rez Magazine May 2015 - Page 52

y experience in the arts in Second Life began only four months ago when I attended my first “live” burlesque performance. For most, it would have been just another fun outing in Second Life – sitting with friends, watching a troupe of mostly women gyrating on stage ... a novelty to be enjoyed occasionally, time permitting. But as a producer of performance art in real life, what I saw and what I experienced immediately had deeper meaning. I had been invited to a different club a month or more before, but had put it off for one reason or another, mostly because I spend so much time in the theatre, that the thought of a relaxing evening in Second Life usually meant intimate time alone with a very close friend. But as I sat in the theatre that evening, I was reminded why I do what I do for a living, and why I’m so fortunate to be able to do it. Before long, the magic that has been my real life for decades swept over me like a tidal wave, and I was transported to another place, another time, and surrounded by performers ... artists ... expressing themselves passionately through movement and motion. Passion… the key to great art. The key to life. At once both exhilarating and intoxicating. For me, the theatre is a temple. I go to the theatre to be challenged. I attend live performance to be reminded of the human condition. I expect to be challenged. I want to think about things I've never thought about before. I want to think about things in a different way than I've thought about all of my life. I want to leave the theatre different in some way than when I walked in. I'd rather see a failed attempt at something bold, than a perfectly executed "safe" performance. I have, on occasion, left the theatre saying, "I hated that, but ... I'm sure glad they did it.” As I began to look around the room and take stock of the people in the audience, I found myself thinking some of the same questions that continually plague me as an arts producer in real life. • Why do these people come here? • Why don’t more people come here? • Will this audience be intellectually and spiritually engaged or will they settle for being just entertained? • Will they appreciate the layers of nuance in the performance? (There are ALWAYS more layers, given enough time to add them). • Will they understand what the artists are trying to convey? • Is there a way to monetize this so that the performers have a true sense of the value they provide to the community at large? As in the real life arts world, there are