Monday, March 11, 2013

The Balladeer

Today we add a new regular Bird Singer to our performers: The Balladeer!

It gives us great pleasure to announce the spot left open by our dearest Dilah Halostar will be filled without a break from today on by this delightful singer and entertainer. Every Monday at 8 pm SLT @ Birdland the curtain goes up for... The Balladeer!

The Balladeer is a 20 year veteran of real life Theatre and Psalmistry. He has sung at the Lyric, Carnegie Hall, The Arena Players of Baltimore, Maryland and so much more. He has been in Ain't Misbehavin, Odd Couple. Ragtime, Joseph, Dreamgirls and more. He is very gifted and humble. He has been a semi finalist in American Idol. He is known for singing love ballads and his great love for diverse music. His voice will remind you of Barry White and Luther Vandross. His concert bass sound will have many remembering the sounds, the music and the excitement of The Balladeer.

Image adapted from a MrYawdy original design

Friday, March 8, 2013

Whatever Mavenn wants...


We met Mavenn soon after we returned to Second Life in 2012, after a few years away. We came by her through a mutual friend, Conte Alchemi, at the time an estate manager at the sim where we had a small island, Mezza Luna, where we settled in and reconnected. Both are amazing people and we spent time together, visiting, keeping in touch, and soon enough, Birdland was coming back and we started talking Jazz and Live Music and "Hey, Mavenn is singing at this beach venue!" and "Whaa...? Mavenn sings?!" Oh, yes. Mavenn sings.

A talent unmatched

After that first hearing at the beach club, I immediately asked her to sing at the Bird's Grand (re)Opening, and she graciously accepted, but by then the dates were not clear yet and we ended up setting Birdland's come back weekend just when Mavenn was moving in RL. So she never did get to sing at the Grand, but... I was determined to get her, so I let her settle in her new Real Life and as soon as she could perform again, I did. And was I ever right about something!...

 Time slipping away like sand through our fingers

Mavenn is one of those rare talents that is so natural, so part of who she is, that being amazing on stage to her is like breathing... To her it comes with no effort and she is always a bit surprised by the audience reaction as they burst into applause, filling the screen with "Brava!", "Awesome!", "Applauses!" and such... To her it was just another song she sang but to us it was yet another unforgettable, precious moment. Yesterday, at Birdland, like every Thursday at 7 pm SLT, Mavenn stepped on our stage and her Jazz made time disappear, sucked by her beautiful voice, her awe inspiring talent and the quality of her musical selection. But she will be back, next week, and the one after, and we will again be drawn into the magical swirl of her voice and once more time will fly away like it never was... But it was. And it will be. Again.

... Mavenn gets.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My Dutch cousin Dix...


Dix, aka Dixie Barbosa, is a dear friend and a talented partner at Showgirls and Burlesque. Together with Ingenue Campese, his RL/SL partner, he helped us get Moulin Rouge on stage, many of the show's exclusive poses and set scripted parts being his creations or adaptations, and as a DJ he has taken the stage at Birdland, for our pleasure, during our 2012 Halloween Event.

As a Birdland Friend, and after the interview with Ingenue, he was the obvious choice to continue the People Page series and we met at the Balboa Theater, where the Moulin Rouge stage sets he helped with live, for a conversation about his Second Life and how he sees it. I had a wonderful time with this Dutch cousin of mine. Here is the result.

Alma and Dix, sitting on the Balboa stage for a nice chat

Alma Fushikizoh: Well Dix, for starters thank you for your time, I know you are busy setting up Riverchapel and I appreciate you taking the time out to do this. I interviewed your better half, Ingenue Campese, and of course I had to follow up with you. All the work you guys did helping us with Moulin Rouge's production was precious and the show would not have reached the level of quality it did without you two. Having said that, let me ask you point blank... What do you do in Second Life?
Dix (dixie.barbosa): First of all, thank you very much for having me. It's a great honor to sit here in an empty Balboa Theater with such a talented person as yourself. Secondly, you're absolutely right in saying that she's my better half. She keeps me sane in every way and away from side-tracking all the time. Which takes me to your question... I guess that's what I do most. Side-tracking. Let me explain... I see myself as a jack-of-all-trades, someone who isn't really a specialist in anything, but loves everything. And I guess in SL I do just that, a bit of everything. From creating (scripting, designing, building, animating, you name it) to socializing, to enjoying everything SL has to offer. I have so many projects half-finished on the shelf, it's not funny anymore (although... you should see my 'ATTIC' folder in my inventory, you would laugh so hard)... Not sure if that answers your question, but thinking about it... I'm not sure there is one specific thing I do best or most in SL.

Dix was very much a part of Moulin Rouge's production

Alma Fushikizoh: When we first met you we were far from imagining you and Ingenue would play the part you now do in our lives, it was some Petites event and you were the DJ, later on when we were "formaly" introduced we went like "omg, it's Dix!" and you were both in your petite form. Why did you go the Petite way and how does Second Life look like from down there?
Dix (dixie.barbosa): I'll be honest with you. I see SL as an extension of RL. Not a replacement or a place to escape to. Because of that, I need to be able to relate to my second life up to a certain level. Because of that, I'm not too much into looking any different than a normal person would look like. I'm not as big into petites and whatnot as Ingenue. They just needed a DJ and I was there (with a bit of former DJ experience under my belt), so that's how it came together. More like a coincidence, I guess. However, DJ-ing at ShrinkyDinks (world for small avatars) did bring me to  being a Blues DJ at Voodoo Blues club after that. I did have a blast there for quite a while. How SL looks from down there? Much bigger! Other than that, pretty much the same. It looks  great and people who wear petite stuff, are usually less bound by common conceptions about how one should look like. So there's a much wider variety of ways how people dress up, when they're in small avatar form. And that's mighty interesting to observe.

The daunting audience view from where we sat

Alma Fushikizoh: It's interesting you consider SL an extension of RL, I share that point of view myself, and we happen to both have met our partners in SL and then transcend the relationship into RL. So what you do here on a technical level is also something along those lines? How much of a geek are you in RL?
Dix (dixie.barbosa): Tough question to answer. My RL doesn't look much like SL. My RL is pretty boring, in the sense that I'm a bookkeeper/financial analyst and I have a few hobbies, but other than that, the things I do in SL are definitely things that I couldn't do in RL. In SL, for example, I'm a DJ. I don't see myself doing that in RL. In SL, I used to be a reporter for SL Newspaper (we had about 10k hits per day), but doing that in RL is a whole different ballgame. Those are just examples. In SL it's so much easier to do stuff that would take an investment, education, experience or something similar to do in RL. Now of course, it is common belief that one can do anything (in RL), as long as you put your mind to it. However, it's easier said than done, and I guess in RL there's somewhat of a shyness that holds me back on some of those things. Like the DJ-ing. I guess I share that character trait with geeks. Other than that, I don't have any other special techy talents in RL, other than being able to 'program the VCR'. So am I a geek in RL? Anyone who is deep into SL or has been at some point, I guess can be considered a geek. Other than that... nah, not so much. Just to clarify, I see SL as an extension of RL, in the sense that if RL was the base package of a program or object, SL would be a package of add-ons. Things that aren't found in the standard version, but will give you extra cool stuff on top of it.

 In the background: Satine's Hindi elevator, with many hours of scripting versions inside, Dix's own

Alma Fushikizoh: I have seen your work as a journalist and you even got to interview a Linden once, managing somehow to finish the job without strangling him which is a testament to your professionalism! Being a blogger myself, RL and SL, I follow a few bloggers with interest and was amused when you let me in "Vinny Takes Charge", your pet's own blog! How did that happen?
Dix (dixie.barbosa): I have a love for writing. I guess there is something of a journalist in me. I try to entertain and explain. However, those two have to go hand in hand, in my opinion. I could have gone Linden-bashing, and it might have been entertaining, but would the interview have been better? I don't think so. To actually get to people, you need to take them seriously. Off the record I do plenty of LL bashing when a sim restarts while I'm in the 'zone', working on a project. But it is LL that is giving us a Second Life, and has connected me to the love of my life, so I'm the most grateful person there is!  So, getting back to your question: just entertaining is for short-term and you won't get far. Just explaining is boring. But combining those, is magical. That's what we do with Vinny's blog as well. Write entertainingly, while writing down our experiences as first-time parrot owners so others can use that info to their benefit. (pauses) Let me rephrase that: I have a passion for passion. I find it very interesting to get people to talk about their passions. By taking a serious interest in people, you might get a glimpse of someone's passion. From there on in, you can dig deeper. To me, that's so much more interesting than cheap entertainment. Our parrot has a passion for life in every form (and napping, and eating, and playing with his toys). Everything he does, he does with a passion. That's what I want to capture in that blog. I do some RL photography as a hobby, and my biggest challenge is to capture passion. Feel free to pick your answer.

The Balboa theater, a replica of the San Diego real one

Alma Fushikizoh: And that is the perfect segway to talk about Riverchapel. You and Ingenue were moving Size Matters and finishing up the details on the Mall you own there, opened for Petite Business, and it seems like what you mentioned about sharing the experience is part of what you do in SL. So what will Riverchapel bring to us?
Dix (dixie.barbosa): Our place on Riverchapel offers one-stop-shopping for the Micro Mesh system of small avatars. There are several systems that are only partially compatible with eachother. Yabu Petites is the main one, but there are a few other systems on the rise, like the Micro Mesh, created by (11)Design (Devious Noyes). Other than that, we have our event area, that we haven't really used yet, but we're planning to do some fun events there in the near future. But that's basically it. It started out as our own place where we could work, with the possibility of organizing some events, but the mini-mall, which started out as a side-project, has definitely become our baby.

Even a truly gifted man drops his shades once in a while

Alma Fushikizoh: Dix, I won't take your time much longer, just let me thank you for allowing me and our friends to know you better, we enjoy giving Birdland's friends a place where they can share their experiences and let others know them a little better. That's what the People Page in our blog is all about and I couldn't have found two better people to start it with than Ingenue and yourself. Thank you for being a friend and a "partner in crime" at Showgirls and Burlesque and I hope to keep you in the "payroll" for years to come.
Dix (dixie.barbosa): Unfortunately, I'm not as talented as Ingenue (she's awesome) or as you and Blysse of course (huge amount of awesomeness there as well). All I did was help out with a few tech things. And of course I'll be more than happy and honored to keep working with Showgirls and Burlesque and Birdland in the future, wherever I can. And about our talk here... The pleasure was all mine! Thank you so much for having me!

To get to Dix and Ingenue's little people Mall in Riverchapel click here for SLURL!
That is where Size Matters lives (click here for the SL Market Place store page)!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Size Matters... A lot!

Ingenue Campese

Ingenue Campese is one of Second Life's pearls. She is a creator and a merchant both in world and on Second Life's Market Place on the Web and she is a busy bee! Through mutual friends she came to know Birdland and Showgirls and Burlesque and, before we knew it, she was designing Moulin Rouge's wardrobe on one of the show producers' (Blysse Biondi) directions.

She also designed an exclusive give away formal set, Gown and Tuxedo, for the members of the Venue Group. Both will be available at Birdland soon and all you have to do is join the group to get yours!

Such an amazing woman and such an incredible talent deserve a note, and this interview is my way of saying thank you for all she and her partner, Dixie Barbosa (Dix), have done and continue doing for us, as members of Showgirls and Burlesque and Birdland's friends. We met at her new store, on Riverchapel (see links below!), the day she was moving from the previous location and talked for a few minutes. Here is the interview.

Ingenue and Alma at Size Matters new store

Alma Fushikizoh: First of all and again, thank you for your amazing work for Moulin Rouge, I'll never get tired of thanking you and we can never repay you all you did for us. However, I can try and let people know about you and Size Matters, so let me start by asking you how long as this been going on?
Ingenue Campese: I enjoyed making those costumes for you (smiles). It was a challenge for me, and that is how I thrive. I've had Size Matters for 7 months I think. I started creating for Petites and then Micro Mesh avatars. Prior to Size Matters I designed Formal Gowns way back in the dawn of Second Life (smiles).

Alma Fushikizoh: What made you go from regular size formal wear to the Petite world and all these awesome gadgets you have available? Have you been a Petite for long? What is the attraction for you?
Ingenue Campese: Well this could be a long winded answer, haha. I found Petites when I came back to Second Life from an almost 3 year break. I discovered them just after I decided to open a new apparel shop a year ago. My original goal was to design formal gowns and get into all the new mesh goodies. But after a few disappointing mesh purchases (I don't create my own meshes) I decided maybe that wasn't the route for me. I found the mesh avatars used the same templates as the Linden Labs ones and found the textures to look beautiful on them compared to the blurries of large avatars Even though we are tiny (smiles), haha!

The interview was a break on another busy bee's day

Alma Fushikizoh: I know! Tell me about your work process, without revealing any trade secrets, of course. How do you get your ideas and how long does it take you from drawing board to store shelf...?
Ingenue Campese: Well these days I would say 98% of the items in my shop came from requests and the other 2% just because I wanted something to wear. So most of my ideas come from other people. My work process is highly scattered, at any time I have at least 10 works in progress. Currently I would say there is about 20 items half finished in my inventory waiting to see a store shelf. An item can take me anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks. Depending on the detail and my focus, ha!

 Some of Inge's ingenious items, soon for big people too

Alma Fushikizoh: I love in world stores and I am so glad you are keeping yours. I know this very day you are transferring your items to a new store, from a previous space, and thank you for doing this interview today! I find the convenience of the Web SL Market Place fascinating, but to me, being able to walk into a real store and touch the objects and try them out on the spot is still the best way to shop. In a time where many go the Market Place way exclusively, what made you keep your in world store open?
Ingenue Campese: I find the same thing, I enjoy shopping in-world. I often find the Market Place a bit overwhelming. I like to use it as a shopping guide. Dix and I also decided we would like to open an event area and small mall for other Micro creators. So the one stop shopping for the Micro People is very handy. Many of the creators here sell items for regular sized avatars as well. I am actually in the process of converting my entire inventory to regular sizes that will be included in the purchases.

 Our view during the conversation: Riverchapel

Alma Fushikizoh: So this whole Mall is yours and Dix's?
Ingenue Campese: Yes, we built this initially for a place that Dix could DJ at, and then we built the mall on the outside.

Alma Fushikizoh: That is amazing, Inge. Dix is so talented and he worked with us on some of the tech side of Moulin Rouge as well, many of the poses and set scripts on the show being his creation and/or adaptation. He is also a cool DJ. How long have you been together and what is his involvement with Size Matters?
Ingenue Campese: Ha! I won't argue with you there! He is very talented and the love of my life! We met in 2007 right here in SL. We knew each other for a year, then decided it was time to take this to RL. I lived in the states and he in The Netherlands. We were 99.9% sure we were RL and not just SL. So I went to The Netherlands to meet him. We dated long distance for a year, taking trips to each others countries and then at one point we said, OK time to pick a country! I have been living in The Netherlands for 3.5 years now (smiles). His involvement in Size Matters a TON of encouragement and keeping me sane and making sure I don't take on too many projects!

 The Riverchapel Mall at sunset

Alma Fushikizoh: Let me trace back something you said that is worth a follow up... You mentioned you are working on normal sized versions of all your petite items and that you will include them in the orders. How does that work exactly?
Ingenue Campese: Well I am trying an experiment really. Most people have sections of their shop, one for Micros, one for Regular Sized avatars, and so on. In my products when you purchase them, there will be items for Regular Sized avatars your regular clothing layers that you are used to using, Magic Rings that can be used on the [11] Design Micro Avatars and other compatible small avies. And in some case I have even included Lola: Tango Appliers. Sorry boys I didn't include them for your clothing (smiles). So we will see how it works out, I like people to have value for what they purchase, and I know a lot of people wish to have a small avatar that looks like their Regular sized one. So now they don't need to purchase two separate items.

 A talented woman and a good friend

Alma Fushikizoh: Well Ingenue, I know you are very busy so I just want to thank you again for being so helpful and most of all a friend, and also let me say that I have worked with some creators in SL, both as a producer and as a model and you are one of the finest when it comes to custom work. Your ability to grasp the client's idea and turn it into a real thing is one of your strongest qualities. Thank you so much for your time and I hope to have you as Showgirls Costume Designer for many years to come!
Ingenue Campese: Alma thank you! that is the best compliment anyone has ever given me. I really enjoy bringing people's visions to life. Your show was the most fun project I have done to date. I can never really repay YOU for that experience. So thank you for letting me be a part of it (smiles).

Ingenue Campese's Size Matters can be found in world at Riverchapel (click here for SLURL) and on the Web at the SL Market Place (click here for the store page).

Become part of the tradition!

So you think you can Jazz?

If you feel like becoming a part of Birdland and help us keep our tradition alive, check out our careers page and apply today! There is a great job opening and we are always in need of hostesses/hosts so have a look and let us know if you are interested! We look forward to hearing from you!

We'll meet again some sunny day...

Dilah Halostar steps on Birdland's stage for the last time as a regular Bird singer.

This amazing artist is moving on to other ventures and Birdland will always welcome her anytime she feels like doing a show outside of the box. Dilah started as a regular Bird Singer on November 5th, 2012 and leaves many memorable performances that will not be forgotten.
You will be missed at the Bird, Dee, but your voice and piano will continue to grace SL with your art. Thank you!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chins up, Boobs out, It's SHOWTIME!

Moulin Rouge 2013 Season Pass available now!

We are proud to announce both the Avant PremiƩre and the Grand Opening of Showgirls and Burlesque stage adaptation of Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge were a success! Yesterday was the official Season start and with a full Balboa Theater, the company performed at the top of their game.
A timely sim restart took care of most of the lag problems productions of this kind contend with and we had an almost perfect run through of this 8 act play. It gives us great pleasure to keep it on stage for the coming weekends. Season will close on March 24.

IM Alma Fusikizoh or Blysse Biondi for a Season Pass! Show Booklet and LM's included!