Ok. So. Those of you that know me might know that I’m kinda a project addict. I don’t really have a ‘specialty’ in SL… rather, I learn all sorts of things because I just like helping people. So I’m not exclusively a content creator or store manager or DJ or photographer or Blogger… rather, I’m learning to do all of these things, and trying my best to do them well, so that I can turn around and help others do them well for themselves. I didn’t always use to be this way… I used to take a very selfish approach to my SL, and do things only for me and what I could get out of it. But when I found that it was completely unfulfilling, I chose to conduct my SL in a different way. So far, it seems to be working out much better. 🙂
Though some of you know who I used to be and haven’t bothered since then, some of you know me now and didn’t then, some of you knew both, and some of you don’t know me at all… allow me to tell you all WHY I made the choice to live my SL how I do now.
When I first started dancing in SL, I had a couple amazing teachers at a Gorean school that helped me get started. Though Gorean dance, as it was back then, was not for me, and I stopped for awhile. Then I ran into the woman that I still claim as my dance teacher today, Rya Inglewood. Rya taught me that dance doesn’t have to be what THEY say it SHOULD be. The most powerful question I learned to ask myself when I doubted my dance was, “Who says?” Who says it has to be this ONE specific way? Who says Gorean slave dance is ALL about overt sexuality. If it was only about sex, placatory dances (dances begging forgiveness) and Sa eelas (lure dance of a love starved slave girl… note that says LOVE starved, not sex starved_ would not be as emotional as they are. I went from bumbling around in a sand pit to pass a class, to branching out into being a competitve Gorean dancer, a burlesque performer, a modern dancer,and even a lead choreographer for a short while. Rya taught me amazing things about dance, and about myself… and I would not be the dancer I am today without her.
When I first took an interest in DJ’ing in SL, there were MANY people who explained the basics to me, among which were Icarii Naxos, Duranu Razorfen, and Irish Breen. Though as I truly got interested in it, rented my own stream, and really wanted to get into broadcasting publically, with a radio station, Irish stepped up and blew me away with her openness and willingness to help me get in contact with the right people, what I needed to make sure I knew before contacting them… she swooped in, took me under her wing, and within the week I was broadcasting with the Gorean WHIP Radio, the ONLY Gorean radio station that’s ever been nominated for the Avi Choice Awards, and we were nominated both in 2011 and in 2012. I am honored to be among them, but I wouldn’t know the first thing of what I was doing without Irish.
Icarii Naxos has been in my life a long time, sometimes in good ways, sometimes in not so good ways. But one thing she’s always done that’s inspired me is photography. Is she the most amazing photographer I’ve ever seen? No. Could she sell her pictures for the prices that the likes of Pam Astonia, Madrid Solo, and Wicca Merlin do? Probably not. BUT, does she have an amazing talent and vision for her photos? Yes, she very much does. And she always inspired me to keep trying on my own photos, even when the only program I could operate was GIMP. Now that I have Photoshop CS6, I have the confidence for fiercely seek out tutorials for more skills, to try and push the artistic boundaries of what people think my photographs SHOULD look like, and finally begin to breech the level of what *I* think my photos should look like. I had the confidence to reach out and apply to a photography studio on a whim, and now I work for Budget Photo and Designs, an established photography studio that’s been around SL for the better part of 4 years. I work with some awesome people, an awesome boss, and I get to do something else I love… taking photos. And I probably would’ve given up a long time ago without Icarii’s work to look to.
I’m a dancer. We established this earlier. And we established how much Rya has helped me. But one other person that has helped me so much, in my SL in general, and more specifically dance… is Jariah Yuhara. In my opinion, she is one of the Top 2 motion capture dance makers on the grid… the other being Ramona Criss. Jariah looked at me when I applied to be a Customer Service rep with her after she convinced me to try (and later make the switch to) the Barre Dance HUD and saw not only a Customer Service Rep, but someone who simply wanted to help… someone with a fierce passion for all things dance. She gave me little extra projects, I took over her Customer Service Rep interviews, and in a short time, I was named her Manager. It gives me a sense of purpose in the dance community, even when I’m taking a break from performing, to know that every day I get to help SOMEBODY with their dancing. Whether I’m making sure they got an animation they already purchased, or answering a question about an animation or pack, or helping someone who’s never been to the store find the perfect animation… I am making a difference in someone else’s SL. I am doing what I love, and in doing so, I’m helping others do what they love to the best of their ability. I wouldn’t be able to do that without Jariah and her faith in me.
So you see… I am who I am in my SL today because of the people who have helped me. I am who I am in modeling because of being with the Dazzlers, seeing the models do what they do, and the individualism that Pyper supports among all of us. We’re not forced to conform to some idea of what people THINK dancers or models or both should look like. We wear costumes, we may even coordinate hair or makeup sometimes, but underneath it all, we are still ourselves. We don’t lose that spark of individuality, that shred of personality that makes us who we are and unique from everyone else. She doesn’t squash that in us… she nurtures it.
I would not be who I am in SL without the help of other people who took my hand, and guided me for their time, before letting me spread my wings and take off on my own. With so many people willing to help me, why should I be unwilling to help other people? If I could stand here and confidently say that I got where I am solely on my own merit and that no one else ever had to help me in SL… then maybe I could come off being stuck-up and ridiculous and unwilling to help others. But that “model” attitude… is so hypocritical it makes me sick. I’m here because of other people, so I’m damn well going to pay it forward and help others get to where they want to be.
What kind of a decent human being would I be if I didn’t?
Until next time, pageant followers,
Tivi Darkfold (Tiviyah Resident)
Miss Metaverse – Greece 2013
P.S. I know that didn’t have a lot to do with being scared. I ramble when I’m scared… and that’s what came out.
Countdown to Pageant: 22 Days