Sunday, August 31, 2008


Choreography is not a trade secret. It is similar to DJing or singing or playing a musical instrument. The mechanics can be taught to and learned by anyone. But like any art, it requires practice and dedication and a passion for dance and music. I learned to choreograph the hard way, on my own, making many costly mistakes; buying imperfect and inappropriate dances and inadequate equipment. But I never viewed any of these setbacks as a reason to stop figuring out how to choreograph dance. I can't dance in RL due to a physical problem and SL was the only way I could fill the hole in my heart. So I practiced with my HUD in various clubs, inviting only one or two friends to accompany me, learned how to use the equipment and learned the tempo of the 35 or so dances that I owned. I quickly learned that creators who use motion capture technology produce the smoothest, most realistic dances. Many of the routines out there are jerky or employ unrealistic movements. And I want everyone who dances with me to feel the same exhilaration I feel when I danced in RL. I am careful when I purchase dances; I employ the "Max" test. While I am testing the animation, I try to picture one of my male friends, Maxfly Nadeau, dancing it. And if I can't, then I don't buy the routine. This keeps me from buying too many of the "female" dances. I have learned to warm up my dances after each time I clear my cache; there is nothing worse than touching a button and waiting 3-4 seconds for the dance to start. These are some of the tricks I have learned to keep performances smooth and I gladly share them with anyone who asks. I also share the fact that I switch the routines every 15-3o seconds and am glued to my desk chair for the entire time I have dancers attached to my Hud. But choreographing dance on the fly (or in advance for difficult rhythms) is so much fun for me and makes it all worthwhile. I want everyone who loves to dance as much as I do to know how to choreograph, too. So I offer "training" about the HUD to anyone who wants. Choreography is not a trade secret.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hungry SL

SL must have been hungry yesterday morning because it ate my entire dance HUD complete with all my dances. I was rezzing on my own land, I had checked the Grid Status to be sure there weren't any problems and when I took the HUD back into inventory, it disappeared into a black hole. I submitted a ticket immediately, of course, but I have yet to hear from LL. What is worse is that I had a guest who was also rezzing her HUD and she lost hers, too. I promised to replace her HUD and her dances, and I will, but I was sick; a pit in my stomach for hours. I had over 160 dances that I had been collecting since January. It will take about 50,000 lindens to replace them all, even if I can remember where I bought them. I have listed my 1/4 sim for sale and hope it sells quickly.

Last night I went to Sine Wave, Henmations and Animazoo to replace some of the dances I lost. I purchased about 63, trying to concentrate on the ones I used most. And when I woke up this morning, I realized I had better consult my notebook of scored dances. Sure enough, the ones I had decided not to buy are ones I used more frequently than I thought. Ah well, today I will have to hit Owenimations. And then I will be flat broke until I sell my land. Thank goodness I have no bookings until Saturday. I will have time to set up a new HUD. The HUD is all-purpose, it even had my walks, sits, standing and landing AOs in it. Not that those are my biggest losses; it is just that I feel crippled and naked without my HUD!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Linri's Palace

What a day yesterday turned out to be! Linri Jewell, the heart and soul of the Blue Moon, resigned. And half an hour later Solenoid Torok leveled the club. I mean, there I was, taking down my dance ball, and suddenly I was in water up to my knees. The club was full of patrons, too. Pfft! Poof! Gone; all of us standing around in the water and feeling very uncomfortable. Things happen so quickly here in Second Life. And just as quickly, Linri bought up the property and promised to rebuild as Linri's Palace. Since everyone was still standing around, I formed a group called Linri's Best and invited everyone that I could see to join. Offers of support for Linri poured in to me (I have no idea why they chose me) and I was 6 deep in IMs before I knew it. I was overwhelmed, so I can only imagine what Linri must have been feeling. She had been worrying earlier that day if anyone would follow her if she ever had a club of her own. It is obvious to her now that everyone values her and loves her just as much as I do.

It will take a few days for Grimz to build; he is a methodical builder and Linri has hinted at an oriental theme. But she will be keeping the beach. My job is finding dances for her new Intan couples ball. Hehe what fun. Now to snag a man for a partner...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A sedate waltz anyone?

I dance in jazz clubs that prefer semi-formal or formal attire. And I don't mind that at all because I love dressing up. But I hate to see my knees poking through my prim skirts when I dance, so I always look for outfits that include system skirts; I think of them as slips. I am in love with the gorgeous gowns at Bliss Couture. I just purchased one on sale for $380 in order to test it. And I wish it had a system skirt. But when I dance, the prim skirt flows behind me and my knobby knees emerge first, clad in pants! What a waste of money that was. The dress will be fine for waltzes, but I never waltz. I seldom dance on couples balls and when I do, I prefer v6 or v7. So many gowns, not enough partners...

Small packages

I am standing on my pose stand again, attempting to alter the Eowyn White Wool Gown I just purchased, and wishing I weren't quite so comfortable with my petite size. I measure 5'5" without the 4" heels I usually wear and have a very natural shape (almost no bosoms) and I LOVE the way I look. But, gosh darn it, nothing I buy ever fits! Prim skirts drag beneath the floor for at least 3-6" and the "waists" of the skirts are always too wide for my hips. Collars snuggle up against my ears. And don't even get me started on hair! It is frequently too voluminous and cannot be resized SMALLER to fit my size 40 head. Sculptie shoes make my feet look HUGE. My hands are size 15 and all my rings have to be resized. In RL I am 5'1' and I always have to cut 6" off my skirts before I can wear them, but I mean, c'mon, designers - this is second life. Can't you make outfits in more than one size? My grandma always told me that the best things come in small packages (she was 4'11"), but I am not sure about that anymore....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LIVE with Martini in the Morning

WOO HOO!!!! Sol is letting me choreo today when Martini in the Morning broadcasts live from the Blue Moon. Well, there goes the tree house hunt for House Zephirus (which is lots of fun). OMG I have no idea what to wear! Bridget says sophisticated; I think sweet. This will be so exciting, especially if they plug me on air!!! Emyly Beaumont gently shakes her hands while breathing slowly...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cease Fire

Will wonders never cease.. I can't believe I choreographed a set for Gerrit Reitman! His regular choreographer was not on line, so being the softie I am, I volunteered to choreo; I will do anything for the Blue Moon and to help Linri out. I learned two things from this encounter with my old flame: first, that I can actually survive helping him out and second, that I still love his taste in music. As I recall, his love of dance and music were two of the things that attracted me to him in the beginning. Ah well, water over the dam. At least I no longer feel like we are at war...

I think I have finally managed to beat this cold into submission. I have never spent so little time in SL as I did this weekend; I came in world only to dress, set up for the shows and perform. And I should not have even done that much, but dancing is one of the things that feeds my ego and makes me happy. I need my daily dancing fix.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Paradise at the Blue Moon

Last night I was at the Blue Moon dancing with the Funky Feats and Lulu was leading. And then, Hevy Malibu popped in to dance with the Funky Feats. Now, Hevy is a man who loves dancing (possibly more than I do) and is one of the founders of the Funky Feats; he is a legend. He and NYNan Nishi are the choreographers who showed me how wonderful dancing in Second Life COULD be; they were my inspiration. It was a lucky chance that put me in Caribbean Breezes one memorable night in July 2007.

I seem to have caught one of these disgusting summer colds, and was feeling miserable, so I was worried about how quickly I would be able to react to the music changes during my set with Ot which was due to start immediately following. The qualities that make her set so much fun also make it a bit challenging for me to choose dances when I am able to concentrate, let alone feeling under the weather. Then, Hevy decided to stay for our show. OMG I was terrified and sooo nervous. Then I focused on the music and the dance with the intent of not letting Hevy be disappointed and completely forgot how sick I was... He said it was like being at the Paradise all over again. Wow. Thank you Hevy.

Ot will be gone for the next couple of weekends and I will miss her tremendously. Sigh. I will just have to drown my sorrows with dance...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Salsa Night

Maggie McArdles is another DJ I have a lot of fun with. Every Tuesday night at the Blue Moon she does a set with a theme. Her music selections keep to the theme and we always dress to match the theme. I have danced Broadway, 50's and 60's in the last month. Tonight was Salsa Night. What a challenge. I searched the HUD for all the dances that could possibly fit with Latin music and then added a few of the (very poor) Salsa freebies that are available. I managed to find a grand total of 62 - barely enough to keep variety in two hours of dancing. And Salsa is not my strong point. Cuka Carter is sooo good at it. She knows the dances so well that she can compensate for poorly scripted endings on the freebie dances. I only had a day to practice, but I managed. And I had a blast. All the ladies wore beautiful Salsa dresses and the men tried their hardest to match us. Hehe. I am tired, but happy, so tonight I have fulfilled the goal listed in my profile: dance every night and go to sleep with a smile on my face. Good night everyone.

Drow and Zombies

Last night's Fae Fest was well attended. The High King and Queen made an appearance. And many other kinds of fae and some humans showed up too. Early on we had some Drow in attendance, but they left. And after I was told about Drow (they eat fae, humans and even other Drow if hungry enough) I am glad they did not stay. Two members of my dance group were there and had a great time. They are planning to return next week. And Chester showed up too! He said he was late because he had to find something to replace his hat (it wasn't period) and it took him forever. I don't think he likes his hair... At midnight I took him to the caves to show him how lovely they were and on the top level, guarding the tp to the secret garden, was a zombie! It hurt me, but Chester, my hero, killed it! Chester is a very handy guy to have around.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Choices, choices, choices

Gamilia is back courtesy of Linden Labs. LL waved it's magic wand and all the wonder is back, completely, as if it had never been gone at all. I was going to visit there last night but I also wanted to pop over to Ot's set at Smooth. And then I got an IM from a friend. Friends are important and deserve my full attention (which I cannot give them when I am switching dances every 15-30 seconds.) So I went home to sit on my porch and watch the sun set as I caught up with old and new friends.

One of the best things about SL is the friends you make. I must have over 100 names on my list. Some of these names belong to people I never see anymore, who seem to have left SL forever. But I cannot bring myself to delete them. They were such good friends. Suppose they come back and find no one left on their friends list? I would be devastated if that happened to me. And ever since someone told me that deleting a friend is like killing them I have never done that except twice (and one of those friends I invited back with profuse apologies.)

I think I am going to hang out a shingle. You know, Dear Emy rather than Dear Abby. I must get consulted on love affairs gone awry once or twice a day. I try not to offer advice, but you know how it is. I love people and hate seeing them unhappy. So I just share my experiences with them and let them make their own decisions. They will proceed as they see best anyway. But this is such a perfect world in so many ways that people expect perfect behavior from each other. And no one is perfect. Love is accepting each other's imperfections and moving forward. Just like RL, SL relationships entail commitment, respect and the willingness to work together toward a goal. OK, I will get off the soapbox, and go to my favorite world for a while. Now, what will I wear to the Blue Moon's formal Goth(ic) night? Short and sassy or long and sweet? hmmmm

Friday, August 8, 2008

Great DJs

I just finished choreographing a set with DJ Otawan Fouquet and am still on an entertainer's high. I used to go to Smooth every time I could to dance to her exciting, eclectic mix of big band, swing & other favorites. It became my dream to choreograph and make an entire club dance to her music, but I was too shy to suggest it to the management of Smooth, so my dream remained just that for months. Two weeks ago I dragged one of the Managers from the Blue Moon (my favorite club) out to hear her. She was on his "list" of DJs to check out and I wanted to be sure he heard her. I confided my dream to him - and he made it happen. Ot now plays on a regular basis for the club I work with and I have the time of my life dancing all my friends and the club's patrons to her wild, fun mix of music (and it is not all swing.) Ot's passion in life is music and you know this because the love she has for music shines through second life and onto all of us who hear her in real life. She is enthusiastic and serious about what she does. It is a good thing, as Martha would say. And we are terrific together!!!

DJ Allan Jeffries will always be special to me. It was he who first came up with the idea of us working together to make people happy and forget their real life cares for just a little while by enjoying both music and dance. Allan is a truly talented man, satisfying one of his real life passions by being a DJ in second life. His mix is eclectic and his vocal & chat banter is awesome. He loves music too, of course, and that love comes across with his choice of songs. He has helped me satisfy my passion by encouraging me to become the "dance" in his Dance and Romance set. He had more faith in me than I did and, from the very beginning, made me push my limits. I will always be grateful to him and I will always be there to choreograph for him when he needs me.

Great DJs are very hard to come by, but I have been blessed by being able to dance with two of the best in Second Life.

Devastation in Second Life

Gamilia is gone. The land is there - but just about everything else is gone, destroyed by a hacker, the bane of SL's existence. I am sad and worried. Gamilia was such a lovely place, built with love by people who cared: wondrous caves, a beautiful secret fairy garden, a charming medieval village and a very special apple tree. These are some of the places that linger in my mind. Will the owners be able to build with such heart again?

My favorite club was destroyed last night, too. Grimz & Helene are rebuilding the club and the beach now, as best they can. The owner is on RL vacation for another week or so. I know that The Blue Moon will be up and running in time for the performers today, but this is a small area, not an entire island like Gamilia.

What possesses people that makes them feel the need to destroy the work of others? Was this random violence? Was it revenge for a slight? How do hackers and griefers choose their victims? Do they get off on the power they feel as they destroy and harass? I wish I knew...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Footloose Fae Fest

What a great time we had last night at the first weekly Fae Fest! Unfortunately, Second Life was acting up and would not allow anyone to teleport in or out, so the company was limited to just a few. And I had six non role-players ready to teleport in and see how much fun we have... Oh pooh! But His Majesty, King Creag, officially declared me Choreographer to the Court. Hehe - House Zephirus will literally rock forever.

House Zephirus is currently the Primary Household of the Fae Court. Duchess Casandra and I worked very hard to complete the First Challenge! Hehe - my biggest hurdle was finding a man to join me in some fun poses so I could send pictures to the King...

It looks like Gamilia is beginning to wake up. I like most of the people I have met here and new role-players are starting to get some assistance so I do not feel quite so lost as I did for the prior month.