Previewing Men in Focus in Second Life

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Men In Focus

Men in Focus is a new gallery opening on Thursday, November 1st, 2018. Owned and sponsored by Men in Motion, a team of male choreographers and dancers promoting men’s mental and physical health in cooperation with the Movember Foundation. The gallery is curated by JMB Balogh, who invited me to preview the first exhibition at the gallery.

“The gallery features photography and 3D artworks of men at work or play in SL by male artists,” Jo informed me, adding, “There are hundreds of art galleries in Second Life but few, if any, that focus exclusively on the art of men.”

Men In Focus: Slayer Tanaka

The primary aim of the gallery is to showcase 2D art; however for the opening exhibition Jo has brought together both 2D and 3D artists, with works displayed across the multi-level gallery space that offers plenty of room for it…

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I am closing this blog for a while.  I have learned to never say never so it may open again in the future but I do not think it will be about dancing in SL.

I started stage dancing in SL in 2014.  It has been a wonderful experience that kept my full attention for four + years.  But as a friend of mine said several times, if it stops being fun it’s time to leave.  Well I’m not ready to leave, I have dances I want to create, showing them may be another story but I’d like to create and film them at least.  The dance community used to be a wonderful, supportive place, full of creative and loving people.  Lately however, I know it is me, I have changed somehow I guess; but the bickering, the finger pointing, the egos, unfriendliness in the community has just depressed me so I am stepping back.  I am finding my happy place in SL and if it does not include you or your venue or whatever, well too bad.

My priority in the dance community is Men In Motion and the Movember foundation events.  Other than that I will participate in what I feel like participating and no longer by my warped sense of obligation.




Sorry I’ve been AWOL from this blog but my parents always told me that if you didn’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all.  So that’s what I did.  However!

This new HUD is the BOMB!!!  A must have for all of us dancers who show at different venues and are constantly being reminded to change our tags.  I’ve been wearing it now for a while and gifted it to some friends, who all love it too.

This HUD will automatically change your group tag to whatever group you tell it to for parcels and regions.  You set it up one time and then every time you go back to that location your tag will automatically change.  So now Wiz and Kyra do not need to IM me about changing my tag all the time.  You can both still IM me for chit chat though.  LOL

I suggest it be a staple of every dancer who travels around various venues tool bag.

after I had mine set up with all the groups I needed in it, including my favorite stores, I slid it off the screen so I don’t even see it, it just works for me behind the scenes.  Oh and best part, it locks, so it will not change with your outfits!

From the market place listing:

This HUD will automatically change your active
group when teleporting into a region or simply crossing a sim boundary. It can be setup to change groups at the Parcel level as well as the Region level and if a Parcel within a Region and the Region itself are both listed, the Parcel entry takes priority. This HUD can also be configured to set a default group, or even unset active group, if no association is found for the region you just entered.

This HUD requires RLV/RLVa to be active on your viewer. You do not need a relay device however. The official Linden Labs viewer does not have this functionality and as a result this gadget will not work on that viewer. I have tested this gadget on the Firestorm and Singularity viewers.

The HUD can also attach items for a group when that group is set active, and detach that item when the group is changed out of. Handy for combat meters in combat sims, or a dance HUD at your favorite nightclub.

So go get it!!


The MH10 Altamura Mesh Body

Yes, it’s true.  Altamura is giving away a free bento mesh body with head for round 10 of the Men Only Hunt.  This is what it looks like.  The alpha HUD is great, the dots remove the sections or you can click the individual parts.  There’s a lot of them for sure.  However the HUD does not minimize that I could find. The body, head, hands, feet are all one piece.  You can not change the skin color as you can see I still had my regular skin hands on with this one and they are much darker.  Overall it’s a decent bento mesh avatar for someone starting out.

460ce967698b38c4051a0f11005633f0 f747cf0e51d5aaca5a5ec55ee9fb6419I tried to change the skin tone and put on a base hair but it did not work.  I discovered that the Aesthetic and TMP clothing fit it rather well depending on how much bulk you give him.  He has the typical square jowls that is so popular in SL men’s heads for some reason and are near impossible to soften.

Then I alpha’d out the head and put on the Aaron Altamura Bento Head I had and it fit like a glove, however, even on the lightest skin tone it is still darker than the one you get on the hunt.

untitledOverall a very cool avatar and really awesome of Altamura to be giving it on the hunt.  The hunt has some great prizes so if you haven’t had a chance yet you should definitely go do it before the end of the month.

MEN ONLY HUNT 10 – 10/7/2017 through 10/28/2017

Get the Hud:

Down and Out in Second Life


I haven’t written in a while.  Mostly because everything I drafted was depressing or angry.  I am not normally, these days anyway, a depressed or angry person.  I expected too much from people in general.  I should know better than that, because they will always disappoint you.

I’m having a mid-dance crisis.  Kind of like a middle age crisis but I’m not going out and buying fancy cars.  Although that does sound like fun.  I have cut down on the shows I perform in, I have taken some time off, I have continued to have ideas and cull music to use for dances.  But, I just don’t feel like it.  My muse isn’t gone, he’s still there riding my back like a monkey.  I enjoy making dances, and I enjoy dancing.  My focus has changed.  I used to be very driven, a bit competitive, wanting to please those I thought were the best in the field.  But life/SLife isn’t like that.  You just set yourself up for disappointments. So you take a step back.  Slow down. I don’t have the bucket of dances at my disposal that I used to.   Just wanted to up date you all on why I haven’t been posting.  But I have a few up my sleeve so stay tuned.

Lost Your Muse?


By Sebastain Bourne

Dancers in Second Life are very creative people.  Their ideas seem limitless and more fantastic with every show.  There are times however when even the greatest finds their muse has taken a vacation.  They feel they have lost their dance mojo.  This is a list compiled from interviews with SL dancers and RL artists about how to get that loving feeling back and dance again with your inner muse.

First of all, cut yourself some slack.  You are an artist. No one can be in the process of creating art every minute of the day. Life, family, friends, play time away from the studio, time for quiet contemplation; all of these are essential to balancing our lives. They are equally as important as our art and deserve to have our full attention.  There are many ways to kindle your creative spark, some involve re-centering or re-energizing yourself, while other involve seeking inspiration.

Take Care of Yourself. You know the usual, get enough sleep by not pulling all-nighters on your work. Don’t forget to eat and make it interesting, not a bag of chips or a left over sandwich. Get up and walk around some, don’t forget there is a real life out there.


Do something mindful. Meditation is a proven way to clear the mind, focus attention, and help us be more in the present moment. It also promotes divergent thinking (when the brain can visualize a task and come up with different ideas on how to perform it), which improves the likelihood of creative problem solving.

Make Space to do nothing. It’s hard to nothing in today’s world, but necessary for attracting creativity.  Find a way to fit “do nothing” into your schedule.  When faced with a challenging problem, we tend to try to think harder about how to solve it. Sometimes this creates a lot of static under our craniums that increases our frustration without yielding a clear path to the answer. Taking a mental timeout can have the same effect as a short break during intensive physical exercise. Give yourself some space to just “be”, and don’t feel guilty about it.

Make your workspace inviting.  If your build platform is full of old set pieces, other builds, a multitude of clutter, if it is uninviting and bland, your subconscious will pick up on this and weigh your creativity down.  Clean your area up, put up some pictures that inspire you.

Make yourself inviting.  Dress up in an outfit that makes you feel good about yourself.  Get a haircut, try a new exercise routine, meditate, or go out with friends.  It’s time to build up your confidence and feel good about yourself, because if you feel good about yourself then you feel good about what you’re doing. It isn’t self-indulgent to give yourself a little care. It’s critical to your creativity.


Let it go. What do you think about all day? I would bet it is not about the magic of life or vacations past and future.  It’s more likely about someone else’s dance, or a slight done to you, the bills, the house needs work, or the multitude of things we weigh ourselves down with every day.  Try meditation, listen to the music that fits your project (no, sit back close your eyes and LISTEN to it), write down everything bothering you and set it aside, exercise, or sing “Let It Go” from Frozen (okay stop grimacing, had to add it).

Reconnect with what you love.  When was the last time you did something you really enjoyed doing?  Something more than just watching a movie or going out to dinner or creating a dance.  The idea is to stop renting your life and start owning it. There is a whole world out there where dancing is not the main area of concern. Get back into something you left behind, something that used to make you so happy you forgot about everything else. Or, try something entirely new. Novelty wakes up your brain, and helps you make new connections that may inspire your work.

Remember your bravery. Courage is everything to an artist. The courage to make a mess, the courage to ignore what others are doing and take your own path, the courage to face a blank empty stage and blaze ahead with color.  Do whatever it takes to remind yourself that right now, today, no one is creating art that’s more relevant to you than what comes from your own hands.

Teach someone else.  Step back and mentor a new dancer. Help them learn and explore their own creativity and you just might regain yours in the process. If you can see art through their eyes, even for an afternoon, you can possibly lure your muse back from the Caribbean vacation on which she’s slipped away.


Take a long walk somewhere beautiful.  Inspiration exists everywhere in the world immediately around us- we just often can’t or won’t see it. It’s not stubbornness on our part, or a lack of imagination, that prevents us from keeping our heads up and our eyes scanning our environment- usually it’s as simple as being out of practice. Take some time to explore the forest behind your house, the local city park, or your back yard. You’re likely to come up with ideas while you’re out, so take some notepaper with you so you can jot them down.


“I, at times, find a fascinating texture that inspires a set.  I build the set then find a song to compliment it, organize a costume and create the choreo.  Try searching Google images: Fractal, Digital, or a particular color, even searching by a mood.  Include the word “background” or “panorama” to discover some really cool textures that can inspire a dance.” 

                                                                                                               Babypea VonPhoenix

Baby - Last Kiss Set

Go to galleries and museums both in SL and in your town/city.  This bit of advice may seem like a no brainer, but really when was the last time you visited an art gallery or museum as an artist, rather than as a tourist? We forget that we actually understand this stuff, that it lives in our blood and we are active participants in the culture that produced such works. Find an artwork that stimulates your imagination, something that excites or affects you emotionally.  Use this artwork as your muse to create a dance. You could go to pose shops and find a pose that inspires you to build around it.

Explore SecondLife. Go to the Destinations on the SecondLife homepage at: and explore the creativity of others through the worlds they have built. Visit some RP or fantasy sims, observe the atmosphere or characters that you meet there.  See what sort of dance can be inspired by focusing on some of these outside sources.  Draw from them to incorporate their stories into a story dance. Visit an animated texture shop such as Sanna or Sirius.  Pick a piece that really stirs your imagination, and use that as your muse.  Create a dance around it.

Collaborate with someone else. Create a dance with someone else.  Split up the choreo and set build. Explore animation shops together, you may find one that inspires you. Have someone else select a song for you to create a dance to.  This can be very uncomfortable.  More likely than not, you will not like the song much.  It is a journey down someone else’s road, in part, and a chance to see some things you would otherwise probably never see.

Snapshot_009 (4)

Find a costume.  Sometimes while looking for costumes for one dance, I’ll find costumes that I want to create a dance for. Forget about the music and focus on costumes for a while.  Go costume hunting.  Visit some wonderful shops.  Select a costume that is totally out of your usual style.  Something outrageous, something fabulous!  Then go build a dance around that costume.

Limit your options. Studies show that restricting one’s choices can more effectively trigger creative thought. That’s because leaving every door open makes it difficult to focus on which way to go, while having a more specific target helps you channel your thought process. And the target doesn’t even have to be logical. Try to create a dance entirely with items already in your inventory!  Do not spend anything on this dance!  No telling what you will discover that you forgot you had or never got around to using.  Put that inventory to work!

Laugh out loud. Laughter helps stimulate activity in the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex, areas of the brain associated with creativity. It can also boost your mood and help give you a more positive outlook that is conducive to creative activity. While it helps if you’re actually laughing at something funny, no punchline is required; the mere physical act of laughing provides benefits.


How do you tap into your creative brilliance? Play!  Create for the joy of it, not the outcomes you think you should be creating. Go somewhere you haven’t been. Talk to different people. Invite new questions about what you ‘know’ – and don’t assume you know anything!!

I am reposting several good articles here from MOVE Magazine.  MOVE was a venture started by myself, Babypea VonPhoenix, Cherri Banks, and several others.  We published a quarterly magazine for the dance community.  For lack of writers and time it fizzled out but Showtime Magazine was born and MOVE became a small part of it.  You can find more MOVE magazine articles Here.


Needless to say, dancers spend a small fortune on dance animations and gear… props, costumes, HUDs, particles and other effects.  Even if it has never happened to you, we all know someone who has had entire folders vanish from their inventory.  We all know someone whose dance HUD vanished into thin air, never to be seen or heard from again.  Protect your investment.  It is frustrating that there is no secure way to back up inventory in case of cyber disasters.  But there are things you can and should do to insure your virtual property.


Only buy copy animations.  They may be more expensive, but at least if your dance HUD gets ate you won’t lose all your dances and all your money.  If your HUD does get ate, you can rest assured neither the dance creators nor Linden Labs will replace your lost inventory, no matter how much proof of purchase you may be able to provide.  If your HUD does suddenly vanish into thin air, try checking at point 0,0,0 on the sim where it vanished.  I have found all sorts of odd things randomly floating at this location, just off sim, about 40 meters under the water.  I have three times found my partner’s dance HUD floating here and was able to return it to him.  Regardless of finding lost items floating just off sim at Point Zero, shop smart and only buy copy animations.


Then!  Make a box and put a copy of each animation into it.  I have a different box for each animation creator, then a Master box with these boxes in it.  I box up every dance I create with everything needed for the dance that copies.  I also have boxes of costumes and clothing that copy, boxes of building materials, furniture and props, particles, and anything and everything else that copies including scripts, photographs, and notecards.  If it is in your inventory and it copies, take the time to pack it into boxes, then organize these into master boxes of animations, clothing and costumes, props and furniture, particles and effects, scripts, photographs, notecards, etc.  You can then put all of these master boxes into one Super Master Box.  This is the Queen Mother of boxes, the one that has ALL your copy inventory items.  Copy this box and park it in different places in your inventory so that if one or two or five folders get ate by the Mystery Inventory Eater, you will still have a Super Master Box with ALL your copy inventory items in it.


If you have land, rez that Super Master Box somewhere on your land.  This is recommended by Linden Labs.  That way, if the SL inventory eater ever strikes your inventory, it won’t get the box of stuff you have rezzed.  You can always go to that box, unpack it, and still have your hundreds (thousands, probably) of dollars worth of dances and other copy items.  Never think it won’t happen to you.  It happened to me and has happened to my other half three times.  In all instances, we got all our ‘stuff’ back because we had taken the time to pack up copies.  It is time-consuming and a major undertaking the first time you set up this system of insurance, but it is so worth it.  And once established, it is easy to maintain by adding to your boxes weekly.  So protect your investment… box up copies, rez it, park a master box with copies of everything in several different places.  If disaster ever strikes, you will be so very happy that you took the time to do this.



I have grandeos schemes for MIM in November or Movember as we like to call it.  I want to do a week long event ,although the Foundation thinks a month long event would be fun.  With shops from the dancer community primarily, Dance team DJs almost every night or afternoon, and then the show itself on the Saturday of the 11th.  So Movember 4th through the 11th will be the Men In Motion  Movember Event.  We may even have an auction of the guys.  I have the Movember Foundation on board.  And for the last week or more I have been building the venue on the land so wonderfully donated by Ame as you can see by the pictures above. This is a great way to come out and not only see MIM in action, but support your dance team community as well.  As more information comes available I will keep you…

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TROFF – Chrome App

Figured I’d follow Eva’s example and put this training here on the blog, especially since I keep telling her she needs it.  I of course am not as good at this as she is but I will put what I have here.

I am not paid by Google or Troff.  I do not profess to know everything there is to know about this program since I really only use it to create my PD notecard.

Download Troff at

So let’s get started:


TROFF is a program designed to help musicians with their music.  It is a Music player that plays mp3s and mp4s and lets you loop a song or video, slow it down, and create markers with notes on the song timeline. It is a good tool to use if you need to practice something to music; if you are a dancer working on choreography; or a musician learning to play a song on an instrument.

Troff also lets you zoom in the time line, color the markers, and write notes for each marker.

Troff does NOT edit music.  Troff is not connected to GoogleDrive or the internet, it plays your songs from your local hard-drive, however it is a Google app and needs to be downloaded as such. This way it works as well offline as online!


There are seven (7) sections on the Troff program dashboard when you first open it up.

Song lists are special lists you make to work from sort of like play lists. Personally I usually ignore this section and turn it off by clicking on its tab in the top row green tabs.  Click on Song lists and the column will not show up, click on it again to see it.

This is true for any column you do not want to see.  Personally I turn off all the columns I don’t need.

Songs is the next column where all your songs you have in a ‘selected folder’ are listed.

If you do not have songs in the list you must add a folder that contains music.  To do this you click on ‘Select Folders’ to add your music directory.

Choose a song from the list by clicking on it and you can play the song using the orange round play button in the top center of the screen.

Troff defaults to starting a song in three seconds, as designated by the very large 3 on the right side of the screen, however you can click the number buttons in the settings section and start it at any number of seconds you want.

States defaults to remember state which I like because any time I pull up that song all my markers are there saved for me any time I need them.  You can also click to hide this column once your preference is set to remember state or not. I highly recommend you leave it at the default of remembering the state of the song.

Settings is the important section as it holds all your menu items you need to configure the song to play how you want it.  We will be going through this as we progress.

The untitled column is the Timeline.  This is where the song itself is shown from beginning to end.  The purple bar along the left side shows what is being played.  You can change this by clicking on the marker names which we will cover later. And your markers will appear here after you have set them.

Info holds the information about the entire song or movie, yes it does movies too, and it also holds more in depth information on the marker that is selected.  I usually for the purpose of choreographing songs in SL remove this from my view as well.

And finally there is the Countdown.  The top number shows how many seconds until the song plays, you can set this to any number using the pause before number in the Settings column. The lower number shows how many times it will play which can be set from 1 to infinity using the number pad in the Settings column.  We will cover this more later.


You play the song you have  selected from the songs section by clicking the round orange circle at the top of the screen next to the purple countdown bar.

You’ll find information about the song at the top of the screen along with the countdown and the number of times to play it such as the name of the song, information on the Author and Album although these are pulled from your music list, which means if they are blank it is because you do not have those fields filled in your directory.  You will also find the quick notes on countdown to start, number of times played and the start/end time.


Using Markers

The best function of Troff are the markers.  These let you set information about the song where you want it along the timeline.

When you click the orange Add Marker block in the Settings column, a box will pop up and you can add information about that mark in the song. As you listen to the song you can add markers where you want your animations to change and where you want particles to initiate or scenes to change etc.  You can also just hit “m” while the song is playing and quickly type in a Name and hit enter, it will create the marker as the song continues to play and you can come back later to add more information.

Marker information can be as simple as just placing a marker with all it’s default information to naming it and giving more detailed information about it. You can see the information in the marker shows the seconds that this marker is pointing to and the color chooser at the bottom of the small marker window to color the marker for easier grouping.  The name of the marker appears in the timeline the information about the marker is for your personal notes.

Do not worry if you do not get all your note information in the marker the first time through the song.  You can go back and make more detailed notes in the marker when you need to, by clicking on the ‘E’ for Edit, next to the marker.

You can see that the markers are marked in minutes on the timeline itself, but when you go into the marker information, it is marked in seconds.  You can also change the seconds in the marker to move it to a different time for example a chorus starts and you hit the marker 3 seconds into the chorus, just subtract 3 seconds from the seconds section in the marker box, hit enter and the marker will adjust to that time.

You can also use these markers to start a song from where the marker is at by clicking the marker title or name.  The purple bar on the side of the timeline will jump down to that marker and the song will start from there.  Which leads us into looping.



1284f7a1548ceec7505505a81bfa6697The markers make it easy to loop parts of the song.  This is good for when you want to find a perfect animation for a specific section of the music or want to practice that guitar riff 80 times.  You can set the loop to play anywhere from 1 to an infinite number of times by selecting the number from the Setting column number pad. To choose the start of the loop you click the name of the marker and you choose the end of the loop by clicking the Stop on the last marker you want in your loop.  The purple line will adjust to show what will play when you hit the play button.

You can also loop the song to do this as well. I loop the song while I go through and order animations against the music. Then I sit down and match up my markers with my animations or my animations with my markers and write my HUD (PD/Barre/Huddles/Atiste/etc.) timing notecard.  This is great because I can then write up my PD anywhere.


Let’s look a little closer at the Settings column.  Along with your Marker box you also have other options.

3a75c9d8925f524a90ac73898bb664aaIn the Settings column you have options for how to play your song.  The I/E button is for importing and exporting song information to share with someone else.  You can look this one up in the Help for Troff which is very comprehensive and well written. But I have never had a need to use it.

Add Marker adds a marker where you hit it at in the timeline of the song as it plays as we have gone over already how to do this. See how the M is underlined it shows you can just hit that letter while in the program to do the same action.  Each option has it’s own letter underlined for this purpose.

Move markers is a way of moving all the markers in the song, say if you edited out the first 8 seconds and needed to move them all back by 8 seconds.  I have never used this since I usually edit the song in Audacity first.  If I need to move a marker I just change the seconds in the marker edit box and it moves to that location in the timeline.

Play full song is basically a reset for when you have your song looped and need to go back to playing the entire song again.  You can just click this and the loop will be removed to include the whole song.

Zoom out and Zoom are just what they say they are. If you have a reason to (and I have yet to find one) zoom into a smaller  minute amount than the entire song.  This is mostly used if you were for example looking at a soundtrack and only wanted to focus on one song in the soundtrack, or trying to get the exact second timing on when that certain sound happens in the back ground.

Start before tells the timeline that even though you have a loop created starting at 1:26 minutes the start before number when activated will start the song however many seconds appear here before 86 seconds.  You type your own numbers into this section.

Stop after does the same thing as Start before but at the end of the loop, stopping the loop however many seconds you’ve stated after the end of the loop.

Pause before is the large number on the farthest right column telling the song or loop to start however many seconds you designate prior to playing (In this case it is 3, the song will start 3 seconds after you press start) I like using this and not watching it so I can time my hearing the music with the start of the song which we know a lot of times plays a lot into the timing since our reaction time to push start is a second or three off at times. It helps give me are more realistic timeline in a lag situation.

Wait between tells the timeline to wait the number of seconds you specify  before starting the song or loop over again (in this example it is 1 second).  This can give you time to reset your PD and start over. You type your own numbers into this section.

The number pad gives you the ability to tell Troff to play your song more than one time up to infinity.  This is the lower number of the two large numbers on the far right of the screen.

And at the bottom of Settings you have the ability to adjust the volume and the speed of the song.   REMEMBER though… Troff does NOT edit songs.  This is just for listening and will not affect your mp3/mp4 and will not save your song at a slower or faster speed except for within the Troff program settings.


Tying Troff into your PD or Dance Hud notecard.  As you can see you now have all your markers where you want things to occur such as animation changes, poses, particle emissions, etc. And each marker has the seconds already shown inside the information for each one.  You can now go through your markers and write your dance card.

When you play the dance through on the Dance HUD it will be very close to ‘Spot On’ (lil joke there) and only a few minor adjustments need to be made to start an animation one second before or after a point in the song depending on how you want it to flow.

Well hopefully this is clear as mud and you now know how to use the Troff – Training with music program to help you with your choreography needs.


Any suggestion on improvements on Troff can be mailed to, submitted at the Chrome App Store or at GitHub.

Troff is open source; you are welcome to make any changes to the program.
The source code can be found at