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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Spotlight From Behind the Scenes at Paramount Playhouse- Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

SLE often shines a spotlight on venues, performances and activities that take place across the grid. Most of the time you see interviews with business owners or self promoters, this time we are taking you behind the scenes to meet the staff that help make it all happen.
Paramount Playhouse first opened its doors in December of 2012. Today it is known as home to classy burlesque, comedy and other fine entertainment in an elegant yet casual atmosphere. The performances you may have seen or heard about most recently are Cleo and the Czar for the month of April, as well as past performances featuring Christmas Tails, New Year’s Spectacular, Mardi Gras, special performances by Glenn Bunjie and Elvis BubbaC Johns, Fab Four and The Beatles Tributes, Dancers’ Showcase, and Sexy Coast to Coast. Paramount Playhouse sure has been busy between rehearsals and show times to deliver quality entertainment that is very similar to going to the Big Apple and taking in a Broadway show. The difference is, admission is free and the interaction between a global community of guests and staff is paramount.

The modest Pathmaker Campbell-MacGregor is the owner but he wanted us to shift the spotlight and attention on those that help him provide Second Life residents with Paramount Playhouse shows.

Pathmaker told The SL Enquirer, “The creation of the paramount was making dreams come true - and those were the dreams of my partners LeAnn and Lotta - to have a place to perform and to be able to exercise our own creativity.  Pat and Bo Sharpshire, the owners of the Sprit Marina Sim made that dream possible; they are dear friends and the physical building of the Paramount was Pat's gift to us. But a working theater is much more than three owners and a building, no matter how dedicated the owners nor how large their dreams.  Our Cast members are what make it possibly for the Paramount to function and it's very important to me that they receive the credit and recognition they deserve”.

With that said, let’s meet the staff J

With my list of staff members in hand, I contact them to see what they do and gather their thoughts on Paramount Playhouse. Here is the response I received.

 Ebony Seorn is a designer at Vanity House of Designs. She is also the EMC and maintenance manager for Paramount Playhouse.  This is an important role because it helps maintain the foundation for each performance. When asked about her role Ebony said, “I Love being an energetic person and bringing smiles to guests that show up for events.
That is exactly what is needed to draw a crowd to a venue. She also acts as a fill-in when a dancer is unable to make it to a show. You can tell Ebony loves what she does and being part of the team. She shared with me some kind words about Pathmaker and Paramount Playhouse.

 “Even though I have done a lot for Pathmaker I would definitely like to say that he and the other managers do an excellent job on getting everyone together and bringing in amazing sets that bring more of an eye-catch for the audience. Path also brings a lot of great music, as he is a dj himself at Sunshine's Cove, he would usually pick out a song for a part of the set that shine both the dancer and the show”.

She went on to say,Being at Paramount Playhouse is like being at home. The warm welcome when arriving, the amazing plays that literally just grab at you, the feel of never wanting to leave but want the show to just continue on and on, and that last feel on just wanting to thank everyone for bringing a smile on your face and making your day feel great”.
It is important in keeping a happy staff, especially in Second Life. I found that this is a quality that Pathmaker has because other staff members expressed the same love for Paramount Playhouse.

Starlena Hansen –Darkfire is a dancer. She helps wherever needed and enjoys spending time with her family and being a part of the Paramount Playhouse group.  Starlena said, “Path as well as Lotta and my sister LeAnn are very very wonderful people.   They all have been there to support and help me and have accepted me as part of the family/team.   They are what keep me together at Paramount as well as outside the playhouse”.  

Her comment shows that it is not all about work for the Paramount Playhouse team. They see each other like a family. Starlena went on to share,being with Paramount has been a wonderful experience.   I have been with them since the Playhouse opened up and I have enjoyed every minute of being with all the members”. She would love to see more audience members at each performance.

Susan Sharpshire is also a dancer. She is featured in the current Cleo and the Czar Playbill and was in The Beatles Tribute show. Susan loves working closely with Pathmaker and the team because they all share a close bond. Susan told the SL Enquirer, “Path really cares about his staff, listens to their input and does a wonderful job of making everyone feel needed and wanted in the company and the show”.

Belle Burner is another dancer. She has been featured in Mardi Gras, Beatles Tribute, and Dancer's Showcase.  Belle jokingly says, “We are like a small close-knit (dysfunctional) family. We truly care for each other SL & RL”.   She went on to say, Pathmaker is passionate about the Paramount Playhouse.  He does it for the fun and the passion of it and asks for nothing in return.  He is a genuinely nice and caring person. It’s rare breed in any Life :) real or second”.  Belle’s passion for performing is for fun and to meet new people. She encourages new people to join Paramount Playhouse and says with a smile, We've never met a stranger at Paramount Playhouse.”

Demonia Venom aka Demmy is a hostess and dancer. What she likes most about Paramount Playhouse is the people. She has not yet been featured in any of the shows but Demmy is part of the team for the enjoyment of it and having fun. She told the SL Enquirer that Path is a great man and that she is honored to be his friend. 

Phatbottomgrl Clarity or Phat as she is called by the team was a hostess and greeter. She said that the staff is always so welcoming and cheerful. Phat has also been featured in The Beatles Tribute show.

 She had this to say about Pathmaker, “you can tell he puts his everything into each performance, he takes pride in his staff and does the absolute best of his ability to make people feel welcomed.  It is a small and intimate place where everyone is made to feel part of the team”. This seems to be a common belief in the team.  

Phat also stated, I Loved working with everyone there, it is just a shame that the time zone thing did not work to my advantage.  I had the immense pleasure of working with Pathmaker before and hope to again at a later date. I wish nothing but success for him and Paramount Playhouse”.

VictoriaJuliette Resident was also part of the team, but she hasn't actively danced in months. She loved to choreograph and script themed sets. What Victoria liked most about Paramount Playhouse was the creative expression and getting to be part of something much bigger than herself, but primarily the amazing people she has been honored to work with on these superb endeavors.

She went on to tell SLE, “Pathmaker is one of the finest human beings on this planet, not just  in Second Life. This man executes a brilliant production each time; the whole concept and facility are mainly his, from the burlesque concept through the lion's share of it's repeatedly excellent performances”. She expressed that she loves the team and misses the time before full time work in the real world.

 Those are some great words from former team members. This shows that the work this team does, leaves a lasting impression.

Lotta Difference plays a huge part in Paramount Playhouse. She is Co Owner and set designer and she does an amazing job of it. Each set is themed and detailed to match the dancer’s performances. Lotta says, “I enjoy the atmosphere, audience participation, the dancing, the costumes, picking songs, and building the sets. Really too many things to list! I look forward to logging into Second Life and working on something that pertains to the theater”.

 I think that is exactly the enthusiasm needed to have that role.

Lotta agrees with the team when she told the SL Enquirer that, Pathmaker truly is as dedicated to the theater as he says he is. He is there for us for extra help with acts and songs choices. He loves the theater and having one of his own, is a dream came true for him. So us girls do our best!”

She also shared that she has grown to love the theater. “I never really knew too much about burlesque until a few months ago, and I enjoy doing it. I appreciate the comments people have on the sets I build and poster I design for our shows”, Lotta explained.

LeAnnBurt Resident is a Co- Owner and the Director but she describes herself as the Jane of all trades. She writes scripts, handles promotions, seek out live artists to perform, help come up with new themes for shows, select music, costuming, choreography etc. as well as performing. If that isn’t a full plate, LeAnn also loves to dance and come up with new choreography, but it comes second to the joy she gets from interacting with the audience.  Lotta explains, “Our shows are set up so that each dancer has a solo act as well as performing in group numbers, it allows each artist to have their moment in the spotlight, so I guess you'd say I've been featured in all of them"

Speaking of the spotlight, when asked about Paramount Playhouse and Pathmaker, LeAnn said, “Paramount Playhouse is a labor of love, and no one has put more love into it than Path.  This is his dream and we are privileged to help make it a reality”. 

Everyone so far had only great things to say, but it didn’t end there. What is a Paramount Playhouse performance with a little comedy relief?

 Vicki Eriksen is a comedienne.  Her role as she says it is to torture people. She explains, “Well ... Paramount Playhouse lets me invade the stage and tell some jokes and stories while they change sets and such. 5-10 minutes of Vicki .. And people are more than ready for the next act from the Paramount Dancers”.   Vicki likes to make people laugh, and Paramount gives her the opportunity to do that. She says, “At least if you define groaning and tearing your hair out in desperation, like my audience usually does, as symptoms of laughing”.

When asked which performances she has been featured in, Vicki candidly said, “I think most people would say that the correct answer to that one may be ... "Way too many"

The SL Enquirer has to agree with Vicki’s talent for comedy. She left the crowd in stitches at the last performance SLE attended. Her jokes are edgy but hilarious and a perfect treat during intermission.

When asked to share her thoughts on Pathmaker and the paramount Playhouse, Vicki said, “I'm a comedian, but let me be serious here for a moment. I only make guest appearances at Paramount, so I can say this without engaging in any form of self praise: Setting up shows and plays like the ones at Paramount Playhouse takes enormous amounts of time, energy, skill and dedication both from Pathmaker and his staff, more than most people probably realize. I do hope that their efforts will be rewarded with a steadily growing audience ... they really deserve it!”

Want to check out Paramount Playhouse and see the team in action? Join them on April 21st @ 12pm SLT for Cleo and the Czar. Free Admission and a show you won’t forget!


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