Telima, sexy nightclub singer and star of 'Second Life' opens up about stardom in Virtual Reality

Beautiful singing and awesome dance moves can be seen while watching Telima perform in Second Life

Telima Diamond Spiritor is a gorgeous songstress who moves with grace and performs several times a week in front of devoted fans. What makes Telima so special is that she performs in the augmented reality realm of Second Life as an avatar.

She also sometimes goes by Kaitlin Geary, but that is not her real name either. She is from Great Britain and while she had explored some role playing, she didn't really find a virtual space to call home until she came onto Second Life.

Second Life is a free, 3D online virtual world, developed and owned by the San Francisco-based firm Linden Lab and launched on June 23, 2003. The users, who are called Residents, create virtual representations of themselves, called avatars, and are able to interact with places, objects and other avatars. While Second Life is similar to massively multiplayer online role-playing games; however, the Linden Group is emphatic that this creation is not a game: "There is no manufactured conflict, no set objective."

Telima got her start as a builder in Second Life and discovered her passion for singing.  And boy can she belt out a tune!

Telima spoke with Michele Tompkins for about her origins, what she loves about Second Life, how a personal tragedy got her involved in AR, what she feels is a very rude practice in Second Life, a bit about her life in the real world, what she is passionate about and more.

Michelle Tompkins:  First, would you prefer me to call you Telima or something else?

Telima:  You can call me Telima. Not many people know my real name. I used a bogus name in YouTube [laughter] because of the copyright, that's why. Just go with Telima. It would be easier. It's just one word, and people remember it.

Michelle Tompkins:  Okay. Now how did you come up with the name Telima Diamond Spiritor? I love it [laughter].

Telima: Well, first off, this is actually an alt, so I have got another avatar called Kaitlin Geary.

Yeah. So when I first came into Second Life, I was actually a builder. I wasn't a singer. And I used to do a lot of role-playing and basically, I left the role-playing, and I went into other things. And then I created this alt as Diamond Spiritor first off. And then I found what I call the karaoke lounge in Second Life, and I started just singing the old song there. And I loved it. I just fell in love with singing from there on. So the old lounge was the very first place I started singing, and this was about six years ago. And then from then on, after about three years of getting up the courage to actually go out there and start singing live and doing shows.

Michelle Tompkins:  Oh, that's exciting. Did you get an audience right away? Or do you have to build one?

Telima:  I started off with probably going to one of the very busy venues in the Second Life, so there's about 10 people there at first. And then you start collecting your fans, and your fans start following you around. So you have what they call-- excuse me. Of what they call a group tag. My group tag is called spiritual music, and basically, I would add people. I've asked people on mic if I would like to be added or if they'd like to go subscribe? A place where they can actually go to find out whether I'm working or not.

And then they get not a TP as such, but a landmark to where I'm actually going to be singing. But the way I came up with Telima— and because my avatar, my other avatar, my main avatar, my building avatar was in WOR, I use the name Telima because that name is actually in the John Norman books. And she was actually a very free woman. She was never enslaved, and she was always strong. So I believe it was a strong name and with Diamond Spiritor, people think, ‘Hmm, that's a long name [laughter].’ With just one name, like Telima, it jumps out. So I use that as my main name, and everyone puts my main name as Telima in search, so I can be found a lot easier great.

Michelle Tompkins:  Well, okay, this is a basic question, what is a builder?

Telima:  What you see around you in Second Life is what people have created. You would use prims and you would build a house or you could build a platform. You can build anything you want in Second Life. There's a building option. So you can create your own land. Does that make sense?

Michelle Tompkins:  Yes, it does. It makes perfect sense. It's just new to me [laughter]. Now, what is a group tank? Is that more like just a group of fans who follow you around?

Telima:  Yeah, basically, it's a group that you have to pay for in Second Life. It costs 100 Lindens. You make this group power-up and you add people to it. So what it basically does, it adds to your profile to let you know, if you're a fan of that person, where that person's going to be in Second Life, and it gives me the opportunity to actually send out a message to friends, to fans, ‘Is there anyone within my group who wants to know where I'm going to be' and it'll give them a landmark as well of where I'm singing. And it gives them the choice whether they want to come along or they don't want to come along.

Michelle Tompkins:  But it always gives them the option, that's nice.

Telima:  Well, some people do the TP thing. They offer a TP automatically. A lot of DJs do that, and I don't believe in that. I feel that is quite rude by just TPing someone in without asking because you're not giving them the opportunity to decide whether they want to come or not [laughter].

Michelle Tompkins:  And ‘TP’ means teleporting, correct?

Telima:  Correct, yes. So sometimes I get teleports to hither and everywhere, but I don't click them, I just ignore them because if I'm singing, there's no way I can TP out of a venue that I'm singing in because [laughter] that would be rude. So I just tend to ignore them, but there are people out there that would use a teleport thing and invite them that way, but I just give a landmark and then all you got to do is, basically, click that landmark, whether you want to be there or not.

Michelle Tompkins:  Well, I'll make sure I follow you so I can be part of your tank [laughter].

Telima:  Well, I can actually add you to my group tag as well, if you want.

Michelle Tompkins:  Please do. I'd like that very much.

Telima:  Okay, let's do that, now, then.

Michelle Tompkins:  Yeah, you're my first friend in Second Life.

Telima:  Aww, that makes you sound really sad.

Michelle Tompkins:  Oh, no, no. I'm happy with it. Start somewhere, right?

Telima:  That's right. That's right.

Michelle Tompkins:  And I'm not saying you're my only friend, I just said you're my first friend [laughter]. All right, I've been added. Great.  Now, where are you from?

Telima:  I'm from the U.K., London.

Michelle Tompkins:  And that's where you live now, is that correct?

Telima:  That's where I am at the moment, yep.

Michelle Tompkins:  Have you always been interested in music?

Telima:  To be honest with you, no [laughter].  I started singing in Second Life about six years ago. As I said, I started off in the karaoke lounge, in the O Lounge in Second Life and I quite enjoyed it there. And then three years later, I started doing my own shows. I would go around and see a lot of live singers in Second Life just to see how they would act and what they would do. I found if I would follow a certain singer, and they've got three or four different shows that day, I would follow them and see what they would actually do, just to get some information for myself, observations so to speak. So I would go around Second Life watching different live shows, and one person, in particular, I would go and see and then I would say, ‘Ooh, she sung that one at the last show. The next one, she sung at the last show.’

Then I thought, ‘Well, I'm not going to be doing that. I'm going to change my way. I'm going to do it my way [laughter],’ because I got to the stage where they were doing two to three to four shows a day, and found they got quite boring. If I got bored with that, other people would get bored with that. My second reason for singing was-- when I had done a lot of the observations-- when I would go to these people and noticed on the third time that they're singing, their voices would actually be quite sore. So I said to myself, ‘Do you know what? I'm not going to do no more than one show a night. That way, I'm going to get all my fans in. That way, I'm going to be able to do a show, it's going to sound clear, it's going to sound professional,’ and that's the way I've worked and I've always worked like that.

Michelle Tompkins:  How would you describe your music?

Telima:  Well, I do various styles of music from jazz, funk, soul, post-modern, Northern soul, blues. So I do a vast amount of different styles of music and genres.

Michelle Tompkins:  Yeah, do you write your own music as well?

Telima:  Nope. I've never written my own music. It's all these old covers that I use because I am a traditional soul girl—in fact, I have a little manager in Second Life as well that helps me out now and again, and he calls me ‘a blue-eyed girl,’ or, ‘I should have been born black,’ or something like that because I have got such a soulful voice. And we do have a little bit of a laugh and a joke together, and sometimes when I do some of the shows that have a lot of the black community there, a lot of people have actually called me, ‘Lady T.’ And to me, Lady T is a very good name because there was one white soul singer that died at the age of 54, 56, something like that, and that was Teena Marie. So I feel quite privileged to be called that within the black community and it's quite nice. I don't often do them. I don't often do the shows in the black community, but I am often asked.

Michelle Tompkins:  Now, do you perform in real life, too, or is purely a Second Life passion?

Telima:  As I say, I started in Second Life and I have been to karaoke sessions in real life. And I've song on ships where I've just got up on karaoke and started signing. And then, just before Christmas, I was actually put into a band where I work. And I work for the NHS. And the NHS is the hospitals in London.

Michelle Tompkins:  What does NHS stand for? 

Telima:  Oh, now you're asking [laughter]. I don't know. I haven't got a clue. I'll have to look it up for you and Google it. [It is National Health Service in the UK.]

But it's to do with the hospital work anyway. Basically, we formed a band within the hospital. So we had a maintenance worker who was a keyboard player. We had a guy that was a bass player and he was a porter. There was myself as lead vocalist. There was another guitarist who was from x-ray department and a drummer who's actually a nurse on ICU. And we formed this group together and we were getting so far with it. And what we wanted to do was actually to go and perform just before Christmas within one of the local public bars and raise money for the hospital, but for the children's ward. However, we had to put a stop to that because within my real life, I actually lost my husband.

Michelle Tompkins:  Oh, I'm sorry.

Telima:  So basically, I had to put a hold on that, but it is still in the pipeline for future once things have settled down.

Michelle Tompkins:  Where can people see you most frequently perform?

Telima:  It's mainly in Second Life. I've only got about three venues at the moment. I used to do shows every night before my husband passed away. I'd have a Monday off. I'd work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Just an hour of signing. And I would enjoy it. My husband would enjoy it as well. And then I would still get people asking me, ‘Oh, can you do another show?’ And it's very, very rare I would do two shows, but it would depend on the time zone thing because I'm in the U.K. If my husband went away to his parents, I would be able to do an American zone show and I'd be able to get away with it that way because I didn't want to keep him awake.

Michelle Tompkins:  This is a question that's completely optional. How old are you?

Telima:  I'm 49. I was 49 yesterday.

Michelle Tompkins:  Happy birthday.

Telima:  Thank you.

Michelle Tompkins:  Now, how do your real life performances differ from those in Second Life?

Telima:  They don't. How I am in Second Life is how I am in real. If people ask me, ‘Oh, Telima, do you know this song?’ or ‘Telima, do you know that song?’ If I don't know it, I would try out and come back to them the following time because they're always going to be following me. So not only pushes up the vast array of songs that I know already but it also adds and gives them a feeling that they feel worthy as well. See, when I first came into Second Life, I wasn't a singer. I was a builder.

There are a lot of people in Second Life that are disabled. And I didn't know the severity of my friend's disability.  And they got a webcam one day, and I was completely shocked because this poor man was 36-years-old. And he was trying to build a castle. He'd gone on webcam by accident, and I saw him by accident. And he had a stick attached to his head because he was a complete paraplegic. And he was trying to build, and I thought, ‘Do you know what? If he can do it, so can I.’ And that's what got me into the building side of the things.

I used to help him out, and we come across situations where I couldn't link a prim to one of his prims because there was copyright sort of thing. So it got a little bit technical in that case scenario, but then I started building, and building, and building. And then he left Second Life completely -- that's when I realized that there was a lot of disabled people in Second Life.

I thought what can I do besides role-playing?  Roleplaying got a little bit boring for me. I loved it. I really did, but it got really tedious with being a role-player, having rules and regulations, and abiding by those rules, and people calling the shots as if to say, ‘No. You're in the wrong,’ or ‘No, you're in the right.’ So I decided to pull myself away and find singing.

As I said, I used to go around various venues to see what they would do and how people would act. I got to know a lot of people, got to know a lot about how to work my sound out and how to record and things like that. And a very good friend of mine in Second Life, he actually tweaked my mixer because I have a mixer going through my computer so that it sounded like CD quality. So everything that you see on YouTube or SoundCloud is the quality that I get. I don't know whether it would be any different in a professional studio or what because I think the quality I've got is pretty good as it is. People are allowed to download from there if they like the song or whatever.

One of my songs on my YouTube-- actually, it was a bit weird because I often wonder about the media side of things and how so many people get so many hits or so many views on their website, on their YouTube -- I did a Karen Carpenter's song on YouTube, and it hit. Well, it's not so bad, 11K now, something like that in a very short time. I think it was over two years or something like that. And I didn't know whether or not it was a fact that-- was it Karen Carpenter that people are focusing on? Was it the song that people like? I wanted to do some sort of view, and I never got much callback from it. I still often wonder now. Is it the song that people like, or is it the fact that it was a Karen Carpenter track or cover track that she sang? So my viewing has never gone up on that. I think it's probably about 12K even after something like that now. But I do often wonder how it all works out, or how people get established in the media. I have done one song as well, and I didn't hit that high on viewing. Maybe, I'm just ugly. I don' t know.

Michelle Tompkins:  Oh no. And your avatar's just beautiful.

Telima:  My avatar, yeah, well, she is quite a sweety, I must admit [laughter].

Michelle Tompkins:  Do you change her look up a lot?

Telima:  No. I keep her the same. The only thing I change is her clothing or her hairstyle. It depends what sort of mood I'm in really. If I'm in a lazy mood, I'll change my hair to something really relaxing. I leave in the change like-- it depends. It depends on what style of the show people want me to do. The YouTube link that I sent you was of burlesque, so I had my hair up. I was in suspenders, stockings, basque, the whole thing.

Michelle Tompkins:  It is a very sexy outfit?

Telima:  Very, very sexy outfit and getting into the role of thing. Even though some of those songs on that YouTube link, one overly burlesque because I aim to please the public and what they want to hear. I don't do that many requests. I only do request if that person knows me, and they know that I know that song. Do you know what I mean?

Michelle Tompkins:  Yeah.

Telima:  I got so many followers that they know what I can and what I can't do. But if there's a new song that they like they'll ask me to try it and I'll give it a go. But not on stage at that time. I will try and perfect it for the next time.

Michelle Tompkins:  How many followers do you have?

Telima:  Ooh! There was about 500 one time. I've got about a 140 in my Scribe-O. And on my group tag which you'll be in too in a moment—Let's have a look. In my group, 401. So yeah, 547 people in my group so far.

Michelle Tompkins:  Now here's kind of more of a technical question. How do you perform on Second Life? Do you sing into a computer or you use a recording? Is it live? I'm not sure how it happens.

Telima:  Everything is live in Second Life for me. I don't do the recording things. I don't believe in that because I might as well just be a DJ. So I have what they call a URL stream. And use a program called BUTT ((free download of software)) that's what I'm recording this conversation on at the moment. So what I actually do is I have my URL which is like a stream, a regular stream, which I pay for. And I put that into the land settings streaming live in to world. So how I'm talking to you is how I would be in Second Life as well. And then I have what they called Karafun / Singsnap which is like a karaoke program. And basically, it shows me the words, it has the backing track, I sing along to it, and it comes into Second Life that way.

Michelle Tompkins:  What are some of your favorite things to do in Second Life?

Telima:  My favorite thing to do in Second Life would be singing.

So that's going to be my number one. I like helping people out. So if there's a new singer on the block I usually get asked if I would help them out and set them up with the music, or how to record, or how to actually stream into Second Live. And I love doing the karaoke in Second Life as well. I hope I will be able to go on sometimes and sing now. I do things for charity as well. We did a fun charity fund for a gentleman that sadly passed away from cancer, and there was three of us that went over to this venue that he had at the time. And we actually raised  $999 in Lindens. So it actually kept his account going until he could finally come back to Second Life. But unfortunately, he never made it.

Michelle Tompkins:  Oh, that's just terrible. When I was doing my research for Second Life, I found a man called Draxtor that does movies on Second Life. And one of their best ones was called Our Digital Selves: My Avatar Is Me. It's about a disabled community on Second Life and the freedom this provides them. I think this is amazing.

Telima:  Exactly. Because a lot of people in Second Life believe that they could be that avatar. Personally, I don't believe I am an avatar. It's only in mind that am I that avatar. So how I am in Second Life is how I am in real. You don't get no thrills or fancies. This is me. But yeah, I can totally understand a lot of the disabled people that could actually walk in Second Life, but they can't walk in real, and they can actually believe that they could be that person. And it does, it gives them a different way of life. And it's something that they enjoy. And it doesn't bother me. I would rather someone enjoy Second Life because sometimes there are real-- everyone's in Second Life for a reason. And if it is because you're disabled or you're going through a divorce or you've been through a divorce or your partner has died or whatever, everyone has a reason to be in Second Life. My reason to be in Second Life was the fact that my husband wasn't very well prior. I had to be at home 24/7. But I needed a social output. So when I found singing, I decided, right, this is going to be my social output. This is my hobby. And it got to a very big hobby that I enjoy and others enjoy as well. So at the end of the day, it worked both ways because my home life, although I lost my husband as well, I'm here for the people in Second Life, especially those people that can't even go and afford a concert or a live show or whatever. It's just something for everybody. If you enjoy it, you enjoy it.

Michelle Tompkins:  Now, what are some of your favorite things, favorite places to visit in Second Life? Are there special venues that you like to go to or you like to hang out at your own home?

Telima:  I mainly hang out in my own home where I am at the moment. And I do help out people—

Michelle Tompkins:  I like the dolphins in the background.

Telima:  Oh, they're brilliant, aren't they? They are absolutely brilliant. I love them. I do help out other venues, i.e., the CrystalEdge Club is one of them. And we did a fund-raiser for another singer in Second Life not so long ago. The CrystalEdge Club is basically a place where they show shows and have choreographed dances that is set on a hud and dance to music sometimes telling a story. And they make a storyline towards the back end of a song. And we did a special thing for a singer called Max Sabertooth in Second Life because he is not very well at the moment. Anyway, and we tried to raise some money because the Americans have these medical expenses more so than the English do because we get ours free. But you have to pay for yours. And he needed a certain amount of Lindens or money to actually help his medical expenses. So we put on this show with the CrystalEdge Club. So there was like six dancers behind. I was singing live. It was the very first thing that we've ever done. And we've raised, I think it was about 32,000 Lindens.

I actually recorded the whole show and sent it to Max Sabertooth. And so we do a lot of fund-raising for other people because it's not all about the singer making money, it's not all about the venue making money it's about those people that need help in Second Life and they're having a shit do at that particular time. So I like helping out other venues. I like helping people with design. Some people have mesh designs and they build dance poles or waterfalls, and they need someone to be on that product and show it off. And that's some of the other things in Second Life.

On YouTube, you'll actually see I have helped someone else out with their Business a Gentleman called Shepard the Creator of Wishing Well Fountains and things like that. I do a lot of promoting in Second Life because when I do a show, it's not all about the singer. Again, it's not all about the venue. Everyone who comes to my show, if I know you independently, I will promote you, whether you're a singer, or if you're a DJ, or if you take photos for a living in Second Life, or whether you make mesh creations in Second Life and you have a shop, or you make clothing. It's not all about that one person making money. It's about everybody. Everybody's in the same boat because they want to make a little bit of money. To me, it doesn't really bother me. At the end of the day, I'm there to make people happy and that's what makes me happy. If people are happy when they hear me sing, then that makes me happy. So it's a good call, really.

Michelle Tompkins:  Is Second Life still a hobby for you or is it your career now?

Telima:  No, Second Life is still a hobby for me. I don't often come on as of late because I've got a lot of personal things that I need to keep track of. But I do come in of an evening. I mean, I do work for a living as well, so I have a full-time job, and then I have to come home and then sort out the house and obviously everything else. And then if I've got a show that night then I'll do that show, but it's only an hour of my time, really.

Michelle Tompkins:  Do you earn Linden Dollars or real money for your work?

Telima:  Well, in fact, if you look at Lindens, Lindens can actually be made into sterling or it can be made into dollars, but you have to be registered or something like that. And so what I tend to do is I save up my Lindens, it pays for my ground rent on the land that you're on at the moment. So that's what I do. Or it helps pays for clothing. If I've got to be dressed a particular way and I see something I like, I think, ‘Ooh, I like that.’ I'll pay Lindens for it. So it goes back into Second Life at the end of the day, but there are people out there that can actually earn a very good living singing or DJing or taking photos. They can make an astronomical amount of money.

Michelle Tompkins:  How much time do you spend in Second Life per week?

Telima:  On average, I'm normally online every day because sometimes I get venue owners asking me if I'm available to do a show or whatever. But I might not be at my computer desk at the time. So I suppose when I come home, say 6:00 p.m. my time up until about 10:00 p.m. Four hours a day, seven days a week that's a commitment.

It is but as I say, I'm not always at my PC. It's open if people want to message me or send me an instant message and I get back to my PC, before I turn it off, I will respond to those people.

Michelle Tompkins:  Here's a technical question, how do you choreograph your dance routines?

Telima:  Right, well I have something called smooth dancer or smooth dances and I buy the dances and I just click a button and it lets me dance. However, people at the Crystal Edge club, they use the same thing like smooth dancer and they can add people to that dance group and then they can change them but you have to accept that dance, if you know what I mean, if there's more than one person dancing.

Michelle Tompkins:  Are you interested in burlesque still?

Telima:  I love burlesque. I've been doing burlesque for three years. I've always done that venue every Sunday for three years.

Michelle Tompkins:  And what is something that you'd like people to know about you?

Telima:  What would I like people to know about me? I think I'm just open book anyway. People know me, they know who I am, they know what I look like. I don't hide who I am. The only thing I do hide is my name in YouTube or Sound Cloud or Second Life because obviously, I do have a real Facebook.

I mainly go as Telima, even if I'm posting things on my Facebook, on my real Facebook, I'll put it as Telima. People know me as Telima on my real Facebook as well. So they often ask me the same question, why Telima? And it is just for the simple fact because people will remember that name and think, that's an odd name, it's unusual. Or they think it's an Asian name or—where did that come— and it starts a conversation off as well.

Michelle Tompkins:  What do you like to do for fun?

Telima:  In real or in Second Life?

Michelle Tompkins:  Either, or both [laughter].

Telima:  Besides singing [laughter]?

Michelle Tompkins:  Yes, singing is wonderful, I'm so glad that you've found a calling for that.

Telima:  What do I like doing in real? I like socializing, I like meeting people, I like going out for nice meals. I like company. I love my dog, my dog is a boxer, his name's Cooper. And I have a cat as well, so I've got one cat, one dog. I like going for walks. I like keeping as fit as I possibly can, other than that, I think that's about it.


Cooper from Telima

Michelle Tompkins:  Now, who are some other performers on Second Life who you enjoy?

Telima:  Other performers that I enjoy? There's a few actually and there are a few that I have actually sung with and done duets with. One of them is Max Sabertooth. Lovely, lovely guy. And he's, let's say mid-60s, let's be kind. In his mid-60s. It's his way of life. He loves singing. Was a singer in real-- or a trumpet player in real. Adusay yeah, Adusay is his-- I can't remember his surname. He's another person that I've actually sung with. I would go out of my way and go and see them sing. They are people that I value as very dear friends as well. Boodozer, she's another one. Very good singer in Second Life. She usually follows me at the Lunar Lounge.

And in fact, she's actually coming to stay with me on the 17th of June in real, just so that she can travel over to America. She's going to the America for a holiday and meeting up with other singers from Second Life. We met at the London Jam. I've known her years. And we've done a couple of songs together as well. So there are a few people out there. But it's finding the time, really. Because if I'm at my piece, say, I'm probably practicing a song or recording a song or talking to people in Second Life, it depends on how busy I am.

Michelle Tompkins:  Who are some of your favorite performers in real life?

Telima:  In real life, well, oh, you know what, I'm really crappy at this. To be honest with you, I don't listen to the radio.

Michelle Tompkins:  Okay.

Telima:  If I like a song, I will give it a go. I like all sorts of music, all genres. The song has got to have a feeling for me, for me to sing it. Not saying that I wouldn’t sing a song that I didn't like, but someone wanted me to sing. I would still sing that song, but I probably wouldn't sing it as often as some of the other songs that I sing. And to be honest with you, I can't really put a name-- I mean, the last concert I ever went to was in 1987. I was in Seattle. And I saw Level 42 and Madonna live, and she was brilliant. So I don't really go to concerts either.

Michelle Tompkins:  Do you enjoy watching TV or movies, or is Second Life really more of your activity of choice?

Telima:  No. Music is more my thing. I always have music on. I have got a television, obviously. And if I have friends around, we might watch a film or whatever. But 9 times out of 10, it's mainly music. Even the URL in Second Life I use is music that I would listen to while I'm puttering around the house or something. But it's mainly music.

Michelle Tompkins:  How do you like your fans to connect with you?

Telima:  A lot of them follow me on Facebook or my real Facebook, or however they want to get hold of me, they can. Some have my mobile number. So you know what I mean? If I want to answer them, I'll answer. It's just one of those things. But mainly, Second Life, if they contact me. But I don't get that many IMs from people in Second Life, to be honest with you. People think, ‘Oh, lovely avatar. I bet you get a lot of IMs.’ I don't, really. A lot of my IMs are groups of people sending out spam where they're going to be like singing or whatever.

Michelle Tompkins:  When can people see you perform again?

Telima:  My next show is on Saturday at the Lunar Lounge. That is a donate Sim, all funds they make go into paying for the sim, where they heal people. Basically, they believe in spiritualism and healing and things like that, but they also feel that music is a good healer. And I do. I think music is a good healer for everybody. So I go there on a Saturday at 2 PM SL time. And then you've usually got Boodozer on after me, and she's quite funny. She's a hilarious character in Second Life, but we usually get quite a good crowd there.

Michelle Tompkins:  Is she a singer or a comedian?

Telima:  She's a singer. Well, she's singer/comedian. It depends on where you want to take her.

Michelle Tompkins:  Well, what's next for you in Second Life, what are your plans? You'll be performing soon?

Telima:  Oh, yeah, I am still performing. I think I've got about three venues still going at the moment that are regular there. I'm always doing something. Learn more material, as well. I mean, I've got probably about 500 different kinds of songs, different genres, mostly. If I'm bored in the house and I haven't' got nothing to do, I'll probably pick up a song and try and learn it.

What else do I do, besides clean around the house and pick up after my dog? [laughter] Take him for walks and things like that.

At the moment, in my real life, as I say, I am quite busy in my real life, hence I've only got about three venues that I'm working for at the moment. Because I'm having to sort out my house and get it into tip-top shape, as best I can, because eventually, I would like to move, eventually, but there are other reasons I've got to stay in this area. But I've got so much to sort out before I do any of that.

Michelle Tompkins:  Great. Well, I can't wait to see you perform again soon. I think you're very good.

Telima:  Awe, thank you. [laughter] I enjoy it, and others enjoy it, so it's good. It makes me Happy when others are happy. There was one particular show I had to do.  I got interviewed by this guy, and I found it really, really strange. And he asked me to do this show. He said, ‘You'll be the only one there, but we'll be putting you in your Second Life avatar on a telly in Germany, there will be a couple more avatars, probably within the thing. I didn't speak German [laughter], all right? So I said, ‘Right, okay.’ So he said, ‘Yeah, and what we do, we have a party in Germany, but you're the actual host and the singer.’ And they're drinking wine and beer. And there's me singing, with water [laughter]. A bit unfair. I mean, I get the occasional requests, to do specials like that. And it doesn't bother me. It gets me out. It gives me something to do.

And I do enjoy it. But I did find that one a little bit strange, I must admit, because, as I say, they didn't speak English. They couldn't understand me. And it was a learning thing, a learning business in Second Life. And I wasn't allowed to invite anyone along, either. So you do get the weird sort of set-ups that they want in Second Life. But they're paying me, at the end of the day, and it keeps me with my home here in Second Life. It keeps me with clothing for Second Life. And it pays for my stream and payments for my programs that I use to make this all possible. So I'm happy at the end of the day.

Michelle Tompkins:  So then it worked out for everyone. I like that very much.

Telima:  Yeah. I think it's cool. I mean, I used to be quite addicted to Second Life when I first joined. And it was weird when I first joined because I thought, ‘Hmm, hmm. What's going on here?’ And you'd go to various-- you'd jump from SIM to SIM to SIM to SIM. And you would see all sorts. I mean, there are all sorts in Second Life. And I think if you've got an open mind about it-- sometimes it can be weird. Sometimes it can be quite good. Sometimes it can be so artistic. You could go to Disneyland in America, and you'd find a Disneyland in Second Life as well [laughter], and how they've created it. And they've actually got the animations working. Oh, what was it called? There was a horror house in Disneyland. I can't remember what it was called.

Michelle Tompkins:  The Haunted Mansion?

Telima:  That's it. And you can actually go in that haunted house. You can actually go in the haunted house in America. And it's exactly the same thing in Second Life. You know when you go into the lift and then you automatically feel small because things are being stretched? And it's amazing what some people can do. So many artistic people out there in Second Life it's untrue. To create what they can in real, and what they can in Second Life, is amazing.

Image result for second life taj mahal
Taj Majal in Second Life by Sebas Quar

Michelle Tompkins:  It does. I wouldn't have thought of that, but I think that's one of the cool things there. Anything anyone can imagine can happen is possible.

Telima:  Exactly. And I think as long as you've got an open mind, and you venture to these places in that, and don't take it to heart, I think you could probably open up a can of worms, maybe. I don't know. I mean, as I say, there are all sorts in Second Life.

People have made the Taj Mahal, and it's so perfect. It's amazing. But like I say, there are a lot of artistic people out there, and it doesn't mean to say that they're all singers, or they're all DJs, or all photographic people, or videographers, or whatever. It can be because they're a builder or they do something unusual in Second Life.

Telima can be found singing every week in Second Life and follow her here.

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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