This week we are shining a spotlight on Tzeitel Enchantment, the ambassador for "Power Up for Charge," the official fundraising arm of the Charge Syndrome Foundation in Second Life.
How did you first hear about Second Life?
I have been a member of Second Life since March 2007. I first heard about it from a story in the news and just had to log in to see what it was all about. I’ve never looked back, it’s been an amazing ride.
What gave you the idea to start running fundraisers for Charge Syndrome in SL?
A friend of mine first suggested I have a fundraiser for Charge Syndrome in late 2019, because I’m so passionate about the work of the foundation and such a strong advocate for my child who lives with Charge Syndrome. I am quite open about my child with Charge Syndrome, and the challenges he (and we) have faced in Second Life. I feel it’s important the stories of those with disabilities are told. So it was also important to me to not just raise funds for The Charge Syndrome Foundation, but to also build awareness about this rare disease that is not only the most complex condition a child can be born with, but is also the leading cause of deaf-blindness among other things.
I let it percolate a bit, knowing that it would be a huge task, because when you do something in Second Life you gotta go big! As the idea percolated, Love Kats offered up a space for me to host the event. I found 12 amazing musicians to perform live, some content creators donated for draws and I had a small cohesive team of folks that helped me plan all the details and make it happen. So on February 29, 2020 I hosted the first annual “Power Up! For Charge” fundraising event to celebrate Rare Diseases Day. The day was a huge success.
Tzeitel Enchantment getting her son ready for graduation
Do you build in SL, or collaborate with other Residents? Please describe your process for running these events and getting Residents engaged.
I am not a creator in Second Life, but since the inception of the Charge Syndrome Region, I’ve learned a lot about region design, terraforming etc. My creative head and principal designer is Suzen Juel (Juel Resistance) and she has taught me just about everything I know. While we have very different styles, we have a fun but messy process for creating the fun space we call Charge Syndrome, and it works really well for us. I am really open to collaboration, and allowing others to create fun spaces in the region. I think it is empowering for everyone involved and it helps to keep everything fresh. As we build, my charger inevitably interrupts and becomes part of the conversation. Almost everything we do is inspired by him and the joy and inspiration he creates by being simply the person that he is.
Suzen Juel and Tzeitel Enchantment
In addition to Suzen, my core inworld team includes Dusty Caldera and Sana Lisbeth (Dreamsdesire Starfall). Tintin (Aborignal) has joined the creative team this time around and is really excited about the ice cave “experience” he has created as well as some other wonderful spots. We have also welcomed Cranston Yordstom, the creator and builder of the Charge Syndrome Railway. Additionally, Ing (ingwaz.thor) has joined the fold who is designing a fun space for the Tinies and Dinkies of Second Life.
We are a welcoming and diverse group of people, and if anyone wants to be part of the growing community, I am always looking for help. It’s not just the design of the region, but we also need folks to help plan and implement our events, outreach and whatever else we can think of.
I am very grateful for everyone who has donated their time and talents to Charge Syndrome. Together, I believe, we are building an amazing and supportive community.
Power Up! For Charge Holiday Creators
Do you have any inworld events coming up?
I am hoping to have some holiday events this year. We currently have Nina Settner confirmed for December 4th. This will be a special event where she will be performing some more classical pieces. I am also in the planning stages for Sul’s big birthday bash in January. That’s my charger’s birthday, so we have to celebrate!
Planning is also underway for the 3rd Annual “Power Up! For Charge” event for Rare Diseases Day. This has become a multi-day event during the last weekend in February, and is the cornerstone for all of our fundraising efforts for The Charge Syndrome Foundation.
Your region just underwent a transformation for the winter months. Could you tell us about that process and if there are any things in particular that inspired or influenced the design?
Charge Syndrome is transformed about four times a year. It’s a fun but messy process. That usually starts with emptying and flattening the region so it’s like a blank canvas. The base textures have all been hand drawn and created by Suzen Juel and from there we build upward and create the shape for the space. Suzen is very specific about the whole visual component so before we begin to lay anything down together we will decide on the sky, environment, and mood. It can take a while to do this part, but it’s a lot of fun as we experiment with all the lights trying to set the right vibe and tone.
The themes we choose for each build are typically inspired by my son, who lives with Charge Syndrome. They tend to be playful and quirky and focus on light and texture. My charger lives with low vision so definition and light play a big role. My creative director, Suzen, is an artist so the region is never going to have a realistic look to it. Our trees have hearts or curlicues, our grass glows, and there is always something unexpected around the corner.
I’m not sure where I got the idea for the railway for the winter theme this year, but it was embraced by the whole team. I’m so glad we went with it, and that I got the support of Cranston Yordstrom to design and build the whole system. I contacted him out of the blue and he hopped over immediately to start building. I was blown away by how he has embraced the project and the train is definitely a highlight for all of us.
I also invited the Tiny and Dinkie community to the region this time around, and a space has been created just for them. In addition, we have customized dance and skating intans for them so they can enjoy all that Charge Syndrome has to offer. There is also a hot air balloon to enjoy, lots of spaces to find and explore and to take pictures. Finally, we are in the final stages of creating an “experience” with the inclusion of a hidden, underwater cave system. This cool addition is being designed by Tintin (Ab0riginal), another new and wonderful addition to the team.
My hope with each build is that people will be inspired to come and enjoy the space but will also take a few minutes to read up our information boards about Charge Syndrome. Simply by accepting the teleport to the region, they have now heard of this disease, and I think that is a big step in beginning the education process. We want people to feel relaxed and happy in the space we’ve created. We want them to return again and again and bring their friends. Hopefully each step we take will help the community grow.
For people unfamiliar with Second Life, what is something you’d like them to know?
Second Life to me is really an extension of my first life. I have met some of my most favourite people in the world on the grid, and then have gone on to meet them in “real” life. I have laughed and cried with these folks, we have hugged and drank wine together.
Second Life brings together a diverse and amazing group of people. You can be whatever you want in the metaverse, you can explore your creative side, be an artist, singer, content creator. The exciting part of it is that you have a global community there to support you on your journey.
Follow Tzeitel and learn more about Charge Syndrome at the following links:
Power Up! for Charge Destination: https://secondlife.com/destination/charge-syndrome
Power Up for Charge Flickr Group: https://www.flickr.com/groups/14758574@N23
Tzeitel Enchantment on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41484783@N02
Tzeitel Enchantment on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Tzeitel-Enchantment/100011509209478
Watch this Made in Second Life video about Power Up for Charge!
Video Production by Draxtor Despres
“You’ve Got a Way” written and performed by Suzen Juel
RL videography by Rosie L.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about how Tzeitel channeled her passions into this stunning region that raises awareness for Charge Syndrome. 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