Jump to content

Second Life Spotlight: Angel Manor

Linden Lab


This week we are placing a Spotlight on Angel Manor, a palatial estate adorned in some of the most impressive architecture we've ever seen. The Duke (Kaya Angel, Owner & Builder) and Duchess (Kezzy Forwzy, Co-founder & General Manager) of Angel Manor have proven to be a powerhouse duo in terms of creativity and event management.

Angel Manor Estate Interior Spotlight logo.jpg

How long have each of you been in Second Life?

Kaya: Well, I first came into Second Life to see what this new virtual world was all about when it first went live. I was fascinated by what Philip Rosedale had said about this new world and his vision for it, and I was specifically interested to see what the proposed freedoms were in a {world composed of user-generated content}. At the very start, I wanted to see if people would explore the ideas of new social groups and societies that tested new ideas about how people could work together: if they would build environments and create businesses, or if people would just copy and replicate the real world as we know it. It was perhaps too early right at the start, it was such a new concept that it took us all a long time to understand what potential existed here. It wasn't until a few years later I really found my feet on the platform and created a new avatar who had a mission to create and build a community. So in one form or another I've been in Second Life from its birth and watched it change and grow into the world it is today.

Kezzy: I've been here just over 14 years now. A {physical world} friend had an avatar and had told me all about this online world where you can meet people from across the globe and enjoy amazing live music. I was really intrigued; I was already an online gamer and an active member of several community forums as well as running some myself, so I thought I would make an account. I was fascinated by the premise of being able to socialise in real time with people across the world, and at that time several {regions} had sprung up in likeness to where I lived in {the physical world} which really made me curious. I logged in, followed my friend to some live music venues and I was instantly hooked. I met Kaya within a week of logging in and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Duke and Duchess of Angel Manor.jpg

Do either of you have a background in design, and what drew you to creating things in a virtual world?

Kaya: I do have a background in design, as my full time job is as an event designer. I specialise in lighting and set design currently for large corporate events, but my background is based in theatre and concerts. It's often strange how much Second Life replicates my real life work! Doing technical design in RL has really helped in Second Life as a key part of my design role is to understand how people are affected by different environments, such as how light, space and sound influence the experience people have. Here at Angel Manor we really try to ensure we create a very real immersive world, which we often describe as “hyper reality” in that it's just a little exaggerated, but very much based on the world we are used to. This means there are rules such as items can't be floating, and even though we don't have the laws of physics it should feel as if they do. So structures must look like they would stand under their own weight and we don't want the estate to feel like a film set in that every door should lead to a real room and every window should have a view both inside and out. But Second Life has also helped me so much in my professional career as I now use the 3D modelling skills I gained from Second Life in other 3D programs to create the designs to showcase to clients as proposals. So it’s very much been a two way learning of which I'm very thankful for.

Kezzy: I am not a designer at all! Kaya is absolutely the design genius in this partnership, although I enjoy the design process throughout. I deal with the logistics side - running the estate in terms of the day-to-day management and organising live events and private bookings. However, our strengths feed off each other, which is why I think we make such a great team. For me, I get great joy from bringing our talents together to create spectacular events and seasonal treats that will inspire and motivate all Residents of Second Life to live their best lives by joining us in our world. When we bring together our skills and create a magical event or a new build that has people talking about it for weeks and months, that is the biggest draw for me.

Angel Manor is such an immaculate and huge place. How long did it take to build, and how would you describe your artistic vision?

Kaya: It's hard to put a time on how long it has taken to build as there are always updates and upgrades taking place. The best time scale I can give is to say that based on past experience, a full {region} here takes about two months to complete and a homestead about two weeks. But as I say, it’s always changing. The artistic vision is to ensure there is always something new to find, either because you did not find something on your first visit or something new has been added. Our vision is very much created by the influence of people who live and visit here. We always listen to the Residents who call Angel Manor their home and are open to new ideas they would like to see here. We get wonderful comments and take note of what people like and what areas may not get much use. This is how Angel Manor has been shaped over the years.

Kezzy: We also consistently hold ourselves to the highest standard of events that we can. We pride ourselves in delivering unique and exciting events whether that is by allowing the use of the venue for charity, cultural and large scale events or our own live music events. We've been really fortunate to have some of the very best in Second Life talent grace our stages over the past 14 years, and I think that all comes back to what we have created.

Angel Manor Estate 2.jpg

How would you describe the architectural style, and what are some things that inspired it?

Kaya: Starting as a 1930's ballroom, it has become more regal and palace-like over the years as that is what people seem to enjoy the most. The best way to describe the style is that it's based around a mix of English and French architecture from the golden era, but as this is Second Life we also like to add a mix of Disney magic, a touch of Phantom of the Opera and not forgetting the most recent influences of Downton Abbey! Just like the grand estates that are still around today, we act as the modern day custodians, here to keep the estate running and to keep it serving the community as best as we can while also ensuring all the roofs remain leak free and no aging stone work falls endangering visitors!

Kezzy: I think the biggest inspiration we have is being driven by the power Second Life gives us to create this very real feeling, very immersive world that allows Second Life Residents to come and experience whatever it is that they want it to be. We best describe the Angel Manor as themed as a modern day aristocratic palace that aims to create an environment that allows our visitors, Residents and staff to experience a standard of life and culture that encourages, inspires and motivates us to live our best lives in both worlds. It is not a traditional roleplay location, but a place people can come as their true avatar self and act as they would if they were visiting or living in an old aristocratic estate.

Angel Manor - The Rose Theatre.jpg

What have been some of your favorite events that have taken place at Angel Manor? Anything coming up that you’d like to share?

Kaya: When it comes to events I think we are best known for the stage production we add to the live music events. We work to support artists that perform on our main ballroom stage by providing changing lights and sets that visually support the artist. The reason for this was not just because this is my real life background, but because we wanted people to feel they are at a very real show. Often with live music it can be easy for people to arrive and listen and enjoy the performance, but they will be either camming around to see who else is there or maybe deep in chat with other friends while listening to the performance. We really want people to be not just listening but watching the performance. The visual aspect of our shows should also help convey the emotion of the song being performed to enhance the overall experience. The other events that stand out are the large themed events we do which are normally based around holidays. We have created large Halloween events such as a masquerade ball, and enjoyed Easter with {a nod to} Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, complete with chocolate river and waterfall to get the perfect mix!

Kezzy: We have been really lucky to showcase the best artistic talent across Second Life, be that in art, music and culture. We have two live music events across our various venues every week but I think my favourite events are also the Grand Balls we put on twice a year at Easter and Halloween. These are custom built, themed events that we have so much fun brainstorming and designing together. The most recent ball was the Enchanted Ballroom, themed as if we had sneaked all of our guests into the ballroom from Beauty and the Beast! This summer we celebrated our 14th anniversary with a grand "Celebration of the Arts" festival, with live music spanning across a whole weekend. We invited musicians who had performed on our very first stage right up to musicians who are relatively new to the Second Life music scene, and we were delighted that the {regions} were full for the entire weekend. This festive season sees the return of our annual Christmas Market, built in the Estate Gardens that will feature market stalls from some of SL's finest designers as well as a full calendar of live music events so we would encourage everyone to wrap up warm and join us for some festive cheer through December.

Angel Manor Grand Ball.jpg

Do you consider Angel Manor to be finished, or do any parts get remodeled after a certain amount of time?

Kaya: Angel Manor is never finished as I just love building too much! There is always something that can be improved or made fresh. We never want the place to feel dated in SL terms. There are always new techniques or new mesh that improves on the design, but most of all we want anyone who lives or visits here to always find something new. Also, from a business point of view, the homes here are on a continuous cycle of updates to ensure we always offer the grandest of regal living.

Kezzy: I call it tinkering! It's not unusual for me to log in and find Kaya trying something new, or rebuilding a wing, or excitedly showing me the inspiration behind a new idea. Part of the magic is seeing what we will come up with next to add to the estate. It's forever evolving to meet the needs and desires of the Residents and visitors but also our own needs and desires as well.

Angel Manor Christmas 2020_001.jpg

What are some of the day to day tasks of managing such a large estate?

Kaya: When it comes to day to day tasks I know Kezzy is always out looking for new performers to bring to the our stages, while I do the rounds of the estate tending to the grounds and buildings. It's not uncommon that a Resident may have had a car crash into a bush, or maybe a horse has broken free and is roaming the estate. There may be the odd golf or tennis ball that has been hit off course. Some of the largest tasks are dealing with all the season changes, as the estate has wonderful summers and golden falls and not forgetting very cold and snowy winters. Ensuring the estate feels alive and is always changing is a key part to my day to day tasks.

Kezzy: I love how incredibly varied each of my SL days are! I like to check in with any residents that are online, and see what they are up to or if they need any help. I encourage them all to run social events within the estate which fosters a great sense of community, something that we are very proud of here. If we have a show or an event that day, I will be prepping notices and promotional material and checking in with the event organiser, musician or their manager to make sure everything is going ahead. Otherwise, I'll be checking the calendar for the weekly events, answering notecards and IMs with inquiries about the estate and the store and booking the next month's worth of shows. Each day is completely different, I never know who I will come across when walking around the estate, and I love that. The diversity and breadth of our visitors never fails to amaze and inspire me.

For more information on Angel Manor, follow them here:
Website - www.angelmanor.org
Facebook - www.facebook.com/angelmanor
Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/groups/angelmanor/
YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/ThePurpleRoseTheatre
Instagram - www.instagram.com/angelmanor
Twitter - www.twitter.com/angelmanor
Teleports - angelmanor.org/visit-us

We hope you enjoyed learning more about Angel Manor. Each of these weekly Spotlight posts will feature a different Resident to showcase the spectrum of experiences and personalities found in our virtual world. If you have created something inworld that you’re proud of, or have had a deeply meaningful experience that could brighten someone else’s day, please sign up! More info here: https://second.life/spotlight-signup

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

  • Create New...