8 Jun 2022

Metaquette #VirtualTheatre #VirtualTheater Q6

Weekly QA with the doyenne of the Metaverse.......Pooky Amsterdam

Antonin Artaud was the first person to write "Realite Virtuelle" in his book The Theatre and its Double. While there were no digital multi-user dimensions in 1938 this connection between the stage, the self and suspension of disbelief is a good one.The Metaverse provides a backdrop for one's journey as it is encountered, and in text, voice or commands you write your story every day. Beyond being an engine for filmmaking, the virtual world is an engine for personal experience. People in them are inspired by what they have done, who they have met, where they've been and what they've bought. The virtual world is as much of a stage as the earthly one. Perhaps more because sets and stages for performance can be assembled with the help of a build setting. The content you're creating is also how you feel while logged in, it is being there on a completely personal scale, you and the double, your avatar.

Q: Is the Virtual World just another form of Theater?

In a word, yes...but it's one that you are authoring every day, one where you are starring in your own cartoon movie every night. Crafting your story as you live it in real-time with words, text, music and sometimes emoticons. It is the story of your virtual life. If you record or capture it of course it is theater, it is film.

And the story of my own virtual life, in existence since 2002 has given me an incredible amount of material for a great piece of work, a life's work to be honest. Utilizing my two decades of experience I am presenting in this weeks blog the trailer for Mambo Motel ~ The Metaverse Musical. It is a show which takes place in a virtual world. It is the theater of the Metaverse, here it is the story of a Prince who wishes to escape the glare of the media and find a place where he can just...be himself. He finds anonymity and much more by logging into a virtual world, winning and losing at love and riches, but ultimately finding himself by losing himself within his virtual identity. 

A story based on a multitude of personal experiences that features an iconic cast of characters: The Prince who wishes to be understood for who he is and not the trappings of his birth; his valet who'd like a friendship but can't due to class differences; a woman who wishes to stay forever young; a 15 year old boy who wants to be a man; a young widow who finds she can keep her dead husband alive through becoming his avatar and a clothing store manager who feels he is really female, but without healthcare to pay for a gender reassignment, plays against race, age and gender in Mambo Motel. When center stage lights up, we enter the metaverse. Only the audience knows who is behind the fun, hip, colorful Mambos onstage.

Mambo Motel brings the virtual and the physical together. Human actors are in the virtual world and game engine characters play who is behind them. The avatars existence within the world becomes the human reality.  Another theme of the story is that while you have a human skin of chance, you express who you really are in your avatar skin of choice, here is the theatre of the double.  Participating in this bright new world, unencumbered by the reality, or even the physics of the earthly plane. There are 16 amazing original songs which reflect what it is like to be an avatar, what it is like to be online and find our true selves and one another in the Metaverse. Jane Goodall said we humans are "meaning seeking creatures," in text and one another we find that meaning. 

With the ability to create sets, stages, characters, to perform in voice and song, the ability to use Metaverses as theatre is very rich because in finding meaning we find not only our stories, we share the stories of other people and want to tell them. Virtual Worlds and Metaverse have a long history of filmmaking too, game engine cinema is often called "machinima", or cinema made on machine. We can thank Hugh Hancock for that term, unfortunately he is now logged permanently in afterlife.com, he was a great visionary and pioneer in this field. I believe the first machinima film was in 1996 called  "Diary of A Camper"  with dialogue displayed as text messages. There is enormous output from those in multi-user dimensions who use screen capture such as fraps and a variety of other recording programs. For a really good look and comprehensive review of some of the most exciting game engine content out there, which includes movies done within metaverses, I recommend the monthly podcast Completely Machinima.  

Mambo Motel ~ The Metaverse Musical is a testimony to the beauty, splendor and wonder of the virtual worlds. The strategic plan is to film it on a smaller stage, then stream it and also have a multi metaverse world premiere. After which we'd like to move it to off-Broadway then Broadway. We are looking for sponsors and there are opportunities for branding, product placement and XR code happenings within the play. 

Mambo Motel is the musical for our times, both celebration and cautionary tale with memorable songs and a fabulous storyline, not unlike The Wizard of Oz. It has a provenance which gives it an authenticity and reflects what the Metaverse is yesterday, today and tomorrow, for behind each of our avatars beats a human heart.

If you have a question, please send it to info@Pookymedia.com with Metaquette in the subject.


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