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On Actors and Second Life - The Actors' Sandbox, Part One

I love actors. I think the realization hit me only recently. I had another grand 90 minute session recently with The Actors' Sandbox in Second Life.

In case I haven't written about it yet, this is a collaborative effort between Running Lady, Corky Myrtle of Schoolhouse Earth and Wytchwhisper Sadofsky of TMU. Its evolving purpose is to allow actors of all levels of experience to come in and stretch a bit, do some scenes, discover and rediscover the tools of the trade, and generally relax and be actors together for an hour out of the day. At the same time, it is a place where directors and producers can come and observe these actors in preparation for casting of future projects. I'll post another blog on the evolution of The Sandbox and the particulars of the workshop sessions.

I'm excited about this project for a couple of reasons: it is providing a place for actors to hone their craft, and it is raising the profile of the role of "actor" in a virtual environment. In our case, it is Second Life that we focus on and in SL , frankly, the role of actor in machinima has been at best nebulous and at worst non-existent. For actors, filmmakers tended to grab the nearest avatar standing around, usually themselves, and basically place them in the shot as a prop.

In the last few years, I've worked to both seek out talented actors roaming the wilds of SL, and to show filmmakers that their films can be much richer and the experience of shooting a film can be greatly enhanced by using these talented actors. Not only talented, but trained, as well, in the craft of performing in SL.

I'm happy to report that the during the last three years, I have seen a rise in the both the awareness of an actor community in SL, but a desire to use these actors in films and live performances based in SL.

Here's to keeping that momentum going.

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