Maybe I’m not an introvert

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AWOL

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.

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A SERIOUSLY COOL FIND

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!!

https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/BN-Group-Change-HUD/7199110

 

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
https://flairforevents.wixsite.com/secondlife/men-only-hunt

Get the Hud:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/AMERICAN%20BAZAAR/50/206/25

Down and Out in Second Life

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

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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: http://secondlife.com/destinations 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.