October 10, 2012
As promised... a post to fill in the gaps. Reader beware... this is a longer than normal post and may be unbearably boring. It may also contain more information than some people are comfy with, but I am about being transparent. This is me. It would be my pleasure for you to stay, but you are also free to leave at any time you become uncomfortable.
This is not my first time blogging or my first time attending UCWS. I already hold two CWS model certificates: one as SassyLassye Resident from June 2011 and the other as Caralyne Melody from July 2012. Why am I doing this a third time? LOL, 'cuz I am a hot-head and paranoid from previous years' virtual experiences.
For reasons explained below, the day after I graduated UCWS in July 2012, I left all CWS groups in a fit of anger and bitterness. Leaving CWS groups is a big NO-NO with Anrol Anthony, CEO of CWS. And if you make this decision, you better be prepared to live with it. I thought I was. After all, my time in SL was limited and I was seeking enrollment at Maniera Institute of Style, the one model academy I had been salivating to attend for over a year.
HAH! Silly me! What was I thinking? Hadn't I learned my lesson the year before?
The beginning: Sassy graduated from CWS in June 2011 and was quite full of herself and her abilities. She was sure she was going to take the SL modeling world by storm. She happily graduated UCWS, passed the fashion show test and began modeling in CWS weekly fashion shows the Saturday after she graduated on Friday. Wow! So quickly! She must be good, right?
Maybe, maybe not. It doesn't happen so fast at CWS anymore ... or anywhere in SL fashion to be sure. SL models and new model academies are coming out of the woodwork these days. There are not enough model jobs for all the female models! LOL! The only ones with half a chance of making it quickly are men who become models. They are quickly catapulted into fame and demand, because there are just not enough male models in SL.
Huh? I wonder why not? chuckles... Maybe 'cuz there are not that many guys that WANT to be a "Ken" doll. Remember girls, we had to have other girls play Ken when we were playing Barbies.... unless, of course, Barbie was willing to play "army" or "war" with G.I. Joe. LOL! I tried that once... not much fun because you don't ever change clothes, lol.
I digress... back to July 2011 and SassyLassye. So Sassy styled and practiced runway formations to stay in CWS weekly fashion shows. She placed and won various stylings, including a special Chop Zuey live video model contract through a third party. (Don't ask me about that one... it never really worked the way it was supposed to.) At the end of July, she even won the August 2011 CWS model of the month through a special styling contest. She won by ice skating down the runway in the middle of summer, lol. She also walked with a snow leopard in one of the runway presentations. That win was a lot of fun and will always be a special memory.
August 2011 brought enrollments in two well-known model academies (LUSH and AVENUE) as well as spending a lot of time building a photo portfolio with various photographers. At the end of August, she enrolled in MVW model academy while graduating from LUSH in early September. This is when things began to get stressful.
My addiction to SL is well known, but during this period it was a terrible struggle to balance real and second life. Sassy completed the first four classes of MVW and was in the middle of AVENUE classes when the straw that broke the camel's back happened. Real life work was suddenly needing long hours as was enrollment in two model academies. AVENUE seemed to be in upheaval, too, as they kept changing schedules on the B class.
A class was sailing along just fine, but B class got so bad that they had to have the 4th class on a Saturday and the 5th class the next day on Sunday with not even 24 hours between. Originally, there was supposed to be a week between classes and the A class had at least 4 days to complete the homework for the same class. (The homework was becoming progressively harder and required more time for each class.) But the B class did not even get 24 hours to complete the styling and posing homework. To make it worse, this happened to be a birthday weekend in real life for a family member. So, the barely 24 hours Sassy had to complete the homework was further reduced by real life commitments.
Sassy tried, she really, really did, but she couldn't get it all done. She was styled for class but did not even get to the pose portion. When she explained to the instructor, she was asked to participate anyway. There were no other options offered, even though, the instructor was fully aware the class had not been treated fairly. It did not matter. And that is when Sassy realized that SL modeling was not the be all, end all of any universe. She crashed out of class and never went back. In fact, Sassy didn't go back to finish MVW either. She was done! Sassy didn't go in world much during the remainder of September and even less the remaining months of 2011.
If you would like to see Sassy's resume and photo portfolio, then please click here:
SassyLasse's Model Portfolio
I didn't make a conscious decision to not use Sassy... I just stopped using her. I ached for her when I portrayed her and SL is supposed to be fun, right? So, for the remaining months of 2011, I used the first avatar I had in SL when I "really" began in April 2010. By January 2012, I knew that I couldn't keep using that avatar either. I remembered I had created an avatar in October 2009 when Utherverse (aka Red Light Center) was banning "subversive" avatars. I had never logged in with her. I think I vaguely recalled her name. Oh yes! Caralyne Melody. Wow! Come to think of it... that sounded like a good model name! And even better, a real SL last name from the "old" days. No more of that "Resident" stuff.
So Caralyne was developed and I spent January through March 2012 getting her fashion act together. Then I decided to try what I had been thinking about for a year and a half: being a LoveCats store model. After completing an application, it wasn't long before I was doing that, too. April through June was spent being a LoveCats store model and an assistant manager the last few weeks of June.
Since the previous September, I had been avoiding friends I had made at CWS the previous summer because I didn't want to explain what happened or be encouraged to return. But around the beginning of May 2012, I logged in as Sassy to transfer a clothing item to Caralyne when I was caught by Yuna or perhaps I sent her an IM. I can't remember anymore...
The rest is history. She embraced me, explaining only recently she had returned to SL after being absent. She told me she was finally realizing her dream of her own model school and was also getting married in SL. She asked me to be her maid of honor as well as an officer/instructor of the model school. I said sure, but I wasn't SassyLassye anymore. I introduced her to Caralyne and during the remainder of May and June, we proceeded through wedding, divorce, model academy beginning and ending, and finally enrolling at UCWS again. When I applied, I didn't tell Anrol who I was because I felt there had been misunderstandings between us when I was Sassy. I preferred to start over.
So there I was again at UCWS in July 2012. I remembered talking to DebbieDoo Tigerfish the previous summer about how awesome it would be to attend UCWS again. I loved it so much! LOL! Well, my wish had come true and I was back again... quite a bit more humble the 2nd time around (but still not enough, it seems). I had to quit LoveCats during July because I couldn't meet the model demands there and my student model requirements at UCWS. It was prolly time to make a decision anyway, because they were wanting me to become a manager, which is an incredible time commitment.
Which brings me to time. When you work full-time in real life, the time left over for SL is seriously reduced. Things like working, sleeping, and family commitments/needs still continue and can't be ignored. So the time in SL has to be optimized for best results. Working three 6 hours shifts at LoveCats a week (or 18 hours a week) was never going to work for me despite how much I enjoyed and loved working there. It had been bad enough doing the nine hours a week required as a store model.
Which led to a full commitment to UCWS by mid-July 2012. It was such a lovely experience! I didn't want to act like a know-it-all so I tried to contain myself from always knowing the answers. I helped when asked and offered to help when the opportunity arose. I prolly was not as involved with the other students as I had been the previous year, but the group seemed more confident as a whole than the one the year before. I have always strugged with getting close to UCWS trainers and its CEO because I have learned to be self-sufficient due to being a quick learner as well as shy. Since I am a quick learner, there was no need to ask for extra help plus it was my second time in the class. I am quite talkative once engaged, but pushing forward to engage another person, whether real or virtual is not an easy task for me. I fight being quiet and shy in both real and second life. I am more successful in real whereas by the time I am in SL, I am tired and don't have the energy to always push myself forward.
But irregardless, I truly love UCWS and CWS. I can't sing its praises enough and it is absolutely true that CWS is "simply the best". I passed all the requirements for July graduation and placed and won some stylings, but what I was really looking forward to were the weekly fashion shows that would begin after graduation. Of course, I was arrogant enough to think it would be as easy to qualify as it had been the year before. But my mistake was in forgetting that nothing ever stays the same. I was aware the Anrol had developed a CWS advanced model class but didn't really understand its purpose. I do now.
After I received the news I had passed finals to graduate, I kept waiting to be invited to team practice to prepare for the fashion show test. I knew there were more runway formations to learn and it would prolly take a whole week to get qualified. Except... I never got any invite or notices or information! What the heck? I decided to not worry about it until after graduation. Graduation first.
All was going so wonderfully and beautifully, even though my sixth sense said something was going on behind the scenes. I hadn't been IMed or talking to my fellow students as much as I had in the previous weeks. I just thought everyone was busy getting ready for graduation like me. With dread, I remembered what I had done sometime during the last two weeks of July. I had confided to Anrol that I was really SassyLassye from the year before and explained why I hadn't told her when I applied to UCWS. She let me off the hook, thankfully... but now I wondered if that was affecting why I hadn't received any information. I worried I should have kept my secret. I am terrible about keeping my own secrets... because I am a mostly transparent person. I have a hard time being deceptive, which is why I am good at the job I do in real life.
I couldn't pinpoint what my sixth sense thought was going on, but it finally centered on the possibility that the other models in the class were being invited to team training by some of the trainers. I realized I had dropped the ball by not developing and maintaining good relationships with the trainers. And since I was not anyone's favorite (even though I had helped and been seen helping other class members), I was going to be passed over in the first group selected for the fashion show testing. (See how quickly I descended into paranoia?) I remembered the year before when some of the students who weren't as quick or conscientious about their model skills were bypassed for fashion show testing the first week after graduation. I had felt for them then and now I was experiencing their emotions. I was devastated!
So literally, I had a meltdown during the July graduation party. I was tired, not thinking straight, and paranoid on top of it all. But all I could feel was the panic and anxiety I had dealt with the previous September when I had crashed out of AVENUE. I just couldn't handle the stress again. I knew I needed to sleep on it and I did, but morning did not bring any relief from the anxiety and despair. That is when I threw my silent tantrum... and just left all CWS groups. But I didn't just leave all the groups, I unfriended all my fellow UCWS students and trainers. A couple of them I talked to before I did and the rest I didn't. I even unfriended my beloved Yuna. She was astonished and even I was astonished. But when you are emotionally hurting and running from negative feelings, you are not really thinking straight when making decisions.
So off I went to attend the basic model course at Maniera. Yes, a lovely group of people, but when you only attend once a week and 3 days in a row with nothing in between to help you practice... it doesn't take long for model skills to get rusty. I learned a couple new things, but left in despair and disgust when I was told I would be tested on how well I edited my prim lashes to my eyes. I have edited everything else in SL except for prim lashes. I have stedfastly refused to edit them due to their tiny size and tediousness. I protested and they suggested I use tattoo or mesh lashes, but I would still be tested on my ability to edit prim lashes. Well "F" that and I was gone. I had a good excuse too... I was moving homes in real life, which was keeping me away from SL for longer and longer periods of time. (Moving kept me away from SL during most of the month of September.)
By the way, can someone teach me to edit prim lashes?? Pretty please? (I really mean this... anyone willing to help me, please let me know asap!) I have no intention of returning to Maniera, but think I better know how to do this.
So back to CWS. Sometime in early September, I refriended with Yuna (oh happy day!) and she begged me to come back to CWS. She said she couldn't continue without me near. I am her besty and she is mine. She is my oldest gal friend in SL. I missed her and CWS. I suddently realized that CWS had become home. I missed the sims, the stylings, the models, the staff, and Anrol and Steve. Anddddd.... I still wanted to do fashion shows!!
So, I agreed and began the process of rebuilding bridges I had burned. I begged Anrol and she incredibly and ever so graciously consented to my return. She had conditions (which were more than reasonable and expected after my previous behavior): I would have to retake UCWS if I was going to do fashion shows. I couldn't have my tags back until I graduated again and maintained my group memberships. I agreed happily. There is no place like CWS home. Home Sweet CWS Home!
There is no doubt in my mind that CWS is the best model preparation program in SL. Absolutely the best! No other SL model academy, and I mean no other academy, is as immersive, comprehensive, or efficient as CWS. I speak from exposure and experience. Not even the "great" AVENUE or MVW can compare. Obtain a model certificate from UCWS and you can model anywhere in SL. You will smoke every other SL model if you practice with daily styling, team runway training, and perform in CWS weekly fashion shows. You can walk proudly knowing that you are well-equipped to handle any SL fashion show.
Anrol is an incredible business woman and fantastic super-model. Anyone who says different is jealous of her abilities and should be taken to the woodshed to be properly "schooled", lol. I adore what she and Steve have done in SL for aspiring and accomplished models. I have been remiss in adding my gushings about the beauty of CWS and UCWS, but let me add mine now. CWS sims and buildings are beautiful and unique. As grandiose as the buildings are, the environment is as welcoming and friendly. There really is nothing like CWS in SL. I have spent incredibly happy moments, minutes, hours, and days there! Live long and prosper CWS!
So this time, I have my fingers crossed (while taking valium as an
extra precaution... no! no! just kidding) that THIS time will be the charm.
Someone pinch me if I start losing it or better yet... tuck me in bed and tell me to get some sleep. LOL!
Now on to the rest of the blog... :))
- Caralyne Melody
- Caralyne Melody rezzed into SL in October 2009 and spent most of the next two years enjoying its fantastic culture and fashion. She developed her SL skills as a store, print, and runway model, choreographing virtual poses and animations, blogging, taking in world photos using windlights and shadows, editing photos using graphic software, and creating shapes, skins, and clothing. She has earned model credentials and participated in various castings, contests, and stylings. Relaxing in RL for Caralyne is having fun with fashion in SL.