Critic’s Choice Venue Blues: Caylene Linette, Cay’s Blues at Woodland Lake
Caylene Linette, Cay’s Blues at Woodland Lake
Edited by Kalanite Bluestar and Eleanor Medier
As the Executive Director of a real life nonprofit organization, I was aware of the resources available through Nonprofit Commons in SL. I joined to learn more about how charities use virtual reality to support their programs. NPC is so inspiring, I attended their regular meetings. Then I went to one of their weekly socials and discovered that you can dance in SL! One day, while exploring this fascinating world, I luckily wandered into a Blues club. The guests and staff were friendly and the host added me to her dance hud. I could dance, chat with nice people from around the world, while listening to great music. I was hooked!
This was back in 2010. After a few months I hosted for that same club and offered my dance hud to the guests. Being a hostess helped me overcome shyness—it’s easier to talk to people when you have a “role” to fill and know what you’re expected to do. Getting to know the club guests was a real pleasure and I fell in love with the Blues. The work also supported my love of pretty “things”” in SL. One shift led to others there and at various Blues clubs. At one point, I hosted seven shifts a week.
The business side of SL has always interested me, and I chatted with club owners and managers to learn more about what goes on “behind the curtain.” One conversation resulted in an owner asking me to take over his club’s daily operations as general manager. I took the position, actually thinking that I would cut back my work load! I honestly thought that being a club manager would simplify my SL. Prior to actually having the position, I really did not appreciate the time and dedication required to manage a successful club and sim. So, for two years, I was their general manager, learned, and eventually became managing partner.
Anyone who spends time in clubs can make mental notes about their likes, or dislikes, about the staff, atmosphere, or theme. I gave a great deal of thought to what I would do if I had a club. In December 2012, the opportunity came to open my own. It was time to put the “what ifs” into action. Aspects critical to the success of a club include a genuine welcome, wonderful music, and a beautiful location. With the help of many friends, and the best club staff in SL, I am proud to say that we deliver on all three very day.
Being a club and sim owner fits my “skill set” because I’m organized and obsessive about details. There are schedules to keep, update and fill. Promos are posted daily on SL Events, Facebook, and in the club groups. While I don’t have to cut the grass, there are still tasks to take care of the sim. As with any business, there are staffing requirements for hiring, training, and dealing with shifts. There is accounting, bills to be paid. Rental homes and shops have to be maintained. When the work of owning a sim and club are given dedicated attention, the guests should be unaware of the work that goes on behind scenes to ensure that their time is nothing but a pleasure.
A most compelling aspect of being in SL is exploring creative potential. It shows how many ways there are to be expressive. I grew up in a family of “do-it-yourselfers.” I can sew, paint, embroider, hang wallpaper, and lay tile. After attending classes at a local community college, I tried my hand at landscape design. In SL, once I got over my fear of ruining a sim, I discovered that terra forming is relaxing. And it is pure pleasure that I can plant a garden without straining my back.
In college I studied marketing, and had hoped to pursue a career with a record label. My real life career took a vastly different direction, but in SL, I can combine my interest in business with being creative, while pursuing the ultimate goal of creating an environment that many will enjoy. Decorating a rental home allows me to be someone’s virtual interior decorator.
Cay’s offers a wide variety of Blues and Blues-related genres, such as Soul, Classic Rock, Swing/Boogie Blues, R&B. There is too much great music to overly limit a DJ’s choices. Each develops a show around one or more of these Blues base genres. It’s about being entertaining and engaging the guests, not music education or restricting a guest’s request choices.
I am more of a worker bee than a social butterfly. I like to create and run a business. I tend to be quiet and am a bit shy with new people. However, after I get to know you I might talk your ear off!
Woodland Lake was inspired by my grandparent’s summer home on a lake in rural Alabama. It is where I spent countless happy hours with my family. My grandfather built the house and most of the furniture. The beautifully landscaped land sloped down to the lake where he created a large patio and gazebo for cooking and eating outdoors. There was a pier, large swing set and plenty of room for his grandchildren to run and play. There was no television so our nightly entertainment was playing cards, listening to the record player or radio, and hearing the stories told by family. I would sit by his work bench at night while we listened to music as he tinkered with his latest project. To me Woodland Lake is about music, being with family and friends, having fun and sharing the best times. This is what I want people to experience when they visit.
The mix of fun, beautiful surroundings, along with porch dancing is unique. Moving the shows and having special events on different areas of the Woodland Lake sim keep things interesting for guests. The week long Blues Fiesta and Cinco de Mayo parties were held in a cantina I built in the park. To kick off the summer season, we moved to the pier. A good friend added the water slide and paddle boats. One of our hosts designed T-shirts we give to guests for “surviving” the wild ride off the slide. With everyone contributing, we are having too much fun to go back inside until after Labor Day, except for special events. And there is always the option for picnics in the park.
Contributions are encouraged if they cover topics relevant to the real world readers. Comments and opinions are also encouraged.
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© 2014 by Eleanor Medier, Sim Street Journal. Articles cannot be reprinted without permission.