On Monday, July 18th, Seanchai Library and the Firestorm team announced a joint venture which will see Voice-based activities take place on the Firestorm Gateway regions as a further step in helping incoming new users understand the breadth and depth of opportunities and activities within the platform.
The new partnership will see the first Voice-based event lead by Seanchai Library take place on August 7th, 2016, when the Firestorm Social Island will be host to the Storyteller’s Sandbox series. Launched during Seanchai Library’s highly successful Crazy Eights season at the Linden Endowment for the Arts, Storyteller’s Sandbox provides a forum for new stories, new storytellers, and new ways to present them.
For this inaugural event at Firestorm Social island, veteran Second Life storytellers including Caledonia Skytower, Dubhna Rhiadra and Shandon Loring will be joining forces with voice talents such as Bryn Taleweaver and Hana Hoo, who have only more recently joined the ranks of Second Life storytellers. Together, they will present a mix of original tales and short stories in a showcase of live virtual storytelling.
“We have been brainstorming for a home for this event ever since we closed Crazy Eights,” said Seanchai Lead Caledonia Skytower, announcing the new partnership. “It is a great forum for introducing new voices to the virtual spoken story community. It also provides more experienced voices a chance to explore the incredible possibilities for immersion in a virtual performance experience. Sets, avatars, effects – there is excellent work being done in all these areas, both from the story-initiated creators, and by visual artists sharing the narratives of their work.”
The new initiative came about as a result of discussions between Caledonia Skytower, another veteran of storytelling in Second Life, R. Crap Mariner – host of the web-based 100 Word Stories Podcast series and Firestorm Project Director Jessica Lyon.
“I heard Jessica Lyon in an interview at the 13th Second Life Birthday, and she called for performers and events at Firestorm’s Community Gateway,” Crap explained. “She even invited me to perform there, but my material doesn’t quite fit the G-rating of their regions. I turned to my friend Caledonia Skytower and suggested that we put together a greater Spoken Word Project. We both look forward to bringing workshops and other events that will introduce the new users to spoken word, and introduce spoken word communities to new audiences, members, and participants.”
The Firestorm Community Gateway user base poses a new challenge for the Seanchai storytellers. Most of the audiences they perform before are established Second Life users who are both comfortable with using SL Voice and familiar enough with its foibles to deal with the frustrations it can create. “Firestorm Community Gateway introduces hundreds of new and inexperienced users to Second Life,” Caledonia said. “We’ll find ways to leverage the power of Second Life and the skill of the ever-present and patient Firestorm Support Staff to quickly diagnose and assist these users with Voice so they can enjoy these performances as part of their early Second Life experience.”
For her part, Jessica Lyon sees the new partnership as a further significant step forward for the Firestorm Gateway project. “We really want to expose new residents to the broad possibilities of all they can be involved with in Second Life: music, role play, art. Of course, spoken word is a part of that,” she said. “Crap and Caledonia complement one another’s skills and are so well-connected in their community. They are the perfect team to be leading this. “I am really excited about what Seanchai Library can bring to our Gateway.”
As well as the Storyteller’s Sandbox series, plans for additional events focused on poetry, writing, and other spoken word and literature opportunities are in development, and I hope to cover all of the activities within this partnership through the pages of this blog.
For those interested in live storytelling can also attend Seanchai Library’s weekly series of events on the Bradley University region and through their website and /or my weekly Seanchai library updates. R. Crap Mariner will continue to produce his daily 100 Word Stories Podcast (link above)and conduct readings in-world at his Clocktree Reading Room.