Monday, January 23, 2012

A Conversation with Second Life Entertainer Wythcwhipser Sadofsky

I opened a fresh word document and began to organize my thoughts for an opening to this piece. In previous articles, and suppose it’s been pretty much the expected standard, I would write an introductory paragraph and then follow it with a short bio along with a short description of how my interview subject and I met. It was at the Actors Sandbox by the way, when Wytchwhisper Sadofsky had been introduced to me by mutual friend Suzy Yue. As I stared at the screen, I thought how best to characterize this multi-faceted Second Life entertainer. Several words did come to mind and after a little bit of pondering I settled on vivacious, as she is certainly one of the liveliest and spirited residents of Second Life I’d met. As I worked my way toward a biographical sketch, I recalled that she’d sent me a notecard recently that contained a bio statement and I searched my inventory. When I found it, I clicked to open it and waited for it to load. It did and when I read the first line of the opening paragraph I laughed.
“Hello! You have entered the mind of wytchwhisper sadofsky, similar to the twilight zone but much more fun!” I grinned at the screen and thought, yup that’d be just about right and will work just fine.
For this interview we met on the stage of “The Weekly Look”, where she had served as co-host. The show had recently ended its run, but the set extant is still available. She was attired in a black mini-dress and her fiery long red hair certainly catches your attention. She took a seat on one of the chairs and I on the other. The pair of wings she wore, either fae or butterfly, I’m really bad on assessing the type of wings that are worn in Second Life, were spread open and provided a good backdrop to her comfortable seated avatar. They complet her outfit, I thought. After an exchange of pleasantries we began to chat.
"How was it that you found your way into Second Life?" I asked her.
 "How did I find my way into Second Life?" She asked in reply. Her question had been prefaced with laughter. "Well ... Goodness, do you want the detailed version or the short version."
 "Feel free to go into as much detail as you want." I replied.
"Okay, it's kind of weird actually. I was and this is going to sound odd, but I discovered the secret in the love attraction, which talks about what you send out, comes back to you. Anyway, so I just looked at that and in the secrets video, they talk about how when you're going along your path, how certain things just pop up as signposts as to where you're supposed to be going sort of thing. Like the universe puts stuff out to you ... shows you stuff and so I was doing designs for Sims 2 and wanted to bring it here …  and I was looking and I had a website for that and I was  spreading that in that community sort of thing when I stumbled across this program about SL. It was a gaming program because I've always been into gaming and I wanted to get involved the gaming production side of gaming.  Anyway so I ended up watching that and Second Life was mentioned in there.  I remembered when I had heard about Second Life in a magazine years ago. At that time I thought I should check it out and I hadn't thought of it in years until the program and so it was like wow I needed to go there so I came in second life thinking that I would create 3-D content that I would be able to market myself and all that good stuff and then I kind of got a little distracted as I fell in love and ...  just got distracted"
"Falling in love can be distracting" I commented with a grin.
"Yeah." She said and laughed.
"Was it a Second Life or real-life romance?" I asked her.
"Well I don't really don’t distinguish between the two … my avatar is an extension of me. If you met me in real life for coffee I would treat you the exact same way as I do in Second Life because it's just a communication platform … so I'm like myself." She replied.
"Minus the wings of course." I commented.
"I'm kind of grateful for that because it would be really hard to shop if I had wings in real life … and change rooms would be a nightmare." She replied and then added; "But yeah, I came across the first Second Life live musician I heard … it was HatHead Rickenbacker and I totally just fell in love with live music right there. My friend Stormy was really into live music as well so I would go with her to gigs all the time in SL getting involved in live music scene."
"The live music scene is certainly is a big part of the Second Life experience." I commented.
"Ironically my friend Stormy was also a Machinimatographer. She and HatHead put on the International Machinima Awards the first year and I was involved in that. I volunteered and was helping out. That was my first involvement with the Machinima community. I just met people from there and it kind of burst out into a big network." She said and then after a pause added; "I was actually not very good at paying attention to new stuff back then. I didn't wear shoes … it took me six months to wear shoes. I hated the majority of shoes I saw, so I thought screw it all and go barefoot. It's not like this can hurt my feet or nothing.”
"You started performing almost immediately when you came in to Second Life?" I asked her.
"No actually that was a long journey, because most of my life I only sang in private. I sang in the choir in school, but my ex told me I couldn't sing and I believed him. So I didn't for a long time and I would only do it when I was alone or if I went out for girls night out or something … we'd do the karaoke sort of thing." She said in reply.
"So when you started performing in Second Life it was a little easier because you were behind the keyboard … the avatar was there but you weren't?" I asked.
“Well that didn't bug me much. It was when I went to the Montréal Jam … the SL Montréal Jam in 2009 that I actually was encouraged to sing. Maximillion Kleene and Zerbie Magic … it was actually Zerbie Magic that got me to go on stage with her and JellyJellyJelly Benelli and I sang there … live in front of everybody. That was my first SL singing experience and I after that I came back to SL and I was going to start singing but I ran into a few problems. I had a friend that didn’t want me to because I would be competition.  I had equipment problems and I couldn't find the equipment that would be compatible with my current system.  I just kept running into road block  after road block after road block … plus there was like this fear because even though those few people that encouraged me …  there was like 13 years of my ex saying that I couldn't.  All those challenges I had overcome to start singing in SL. I finally officially started singing in April of 2011. I had sung before … one or two times … sadly at people's memorials with really bad equipment that wasn't working properly, but that's when I officially started." She replied.
"I spent some time listening to your singing, thank you for the video links by the way. You have a wonderful voice." I commented.
"Thank you. I came for the jam this year so I was at the Montréal Jam. I drove cross-country. It's weird because I had feelings like I said there was one of those pinnacle moments that told me I should go this way and in July I had this pinnacle feeling that I needed to go across Canada. So I just put my stuff in storage in Alberta and I packed my car with my basic requirements … what I needed to perform and everything else and I drove across Canada …. I followed my heart and now I'm still in Eastern Canada.  I thought … this can work but I'm still seeing what the universe is doing because in November the universe sent me a new sign and then this really cataclysmic thing happened in my life … it changed … now I'm am still uncertain what's in store for me but I'm just kind of riding a wave sort of thing." She said.
"Are you still in Montréal?" I asked
"No, outside of Ottawa actually … it's not too far away." She said.
"Circling back to the 3-D design that you’d come into Second Life for, were you thinking that you would do it for business purposes?" I asked her.
"Yes exactly I came in for business and I was thinking I'm going to go in because I had with my Sims 2 website ... I had over 6000 members and I was thinking I could do probably equivalent in the SL place and that as a bonus that I might actually be paid in Linden's by selling my stuff. Then life kind of took weird turns … even like doing ‘The Weekly Look’, that was a completely unexpected thing … it kind of fell on me and my involvement with TMU is kind of an interesting story as well." She replied.
"Tell me how you became involved with that?” I asked.
"Petlove Petshop was doing some work for this production that she was involved in and she was showing me all her actors and stuff when she accidentally TP'ed this person in. I thought it was one of her alts. So I started critiquing him … I was like he's not bad looking and he's kind of tall … commenting on his appearance and everything else. And then Pet's like … that's Chris and he's a person. So it was like oops! Then after that we got talking and Chris he was doing a show called ‘The Weekly Look’ and he needed a cohost. At first he was as going to have me on as a guest but because we were cracking jokes and our humor was so compatible he asked me if I would like to cohost … and I was like yeah sure that would be fun. Because you know I've done voice acting in the past that and we both had a fine arts background, so we have a lot in common. They're talking about another show possibly in the future. I'll be talking to Jake about tomorrow.” She said.
"So, ‘The Weekly Look’ is off the air?" I asked.
"The look is officially over. Chris and I got so busy that we didn't feel we could give it the attention that it deserved anymore. He definitely had to leave it because he got too busy and I since he had created it I didn't feel right about carrying on without him." She said.
"Circling back … would you still like to pursue your 3D design work or is it something that is off in the future?"
"Of course … well I mean my creativeness kind of flows and everything. It's just that I haven't had time to do as much of my 3D design as I used to. I'm still doing voice acting … after doing shows … voice acting at the end of the day and where I can fill stuff in."
 "I'm reading your bio statement … my Singing, Dancing, Acting, Performances, Machinima, Writing, Advice Articles, Artwork, Nudes, Figurative Drawings, Clothing, Meditation, Occult, Wicca, Rituals and Celtic Creations. That’s quite a mouthful." I commented.
 "That's all the creative stuff I've been doing in SL. I was also doing relationship counseling because there's a lot of people that have a hard time transitioning … they go into relationship thinking that their real-life emotions won't get involved, but they do and then they're like … HELP! I did some writing for that as well and facilitating. I did do some writing for some websites that sadly have gone down so I don't have links to those anymore. I've done theater acting in SL and now I'm involved with the Actors Sandbox." She said.
“A lady of many talents.” I commented
“I just go where my creativity leaves me really and it's really just led me to all those places.” She said. 
“How are things going with the actor’s workshop?” I asked.
“It seems to be going okay. Suzy's taken a bit of a hiatus this month. We’re all insanely busy, even Corky is getting busier. It’s doing well … the people that are attending seem happy with it and hopefully we’re providing them what they need.” She replied.
“The voice acting, you've done it previously to virtual worlds?” I asked.
“I'm trying to think of when I first started doing that. I think I've always done acting since high school. Before I went to the university I was an honor student in art and drama. So I was either going into theater or I was going to go into art. I ended up going in the fine arts … getting my degree in fine arts. Because I somehow thought it would be less exposing … the thing about theater is they criticize you on everything … your body shape … your appearance. I figure with my art it wouldn't be so bad, but is just as bad.” She paused with a burst of laughter. “Because you pour your soul into your artwork and then you put it up for people to tear apart. It's pretty much just as bad so it wouldn't have mattered what I wanted to. But my first official voice acting was Damien Valentine's Chronicles series.” She said in reply.
"I'm looking at your playlist from your Bio notecard. There are some really really really good songs on it, like 'Old-Time Rock 'n Roll', by Bob Seeger … Seeger fan here."
"Oh, it's bigger now I really have to update it. I added a whole bunch through the month of December and I haven't gotten a chance to update it at all. I took all the songs that I love listening to or that have personal meaning to me and I added them to my list. A lot of them have to have personal meaning to me but I also took songs that I like listening to … they don't necessarily have to have personal meaning … if they make you happy in the pants … 'I'm Too Sexy'  makes me happy in the pants." She said and then paused as we both laughed. She added; “I don't think I'm extremely sexy or blah blah … but singing that song makes me giggle and makes me happy so I like to sing it."
I read off several of the names of the performers on her list and commented, "Snow Patrol, Chuck Berry, Patsy Kline, Elvis Presley, Joan Jett, Madonna, Marilyn Monroe … it’s quite a diverse group of performers."
"I  even found some artists … sometimes I'll be feeling a certain way and so I type it into Google and then type lyrics afterwards …  that's how I found 'Worrisome Heart' by Melody Gardot. I was feeling worrisome one night and I came across the lyrics. I really liked the lyrics and when I heard the song I really liked the song so I started singing it. I discovered her in 2009 before I went to Montréal." She said.
"Based on your having seen other performers in Second Life, is there one out there who was influenced you in any way?" I asked.
"Well there is a lot who've influenced me and in many ways. I always admired Noma Falta ... and Zerbie who was the one who encouraged me to sing in SL.  Max encouraged me … but my most favorite performer in SL ever is HatHead Rickenbacker. He's the first one I ever heard perform live music in SL and he still my favorite. Franklee Anatra is another … I was there with him at the beginning ... when he was all nervous about starting singing and performing. I was one of his hostesses. Frank is very supportive, actually Frank's been like the voice of reason with his advice ‘don't let what people say get you down' ... There's just so many that I could give kudos to but those are the core people that have really affected my life …  and in a big way." She replied.
"I understand that it is difficult to narrow it down to just one person, there are some very good performers out there." I commented
"If I had to choose one I would say HatHead because he was the first one I saw. He's always done his own thing and not given a shit about what other people think … I admire that."
"You've taken a similar approach as things?"
"I have" She replied with laughter.
"I thought so." I said and joined in the laughter.
"It's not that I'm conceited and I don't care. I even said this to people who’ve shown up at the gigs ... there was somebody that showed up at my gig and he was being rude and mocking because I was laughing.  I just said … honey if you don't like it you don't have to stay. Seriously no one's forcing you to stay here because this is me and this is how I do my show and I can't change just because you don't want me to giggle … because I am putting myself out there which is hard enough to do and I'm not going to change to what your expectations are ... I do like to make my audience happy and I like them to be happy but I believe in individuality … it is important to accept people for who they are and I think tolerance is important. I believe we should be building each other up rather than tearing each other down so that sort of bullying mentality I have no tolerance for." She said.
 "There are some who probably would not take to that very well." I commented.
"I know I'm not everybody's cup of tea. But that's okay. They don't have to come to my shows. I want to say for my fans that have been really supportive … that support me because I am being myself. I've had people tell me that they appreciate that I encourage people to be themselves … to be accepted for who they are because they were maybe feeling some insecurity in real life ... and it made a difference in their lives. If I can do that for people ...improve peoples of lives, that makes me happy.” She said.
 "That's admirable. Down the road six months to a year for now, what kind of things is Wytch doing?" I asked.
"What are my evil plans? That's what you want to know. Well I'm working on some original songs right now so that should be interesting. I can't give too much away about it because it's kind of still in the works and may not work out … but we'll see. I'll be performing more in real life as well and I'm still going with the flow and seeing where things go … those are part of my evil plans right now." She replied.
"What about your art?"
My art … well my charcoal drawings and things like that are all kind of on hold as all my arts supplies and stuff are in storage,  but if I get time I intend to do some more 3-D stuff. It's just that I haven't had a lot of time … even like today, I had to book you between two other things that are happening." She replied.
"Any closing thoughts you like to share?" I asked.
"Well, I really do believe that we should be building each other up rather than tearing each other down and I just wanted to remind everybody that every time you attack somebody you affect them.  We should all be conscious of how we affect other people good and bad. So for you to do something or say something you should just think about how it would feel if that was you … just love each other … it's important and it makes the world go round." She said.


Trytofight said...

Wytchie, you are a great & talented person. Your beautiful soul shines through everything you do, no lie.

Chantal Harvey said...

Great interview, every lines breaths the Wytchy i know, hehe - well done. A joy to read.

Nazz Lane said...

Thank you Chantal :)

1angelcares Writer said...

I really enjoyed getting to learn more about Wytchie and her "evil plans"! Thanks for shining the spotlight on this multi-talented woman via your blog.