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17 Years and counting...Got SL News? Get it Published! Contact Lanai Jarrico at lanaijarrico@gmail.com

Monday, October 3, 2022

SPOTLIGHT ON DRAMA LIBRA- LEADING THE REVOLUTION AGAINST DRAMA, ONE PARTY AT A TIME. Lanai Jarrico Reporting…

 




DRAMA LIBRE is a 16-yr old club with a weekly immersive themed party every Saturday from 7-10 pm SLT, with over 400 different themes to date.  Created by owners Xerxes Sismondi and Peachy Sassoon, their attention to detail mixed with creativity and the entertainment they provide makes it one of the most talked about venues on the grid. The SL Enquirer caught up with this dynamic duo leading the revolution against drama, one party at a time!


Interview with Peachy Sassoon and Xerxes Sismondi



SLE: It is a pleasure to meet you both, where are you from and how did you discover Second Life?

 

Peachy: I am from Pittsburgh Pa. Friends of mine were DJs on the Web and asked me to join SL. I always told folks I came kicking and screaming... giggles. but once I joined I knew I was hooked. Then I met Xerxes and it changed everything.  I never looked back.

 

Xerxes: I’m in Jacksonville FL. I read about Second Life in a BusinessWeek article back in the exciting days of 2006, and that led me to see what the fuss was all about. Been here ever since.

 

SLE: It is always interesting to hear where people came from all over the country and world and how they come together. That is the greatest thing about Second Life! What inspired you two to create Drama Libre? 

 

Peachy: Honestly way back when, lol I got tired of going to places that offered Best In Blue and Escorts and etc... I knew there had to be so much more. There had to be ways to create and me who knew nothing of building, long story short, Xer taught me how to build.

 

Xerxes: Peachy and I observed that most events that we attended were narrowly applying what Second Life could offer. They all focused on holding different themed events in a fixed club-like structure. We envisioned flipping that philosophy by having different thematic environments that just happened to be music and dance events. Why just dress as a pirate in a dance club when you can rock it up on the main deck of a 40-gun galleon sailing the Spanish Main? Why not party as Godzilla and other monsters stomping around a miniaturized city where you can cause monster-sized mayhem? Instead of adorning a club with the Eiffel Tower and french flags for a French-themed event, why not party at the Palace of Versailles… at the Court of King Louis the 16th?  Second Life really has the power to bring forth great imagination, so why hold back?

 

 

SLE: What creative minds you both have! I love the idea of creating an immersive interactive environment like the ones you described. With over 400 different themes over the past 14 years, it is impressive that you haven't done any repeats of the same event. How do you come up with the themes and who designs them?

 

Peachy: We get together and put our thinking hats on and discuss what kind of themes we could do, also we take ideas from any DL'ers and if we use their idea we pay them 500L. As far as the designs go each of us takes a turn being the lead builder.

 

Xerxes: To be specific, we always build a brand new set every week, and we have never re-used any set we have already built – although we are willing to sell them if there is an interested party. We do sometimes repeat broad themes, but we always execute them differently with each new build. For instance, we’ve done many pirate themes e.g., we’ve danced on a pirate sloop, in the pirate town of Tortuga, a Goonies set with an underground cavern and pirate treasure, and even a modern-day scene involving Somalian pirates. We’ve also done a steampunk version dancing on flying dirigibles. We always look at different angles to build a theme. As Peachy said, we have a very creative and skillful build team, all of whom learned how to build, script, texture, etc from scratch. We also all taught each other as well using various tools like Photoshop, Audacity, etc. No one is an island, and there is power in many. We brainstorm with each other regularly and come up with different ideas that we each want to realize, so we take turns each week leading the build to bring our ideas to life. And as Peachy said, we also ask for ideas from our guests that they want to see built. We draw inspiration from many sources, from current events to historical events to movies to our own memories and experiences. So we have a varied pool of ideas to pull from and each of our sets is very personal to us.

 

 

SLE: Power in many is a great approach when working together because you produce amazing things!  I love your motto of Leading the revolution against Drama one party at a time, I heard from a few people that this is the place to be! Can you tell our readers what they can expect at each event? 

 

Peachy: I can say that once you come to one event you will be back time and time again. Always a good time to be had. There is a lot of chatter going on at Drama Libre. No private chats but openly chats we talk about food, weather, what's new, and the likes of things, we strive to make new people feel welcome.

 

Xerxes: We‘re primarily in the people business, and we want everyone to be comfortable with each other, and with everything that happens at Drama Libre. As our name indicates, we work hard to steer clear of drama as discreetly as we can at our events. We welcome everyone here and welcome as much creativity as they can come up with,  but we know we’re not for everyone. Clothing is not optional, for instance, and we do not tolerate any form of harassment or abuse.  Peachy and I do our best to help every guest who has a concern or difficulty, and sometimes our patrons beat us to it!  We have a large number of regular visitors, many of who have been coming here for years and who we practically consider to be family.

 

We also invest a lot of time and effort in what we do. We spend at least 35-40 person-hours planning and building each set, and that does not include time spent by the DJs in planning their playlists and the additional work to create the teaser audio clips and posters for the following events, brainstorming sessions, website change, and maintenance, taking pictures and videos of each set, etc. All this work for one 3-hour event, and we repeat this whole process 50 times a year. This does not work, but a labor of love and of the creative process.  Our reward is the smile on people’s faces and the fun they have each week, and a job well done. I do believe that shows in every event we produce.
 

 

SLE: I can relate to working in SL. It really is a labor of love. Especially with the ability to be creative in many different ways. I’m sure you have had lots of fun stories over the years. Can you share one of your most memorable moments at the themed parties?

 

Peachy: OMG there are many but I remember one that makes me laugh every time I think of it. We had a cartoon set and I was clicking on things and moving them around and bam I deleted the floor and everyone... giggles went falling to the ground. I was so embarrassed, but it was funny. We all laughed about it.

 

Xerxes: We’ve been doing this for 16 years, so there are too many stories to count. Back when we started the sim servers were prone to crashing when you overloaded them, so we would crash a lot when we got too many people at our parties. It was fun to watch folks rez back in-world after each crash, and amazing that they cared enough to return as well. One time the Lindens announced that on one particular Saturday evening that all their servers would go down for maintenance, so we held a crash party i.e, we partied until the servers went down. And we still managed to crash the sim minutes before the servers were taken offline, and everyone still came back. I guess we were determined to go down fighting!  Peachy also mentioned accidentally deleting the floors at our parties, which are usually held at 1000m altitude, so it was hilarious to see 30 or more avatars falling at the same time. It took us a while to learn that lesson.

 

Most of our fun is in seeing what everyone is wearing. We have patrons who are quite imaginative and competitive. Peachy and I are always oohing and ahhing at every event like tourists.

 


SLE: LOL, those are great stories! Do you have a calendar of events so guests can plan accordingly for the events? 

 

Peachy: No we have not done a calendar for the events. It is something to think about.

 

Xerxes: I’m not sure this is something that would fit but we are open to considering different ideas. I think the weekly theme reveal is part of our charm and evens the playing field among our patrons by giving them each a week to come up with a costume. We do make a big deal about the next theme at the end of every event. We create a 2 - 3 minute audio teaser that the DJ plays, and make a poster, so even the theme reveal is a production in itself. We do have a schedule of who will lead the build and who our DJs will be for each event, though, but we really don’t make that public to maintain the weekly suspense lol. While it would be nice to announce our themes well in advance, we really only decide on themes the week prior.  Still, this is something we should think about. We’re not wed to our current format, but we do want to make sure any change we make is thoughtful and within our abilities and our brand.

 

 

SLE: We should definitely talk about a Sponsorship so we can make sure our readers always know what is going on and can be prepared with a costume! With theme parties, it's always fun to dress up! Are costumes mandatory and are there contests?

 

Peachy: Costumes are not mandatory, but if you want to join in on the contest you will need to join the Drama Libre group, which is not an open group. It is free to join. All ya have to do is let Xerxes or myself know. The reason we do not have open enrollment is that we want everyone at the party to know who is joining and welcome them to the family.

 

Xerxes: We hold a costume contest with every weekly event we throw. Costumes are not mandatory, but clothes definitely are. The more creative the costume, the better we like it. And there are many ways to interpret our themes for costumes, and we welcome different dimensions that we hadn’t even thought of. For example, we once did a Safari-themed set, and one person came with an iPhone running the Safari web browser. Love those tangential executions!

 

SLE: Very cool! I see that your next theme is House of Borgia! Can you share with our readers what guests can expect on October 1st?

 

Peachy: Our next theme is called The day the Dinosaur died.

 During our event after the contest is over, we have a teaser that the DJ plays which was recorded. We never speak of our next theme until the teaser has been played.

 

Xerxes: You have to come and see. We never talk about what a set build will look like before the evening of the event itself. Our lips are sealed!

 

 

SLE: Surprises are exciting! We look forward to popping in on these events. Are you currently hiring? If so, what positions are you looking to fill and how can people apply?

 

Peachy: We have not talked about hiring.

 

Xerxes: Drama Libre is not really a typical club. We hold one party every Saturday evening (7-10 pm slt) for 50 weeks a year so it’s not like we need lots of people. Peachy and I host for the most part, and have a few guest hosts when we are not available. We have 6 DJs who rotate, so they get airtime only 8 or 9 times a year. However, they do work hard as each event is 3 hours long. We have a team of 5 builders/creators, including Peachy and myself. We have one builder who doubles as our website manager. Peachy and I work on administrative duties and planning while Peachy doubles (triples?) as the event photographer. However, if anyone wants to participate or see different roles that can help streamline and add to the Drama Libre experience, please reach out directly to Peachy or me. For instance, one of our patrons came to us and wanted to do a weekly reveal video at our events, and she is now practically our videographer–of-record. Katheryn Llewelyn, posts videos of our events to her YouTube channel, Adventures in Second Life, each week so check out her channel to see our events.

 

 

 

SLE: It sounds like you have dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s to create the perfect party experience in Second Life and we wish you the very best for years to come! It has been a pleasure chatting with you both. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

 

Peachy: All I can add is that we welcome all to come and enjoy a 3-hour event with us. As stated no need to wear a costume, just come and relax and enjoy a drama-free night. You will be hooked.

 

Xerxes: Come on down and check us out. You don’t have to be in costume, We’d love to have you at our events. You can see our profiles, pics of our previous events, and upcoming event announcements at www.dramalibre.com  You can even see videos of our events by going on YouTube and searching for Drama Libre or going on the following channels: Adventures in Second Life and Alexxy’s Adventures.



Additional Information:


Website: https://www.dramalibre.com 

URL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Drama%20Libre/116/226/22 

Preferred Contact: Peachy Sassoon or Xerxes Sismondi

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