Thursday, January 29, 2015

Interview With Pyrie Catoria (Catalina Staheli)

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Relay for Life's fundraising season is still over a month away, but already some are getting ready for it. Among them is Pyrie Catoria (account name Catalina Staheli). Pyrie has been doing a photogrpahy project, taking pictures of each Relayer with their reason for taking part in a picture frame they're holding, and putting each on a Flickr page for the project. Recently the Newser had a chance to interview her about herself and her project, so I met her at her studio.

Bixyl Shuftan: "So how did you find out about Second Life?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Oh! I actually got involved in Second Life through my university. I was working as a technology consultant as I finished up my bachelors and they put SL into use at the university for online classes. They told us to familiarize ourself with the program to help if any troubleshooting was needed. And I came in, set things up, looked around and said 'What's the point of this, again?.' Coming from a gamer's background, I was expecting levels, goals, quests, etc. *laughs* And instead it was just a bunch of people standing around. I was like 'hmm.....alrightie then.' And then explored a bit more on my own time and, well, eight years later I'm still here."

Bixyl Shuftan: "What did you find once you explored?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Hmm....well, as an educator, I loved the online representations of the different cities. I still remember visiting an online Prague, Venice, Paris. And then I found out you could have a job in SL and well, I was a broke college student, so signed up. Worked for a bit, did well. And then started finding some of the role play sims and got hooked on that." *smiles*

Bixyl Shuftan: "What roleplay sims were you in?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Oh, I started off with the vampire sims, working as a handmaiden to a lord and his family. They actually paid their staff in lindens to be around, so it's how I sort of made that shift from jobs to role play. After that I explored the Gorean sims, beginning as a role player. I did that for a few years, branching out into Game of Thrones, where I was a part of the original King's Landing sim. I've explored Venexia, Kingdom of Sand, Goatswood. A few years ago, I realized a bit more about myself through my time spent in Second Life and began to pursue a new path that touched both on my SL and real-life journey.

"So some role play turned into real life. And some have continued to just be enjoyable role play." *chuckles*

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles, "How did you find out about the Relay in Second Life"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "I did Relay for Life when I was in high school, the walkathons, the fundraising, all of it. And I loved it. There are very few places that throw a party like New Orleans and so our RFL walk-a-thons were filled with crawfish boils, live cajun music, pet alligators you could hold, and teams that were laughing and dancing and showing such a camaraderie, it's something truly special. A few years ago, I saw some notices for RFL things, but really didn't pay that much attention to it. And then three years ago....I don't remember what prompted it, but I had this small kernal of an idea. I tend to be quite the dreamer and come up with fun projects to explore. So I had this idea of doing a photography project. I did a few samples before approaching Kaiila Mahoney, the captain of the Goreans For Life team, and from there, I fell head first into doing RFL every year since."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Have you done much photogrpahy in Second Life before your project for the Relay?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Indeed! I began doing photography about a year beforehand. Everything was a learning experience in terms of technique and composition and I really enjoyed the process. I worked as a photographer at A Touch of Glamour until they closed and then opened up my own photography studio after that."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How has your own studio done?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "It did pretty well. I had a lot of fun and was doing 200-300 dollars a month in revenue. It was truly a second business for me. There's no studio or gallery as of now, but I still do freelance photography for any who want it." *smiles*

Bixyl Shuftan: "So how did your RFL photo project do at first? What were some of the initial reactions?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Oh it took off like a shot! I didn't start doing anything until the end of May or beginning of June. Between then and the RLF walk-a-thon, I raised about 50,000L that first year."

Bixyl Shuftan: "50,000 Lindens, that's pretty impressive."

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "I was pretty happy! I think it was about 53,000L in the end. 50K had been my goal."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds pretty great. What team did you say you were a part of?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "The last two years I was with the Goreans for Life team. This year I am helping with the committee and reaching out to all teams."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Any specific plans for this year?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "Yes! I'll be doing the 'Why Do You Relay" series for the third year and then I'll also be doing a special exhibition later this season featuring those currently fighting cancer and survivors of cancer."

There had been a man nearby in her studio, so I decided to ask about him.

Bixyl Shuftan: "I guess we need to mention him sometime. Is Corel Ewing here with your photo studio?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli) smiles. "Corel's a friend who stopped by. We were chatting when you arrived."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh, I see."

"Was there anything else you wanted to mention about the Relay or the photoshoot?"

Pyrie Catoria (catalina.staheli): "The photoshoot takes about fifteen minutes from start to finish. And all are welcome. It doesn't matter what community you're from or what team you're on, everyone is welcome. The portraits are free and each participant will receive a full perm version they can do anything they'd like with.

"My goal this year is to raise 250,000L in donations, and 100% of any donation someone on a team gives can go to that team. So they help their team and they get the portrait. I'm just keeping a running tally of the donations for my own goal. It all goes to the same place and I just really want everyone to work together so that we can have an amazing year."

Pyrie invited me to pose for one of her snapshots, so that was quickly done. With both that and the inverview finished, we went our separate ways.

Pyrie posts her "Why Do You Relay" pictures on her Flickr page at: . She's also made an SL video about them.

(Click here if the image fails to load)

Bixyl Shuftat

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Interview with Scratchmusikatt Fox (aka Scratchmusikatt Sprocket)

By Bixyl Shuftan

Scratchmusikatt Fox is a DJ in real life whom was making a name for himself a few years ago in Second Life as the "Chaos DJ."  Events forced him to take a break from the virtual world for a time. But now he's back, and so is his music, either on his main account or his alt Scratchmusikatt Sprocket. Recently Second Life Newser sat down for an interview with him. 

Bixyl Shuftan: "So how did you find out about Second Life?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "A real-life roomate of mine, Stripes Waterkat was part of the beta testing for Second Life. I would occasionally look in on what he was doing because he always had some pretty good music coming out of his speakers, and I knew this wasn't stuff he had himself. So I finally asked him one night 'what is that you're doing?', because at the time he was at Club Fur and I could hear the DJ talking on the air. He explained Second Life to me and how to get into it. But It wasn't until a year or so later that I tried it myself."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How did your first experiences go?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Second Life was still pretty basic back then. It was out of Beta by the time I joined, but furry avs as we know them were mostly still a new thing. My first 'avs' were of my main fursona, Johnny Vulpine and The fursona I created specifically for my forray into SL, Scratch Musikatt. I joined Second Life for the sole purpose of getting into DJ'ing because it's something I liked doing in real life.  I couldn't even begin to tell ya who made those first two avs. They were little more than a head and tail and a skin, because flexiprims didn't exist at the time."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds pretty basic compared to today."

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Yeah, Second Life has come a long way. but even then there was something that spoke to me beyond the draw of DJ'ing. I found alot of roleplayers and, given the ability to be... pretty much anything you want. SL suddenly had a second draw for me. It was the DJ'ing and the escape from real-life that kept me here through the difficulties of SL's infancy."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How did your experiences go from there?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "As Second Life grew and more people I knew got into it, things got more and more fun. I never got to officially DJ at Club Fur, but I found a place called Club Elite. They were open to furs and non-furs alike. They had, in the past been named the Number One club in SL and they were looking for DJ's. I applied, and Mrs. Rainestar (owner of the club's radio station) gave me a wednesday night slot from 7 to 9pm. And it was there that DJ Scratch Musikatt was really born."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How did it go?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "To be perfectly honest, I was nervous as hell. They had shown me how to setup and run SAM broadcaster the week before and I remember thinking to myself now crazy complicated it looked. As I was preparing to actually go on the air the first time, a million ideas were spinning in my head for how to carry myself on the air. I took a breath, and thought of the Radio DJ's I used to listen to as a kid. Wolfman Jack, The Greaseman, and Dr Demento and I just kinda decided to channel them into my performance."

Bixyl Shuftan: "And it went without a hitch?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "To my surprise, Yes, Rainestar had told me a good formula to follow is to do at least 20 minutes of music then either an ad or a voiceover. I found it easier to keep to a 30 minute schedule and by the third set of my first show I felt like I had it down pretty tight. I did have a bad habit at first of forgetting to turn off my mic after a voiceover. So, sometimes the listeners would get treated to my singing along with the music until someone would poke me to turn off the mic."

Bixyl Shuftan: " Heh ... How did things go after that?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Things were great @ Club Elite for a good while. But unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. The club wasn't making enough money to keep running and eventually had to close its doors. As a parting gift, the owner of the club gave me a copy of the club's dancefloor. at the time it was one of the most unique dancefloors I'd ever seen. And to this day, I still use a dance floor based off of it's design whenever I put on shows in my own places or a place that allows the DJ to provide a floor. I made quite a few friends at Club Elite, and was able to get into other clubs thanks to those connections.

"I played for Club Abydos when there were only three Furnation sims. DJ Inferniel ran the place he and I were both alumni of Club Elite, so it was no surprise when I got an invite to play there. Furries were rapidly becoming more and more widespread in Second Life and so I was doing alot of looking around at other furry clubs too. Abydos eventually shut down, for the first time and I moved on to the club which I will always think of as Scratch's first home: Rainbow Tiger."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How would you describe this particular club. What made it stand out among other clubs, furry and otherwise?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Rainbow Tiger? well, it was bigger than anyplace I'd played for before and it's roster of DJs was huge. There was someone live on the air almost 24-7, I'd never seen that before. The atmosphere at Rainbow Tiger was really hoppin' too. there was always people there. Club Elite, Club Fur and Abydos all had times when there was just nothing going on, but not Rainbow Tiger. It was exciting and fun knowing that was part of a club that entertained so many people so much. Of course, that just makes how Rainbow Tiger finally shut down even sadder. I haven't found a club since that had the same feel to it as RT had back then. I'll admit, a few have come close. But I honestly don't think that kind of magic will ever be duplicated. Rainbow Tiger just had the right combination if elements and I'm proud to have been a part of that."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How long did it keep going?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Well, I know that Rainbow Tiger had been a well established place by the time I started my backup Second Life account in 2006. And I know that somewhere around 2009 or 2010 RT had to shut down. I don't know for sure when because I had fallen on hard times and was not able to get on Second Life for almost a year. Before then, the last time I played at Rainbow Tiger had been in 2008. I was playing for there and another fairly popular club called Fur Dungeon. I was unemployed in real life from 2010 to 2013 and so I wasn't able to do much in Second Life at all unless I was at a location where my aging laptop could get a good enough signal to get into SL. When I finally got back into Second Life effectively, I found out that Rainbow Tiger had closed.

"Then early in 2014, I began to hear rumors that somebody was trying to bring Rainbow Tiger back. I kept tabs on this rumor until finally a notice popped up in the old RT group that stated they were back and looking for DJs. I immediately signed up. ay this time I had begun playing for a licensed furry radio station, 'Raging  Dragon Radio,' owned and operated by the con chair of my local area's first furry convention 'Furthemore.'"

Bixyl Shuftan: "So you never found out why it closed?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "I spoke to Spike about it when I found out that Rainbow Tiger was back, and the way it sounded to me was that the place just wasn't drawing the crowds like it used to. So, I thought this could be a win-win situation if I could get Rainbow Tiger associated with Raging Dragon Radio. That way RDR would finally have an official venue in Second Life (they didn't at the time) and RT would have the support of RDR. Unfortunately, it seemed it was too little too late. The place was almost always empty. And so, Spike finally sent out a notice that Rainbow Tiger was shutting down for good, just a couple months ago. Even the brightest stars eventually burn out."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sorry to hear about that. So for a few years your DJing in SL was a little spotty?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "I Yeah, between 2006 and 2010 I did alot of hopping around to different clubs, I played GYC for about a month ... Don't even get me started on THAT place. Let's just say for the kind of club they were running they hiring DJ's was just kinda a waste of time and they would have served themselves better by just using a radio stream tuner. I played for some of the clubs that my good real-life friend DJ Rory ran; The Coco Beach Club and the Blue Parrot to name a couple. I met one of my best SL friends ever at the CBC, Muertos Ashbourne. I Played for a mostly human club by the name of Club Zapp for a while. But by then it was pretty much the end of 2011 and the beginning of the really hard times when I pretty much had to drop out of Second Life completely.

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Well, it was during the Spring months, I was doing sidework for a real-life friend's father and staying at his place while I worked. SO I was able to use my laptop to get online there and get back into SL. At first, I didn't do a whole lot. Certainly no DJ'ing, all the clubs I was familiar with were gone. Even, as I found out upon my return, Rainbow Tiger. So, I kinda took a break from the club scene for a bit, my RL schedule didn't really work for club DJ'ing at the time anyways. So I got into new roleplay groups. I had begun getting into 'My Little Pony' by that time and I discovered the Fallout/MLP crossover called 'Fallout: Equestria.' Did alot of RPing there as well as alot of other places Muertos and I found in our travels.

"As I said before I hooked back up with Spike and the Rainbow Tiger crew and did my best to try to help the place thrive, but it turned out to be a lost cause. Early in November (2014), a group notice went out from this place I'd shopped at before called Furry Fashion saying they were looking for DJ's Hosts, and Models. Hell, I never even knew they had a club. Now, I've never been the kind of guy that DJ's for the money. NONE of the clubs I played for before paid the staff. We always worked for tips and that was it so I was used to playin' for peanuts. But hey, like I said, I was never in it for the money. BUT, I will admit, it DID perk my ears when I heard that this place not only paid the staff but you also get tips, it was just like an real-life club.

"So I figured, what the hell and I applied. Well, not to toot my own horn, but it was no surprise when they showed interest in hiring me. There's alot to be said for having a good resume backed by years of experience. I was contacted within the week, played my first show there that Thursday. And I do believe, I made them fall in love with me that very same night."

Bixyl Shuftan: Sounds like you were a real hit (smile).

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Well, so far, I've heard nothing but praise from the Furry Fashion staff. They're a really fun bunch too. They run a staff chat outside of Second Life in Skype that way we can keep up to date of things going on at the club on or off of SL. We get together and play 'Cards Against Humanity' online sometimes. It's just a very friendly atmosphere and very family-like. I'm enjoying it a lot. I still play for Raging Dragon Radio on Thursdays. Unfortunately tho I don't think I could host RDR at Furry Fashion because there are rules to how I have to play on RDR and there are rules to how I have to play at FF and the combination of the two would make running a show very difficult for me. I'm good, but I'm not that good and trying to follow both sets of rules would totally suck the fun out of the whole show."

Bixyl Shuftan nods, "So aside from these places, what are your plans for the future?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "Well, I'll play for Furry Fashion for as long as they'll have me. Meanwhile, I am looking for a place that can accommodate my schedule and be a good fit for hosting Raging Dragon Radio. Kit, RDR's owner has recently gotten back into Second Life himself and a few weeks ago we went club hopping looking for places to apply to that might be a good fit."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Anything else that you'd like to mention?"

Scratchmusikatt Fox: "*Giggles insanely* "well I could bore ya with my mercifully short forray into trying to run a club of my own. But I don't think you want to write about a train wreck. That's one thing I'll NEVER do again."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Well, if that's all, thank you for your time and good luck with your music making."

Raging Dragon Radio:

Bixyl Shuftan

Friday, January 16, 2015

Beckye Burnstein: Second Life's Visible Woman

By Bixyl Shuftan

Have you ever heard of "The Visible Woman?" In the 1960s and 1970s, these model kits were available for either adults or older kids interested in anatomy. When assembled, they represented a body with transparent skin, allowing one to see the bones and organs inside. I was reminded of these models when I ran into a certain resident in Second Life, Beckye Burnstein.

I ran into Beckey at the Paris 1900 sims. We chatted for a bit, then after a comment about the interesting things people can create in Second Life, she asked, "Wanna see something interesting?" She then began removing items of clothing, but instead of bare skin, what was revealed was a combination of bones, muscle tissue, and organs, "I have (a) full skeleton and most organs attached under my skin. I removed (my) mesh shirt so you can see. ... Last part I found was mesh boobs. I applied a flex/muscle texture to it. Thought you might like to see it. I would love the whole world to see it, but it's kinda hidden. *giggle* When people cam in too close and get their cam inside, I always get some IMs. *giggle*"

Beckye went on, "I started collecting organs about two years ago, adding stuff when I find it. The uterus was a great find. I started to add muscles to the bones too.....takes a while to adjust everything perfect." She told me she had gotten her start at a roleplay sim, Nor, "I  was a machina/cyborg, trying to become human. I got a skeleton and a brain, then a heart." She had been inspired by the movie "Bicentenial Man," and much like the movie's robot hero, her character was eventually considered human. She eventually left the roleplay, but kept on collecting organs.

The organs themselves are worn all the time. But the arm bone and muscle visuals are not usually on as the skeletal hands are a bit large. She had yet to adjust their size down to normal, "Since I started Second Life five years ago, I always try to improve my avatar, make it look as realistic as can be, inside and out. As I like to say, "I logged in one day and felt empty inside.' Ha ha ha." When her see-through appearance is fully on, "no skin at all except for my face. If you cam under my hair, you ll see the skull. Camm ll see a brain."

"Building this avatar made me learn some about anatomy. It's really fun to do. She also described some interesting incidents with the avatar, "One time, I was visitng Detroit Sims roleplay, as an observer. I was just walking around, minding my own, being a good observer. And one of the sims admin went totally out of character, stopped the RP and pointed out to everyone that I had organs and skeleton," Becky laughed, "was funny."

"Another time," Beckye described, "I was in a court trial in Nor, as a witness. During my time on the stand, I had to go pee, real bad. I couldn't hold it any longer, and I began to start peeing right there, in the court room. That was the highlight of the evening (laughter). ... Little thing called a 'Tinkler,' makes you need to pee once in a while. Adds to the whole bio thing." I chuckled, "Did it come with a bottle?" She answered, "No, but I can add a script to put inside drinks that would accelerate the pee cycle, and have it rezz a nice pee puddle. Also has some Restrained Life Viewer functions, but I don't use them."

Beckye commented, "I have thought of making a HUD that would include all body functions, with animations, and organs react to all this. Can go from healthy/sick, bone fracture, realistic pregnancy,endless possibilities." She also thought of scripted hair that grew every day, "with a HUD to make a haircut, so you have to wait for long hair, etc. You could have a neglected look. Next think, I'm leading to build hair, and my partner will figure out scripts to make my folly come to life, before 2016 hopefully."

I asked Beckye what did her partner think or her body building. "At first, he didn't get it (laughter). I had to explain it to him, and he told me I was crazy. After explaining it again, he told me, 'there might be a way.' So, he'll have to figure that one out. Hee-hee. I know how scripts work, but I can't write them. Sometimes I find the logic of 'how to,' and he writes the codes. It's a blessing to have a scriptor as a friend. Most builders I know can't write complex scripts. All scriptors I know, they can't build prims (laughter). This is how we met, through building."

Becky says she might pause her building efforts to see what SL 2.0 has in store in regards to avatars with bodily functions, "I hope this is where they are going."

Besides her body building, Beckye is also into Second Life aviation, flying planes such as her personal 737 within Second Life.

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Interview with Kylie Sabra

By Bixyl Shuftan

If you're familiar with the Content Creator controversy that hit Second Life from 2013 to 2014, you've heard of Kylie Sabra who organized the United Content Creators of Second Life, the group that tried negotiating and talking to Linden Lab. This feat resulted in Second Life Newser choosing her as "Person of the Year: Runner-Up." But that's just one of a list of her accomplishments. From being the manager and set designer of the Rose Theater galleries to a clothing designer, she's made her mark across a number of fields on the Grid. Recently I had a chance to interview her. So we set a time and met at the Theater.

Bixyl Shuftan: "To begin with, how did you find out about Second Life?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): My husband saw me playing "Farmville," and rolled his eyes. "If you're going to'play', 'play' something cool." (laughter) He'd been on a couple of years before, but it did not set with him. That was five years ago this past October."

Bixyl Shuftan: "How were your first experiences here?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "One day a man I met created a bird right before my eyes and it flew away. I was mesmerized and began building immediately. I built my first art gallery within 60 days and filled it with my work and began promoting. So it has always been creative. Don't get me wrong. Like most, I ventured first into the club scene, but it's just not me."

Bixyl Shuftan: *nods* "Your first art gallery? How did that one go?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "It was awesome. It was a stepping stone. I drifted into roleplaying for about a year then. I'm a writer and roleplay was just a natural, but still the creative side won out. I leased a homestead and became enamored with creating incredible landscapes out of a postage stamp of sand. So my then second gallery was quite a undertaking on a quarter sim, and I began having guests artists and developing a reputation."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds like you were quite busy. I take it the effort had very good results."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "It did. The gallery was well received. I'd met Kaya in 2010 when I was writing for Radar Magazine. He and the Rose were my first assignment and that was the first page in a long and ongoing saga."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds interesting. How would you describe what happened next, for the readers?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "I remained in roleplaying and worked on my gallery, but over the following year, met with Kaya on and off again. This place haunted me. In February 2011, he was giving me a tour of the then galleries. There were four at the time. He'd had a curator, but had not seen her for several months. Her picture still remained on the wall over her desk. Without even imagining it to be possible. I asked him if I could curate. (laughter) I can rather imagine him shrugging his shoulders as he said simply. 'Sure.' Soon four galleries became ten and with the new build they became and entity unto themselves-no longer an afterthought. He designed the layout that allowed them to flow and be together. I pillage it on occasion--as now with Molly Bloom's exhibition, but the lobby is hands off. (laughter) THAT is pure Kaya."

Bixyl Shuftan: *grins a bit at your chuckle* "Sounds like some interesting times, in a good way, continued to happen."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "They do. *points to the picture over my desk* "He's the perfect big brother. He has my back, looks over my shoulder, but never tries to control or smother. I have a great deal of respect for him."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "Did you want to spend some time talking about what's ahead?"

 Bixyl Shuftan: Sure, "I was going to ask about some of the Rose Theater and Galleries best events and displays, in your opinion."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "As you know. the galleries are my babies, so I can best speak to them. I've had the pleasure of curating and building some incredible shows and not to shun any of our wonderful artists--there have been nearly 500 separate exhibitions over the past 4 years--but there are three that really stick out in my mind. The first one being TheaDee (now simply Thea), the second was 'Ride the Rose' for Gem Priez (sp), and the 3rd and current, is Molly Bloom's transfiguration of 2D art to 3D-characters literally stepping out of the art. All were beautiful, creative or simply fascinating."

Bixyl Shuftan: "500 separate exhibitions, that is a lot."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "It is a lot of exhibitions and there are times I wonder how I will make the next one unique, but then I get the artist's work and it just falls together."

Bixyl Shuftan: "So a natural talent for making it all work out?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra) blushes. "I'm not what it is or where it comes from. I think it's just my passion."

Bixyl Shuftan: And besides the gallery, you're also known for your efforts in regards to the "Terms of Service" controversy that haunted Second Life for a number of months. How did you yourself find out about it, and what gave you the idea for the UCCSL?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "Yes. I am so delighted that Ebbe came on board as CEO. I believe that Second Life will thrive under him. That was a tough and sometimes dark road on my path through Second Life, but I'm glad I traveled it and even more glad that it is over. I am now no longer affiliated in any way with the UCCSL group. I'm not in sync with the new management and felt it best to step down. As to how I found out, it was through Toysoldier Thor and Ernie Farstrider. We coordinated and I emceed (sp) one of the first public meetings and that was the dawn of the UCCSL. Later, the Rose Theatre was host to a folllow up meeting in which we featured a legal panel. The group helped to pull people together and bring focus to the key elements of the issue.

"There were many in SL that worked to bring this issue to life and they did so eloquently, I think UCCSL just quantified the people affected by the issue; it's members including some of the top-earning creators in Second Life."

Bixyl Shuftan: "It seemed that despite your efforts, Linden Lab's responses were few and far between, before Ebbe Linden's coming in as CEO. Did you have any further opinion as to why?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): Honestly? I felt the then CEO simply had no interest for the concerns of Second Life's citizen creators. It seemed he had an agenda and it did not include us. Seemed to me he was cutting off his nose to spite his face, tossing the baby with the bathwater and any number of such colloquialisms. It seemed they were more focused on trying to shut us up--making promises that were never delivered upon--than they were in resolving the problem.

"However, one of the issues I faced with the group was that I never once believed that griefing or gratuitous Linden bashing was the answer to problem and indeed was probably more deterrent and divisive than anything else.

*smiles* "But, that is in the past."

Bixyl Shuftan: "After stepping down from leading the UCCSL, what have you been doing?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra)'s face brightens. "I've taken my creative demon in a new direction. I'm designing fashion under the label 'Sabra Style.' The line pulls its inspiration from the lifestyle we live here at the Rose--one of refined elegance and beauty. I strive to create supremely wearable clothing, whether it be for the office, cocktails at an elegant club, ballgowns for those special events. I don't limit myself to those though. I also seek to create elegant casual clothing--the kind of clothes that set a woman a part. With one look a man knows he has met a woman who is confident in herself and her beauty--that she is intelligent, thoughtful, intriguing. I've always dressed this way in Second Life and one of the comments that I've often received is that, 'Kylie, you are clearly different. You know who you are with nothing to prove. It's refreshing. Or as my daddy would say--less eloquently--'If you give away the milk, who's going to buy the cow.' Sorry I grew up in Texas. (laughter)"

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles, "No problem, How has the clothing line been doing so far?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "I'm doing very well. This is my first year and I was nominated for three Avi Choice Fashion Awards--Best New Designer, Best Formal Wear and Best Casual Wear. I was blown away."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Oh yes, I see the awards on the shelf."

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "I have a devoted and growing clientele. I'm a happy lady and look forward to growing more this year.

"I do have a surprise. I'm taking on something new this year, which will keep me far from all things political. (laughter) I'm going to start singing. The only reason I've not done it sooner is that I'm scared to freaking death. (laughter)"

Bixyl Shuftan: "Singing, that should be interesting." *grin*

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "Well I promise I won't hit the stage until I'm ready. My partner in crime, Lisa Valentino, QAs my clothing and me! (laughter) She believes in the adage, 'Friends don't let friends sing badly.'"

Bixyl Shuftan chuckles "So what are your plans for this year, and beyond?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra): "As far as beyond. . . I have the galleries, my clothing line and now singing . . . I can't think beyond all of that, but I'm always open to new adventures."

Bixyl Shuftan: "Sounds like you have quite a bit planned for the future, was there anything else you wanted to add?"

Kylie Sabra Angel (kylie.sabra) sets her tea down on the table, "I do. And I'm so sorry, but I need to rush to a family luncheon. We are hosting a lunch for our residents today. Thank you so very much."
Bixyl Shuftan: "welcome, and good luck."

Bixyl Shuftan