We are continuing to spotlight different members of our community. This time the spotlight is on Elizabetta Westland.
Elizabetta, or Liz, first came to Second Life after reading about it in the local university newspaper. As she describes it “there was an article about a prof who had incorporated SL into one of his business courses at the university, and it just talked about the game, and how students had to come online and use the game as part of their program. I'd never heard of Second Life before, but I've always loved meeting people from all around the world, and thought it might be an interesting thing to check out. So I went home that night and downloaded it.”
Although Liz had previously visited chat rooms and gone on message boards, this was her first encounter with a virtual world. “My first impression was that it was pretty overwhelming. :) I didn't really know what I was doing...it took me ages to get through that first Orientation Island! But once I was finished, I did a search of places to go...I didn't really know what I was looking for, so I looked up London, to see if there was anything to do with that in Second Life, and what do I find, but Knightsbridge :) At that time, there was only Knightsbridge and Mayfair, and Chelsea was in the process of being built. Literally the first day I was in Second Life, I came to London :) I love England and especially London in Real Life, and since I can't be there in RL right now, why not Second Life? Next best thing :)” (In RL Liz lives in Canada)
After a couple of months in SL, and after saving up her lindens, Liz began renting a home in Knightsbridge. Newbies take note, Liz earned her lindens by participating in contests at the Underground Club. First she lived in Knightsbridge, but then moved into a townhouse in the lovely Chelsea sim. This led to a very interesting experience as Liz’s new home was decorated on the SLTV show Meta Makeover. She described participating in Meta Makeover as being “so fun! The designer was fabulous, she really managed to capture my personality in that house, especially the bedroom. :) Lots of pink!” When asked about how the actual filming of the show went, she said “Oh my nerves! It was really something, made me feel as nervous as I would in Real Life! I was so afraid I was going to crash, or my mic wouldn't work, anything that could go wrong, I was convinced would go wrong! But, I was wrong. :) It went great!”
Perhaps Liz will be back on SLTV again sometime, because in RL Liz is a singer. She has teamed up in RL with her good friend Jaine Avro, who is a pianist, to do functions. They successfully ran a dinner theatre in RL last Spring, in order to raise funds for a trip to Australia. Jaine and Liz have been friends in RL since they were 4 years old, but each came into SL at about the same time independently. “We've literally been stuck together like glue since we were little. We travel together, our families are great friends...it's like we ARE family.” This strong connection helped when they created their dinner theatre. “it was really a family affair, the place we rented was actually our old high school auditorium, so we were given that free of charge...we managed to get some of the food donated...the menu was designed by us, and then cooked by our parents, and then brothers and sisters and cousins and friends were servers, decorators.....it was amazing :)” It all went well. Last July Jaine and Liz visited Australia and had a wonderful time, but found a month without SL a bit strange! "I guess we just got so used to SL, it was weird not to talk to some close friends every day. Thank God for email!"
Jaine and Liz also work together in SL as London Greeters. Liz says she was inspired to become a Greeter because she made a good friend early on in SL who helped her navigate all the intricacies, such as opening boxes, finding places to change, and rezzing things. She and Jaine “love giving makeovers to poor newbies who still have all those unfortunate newbie clothes and hair and skins.”
And sorry guys, Liz is in a committed relationship and very happy. Virtually London (lite) spotlights were created to introduce members of the SL London community to our readers. Everyone has a story. If there is anyone you would like to see in the spotlight, drop me an im or note.