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Hamlet on SL Production Blog

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March 4th, 2008 by joff

Some pictures of the cast getting warmed up backstage.

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3rd and 4th night

March 3rd, 2008 by joff

Tonight’s show seemed to be the least problematic, for me at any rate. lag not too bad and the most civilised performance time to date 7pm UK 11am SLT. Ina seemed to have the most problems with various crashes, but Prospero stepped up to the plate and did the curtail call announcements. also a few issues with sound FX, weren’t too sure we were going to have any before the show. With the possibility of people crashing we really ought to have some understudy system, what happens if one of us can’t log on for the performance?

12.20 still sitting backstage on my own just time to upload photo of us backstage pre lastnight’s show. well that failed on with the show.

Despite being a 1pm show and not having a huge audience, lag was terrible for me tonight, to start with I got stuck in the doorway and then later overshot and starting climbing on the bench. still a lot of voice lag but I think we are dealing with that by pre-empting. Ina and FWord were both late arriving so prospero had to use his super powers to remove the scrim. SFX played the new preshow talk which sounded much more welcoming and less of a challenge to would be griefers. Ina finally arrived before the curtain call but with no voice so once again prospero stepped into the breach, this time with names at hand. post show FWord literally beat herself up about being late but good news, the tip jar is working and people are being very generous. Woot!

Now to set up for the next show which will be delivered from my office as the show is at 7pm UK time and I am teaching till 6 so wouldn’t get home in time for our 6.30 call.

Being in a room full of computers there should be a chance to record the show, Fraps, as the inworld recorder does not record sound, or at any rate I have not managed to get it to record sound. Also one of my colleagues will be filming the event with a camera in the room which should be interesting. just hope the noise here is not too bad, I have tried to muffle the mic from traffic sound but cannot tell yet if it works as their are too many people in the room chatting and making strange beeping sounds.

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post 2nd pre 3rd night

March 1st, 2008 by joff

I am sitting in a chair at the back of the globe waiting for the others to arrive having loaded up my animations and gestures, tried out my voice gestures by flying back to my island , so that i won’t disturb anyone and resetting my preferences. If anything the lag last night was worse, but at least we were more prepared for it, in fact it was generally laggy whenever i logged in all day even with no one there.

I went to Ahern to try out the idea of sending your camera ahead to collect textures prior to your arrival and it seemed to work to an extent, i tried to have a chat to a Linden about at as he was there standing on the roof, he was obviously off on some other job or just didn’t like the look of me and ignored my IMs.

Prior to the performance I tried sending my camera out into the auditorium but it was already laggy. I learnt to use Ctrl-Shift-1 tp check the frames per second and discovered that on the stage my FPS was around the 2.0 mark. Prospero said that over 10 was generaly fine but under 5 was awful, he then suggested that knowing there were going to be lag issues I simulate the on stage situation backstage by setting my preferences really and trying out my movements. A really good tip and definitely helped when it came to the perf. Luckily I remebered to turn all the preferences down again before curtain up.

The show itself was still pretty clunky but it felt as if we more in control apart from Horatio who appeared to get a bit lost on stage and loked at one point as if he was trying to hide behind a pillar. Still the same situation with voice, hearing the line repeated before it was answered, at times I was saying my lines a whole line before the previous speaker had finished in order to be on time. Also sound seemed to cut out completely at time which was abit unnerving.

Anyway i am going to try and keep this blog going I think as Em suggested this could be a valuable resource for future productions.on with the motley

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opening night lag

February 29th, 2008 by joff

Having rehearsed through an earthquake I thought I was ready for anything SL could through at us. Several hours before curtain up I logged up to discover my desktop upside down and my preferences all shot. Having sorted that and logged into sl i discovered that my microphone was not being recognised. I tried another laptop and got it working then back to the old one and finally after clearing cache it found it. I then went on various visits to get people to listen to the mic. Sorted at last I went back to twiddle my thumbs backstage, set up some chairs and build a tent. i got all my gestures and animations arranged on the desktop and waited. Gradually we assembled and chatted until we were told to go into group chat at which point i discovered my messages were not getting through so with 10 minutes to go I logged out with baited breath managed to get back on and yes messages did go through. we got our call and we stood up ready for the off. as Barnardo clunked off into the gloom i realised that none of my gestures were set anymore having relogged and tried to retrieve them whilst keeping an eye on Horatio to see if we were on yet. Too late we were off, it felt like going onstage with your trousers around your ankles but that was the least of it. arriving on stage I went into slow motion and turned to see Barnardo hovering in mid stride. once sat down I managed drag some gestures out of my inventory as we boldly plunged on. On speaking, I had the curious experience of hearing the whole line repeated to me before being answered so eitherthere was a gap before anyone heard me or after or possibly both. Well we made it through, I even managed to drag my real death animation out before we went on for the curtain call and I don’t think I stabbed anyone with my partisan. Roll on tonight. 

Lag aside it is great to be part of this groundbreaking experiment and all credit to Ina and her team for making it happen.

This has been my first ever Blog , not sure if I like it , we’ll see. As I’m sure Polonious said “Neither a blogger nor a bloggee be.”

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opening night & beyond

February 29th, 2008 by emjannings

My apologies to all if I was too aggressive in sharing my hysteria about the wall of lag I hit in our opening night’s performance.  My reaction was probably right in character, and so Barnardo apologizes as well. I spent some time at Ahern Info Center last night, fighting some serious lag, and have been doing some reading.  I’m still not sure how the client side is impacted by population on neighboring sims, but that will keep.  I do have some ideas that I think will hep us all going forward, not just with these mini-productions but on to November and the whole enchilada. While we are engaged in this experiment, we should be assembling what we learn into some form that can be used by actors in future productions.  We’ve already learned a lot about acting in SL — Enniv’s work with us on the timing of lines (another lag problem), the directions on de-ruthing a character, setting up client software to minimize lag, moving using shift and by holding the AV firmly by the neck, making the AV’s mouth move, making the body move (hands etc) for expressive purposes, using animations, and more. I’d like to pull this together in a handbook (Tips for Actors in SL) and I volunteer to collect, edit, and assemble our collective insights.  I don’t think this information is going to come from anywhere else but our experience doing these performances and acquiring it is probably going to be painful, so I’d hate to see it lost. Perhaps this blog is a place to start, but I imagine lots of other issues will get raised here and I want to see something aimed at the actors very specifically.  A re-defintion of the craft in these new circumstances.  If you think this is a good idea, send me stuff to include. And I have a two questions (one is really a request). Could the technical folks select client software and specify settings in detail?  After all, our AVs were delivered all made up and costumed!  I think it would help us a lot to just be told what will work best in our conditions. My AV got stuck in a pose early last night (I think he was using the running or walking animation from the AO and got lag shocked).  How can I unstick him if (when) this happens again?  I wonder specifically if the trick of using edit Appearance and then quickly closing that window would do any good. And again, sorry if I was a little prickly after the show yesterday.  I really am enjoying this experience and working with all of you.  I should have known when I stood up and was launched into the air by my chair, that the night was going to offer a few lessons.



Posted in Playbills ...

Playbill… for our Feb 28 opening of “Scene 1 Extended” Miniproduction

February 15th, 2008 by ina

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Posted in miniproduction, Affiliates, live-single-scenes, live-performance-ideas, Scene 1, 1-1, Act 1 ...

SimulBot Beta Program Now Accepting Affiliate Sims

January 22nd, 2008 by ina

We are now accepting applicants for affiliate sims in our SimulBot Beta program.

Overview: Over a year ago, John Hurliman brought a rock band of 5 into SL, and managed to “simulSim” them on 12 sims to escape the agent limitations of a single sim in simultaneous performances across the grid. This was a benchmark for 2006. For 2008, using state of the art bot technology that has been developed from the ground up by BotSL, the SL Shakespeare Company hopes to have simultaneous performances on over 120 other venues across the grid for our full-length live performance in November. We are now seeking venue applicants to begin testing our technology via our first MiniProduction — a live show of Act 1, Scene 1.

*For those new to our production, please note that we differ from your traditional live theatre in one aspect only: we are based completely in the virtual world of Second Life, and that means we can have as many as 50,000 simultaneous viewers per performance — with current technology. Please visit our website for more information.

The SLSC (SL Shakespeare Company) has certain requirements for Affiliates.
You (the sim owner or owner ad litem applying to be an Affiliate) agree that:

Main Requirements:

  1. This is the Beta program. Acceptance into the Beta program does not necessarily mean that you will become an affiliate for our full length live production, but may increase your chances.
  2. Your venue must be available for the opening show of our next production as shown right:
    1. Each production opens on “SLSC Thursdays.”
    2. There will be 10 performances, total.
    3. You are not obligated to serve any but the opening performance, but are welcome to serve as many of the other performances as you wish.
  3. You must own the sim (256 x 256m2 or 65536 m2 of land in a single region) or have written permission from the owner that the sim will be available for the date of the production.
    1. At this time, we are only accepting Affiliates who have at least an entire sim available.
    2. If you do not own the sim, you are required to submit written permission from the owner.
    3. We may contact the owner to verify the status.
  4. At least 500 prims must be available, and a minimum area of 19 x 15 m2 must be available for the stage.
  5. The area for the performance must be a parcel deeded to the group Shakespeare’s Theatre.
    1. You will receive an invitation as a SimulSim Affiliate once your application is approved.
    2. We will not publicly recognize you as a SimulSim until you have done so.
  6. What we rez must stay for the duration of the show. If any prim is returned before or during the show, the SLSC reserves the right to halt the show and cancel or ban your venue from further participation in our Affiliate program.
    1. We will send our cleanup crew within 24 hours after the last performance at your venue.
  7. You understand that bots will be used to enable this simultaneous performance.
    1. Although they appear as actual avatars, these bots are designed to minimize lag because they only access needed resources. Please welcome and embrace them?
  8. (Relatively) Lag-free 4-Sim “bridge” cluster venues will be given preference over single sim venues.
  9. A “Lag-Judge” will be sent to the venue several times at random to gauge lag.
    1. For best results, you should attempt to maintain your venue at optimal performance for the week or two after you send in your application.

If you agree to all that, please click here to fill out an application and drop it on affiliate at

MiniProduction-specific Terms:

  1. You are not allowed to display any tip jars or money collection vessels of any kind.
    1. You may, however, display logos or advertisements in places that do not obstruct the audience’s view.
    2. SLSC reserves the right to disqualify the showing of a particular logo or ad.
  2. You are not allowed to sell tickets or any commodity that may be taken as infringing on SLSC (SL Shakespeare Company)’s namesake.
  3. You are allowed to record the MiniProduction in full only if you receive written permission from us and:
    1. You display a constant and clearly visible strip on your recording reading “SLSC Hamlet, (Scene 1) @ SimulSim: (Your sim).”
    2. You make it clear that you are not the primary sponsor or owner of the production.
    3. You agree to pay a nominal fee based on your intended usage of the recording.

Please note that the SLSC reserves the right to reject applicants for any reason. Breaking the Terms at this point would bar your venue from future affiliation with the SL Shakespeare Company.

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Elizabeth as a princess, template

January 13th, 2008 by torin


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Elizabeth Vernon, Countess of Southampton c1595-1600 template

January 13th, 2008 by torin


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actual leather shoe from 1509-1547 Victoria and Albert Museum

January 13th, 2008 by torin


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