Hi. I’m Monica Balut, a SecondLife model and founder of the Model’s Workshop. I love modeling in SL and have been at it since April 2008. Having absolutely no RL modeling experience, this has been one of the hardest things I have attempted in SL. First there’s so much to learn. Then once you become competent, you have to convince potential employers to hire you over the hundreds of other models applying for the same job. It seems like every girl and her aunt wants to be a SL model. But despite many let downs, I persist and continue to love it as much as the first day.
I firmly believe that life is not worth living unless I can learn something new each day. But, after graduating from three SL modeling academies, I felt I had been schooled out. I felt that there was still so much to learn but regular schools had little more to offer me. I got my share of experience and certainly learned my own tricks the hard way. But I found that often just sharing ideas with friends gave me information and tips that were invaluable. Then it occurred to me one day, why not formalize that concept into a group of friends all sharing their information. Individually we all have limited knowledge, but collectively we have a wealth of information. After toying with the idea and mentioning it to a few friends, I decided to get it going after the holidays.
After a conversation with Leslie Trebuchet about a month ago, I formed the SL group Model’s Workshop with the following charter: The Model’s Workshop is a group of professional SL models dedicated to helping each other be the best they can be. It’s goal is to provide an atmosphere where group members are encouraged to share their knowledge, information and skills to help each other grow as models. Projects may include regular workshops, development of a resource library, holding mock shows.
We held our first workshop led by my friend Melissa Jensen on February 5th. It was dedicated to hair. Fourteen people attended. We shared landmarks of our favorite hair stores and compared our favorite styles. The enthusiasm was incredible. Melissa didn’t have to do much leading. You could barely get a word in edgewise. Can you imagine getting 14 women together to talk about hair?
At the end of the first meeting, the group decided to talk about skins next. Herradura Baar who had attended the first meeting agreed to host this workshop which was held on February 12th. This time there were 27 people in attendance and we even managed to crash the sim at the end! The format was similar with similar enthusiasm. By the end of the day, group membership had risen to 38.
The enthusiasm for these workshops is beyond my wildest dreams! It shows the passion that people have for this work and how much more we all want to learn. I continue to be impressed with the wealth of truly talented people in SL.
Where are we going to go from here? Our third workshop will be on February 19th on shapes, again led by Herradura Baar. I have ideas for other workshops including:
Animations: Various types, where to buy, factors to consider.
Jewelry: stores that feature copy jewely as well as no copy
Most fashionable clothing stores
Shapes – Making your own
Tips for getting selected in a casting
Resumes and portfolios
I would like to see the group develop and manage lists of resources that would be available to members of the group. We could hold a runway diva competition where participants judge and vote on the most skilled routine. We could organize and put on a real show. Someone suggested creating a blog where people could share ideas (and hence this). Someone suggested operating a job tip system. The ideas are limitless. I’m sure the group will come up with many more.
If this group is to succeed, it will be as a group effort. This is not about Monica Balut. It’s about the collective wisdom and power of a group of passionate people. Even after two weeks of operation, I’m quickly seeing that there is far more to do than I can possibly manage alone. I’m going to need some help if this is to succeed.
Very soon I will be holding an organizational meeting of those interested in taking more responsibility for moving this project along. I’m hoping to be able to work with a solid core group who help guide the direction of the group and who are willing to take responsibility for various projects and tasks.
In the meantime, tell your friends about this and encourage them to join the group. Happy modeling. Monica Balut.