Weekly Salons to be held at the new Basilique Members Club

Club Garden facing Basilica

Club Garden featuring from left to right, the Basilica, the Chapel, and the Bathhouse

Now that Paradise Lost in Second Life is up and running at least until late June, Harvey and I found the time for a task we’ve wanted to complete for months now: hire a new barman! ;) And now that that’s taken care of… we have consolidated every part of the Basilique Region to the ground level, with the last piece of the puzzle now in place: the Basilique Members Club.

NEW Basilique Club_001.jpg

The Chapel

While considering the Members Club’s form and function since it opened in January 2013, we’ve made a few alterations to not only place, but also to theme.

First, we’ve streamlined the Members Club buildings to the two most often used locations: The Chapel (pictured above) and The Bathhouse (pictured below). The Chapel remains smart dress only, the Bathhouse remains nude only.

NEW Basilique Club_002.jpg

The Bathhouse

Second, we have planted a new Members Club Garden to enjoy the outdoors in privacy, creating a leafy green square between the Chapel, Bathhouse, Playhouse and Basilica. The Garden is a relaxing place to sit and chat with a friend or two, with only the sounds of the birds and the refreshing breezes blowing through the Cherry Trees to keep you company.

NEW Basilique Club_003.jpg

The Club Gardens

Thirdly, and in regards to theme, we will bring weekly events back to the Members Club. In the Members Club buildings and garden, we’ll be holding Members Club salon-type events, focused on hosting interesting and topical conversations and playing games. The Bar Moderna will remain the primary venue for dancing and DJs. The Basilica and the Playhouse will remain the main theatrical spaces.

Another look at our BathHouse

A look at inside the BathHouse

One of the things I like to do most inworld, is further develop conversations about things I’m reading about on Second Life blogs, things that I hear on the Drax Files Radio Hour, or things that I see on Second Life social media. Harvey and I often get involved in interesting conversations about these topics; we find them great fun and always welcome others who might be around to join in. Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but we think there might be more people out there who might be interested in something similar.

The Chapel interior

The Chapel interior

Therefore, we’ll be scheduling unstructured weekly Salons around topical and interesting conversation topics. We’ll start with the planned topic, but really, where it leads is up to the people who show up. There’s no need to RSVP, and certainly no need to send regrets. If it’s just Harvey and I that show up, that’s fine too, we can easily talk about nearly anything of interest till the wee hours anyway.

On slow Second Life news weeks, we might instead hold a games night, like Cards Against Humanity (a hugely popular game now playable inworld), random games we enjoy playing with drinks in our hands, or maybe even bring back “name-that-TV-tune”. We might even invite a few high-profile Second Life residents to join us for some relaxed meet and greets.

These events will take place weekly on Wednesdays at 1pm SLT and will be scheduled for roughly two hours. You can come for a little while, or attend the whole thing.

Paid membership to the Basilique Group is required to attend, but we’re not in it for the membership fees. If you’d like to join us the conversation without paying the membership fee, we’ll likely just let you in for the event if you let us know. To be honest, the $1000 membership fee for the Club Membership serves mainly to help us keeping out those who aren’t interested in playing nice with others. It’s not a fail-safe, but it goes a long way to making life easier. Sure, it helps cover some of the costs involved in maintaining a region in Second Life, but donations are always welcome too.

We hope you’ll join us for one, or several, of these conversation meet-ups / salons on Wednesdays between 1PM SLT and 3PM SLT. Events will be listed on the Basilique Events Listing Page.

Our first topic: “What brought you to Second Life? And what keeps you here?”

Give it a try, you’ll never know who you might run into! ;)

There's a new barman in town!

In case you missed it, there’s a new barman in town!

Paradise Lost featured as a Linden Lab Editor’s Pick


I’m very excited to see Paradise Lost featured in Linden Lab’s Destination Guide’s Editor’s Picks Category on the official Second Life website. Follow the orange button to pay us a visit, even when the show isn’t on.

Paradise Lost

Set to the 14 movements of Mozart’s Requiem, the Basilique Performing Arts Co. performs its weekly production of Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Join in this immersive theatre production and experience the mind blowing show everybody’s talking about. For tickets, be sure to visit http://bit.ly/mpbpac.

Visit in Second Life

Flat Ebbe Linden joins Basilique as Chief Executive Barman

There's a new barman in town!

There’s a new barman in town!

Basilique – April 15, 2014 - Basilique, the makers of Paradise Lost in Second Life, Romeo + Juliet in Second Life, and more, today announced that Flat Ebbe Linden will lead the Private Members Club as Chief Executive Barman (CEB).

Most recently prior to joining Basilique, Flat Ebbe Linden was CEB of HangOut. Prior to that, he was part of the late night shift at We’re a Bunch of Yahoos Social Club, most recently as SVP of Bubbly Alcohol Products. His more than 25 years of experience managing bars that create world-class cocktails and nutty snacks also includes food and beverage roles at Eugenio’s Pizza’n’Suds and Micro Soft Drinks Incorporated.

“We remain committed to world-changing innovation from Basilique,” said Canary Beck of the company’s Board of Directors. “We’re keenly focused on providing incredible experiences for all of our customers, and Flat Ebbe is the perfect person to help lead our team as we continue to serve and grow our shamefully minuscule audience of active users.”

“Basilique has long been at the forefront of building experiences that entertain people while empowering them to express themselves and profit from their drinking habits,” said Flat Ebbe Linden. “Our customers’ alcohol tolerance is unparalleled, and I’m proud to join the talented team that serves them. Basilique is now in its fourteen month, and every day, we continue to create more and more amazing cocktails to enjoy. Though much younger, Paradise Lost has already seen dozens and dozens of angel avatars shared for everyone to play with. I’m absolutely committed to supporting our customers and helping them become even more inebriated. There are significant opportunities ahead, and I look forward to leading us into the next phase of drunkeness.”

Related links

Strawberry Singh’s Flat Ebbe Linden Challenge

50% of WWF Donation Target Reached by Paradise Lost in Second Life

Funds raised for WWF by Paradise Lost in Second Life as of April 14, 2014

Funds raised for WWF by Paradise Lost in Second Life as of April 14, 2014

It is with enormous pleasure that I am able to announce that we have reached 50% of our L$250,000 charitable goal in support of our adopted baby mountain gorilla, Ihoho. Through your amazing generosity, this morning we crossed the 50% target on our donation thermometer, equaling L$125,000 or, at today’s conversion: ±$500 USD or ±£300 GBP.

Where the money will go

  • £15 can buy one first aid kit and mosquito net for one dedicated anti-poaching ranger who risks his life to protect mountain gorillas in the uplands of Rwanda
  • £65  could provide one month’s salary for a ranger in Volcanoes National Park, who is protecting the important mountain gorilla population there
  • £120  could buy one year’s supply of clothing and equipment for a ranger e.g. waterproof clothing, sleeping bag, boots and rucksack
  • £240 could help buy a hand held radio for a park ranger’s post in Virunga National Park

Please continue to help

When I consider the excitement, reviews and the opportunities that Paradise Lost in Second Life has resulted in already, I must admit that I at times lose sight of one of the major reasons we’re doing all of this, which is to raise money for all the critically endangered mountain gorillas.

In December of last year, the Basilique Performing Arts Company adopted Ihoho, a male baby mountain gorilla. Ihoho – meaning “incomparable beauty” –  is a member of the Susa family gorilla group, living in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Our Adoption Certificate from WWF

Our Adoption Certificate from WWF

Ihoho was born on the 14th of August, 2011. He, and all the remaining 780 mountain gorillas in the wild, are threatened by

  • snares left for other animals
  • destruction of their forest habitat
  • catching diseases from people entering the forest
  • poaching of baby gorillas for the illegal pet trade
  • conflict with people.

In January 2014, we pledged to give half of all ticket sales, sponsorships and donations to Paradise Lost to the WWF Adopt-A-Gorilla Program to help Ihoho and all the mountain gorillas.

Here is a short film, narrated by David Attenborough, that summarises the challenges faced by the Mountain Gorillas, and specifically features the rangers that work so hard, risking their lives every single day to help them survive. It’s not only beautiful to watch and listen to, it’s also very informative about this very important and challenging conversation issue:

We are half of the way there

Please continue to help us help them by either:

  • Donating to Paradise Lost in Second Life inworld (any amount) at any time
  • Sponsoring a Performance by contacting myself or Harvey Crabsticks (L$12,000 minimum)
  • Buying a ticket to Paradise Lost for yourself and/or a friend on the Marketplace (L$1000 per ticket)
  • Tipping during a Performance (any amount) in the tip jars pictured below

50% of the proceeds from ALL of the above options will help us reach our fundraising goal.

Tip jars_001

More Reviews for Paradise Lost in Second Life: The Premieres


Angel Clapping_001

Immediately after a performance of Paradise Lost in Second Life finishes, we send out a form to audience members to capture their immediate impressions of the performance. Here is a sample of spontaneous audience reviews from the Premieres, and we could not be happier with the feedback.

5 stars

Amazing use of SL and wonderful entertainment!

Harper Beresford

5 stars

Stunning performance! Amazing sets and costumes. Loved it!.

Shannon Cardalines

5 Stars

It was just a spectacular event, well done , a huge thanks for all the many hours, days, weeks and months that clearly went into this production!!! I would not have missed it, and we do hope to help the gorilla!


5 stars

Brilliant costumes and sets! Amazing performance… not to be missed!

Rex Romanas

5 stars

The ticket for the show was a gift I received. I had no idea about the topic until the show itself started, but knowing the opera performances on Basilique, I knew it would be worth it. I did not expect it to be so much more than just that. As far as shows go, this has to be the best I have seen – and I am in SL since 2005. Thank you so much.

Kasmo Ebisu

5 stars

Paradise Lost is one of the most ambitious, technically-layered and outstanding productions ever brought to a virtual environment like Second Life. A visually stunning piece, it is a genuinely remarkable experience which demonstrates the sheer power and versatility of Second Life as a venue for complex, immersive visual and performing arts. Five stars and two thumbs up from me!

Inara Pey

5 stars

What I saw was amazing. SL at its best. We will be getting tickets to come to another show and invite our friends.

Josiah Darkbyrd

5 stars

I’m a huge believer in SL and immersive 3D, and have seen (and also built and choreographed) some fairly amazing things in my years inworld. But I’ve been waiting my whole 3D life to see the medium stretched to its lyrical limits the way Basilique has done with Paradise Lost. The production is so brilliantly conceived and gracefully executed that the technology disappears, leaving only a story that burns with magic, passion and immediacy. Run, do not walk, to buy tickets, tell friends, post on social networks, and pray they extend the run: if you care about virtual words, art, theatre, or all three, you cannot afford to miss this watershed production.

John Jainschigg

5 stars

Fantastic! A truly beautiful production. I can’t wait to see more magic from Becky & Harvey at the Basilique!!

Jena Diage

5 stars

The sets and coordination was amazing. Great idea to have the audience dressed and part of the show.

Garvie Garzo

5 stars

Wonderful production. Beautifully executed. I would give 10 stars if I could!

Cayenne Republic

5 stars

This is by far one of the greatest things I have seen in SL, this is what SL should be about and I am very thankful I got to experience this.

October Blackwood

5 stars

Most innovative use of SL interface that I’ve seen for a theater performance.

Beebo Brink

5 stars

I came to the play with no expectations, just to see what was done and be with my partner who loved the press performance. I am stunned of the work that has been put into this show and the quality of it. I tip my hat to Becky and Harvey and all the rest of the crew.

Don Mill

5 stars

This performance far surpassed any thing I expected, the details and execution were carried through with such a fine balance of performance, grace, precision, and awareness of the audience that my mind is blown away. My hope is that I see many more performances like this in my future on SL. Thank you, thank you, and thank you more for your brilliance!

Bastien Berboral

5 stars

In retrospect, in having witnessed something as phenomenal as ‘Paradise Lost’ produced by The Basilique Performing Arts Company; as an aficionado of the arts and things brought to the forefront in highest regards of production; this was absolutely spectacular, gracious and astounding (spectacular, gracious and astounding being the understatement in context as I cannot find the direct words to express my impressed suit). The value, time, effort, casting, story-telling skills, conceptualization, set design, stage work and staging, the baroque element of bringing the audience into the story, the attention to detail; all exceptional. A story of Adam & Eve writhed in such a magnificent way that I’m almost compelled to begin in the book of Genesis to discover what happens next. The accompaniment of Mozart’s art adding an additional 5 stars out of the originally placed 5 – 10/5 if even possible; I’m touched by the effort and success brought through this platform of realistic virtuality. Well Done Basilique.

Forren Ashford, VVON VOICIC™; Production House, Studio, Copy, Exhibit ; Creative Director, Base Overview, Editor est. 2013

5 stars

Fantastic! At every juncture in the performance I could see how much effort has gone into this production to make it entertaining, engaging, immersive and spellbinding. Congratulations to the team on achieving a truly unique theatrical experience. As an Australian, I had to get up at 4.30 am to see today’s show – but I’d come to all of the sessions if I could!

Terag Ershtan

Tickets for all shows through June are available on the Marketplace. NB: Some people have reported not seeing anything listed on the Marketplace page. If that’s the case, select “General, Mature, Adult” on the drop-down called “Show Maturity Levels”.

My Newcomer’s Guide to Second Life

Photo by Ella Brightside

Me and Ella relaxing on the Basilique Pier – Photo by Ella Brightside

Please meet my friend, Ella Brightside. I know Ella from the non-virtual world and she has recently migrated to Second Life. She’s only five weeks old, but she already has a blog, a Flickr, Google+ and a Pinterest board – and… Ella recently became acquainted with Phototools and took all the photos in this blog post! How awesome is she??? :) Please, show Ella how welcoming we are to Second Life newcomers!

Observing Ella’s migration inworld, I have become profoundly aware of the challenges facing newbies; challenges that most of us with years of experience inworld have now since long forgotten.

So, I was excited to read about Strawberry Singh’s Monday Challenge this week where she asked people to give their top five pieces of advice for newbies to Second Life. I think it’s a super idea!

To be fair, Ella has a leg up on most newcomers to Second Life. First, I gave her a good idea about what to expect – so regardless of how hard things become, she trusts me and sees a light at the end of the long tunnel of challenge ahead of her. Further, I can introduce her to people, give her advice on how to do basic things, point her to my favourite stores and places to visit, and give her a place to call home and rez things – all the things most newcomers would might take months figuring out.

So for all of you who are not Ella, but are still very new to Second Life, here are a few pieces of advice that have served me well:

Ella and me smelling the flowers

Ella and me smelling the flowers

1. Stop and smell the flowers

Because the Basilique is featured in the Linden Lab’s Destination Guide’s Popular Places, we receive many visits from newbies. Sometimes I’ll watch them as they explore the sim.

I often find that people seem to be in so much of a hurry that their screens must be a blur of motion! Perhaps it’s how people behave in video games, out of fear of being killed, but don’t worry! That’s not going to happen in Second Life!

Relax… there is so much to see in one place. Every single step offers a new angle on what you might see. Chill out and stay a while… there are people to talk to and sometimes conversations take a few moments to develop. Slow down… and you might just stop being a moving target.

There are so many times I’ve reached out to say hello to someone new only to have them teleport only seconds after I say hello. If I didn’t know any better I’d have developed a complex years ago!

I also recommend finding a “home base”. Find a place you feel comfortable, landmark it, and return to it from time to time so that you can meet some regulars before moving on. Some people need to see you twice or three times before they reach out to you, and you’ll feel more comfortable reaching out when you see a few familiar faces.

Me and Ella dancing - Photo by Ella Brightside

Me and Ella dancing – Photo by Ella Brightside

2. Speak up

While you can easily spend hours, days and weeks alone in Second Life, one of the best opportunities that Second Life has to offer is engagement with other people.

I can appreciate that conversations can feel sometimes daunting to enter. I can understand that people chatting together sometimes seem like they’re super close.

In my experience however, people are welcoming to others that make an effort to enter a conversation. Sometimes they will go out of their way to include someone they see on the fringes.

You’ll never know what new experiences, opportunities and doors will open up to you until you say “hello”. I assure you, no matter how shy you are, the benefits of saying “hello” to strangers in Second Life far outweigh the risks!

Ella and me at Silky's Cafe

Ella and me having breakfast at Silky’s Cafe – Photo by Ella Brightside

3. Find a friend

There is no question, that my time in Second Life would have been considerably shorter if I’d not have found friends with whom to chat, spend time, laugh, explore and build.

When I try to think of anything I’d rather do in Second Life alone than with a friend, I can think of several (sorting inventory, trying outfits, tedious tasks that just need to get done, and sometimes even shopping). I don’t prefer to do these things alone because they are more fun alone. Rather, they’re just more efficient.

If you want to add more fun to pretty much any activity however, having a friend to share your time and experiences with will dramatically improve your enjoyment of Second Life. You will learn more about yourself by chatting with a friend you trust for a few hours than you might learn after spending a day by yourself. Alone time is sacred, but time spent with friends is the spice of Second Life.

Me and Ella at the Bar Modern at the Basilique

Me and Ella at the Bar Modern at the Basilique – Photo by Ella Brightside

4. Adjust your mentality towards spending money in Second Life (aka don’t be a cheap skate!!)

You don’t need to spend money in Second Life to have fun, but doing so can greatly enhance your enjoyment of it.

Virtual doesn’t mean “free”. Nice things cost money inworld, and the sooner you get your head around that the sooner you’ll become a contributing member of the Second Life economy. Most people wouldn’t think twice about spending money for one night out a month, yet strangely, people seem to lose all perspective when they consider spending Linden dollars.

While it’s not a common practice in many “games”, spending money inworld is as normal as it is in the non-virtual world, and considerably cheaper too. Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world like I do, a night out in London will easily set me back at least £65 (or $108 USD – if you include one person’s share of dinner and drinks, a theatre ticket and public transport – nothing extravagant!!!). That’s equal to L$27,000. Just think about what you could buy for that? You could have all the things!

Yet, people will hum and haw about spending L$1000 on a decent skin they’ll wear every day for months in Second Life. Seriously, if you are really that concerned about spending $3 on something like that, then you might have bigger things to worry about!

Despite that access to Second Life is free, all of those nice places to visit didn’t materialise out of spontaneous goodwill. These places were created by people who reached into their pockets (virtual or otherwise) to rent land and to buy buildings and materials to bring something into the world. That’s why so many sims have donation boxes, so that they can crowd fund their endeavours. If you like a place you visit and see a donation box, drop at least a 100 linden into the bucket to show your appreciation. Which brings me to… giving back.

Ella and me at the Bar Modern - Photo by Ella Brightside

Ella and me at the Bar Modern – Photo by Ella Brightside

5. Give back

This last one can’t be expected so much from newbies, but it’s something to keep in mind as anyone spends more and more time in world.

Way back in 2007, when I was a newbie of very few days, I was approached by someone who, from appearances alone, I would have likely never talked to in the non-virtual world.

After exchanging a few words, he probably took pity on my newbie state, and dumped boxes and boxes of clothing, hair and shoes into my inventory, just to get me started. It took me days to try it all on, and probably about a year before I stopped wearing it. He was a creator that made stuff as a hobby and just wanted to help me out. His stuff wasn’t spectacular, but did it ever help a newbie out! To this day, I remember that kindness, and a few years ago I sought him out and paid him a few thousand lindens to return the favour… Of course, he sent it right back to me ;)

The most valuable thing you can give in Second Life is your time and generosity. Life is so much richer when you move beyond consumption and start contributing. It really doesn’t matter what you do, whether it’s raising money for a charity, or helping out with a cause, or building a sim and leaving a huge chunk of it open to the public. Do something selfless and contributive to make the virtual world a better place.

Blog Reviews from the Premieres of Paradise Lost in Second Life

Devils dancing - photo by Caitlin Tobias

Devils dancing – photo by Caitlin Tobias

Paradise Lost in Second Life premiered this past weekend to sold out shows on both Saturday and Sunday. The cast couldn’t be happier with how things went this opening weekend and are very pleased with the feedback so far!

With the first 4/12 shows already sold out, there is only one more show with tickets available in April (the 27th) and that performance has only 7 tickets still available for purchase (as I write this post).

We are so pleased that the show is receiving such excellent reviews from both bloggers and audience members. I’ll share some of the audience reviews in a future post this week; but for now, I’d like to share four reviews that were published this week by Mona Eberhardt, Inara Pey, Laskya Claren and Anais Terpellie. Here are some excerpts from those posts and links to the people and blogs.

As a side note, I deeply appreciate the time and enthusiasm bloggers have taken in writing very thorough reviews. It’s always a major bonus when they are positive, but just that someone would take the time to reflect and comment on one’s work is, for this artist in particular, very, very valuable.

Paradise Lost is the most ambitious, and probably the most important, artistic event in Second Life for 2014…  I highly recommend that you watch this performance, even if it’s the only artistic event you’ll attend in Second Life this year. Even if you’re not artistically inclined. Even if you hear about classical works and turn away. The sensitivity, care, attention to detail, and love that has gone in this production has to be witnessed to be fathomed.

Mona Eberhardt

This is not something you should risk missing. It’s. That. Good. I cannot recommend this production highly enough. It is a genuinely remarkable experience, one which demonstrates the sheer power and capabilities of Second Life as a venue for complex, immersive visual and performing arts. Canary, Harvey and the entire cast are to be congratulated on realising such an amazing production.

Inara Pey

You should attend this event. The brainchild of Canary Beck and Harvey Crabsticks, and featuring a cast of, if not thousands, at least dozens, it is unquestionably the most interesting, engaging, and impressive performances I’ve ever attended in Second Life.

Laskya Claren

I’m deeply impressed!!! That was – no doubts – one of the most interesting, intriguing and exciting events for me in SL!

Anais Terpellie

Tickets for every performance of Paradise Lost in Second Life through June are available on the Marketplace.