Once you are a mermaid or merman in your virtual world – what sort of things might you do for entertainment? One idea that has been getting increasingly popular is to participate in a dance troupe show.
This week I've come across several wonderful examples of the “joy of mer” – centered on an international friendship, a dance troupe and an event we’d like you to invite you to come watch.
The Event: Elegant Sereia Third Anniversary Mermaid Show
Think of a major Disney production. Imagine it with mermaids as the cast, fantastic costumes, special effects, music and lots of water. That is my best description of what the mermaids of Second Life are able to produce. Come and watch one this week! You can come dressed as mermaid or in any sort of avatar if you are still getting started.
Mark your calendar for July 27, 2013 and get out your international clocks. The tricky part is figuring out the local time for the show if you aren't used to international time zones. The show starts at 7:00 am Second Life time (SLT) which is the same as the pacific time zone in the USA. The early time is because this dance troupe is from Japan and the show is starting at 23:00 JST. It’s a compromise – the Japanese merfolk stay up late to perform, and if you are in California, as I am – we get up early to enjoy their art. Figure out your local time zone from there.
Believe me – this event is worth the time investment and the slight inconvenience of getting up early. I suggest you arrive at least a forty-five minutes before the show is scheduled to begin. This will get you a seat, as literally – seating is limited. There are electronic constraints – a limit of how many avatars can be stacked into the region to watch. It is first come first serve – and you can be blocked from entrance once the sim is full. So on my clock (SLT or PST) I’ll be there no later than 6:15 am to get a seat and prepare myself.
Prepare for the Event
How does one prepare to attend such a show you might ask? It depends on one’s experience in-world. I suggest there are three areas to prepare. First, the day before, verify that you can go in-world, walk around, and confirm you can hear sim music. Get your sound settings working is a very important part of preparing for a dance troupe event. There is a little music symbol at the top right corner of most of the viewers – click it to hear music. You may have to go into preferences to set up some things and also if having problems, it is a good idea to double check your volume controls. As always, I’m not going terribly deep into the technical side of things. Please refer to Thinkerer’s incredibly helpful web site: Virtual Outworlding for help with the more technical side of things. I recommend figuring out your sound days before the event if you can – it’s no fun to be at the event and not hear the lovely music that goes along with the moves. And SL is so much more fun when you can enjoy the music and sounds.
Second, get your computer ready to view what you want to see at the venue. Once you are familiar with the software, you can control the camera angles on your computer. (look for camera controls in the menu to bring up a handy little box with obvious arrows for direction control) I can move my screen picture up and at just the right angle to get to see what I want. So no matter where I’m actually seated, I can move the camera around and get the view of my choice. You can do this if you get there early – as the region become full – things slow down. This is called “lag”. Once it gets laggy, moving your camera becomes very difficult and frustrating. Arrive early - you will be glad you did. Perhaps arriving another fifteen minutes early would be a good idea – now I’m planning to arrive at 6:00 a.m. SLT to get just everything the way I want it. I have low lag tolerance.
Lastly, I recommend you dress simply. Oh mermaids and mermen are such vain creatures – we do delight in all the variety of attire, accessories, and magical additions like bubbles. Drop those when you are going to an event where you expect there to be a full house (or a full sim as we call it). You are there to see the show, NOT to be a showcase yourself. Be simple – it’s helpful to everyone including yourself. I've been known to go bald in just a minimum of clothing (thankfully mer don’t have to wear that much (smile). Bald is a bit extreme. It is sort of the opposite of a real life (RL) special event – you don’t want to go dressed up to these events – it interferes with the technical needs of the show! Be a good citizen and improve the quality of the show for everyone – dress simply for an event like this one.
If you are still new – just go and enjoy. Get there a little early so you can figure out how to sit. Sit back and enjoy what you can – I bet you will still have fun!
Enjoy the Event
Use this link to arrive at the starting point. From there, use the teleport system to arrive at their sky stage. Find yourself a seat, and enjoy the show! This one is expected to go on for an hour – usually with some breaks where you just relax and perhaps chat with someone near you. Remember it is international though – so they may not speak your language. Usually at such an event there is one or two tip jars out for the performers and/or the venue. If you have managed to get yourself some lindens (the in-world money) – pay the tip jars a little please. It encourages the entertainers and helps the venues continue to be there for our enjoyment.
The Back Story: More about Mermaid Dance Troupes
This post’s subject is about participating in mermaid dance troupes and I’ve spent most of our space here describing how you can participate by being a member of the audience. There are also opportunities to join a dance troupe in Second Life if you have the desire. Showing my age, I still think of the dance performances as “mer ballet” – they are doing synchronized swimming events (like at the Olympics!) but with much more variety and special effects utilized. In truth – there are legged dance troupes as well – but our focus is on the mermaid ones. If you have the interest and want to explore, they are out there!
I also happen to have the gadget that allows me to do small spontaneous synchronized swimming with mer friends. Don’t underestimate this fun – if you do it with a group of friends – it is soothing and oh so beautiful. And I’m sure the dance troupe’s would tell you it takes an incredible amount of work to choreograph their productions – and then of course there is the time commitment for practice and rehearsals. If you are into it, it can be an incredible amount of fun. I sure do enjoy and appreciate the work that goes into these productions.
I’ll try to feature other performance troupes as I can in this blog. For now, let me drop a few names of known choreographers to investigate (in addition to the troupe doing the above performance, Elegante Sereia) – if you want more information:
Note Eel’s Club Mermaid dance troupe provided my foundational understanding of mermaid dance performances. She is also from Japan (RL) and regularly organizes events. Prissy Solvang (prissy206.hammand) has been known to choreograph some wonderful productions. Elleon Bergamasco has a dance troupe called Belly Up – it’s been years since I’ve seen them do something – but you never know!
The merrow of Avilion have been known to produce lovely dance events. Look up Avilion (A Medieval Fantasy Role-play sim) and their Avilion-Merfolk group for more information.
This Week’s Celebrity Mermaid: Angelina Becomes a Dancer
Before finishing this missive, let me share just one story of how one mermaid, Angelina Rennahan, was swimming through Second Life and came to discover a friend in Japan, and a passion for dancing in her new friend’s troupe.
|Necklace of Friendship|
Sitting in Angelina’s lovely in-world home this week, we talked about how she first met Siarl Shan and learned of the Elegante Sereia dance troupe. Angelina was shopping at one of her favorite mer stores, Tir-Na-Nog. She purchased an outfit and was surprised to be contacted by the designer, Siarl Shan, with an improvement on the necklace that came with the outfit. They became acquainted and the necklace problem was resolved. Angelina got a very special necklace (she calls it her Necklace of Friendship) and Siarl also gifted her new friend with another beautiful tail she had designed. “We became close friends from then on,” Angelina told me.
Siarl Shan and her partner, Naotaro Wulluf, had founded the dance troupe, Elegante Sereia three years ago. In fact, the performance we've invited you to above is part of the celebration of their 3 year anniversary of performances. Angelina became a dancer in the troupe (although not in this featured performance) – and if you are able to attend – you will be watching the magic the entire troupe has worked very hard to create.
I found the story touching and worth sharing with you dear readers. First, fantastic customer service and attention to detail brought two mermaids (at heart) together across international distances difficult to imagine. They have explored shared interests, had a lot of fun and now make these magical performances we all enjoy so much. So, if you get a chance, take a moment to meet friendly Angelina Rennahan and discover what other joys she finds in the mermaid life. A well established digital mermaid, Angelina owns a residential sim (Stella Mare Mer Sanctuary) which hosts fun mermaid events. Angelina is definitely a good mermaid to meet in order to network and discover some great places to explore (or live) in Second Life.
I hope you have found this post helpful in starting a digital mermaid existence in Second Life. We welcome comments below. Always learning – we are seeking to introduce you to the joy of mer.
Please come back to the Digital Mermaid blog (http://digitalmermaids.blogspot.com) for more information and suggestions. We would especially like to get your ideas on other topics we could share (email them to email@example.com). The goal is to get you one blog-post a week – on being mermaid in the virtual world!
Author: GraceSWF Wrigglesworth, SWF Founder and CEO
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