing, but me writing stories was entirely consistent with his view of the world and what children should be doing in it.


Seersha Heart: I leafed through your dedications.  Do you have stories behind each?  I'm just curious as to how you decide whom to dedicate to, and is it before or after the book is written?  Generally speaking.

Huckleberry Hax: Always after.
Seersha Heart prints her name in standard block and slides it to Huckleberry Hax across the table.
Huckleberry Hax: It's usually just people I'm thinking of at that moment in time.  I think my latest published AFK book (number 4) was dedicated to Stosh Quartz, an amazing SL poet who died earlier in the year.

Seersha Heart: Great....hmmm let me check something there....You've written some very detailed erotic scenes.  It is exciting to read, do you find them exciting to write?

Huckleberry Hax: I do!  It's not every day you get to write what you consider to be a smooth, not clumsy, not awkward sex scene!  It's like polishing a performance lol.  So I think there's even an annual award for bad sex scene writing.  It's so easy to write sex scenes badly when you're embarrassed about what you're writing.  The tendency then is to lapse into cliche - every writer's nemesis - and end up with something cheesy.  My approach is to tackle sex scenes unashamedly and in whatever detail I consider necessary for the scene. 

Seersha Heart: One more question Huck; please tell me a bit about the Nancy Redgrave Building where we did the photo shoot.  Nancy is in the portrait behind you in this picture.


Huckleberry Hax:  Nancy Redgrave was on of my first friends in SL - and my very first reader.  I was greatly encouraged by her remarks about AFK not long after I released it.  She died a few years ago from cancer.

Seersha Heart: What a wonderful way to show you appreciation for her and memorialize her.  It’s a lovely space, I could see spoken word events here easily….raises eye brow and nods at Huck

Thank you for your time and candid responses Huck.

            Huckleberry Hax impresses me with his ability to write dialog in a very up close and personal way.  He demonstrates an ability to capture emotion so close to the heart of it.  I asked him if he had ever been in love in SL, he responded yes a long time ago.  I also asked him if he experienced the feeling of betrayal similar to that which he writes of in his books.  He told me that he has been disappointed in some people’s behaviors but he has been lucky not to have experienced a deep betrayal personally.  Even so, he has written some relationship foibles that will keep you page turning to the end of his books.
            I highly recommend getting your “feet wet” by reading his first novel AFK which is free in multiple formats on his website.  You could also start on any one of his other projects and have a truly enjoyable experience.  Huckleberry Hax is a resident of SL and a definite treasure to those who read his works.  Also visit his Flickr account in the contact information below.  He is enjoying photography immensely these days.

Additional Information:
Group: Huck’s News
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hhax/
Twitter: @huckleberryhax
Marketplace Store: : https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/116995?id=116995

Location of Photos [Nancy Redgrave Building]

THE DICKENS PROJECT SL 2016: Opens December 10th

Water Haven, Second Life – The 2016 Edition of Seanchai Library's annual celebration of English Team Diabetes in Second Life. This year's Project is sponsored by Kultivate Magazine and will take place on Kultivate's headquarter region, Water Haven.
literary giant Charles Dickens, The Dickens Project (SL), will open in Second Life on Saturday, December 10th with over 20 hours of live events of all kinds, spanning eight days, to benefit

The Dickens Project is in its fourth year, featuring live presentations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol along with other works by the author. The different staves (i.e. chapters) of Charles Dickens' "ghostly little book" will be presented at different times of day during the week, December 12-16, to make the live readings accessible to residents from all over the globe.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

LAS VEGAS NIGHT EVENT, THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8TH. 4pm-6pm.



Join us for a fun Las Vegas Night at Playmates Mansion & Club.  The club will be transformed into a Vegas style casino with craps, roulette, black jack and slot machine's that give excellent prizes to everyone.  Prizes include, a playable 1 prim deck of cards, a playable 1 prim pair of dice, a speaking Zoltar machine and other games.  There will also be a few slot machines that give naughty gift options for those who want to go wild on their night in Las Vegas : )  Dance with the Playmates models to great music by DJ Ned at the wildest club with the most beautiful women in SL and remember, what ever happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas!
Use the link below and see you all there.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

o.OO.o°ðŸŽToys for Tots Annual Drive 2016🎁°o.OO.o° December 7, 2016 thru December 23, 2016


The Holidays are upon us once Again!! Join The Delicious Foundation as we raise funds with Toys 4 Tots of SL in support of the U.S.M.C. Toys for Tots℠ Foundation.
Our 3rd Annual Grid-Wide Toys for Tots Fundraising Drive runs through Friday, December 23rd 2016 raising funds via kiosks and events throughout SL.
The goal: To deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible and productive.
✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰
Every year there are families that are unable to provide a toy for their child/children. Thanks to Toys for Tots℠ these families can bring smiles to their children’s faces. They need our help to make sure that each and every child has a toy under the tree this year. Our Fundraising Drive now in its third season, was initiated to bring awareness to this cause and to collect donations that will help provide for these families.Take Action with us!!
HELP Brighten a Child's Face this Holiday Season!!
✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰ HERE'S HOW ✰✰✰✰✰✰✰✰
♡ Make a Donation
500$L can provide a child a toy this Holiday Season
Visit one of our Donation Kiosks Across the Grid:
Donate directly at the Official Website for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation:
♡ Raise Funds with Us 
Become a T4T Kiosk Affiliate:
Place one of our T4T Kiosks and raise funds with us. Every Linden counts.  
Host an Event:
We are encouraging our Kiosk Affiliates to host "Toys for Tots" fundraising events around our Kiosks to pull in more funds and gain traffic at their locations. Have a little dance party, a sale or an auction, the possibilities are endless!! We will assist with promoting your events when we can.
Spread the word to your family, friends, associates and customers about the campaign.
Promote Your Support: Tweet, Post to Facebook, Google+, Flickr about the Drive and our events
 Feel free to contact us for more information on Drive/Kiosks:
❄ PLEASE HELP US SUPPORT THIS CAUSE AND SPREAD THE WORD!! YOUR DONATION CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! TAKE ACTION TODAY!!! 
For more information on The U.S. Marine Corps' Toys for Tots Foundation go to: http://www.toysfortots.org/about_toys_for_tots
The Delicious Foundation
The Delicious Foundation℠ is a child advocacy organization focused on child hunger and nutrition in the U.S.A. and beyond. We help raise funds to sponsor agencies like Save the Children, Share Our Strengths and others that respond to the needs of Children as their main focus.
Events Sponsored By:
🍸🎈Y.D.E.[v] Catering & Event Svcs™ðŸŽˆðŸ¸
Many thanks for your support

WINDLIGHT WINTER ART SHOW & WINTER SHOW CASE IN SUPPORT OF TEAM DIABETES OF SL- DECEMBER 7 TO DECEMBER 14

**corrected slurl

WEBSITE:  http://www.teamdiabetesofsecondlife.org/2016-winter-showcase.html


Team Diabetes of Second Life is proud to present for the second year in a row, the 2016 Winter Showcase and Art Show! This event will take place from December 8 to December 18 and will include ten days of live djs, performers, tribute concerts, 2D & 3D art; contests, two hunts, photos with Santa, ice skating, ice fishing, fundraising and more!

The 2016 Winter Showcase is sponsored by Chop Zuey Couture Jewellery, Ghee, and Potomac Signature Homes and will feature the following brands:  *DBS* Designs By Soosy, alme., Balderdash, Becksley Shoes, Black Rose Designs, BYRNE, ChiC buildings, Chiffon, Chop Zuey, EED Home&Garden, Emerald Couture, Feyline Fashions, Gee, Ghee, Get Jiggy!, Giulia Design, IC From Within, IT! (Indulge Temptation!), Kitty's Claws, Le Fashion Wh*re, Lillou Merlin Design, Mahlberg Tailors,
​Mara's Mysteries, Miss Darcy, Mousies Family Store, Park Place Casuals, Park Place Home, Pink Ice Boutique, Potomac Signature Homes, ​Romance Couture, Sophisticate, Sonatta Morales, Spyralle, Steelhead Outfitters, Stone's Works, Sweet E's Designs, TASHI, Tayren's Fantasy Fashions (TFF), The Gold Club, TRS Designs, Vengeful Threads, Whimsical Happenings, Winterwood, & Wood Works.

The art show is sponsored and produced by Kultivate Magazine and will feature the following artists and photographers:  AradiaAridian, ArtemisGreece Resident, Bamboo Barnes, Bryn Oh, BrynedarkleyCazalet, CalystiaMoonshadow, Catalina Staheli, Cica Ghost, Cubito Smit, Eleseren Brianna, Eucalyptus Carroll, Giselleseeker, Hana Hoobinoo, ilyrachardin, iSkyeSilverweb, Jamee Sandalwood, Johannes1977 Resident, JolieElleParfort, JudiLynn India, Kaijah Chrome, KaylyIali, KodyMeyers Resident, LayachiIhen, Lucia Tophat, Lulyboop Resident, Miele Tarantal, missabstract Resident, Myra Wildmist, Pam Astonia, Paradox Messmer,Ramsa Luv, Rosy Highwater, Roxanne Fayanucci,SabineMortenwold, Sandi Benelli, Sheba Blitz, Silas Merlin, SlatanDryke, SparkieCyberstar, Tisephone, TriplePlayNitely, VerucaTammas, Warm Clarity, Wintergeist Resident, &WrenNoirCerisse.


Models Giving Back, which is ran by Jamee Sandalwood, will produce a special winter themed fashion show, where participating merchants will show off their winter fashions and creations. Entertainment will be provided by DJ’s Gabrielle Riel, Mia Deluca, Sandie Loxingly, VerucaTammas, Paradox Messmer, and Johannes1977 Resident; live performers SarahMarie Philly and Ceci Dover, Bad Amp Tribute Bands, Whymsee, Elysium Cabaret, DRUM, and a special TSB Orchestra performance!

About Team Diabetes of Second life

Team Diabetes of Second Life is an official and authorized fund-raiser for the American Diabetes Association in Second Life. Established with the aim of raising funds in support of diabetes treatment and to raise awareness of the disease in SL, Team Diabetes of Second Life was founded by Jessi2009 Warrhol and John Brianna (Johannes1977 Resident), and is served by an advisory board comprising Eleseren Brianna, VerucaTammas, Sandie Loxingly, Rob Fenwitch, Earth Nirvana and Dawnbeam Dreamscape, with Saiyge Lotus serving as a special advisor.

About The American Diabetes Association:
The American Diabetes Association’s mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The American Diabetes Association leads the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fights for those affected by diabetes by funding research to prevent, cure, and manage diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association delivers services to hundreds of communities and provides objective and credible information and resources about diabetes.

Free resources are available in English and Spanish at
http://www.diabetes.org and 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2382).

For More Information:
http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR?px=11304578&fr_id=11331&pg=personal (The official American Diabetes Association page for Team Diabetes of Second Life)

http://www.idf.org/membership/meet-our-members (Website to find diabetes information in your home country)

Ways the Color Red Helps by Linda Lauren


At this time of year, we see a lot of the color red, but do you know what that color might mean, and how it may influence us in our daily lives? I have been a color and energy expert for decades. My primary responsibility is to teach people how to use color to create the energy we may want to experience.

Red evokes strength and passion. It affords us feelings of excitement and accomplishment and is a great color to incorporate onto your person or into your environment. It is often a color of unity and has been consistently used on many flags, as well as in many restaurants for appetite appeal.
Here are some other ways the color red helps:
- Creates a festive outlook for any event or season.
- Offers a feeling of inner strength and outer appeal.
- Embraces passion for people and projects.
- Inspires love and forward action.
The best thing to do is try to integrate the color into your wardrobe or into your environment. For instance, I’m using a poinsettia plant as the “red” for my living room. When I am in that room, the color fills me with strength and love, instilling an overall feeling of positive energy. Try it yourself: include the color red into your day and enjoy it’s vibration.

Originally published in The Huffington Post 12/7/2016

Linda is usually hanging out on her Island ETU Abbracciare 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

GIZZA CREATIONS - NEW COLLECTION Be that cosmopolitan Fall beauty wearing your new GizzA - Chantal Outfit!



A luxurious, sharply tailored ensemble, created by pairing a cropped top with a knee length pencil skirt that dons a daring thigh slit. The added blts on the skirt and the lush faux fur collar complete the look.

GizzA - Chantal Outfits are available in 6 different color sets, each set containing 2 additional colors in 2 fabric options, comfy tweeds and chic leathers.

For your fitting convenience, the following is added: 5 standard SL mesh sizes, plus Maitreya and Slink Hourglass / Physique mesh body sizes.
Main-store: 

Marketplace

Monday, December 5, 2016

Backstage Report: The AVI Choice Awards 2016 By: Persia Bravin







Since 2011, the AVI Choice Awards have highlighted the immense talent of content creators from all genres in Second Life. Originally conceived by Nikki Mathieson as a way to boost traffic for the very first Relay For Life of Second Life ‘Christmas Expo’, the awards quickly gained recognition and momentum as an important cultural event of their own. The Avi Choice Awards have continued, on its own since 2011, but it has always supported Relay For Life as its charity. Since 2011, nearly 1.2 million votes have been cast for nearly 7,000 nominees and the associated websites have had 800,000 hits. This year alone, there were more than 249,000 votes cast across 98 categories – impressive statistics indeed. In addition, the AVI stage has been an opportunity to educate and bring awareness to guests and audiences about the incredible work The American Cancer Society has done - and continues to do - in the fight against cancer.

Photos: Austin Novaland

On Sunday 4 December, the very last AVI Choice Awards took place in front of a packed auditorium.The votes had been counted, the crew and performers were assembled and the audience were dressed in their finest couture ready to hear the nominees and winners. Backstage, I asked Nikki Mathieson just why she felt the awards were so important for creators. “I hope that creators have considered them important,” she said, as she prepared to raise the red velvet theatre curtains. “I've heard, over the years, that they are considered to be…and that's definitely important to me.  Second Life is a unique virtual world in that so much of the great in it is created by its own users.  Each creator makes our world better.  They share a part of them with us, their imaginations and talents and the Awards are important because it gives us the opportunity to let them know that we recognize their abilities and appreciate them.”

Photos: Austin Novaland

The awards got off to a dazzling start thanks to an outstanding performance by singer, Savannah Rain before show hosts, Trader Whiplash and Nuala Maracas made the official welcome. SL television stalwarts, Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlinfrom the ever popular ‘Designing Worlds’ show then took to the spotlight to announce the nominees and winners in the SLIFEsection. The duo delighted the audience with their presentation skills and witty repartee before handing the microphone over to SL singer, Chris Quan. It was then my turn to announce the winners in the fashion section alongside Frolic Mills, but a major technical hitch meant that Frolic was unable to log into SL – or skype. With the clock ticking, and with only 20 seconds before the fashion awards were due to be announced, the ever gallant Elrik Merlin leapt onstage to help me host. The show must always go on!

The audience were then treated to the sweet singing voice of SL performer, AleyKat, before the awards for the Arts were presented by Jill MacKenzie and singer, LuvofMusicResident. Next, a singer who I haven’t heard perform before, but who instantly gained me as a fangirl, took to the stage – Luciano Lionheart. Luc sang a selection of hauntingly beautiful songs that showcased his wide vocal range and dulcet tones – much to the delight of the audience. Finally, show hosts Trader and Nuala wrapped up the very last AVI Choice Awards by surprising Nikki Mathieson with her own much deserved tribute. Nikki has played an integral part in all Relay For Life events over the years, and if anyone in SL deserves public recognition for their fundraising activities then surely it is her.

Photos: Austin Novaland

After the show, I asked Nikki what she hopes the legacy of the AVI Choice Awards will be. “The awards have never been about who is BEST,” she reflects. “It’s so unfair to try to judge 'best' in an amazing world such as ours.  I hope that our virtual community have gotten the message that when you find a favorite or a piece of work that just fits you so perfectly… take the time to let that creator know.  Complaints in the business world, online or not, are frequent.  But, appreciation and compliments not so much.  We all need to just take the time to notice good work and give acknowledgement for it.  We could all stop being so critical and start being appreciative and generous with our applause and gratitude.” As I left the awards and prepared to log off for much needed sleep, Nikki’s words resonated a great deal with me and made me realise that the AVI Choice Awards may be over, but that their positive impact will always remain.

Photos: Austin Novaland


Nikki Mathieson would like to thank: Jill MacKenzie, Dextresis Dejavu, Roman Godde, Trader Whiplash, Nuala Maracas, Shayla Juran and all performers, presenters and crew.
AVI Choice Awards Nominees and Winners: https://avichoiceawards.com/

AVI Choice Show by AVIEW TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD3zXnpElJM

Sunday, December 4, 2016

PLAYMATES MAGAZINES DECEMBER ISSUE IS OUT NOW!


This is our 9th annual holiday special issue. Santa told us you all have been very good this year so we put some playmates under the tree. We start our celebration with a hot pictorial, "Unwrap The Playmates Models".  Plus a list of the most expensive and best gifts for that someone special, holiday fashion idea's and more.  We spread holiday cheer throughout the entire issue.  Get your free December Playmates Magazine in-world at our headquarters or get one now on SL Marketplace using this link:

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Misfit Dance & Performance Art is proud to participate in this years Second Life Christmas Expo for RFL and to present: " A Very Misfit Christmas"= Dec 3rd-4th!



A full production - 90 minute holiday Theater Dance Art show that will warm your heart & make you smile

We have so many surprises for you!  This will be the most fun you could possibly imagine in SL!

Amazing music;  fun, colorful sets and costumes; and dancing "Misfit" style!  Each show will be an experience you do not want to miss

 Come join the fun with The Misfit Dancers this season and help us be part of the solution to wipe out cancer!

The Misfits will be doing 2 awesome shows at the event 

Performance dates are :

Saturday December 3rd  at 10 AM SL 
      &
Sunday December 4th at 7 PM SL 

Please arrive early for these shows to guarantee your seating 

As another fun contribution from JenzZa Misfit will be a Misfit Silent Auction at the 12 day event to take part in!  The prize is the fun opportunity to be a  " Misfit Dancer for a Day! " .  The lucky winner will be a dancer in one of our future shows with full costumes and outrageous fun.  Don't miss your chance to be on the Big Stage as a Misfit Dancer !

Contact JenzZa Misfit for more information

More information about the Second Life Christmas Expo for RFL can be found here at the website    https://slchristmasexpo.wordpress.com/

The 6th annual Second Life Christmas Expo will be held  December 1 to 12, 2016 and is a mega event that raises funds for Relay For Life of Second Life (RFL of SL). 100% of registration fees, sponsorship fees, kiosk donations, hunt, raffle, auction, and vendor donation items are paid to RFL of SL. Relay For Life of Second Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and is a virtual version of the real life Relay For Life. You can find more information about RFL of SL by visiting Relayforlifeofsecondlife.org



GeekSpeak SL – are humans becoming less intelligent? Join the discussion Saturday December 3rd at 12pm slt



Were the people in old civilizations like ancient Athens more intelligent than us?  If so, what has happened to us?  How far will the deterioration go?  And how long ago did it start?  Our brains are smaller now than the brains of Cro-Magnon people.  Were the Cro-Magnons more intelligent than we are?

What will happen in the future?  How realistic is the movie ‘Idiocracy’?  Will the human species in the future become really stupid, as happened in that movie?  How can we turn the tide?

Perhaps you think that we are not becoming less intelligent.  Or perhaps you think that we are developing different modes of thought that may be more valuable than the logical thought of the past?  Or perhaps you think it might be a good idea to be a bit stupider.  We might be happier that way.

Come and join us to talk about brainpower over the ages.  IM Kathen Ohtobide if you have any trouble finding us.

http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Danmu/141/128/51

Friday, December 2, 2016

SPOTLIGHT ON SL’S GOT TALENT 2016 WINNER Scarlett LaRoux





SL’s GOT TALENT (SLGT) Contest was created and first produced in 2013 by Jackie Lefko. She is the CEO of BlueByrd Entertainment (formerly Lefko Entertainment). The idea of SLGT came to Jackie after debuting several new SL performers at her venue, The Speakeasy.  She felt a contest would be a great opportunity for those looking to showcase their talent but to also engage in a personal challenge.

Jakie Lefko
Each round features a variety of genres and the judges have the difficult task of deciding who moves on to the next round.  Artists who make it to through have a significant chance to be the last competitor standing to receive this prestigious award. 

Scarlett LaRoux

Sound the trumpet… This year’s SL’s Got Talent Winner is Scarlett LaRoux  (scarlettla.roux), a musical gem in Second Life as well as the owner of Scarlett’s Place; a venue built on love and mutual admiration for soul, good music and good company. Scarlett’s sound is smooth and soulful. She truly has a fabulous gift that she readily shares with others. If you were to close your eyes and listen closely, you would almost feel as if you have been transported back in time to a smoky Jazz club.
In RL she sings Jazz, R&B, and Soft Rock. She has sung in a cappella groups that covered genres from gospel to rock, and has done solo performances that cover many genres. Her voice is her instrument and she loves use it to speak to and influence audiences.

The SL Enquirer caught up with Scarlett to give you a behind the scenes look at the woman behind the voice.

Meet Scarlett LaRoux



Hi Scarlett first and foremost, congratulations on winning SL’s Got Talent 2016. Can you tell your fans what it felt like to hear the announcement?
Scarlett:  I was hoping for that outcome, but mostly I was surprised.  It was amazing to know that the judges felt that I deserved to win the contest.  It was a privilege to be considered the top performer from this great group of performers in the contest.  I heard that the scores in the final round were really close.  That fact makes me more grateful for the opportunity to sing for this group.  I met some really dynamic performers during the contest, and hope to remain friends with them for a long time.  The first couple of days after the event were a bit overwhelming with lots of places to be and a lot of people to talk to.

Where are you from and when did you begin singing?
Scarlett:  I’m from North Carolina, near the Southern Part of Heaven.  J  I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember.  My first performances were in church.  I remember the first time I realized that people applauded a performance of mine.  It was when I was about four years old, and my dad was singing in church.  Somehow I made my way from the pews to where he was singing, and I started singing with him.  I also did a little dance.  Evidently the singing was okay, but the dancing put my mother over the edge.  After that I sang with the youth choir and in school. 
My first solo performance was for a celebration for the small town I lived in.  I was about eleven years old at the time.  The ceremony was held in the town square, and I sang “The Wings of a Dove.”  I remember everyone had gone quiet.  I thought they’d hated it.   But people were crying, and afterwards I was overwhelmed by hugs.  That’s when I realized music had an emotional impact and I decided I’d sing “to” people not “at” them or “for” them.

Who inspired you the most throughout your singing career? (both in SL and RL)
Scarlett:  Hmmm.  Inspiration comes in many forms.  So I’d say in RL one of my biggest inspirations was my 8th grade choral instructor, who at the time told me that my vocal range was “impractical.”  Even with that assessment, he worked with me to increase my range and develop vocal control.
Professionally, I’m in love with Ella Fitzgerald and her vocal acrobatics, and ease of improvisation.  I also derive some of my vocal stylings from artists like Luther Vandross and Natalie Cole.  

In SL, I think my inspiration comes from my closest SL friends.  They have believed in me since day one.  I still have friends in SL that I met when I logged in about nine years ago.  Some I have met in person, and we’ve become great friends in RL and in SL. There are some special people that I have connected with deeply and their opinion and suggestions matter a lot to me.  I use their input to continue to develop my craft.  I rely on their ears to tell me whether or not a song is suited to me. 
Believe me, there are times I want to sing certain songs, but I cannot connect to them emotionally. When I practice, or try out new music, these friends can tell immediately whether I am connecting, just by the tone of my voice when I sing.

When did you discover you could perform in Second Life? What were your thoughts?
Scarlett:  I’d gone around listening to various performers with a friend of mine, and heard MidKnight Auer. He’s a great jazz performer.  For some time after hearing that performance I thought how cool was that? I too could actually sing music that I liked in a place like this, and to people who liked the same kind of music I do.
A few weeks later, I scheduled my first performance at a venue called Catch a Falling Star.  Silverwind Tzedek was the owner. That first performance was rough.  I nearly hyperventilated, and the stream was too slow, so it was a little choppy.  I still can’t believe the people who were there sat through it.

As a singer, what do you find the most challenging and rewarding?
Scarlett:  The most challenging thing for me is to keep my fingers on the audience’s pulse, and to find music that I can share with them that they’ll like.

Describe what it feels like to perform. Is it something that comes naturally or do you feel nervous before a performance? 
Scarlett: Before most performances I am a little nervous. I talk through an intro to make a connection with the audience, and sing the first few notes of a song, after which things start to come more easily.  As long as I feel like I have two-way communication with the audience I’m fine.  My dad has always said that I put the ham in ham, so if I know someone likes what I’m doing that’s like adding wood to the fire, and makes me go a little bigger. 

Can you share one of your most memorable moments in your singing career?
Scarlett:  One of the most memorable moments has been winning the SLGT contest.  It blew my mind right outta my head.  Who knew!  I had taken some time away and was a little bit out of practice. 
Someone hadn’t shown up for a performance at Café Musique, and I asked Laya Sugarplum if I could sing until the next scheduled performer showed up.  She said, “yes,” even though she didn’t know me from Adam.  Shortly after that she told me about the SLGT contest.  She knew I was trying to ease back into performing in SL and thought that it would be good for me. 

Not only do you perform in Second Life but you also manage your own venue; Scarlett’s Place. Can you tell our readers about this venue and people who visit and talent that graces your stage?
Scarlett:  Scarlett’s place came about because I had benefactors in SL for a while, Atticus Falconer and Arwyn Lavendel.  They actually built Scarlett’s place because they wanted me to have somewhere to sing that had my name on it. Sadly, Atticus died RL and we had to move Scarlett’s place, so I moved the physical club to the first plot of land I ever “lived” on in SL. 

As you can probably tell, I’m a little sentimental, holding on to that parcel for so long.  Scarlett’s place is pretty much a hangout for anyone who wants to go there, and for anyone who wants to sing there.  When I run into people who are learning to perform in SL, I bring them to Scarlett’s Place and help them with the technical aspects of it.  If they need or want vocal coaching, I provide that too.  I’m just paying forward the kindnesses that people have shown me through the years. 

Before we wrap up this interview, is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Scarlett:  I love singing as much as some people love chocolate.  RL my coworkers know whether I’m having a good day or a bad day by the songs I sing, or by the phrases I set to music coming out of just general conversation. 

Thank you so much for taking the time for this interview and again congratulations!

Additional Information
Scarlett’s Place SLURL:  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Duzzclown/239/80/702
Facebook:  ScarlettLaroux
Twitter: ScarlettLaRoux
Other: 
Manager:  Jerry Stringer
Preferred Contact:  Jerry Stringer

Booking information:  bookscarlett@gmail.com

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