Renewed Through Music: DJ Lorah
by Lorah (Lorahlahnah), The Sweet Mix Club
When I first came to SL, I just went to parties at Crossing Culture. Chriscloud Loon* (*profiled in Sim Street Journal #9) asked me to be a DJ. So when I built up enough courage, he gave me the chance. It was more fun than I expected!
At first, I played in a couple of clubs but with no people coming. I had to bring my own audience. Then I thought, if I have to do this for others, I’ll do it for myself. I have an island. So I built this club where I play on Friday. I play at Sword Starfall’s club on Tuesday. These two are enough for me because I need time to enjoy other SL activities.
For my sets, I choose a theme which might seem random. I’ve done southern bands, reggae, etc. First, I do a some research, start getting the songs together, work on the order they will play, set the text to paste on local chat. I load the dance pad with animations. So the mix is always good danceable songs. The pad was designed by Zerokit Jefferson and allows me to match dances with the music.
Being a DJ is part preparation, part presentation. I have to pay attention to the songs, change the dances, sometimes take pictures, and talk to everyone. To be a good DJ means multi-tasking. First, play selections that make people happy. Then, have dances that identify with the songs. Third, always answer friends— handle both local chat and IMs. At the end of a set, it feels like I was there in real life! But try to dance, take pictures, and talk to lots of people at once in real life! Like trying to talk on the phone while listening to music!
Chris helped me learn how to juggle. We used to play on Saturdays at CC, and he let me go while savoring his beer. I did five-hour sets there. Huge playlists! Very gratifying!
Being a DJ has influenced my real life too. It got me back to enjoy music and to look for what is different. I always liked what my mother played when I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I have her albums, some real pearls like the ‘Electric Ladyland,’ a British release.
My taste range is huge, so I can forget after a while. But, somehow music stays in your head—way back there—and suddenly it comes out. SL makes me recover it all, little by little. SL also brings something new to nostalgia—a very different feeling from real life. Lets say, I get out of here and go to Crossroads. I get exposed to Rock and Blues from other time-frames. It is old, but new.
Old music is like a surprise. I love surprises, and everyday there’s a surprise in SL. There is no better learning environment because SL sums up so much in a very short time. People all over the world add to personal experience. Like here today, we had people from the UK, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Scotland, and the U.S. I’ve learned how to deal with such diversity—how to talk and approach different people.
Though I communicate well in the virtual world, I’m a loner in the real one, where others can be more deceptive and hard to deal with. It’s hard to find sincere people. They try to find out about you with too many questions. I don’t subscribe to that. In real life, I am reserved, even shy. I like to be on my own, economically and socially independent. I work for myself.
Born in New York, I live in Brazil, where I moved away from the big cities that are too violent and dangerous for my taste. I like the quiet environment of a small city. I manage my own real state—my mother left me some things, and I take care of them from home. So, I have a flexible schedule.
Being social in SL is easier. It has no connection to my real life. Mostly people look for a good friendship, someone to talk to, and feel a strong connection. It is safer to confide in people here. The closer you get, still there’s a buffer between you and them. Friendship in SL just goes, maybe because of the distance. Also writing gives you a chance to think before you say. It forces clarity. So, I can be bolder here.
There is a social dynamic here that takes attention. People tend to over-react to things that don’t matter. Most are too emotional. Maybe they can’t let it go in real life, so they channel it here. I’m very simple, and I don’t get angry easily. I like you, you like me, we are friends. I like you, you don’t like me, well, goodbye. But I’ll treat everyone with respect and the attention needed. And who knows? We may get to like each other. Not all things happen at first sight.
To get along well with others, it helps to listen more than talk. One thing you can’t escape in SL is someone else’s drama. The worst it can get, you can just turn off the computer. You can’t do that in real life. Fortunately, I’ve never had to do that. I keep away from weird people. Yet I do spend too much time in SL. I have practically moved in here!
SL is much more fun than real life because it is without the hazards. The biggest reward here is being able to have friends all over the world and celebrate life dancing and talking. It is exploring. I’m over one thousand miles from the real ocean and I bought a virtual boat to sail on the Blake Sea whenever I can. I like to sim-jump and go to clubs. Sometimes I bump into some club in a nowhere sim.
SL is a good companion. It has taught me to be more tolerant with myself—the virtual world is like a test tube for your life. In this created world, sometimes we can fix the wrongs of the real one. It’s such an enormous place! —Lorah (Lorahlahnah), Rock’n the Blues Country Club
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