Anyone looking at my upcoming schedule of performances in Second Life may be thinking that I've pretty much abandoned the virtual world this month. However, the truth is actually the opposite of that: I'm spending some time making my virtual world a lot more real.
On Thursday of this week (May 15), my darling Kat and I are boarding a plane here at LAX, and flying a couple of thousand miles east just to hang out with many of our SL music community friends for the 2014 Nashville SL Jam. This isn't the first SL Jam that Kat and I have attended; as you may recall, we went to the San Diego SL Jam back in 2011, and had a great time. In fact, it was at that event that we first got to know some people who now rank among our closest friends in Second Life, not the least of which is my manager Maali Beck.
Video clips from the 2011 San Diego SL Jam. If Nashville is as fun, we're in for a great time.
We're pretty sure this SL Jam will be even more epic than our last one. First, it's an adventure for Kat and I; she've never been to Nashville before, and all of my previous visits to that lovely city have been business-related, so I'm looking forward to some relaxing and fun times there with my lady. And, of course, the last jam was in San Diego, an easy 2-hour drive south of here, while this time we'll be flying across most of the US to get there. While Kat and I have done plenty of air traveling to see each other when we were dating (and she was living in Seattle), this is our first trip where we get on a plane and take off and come back together. Exciting!
There's so much stuff to consider in planning for a trip like this. Can I carry on my Martin guitar on my plane? Have I put fresh strings on the guitar and made a list of every single possible musical accessory I might require for the trip? Have I completely overloaded my iPad with books and games and apps to entertain my brain during the 4-hour flight each way? The answer to those questions and more is -- hopefully -- yes. It's funny; I'm way less concerned about what I'm wearing and other typical travel thoughts than making sure I can have a great time while I'm there. And getting there. And even coming back.
The 2014 Nashville Jam is being arranged by our good friend and fellow musician Barbie Horsley, aka Sassy Nitely in SL. She is one organized woman, and has a tight schedule for the entire weekend. I am most looking forward to the simple stuff... meeting a number of people in person for the first time (including Barbie herself, as well as some great Zakster fans who will be in attendance), playing music with my fellow SL performers, and so on. I know that some of the most memorable stuff won't necessarily be on the schedule. Kat and I love exploring places where we haven't been before, and we may be looking forward to some Southern cuisine as much as we are the jamming. But the jams will be awesome.
As I mentioned, though, there is indeed a schedule, which is good; these events would be mayhem without one. I am doing a 30-minute solo show on Friday 5/16 at 3:30PM Nashville time (1:30PM SLT), but I'm trying to make sure that some of my SL friends can join me during my set. It's all about that interaction between musicians, at least for me. I'm totally looking forward to that. In fact, I've already had some discussions with the likes of Taunter Goodnight (Deb Haas) and Maximillion Kleene about some tunes we can do together. I'm sure others are making similar plans. Can't wait!
Barbie also has put together some very fun-sounding events at the Jam, including an "80's Night" on Saturday where musicians will be randomly paired to do songs from that notorious decade. It will be silly and fun, and I'm totally down with all that.
Staying home? No worries, you can still see the fun!
As has been the case at many previous SL Jams, there will be live video feeds and Second Life events going on so people in other places can take part in the festivities. The web address for the video stream and the exact site for in-world Jam events will be made available before the Jam gets rolling.