Elron and Chuckling in SL

Elron Priestman in front of Last Laugh Comedy Club ChucklingDarwin-01-23Feb2008 The view from the SL stage

This past Saturday I did my first full show in Second Life. I have a regular gig on Saturday nights at the Last Laugh Comedy Club, and Feb 23rd marked the first incarnation of that. My good friend from Dickens, Derek Sweet, popped in under the guise of Chuckling Darwin, his SL persona, to help me open the show, and we ended up having a great crowd turn out. Derek and I both joked that the crowd at Last Laugh was about twice the size of what we often get in RL at Dickens or at the Laugh Shop, one of Calgary’s other RL clubs.

Its a very unique environment to do comedy in. The audience interaction is different for sure … there is some direct interaction through voice chat, animations, and text responses, but the interaction is definitely delayed compared to an RL show. Having said that, in many ways the interactions are more personal, and more direct on SL, especially given that the natural barrier of “celebrity” from RL is reduced in SL. I also found, for myself, performing in this way was a LOT easier … while I often struggle in longer shows in RL, in SL my 45 minute set seemed to fly by, and I ended up closing out without even doing all my material. Further, I’ve gotten better response to the two sets I’ve done in SL now than ANY of the RL sets I’ve done, both at the show, and afterwards.

Comedy in SL seems to be on the verge of going huge. The amount of interest I find from average people in the game is amazing. There is already a thriving scene for live music in SL, but while there seem to be some venues around for live comedy, few people seem to actually be doing it. Most of the clubs I go to are empty, with very little indication of any activity to date. Last Laugh is really the only comedy club I’ve found with any activity so far, though I am negotiating with the owners of a few others (one called Laugh Lines will be opening shortly, and it looks like I’ll be one of the first acts booked in the new club). I’ll also be looking to do some shows at a few of the live music venues … there does seem to be a lot of musical comedy mixed in with the live music, and the other stand-up comic I’ve met on SL, Salamander Maroon, does quite a few shows in those sorts of venues. Anyone looking for live music, or musical comedy, should check out clubs like A&G and the Vineyards. They seem to have a thriving scene going there.

And keep checking out Last Laugh. Derek, aka Chuckling Darwin, will be starting up his own show at Last Laugh this coming Sunday (Mar 2nd), and doing a regular Sunday set after that … come on by and show some support for live, virtual comedy. A few other RL friends have also expressed some interest in the idea, including Steph Foley, Myles Christiansen, and Dustin Hertel, and I am expecting more people to show some interest as word gets around. I’d love to be able to extend my Saturday shows to 2 or 2.5 hours and turn them into full shows with several different performers, so I’ll be looking for people to do time pretty much every week. I have a feeling this is a scene that is on the runway right now, ready to take off and fly … anyone else wanna jump on the plane with me?

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