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SSC&C Actor Profile: Avajean Westland

I promised to introduce you all to "The Crew" so I thought I'd start with Avajean Westland.

Avajean, or AJ for short, is one of SSC&C's talented actors. I doubt whether I'd get much of an argument from the rest of The Crew if I went to far as to say that she is our most experienced actor. Always prompt, always prepared, always doing just a little more to bring a character to life, AJ is the consumate professional. Not surprising, given the fact that she is an equally talented and hard working actor in real life. The virtual platform makes no difference to AJ. For her, Second Life is just another performance space.

Equally comfortable in front of a camera or on a stage, AJ brings all that confidence and skill she pours into her real life as an actor to her work as an avActor (a word I coined to describe an actor who performs using an avatar in Second Life, other virtual environment or game engine). For an actors their entire being is their most valuable asset. For AJ, her avatar is no exception. AJ's form is a thing of beauty, carefully sculpted by AJ herself and all accouterments are chosen by her with thoughtful consideration of her own unique style.

But beauty isn't all she she pours into this avActor form, she comes armed with an arsenal of intelligence and creativity. Not satisfied to simply allow animations to run randomly as some avatar puppeteers might be tempted to do, AJ meditates on, selects, and rehearses her movements, choosing a number of possibilities. This allows her to present a director with a number of options, each carefully rehearsed. Likewise, her voice-over performances are always a study in careful examination of the character.

AJ's name is well known and respected by many SL-based filmmakers and among live theatre troupes in world. Besides appearing in many Running Lady productions, she is a member of the Avatar Repertory Theatre. Equally at home with the classics and more modern fare, she is in constant demand. But never resting on her laurels, she continues to take classes, audition non-stop, and to look for more and better ways to hone her skills.

As competent backstage as she is onstage, AJ has worked as a PA on Running Lady Films and SSC&C projects and was the producer of A.R.T's popular adaptation "Alice in WonderSLand."

When AJ isn't auditioning, rehearsing or performing in Second Life or in the real world, she spends time in SL with her loved ones and friends, and frequents many, many virtual clothing shops. A self-professed "shoes"-o-holic, there's not a shoe place in SL that she hasn't given the once-over. She loves clothes as well, and even this hobby she manages to work into her film and theatre career. She also publishes a weekly newsletter for SSC&C highlighting sales and events in SL that might be of interest to actors.

To see some examples of her work for RLP and SSC&C, check out the 48 hour film project entry from RLP from last year, featured on our website.

Her most recent voice-over performance was as the co-narrator, with Kayden Oconnell, of our latest project for Cosmic Surrounding Technology, featured in the previous blog post.

Read more about AJ in her SSC&C avActor magazine/resume.

Thanks, AJ, for being a part of "The Crew."

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