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Friday, 19 June 2009

Spotlight On ......Isabella Elcano

I always believe that you have to have special qualities to become a successful host in one of the SL clubs. You have to have the sort of personality that people love and the gift of communication. I had a chat with someone this week who has these special traits, Isabella Elcano, Isabella is one of the hosts at the Underground Club in SL Knightsbridge.

Watching Isabella work, you cannot but be impressed with her energy, she never misses new people arriving at the door and gives everyone a friendly greeting, making sure they feel at home and know exactly what to do if they are a newbie to SL.

I asked Isabella how she had first heard of SL and what she thought of it when she first joined. She told me “I joined SL just after the New Year- I had just watched the episode of CSI:NY where it was featured, which is probably the strangest way of hearing about it.” She continued “I think I came in expecting it to be exactly like off the telly and it just wasn't, so I really struggled at first. Wandering around hideously in the pink spotty dress wasn't the best thing either :) But I met Dougal (MacMoragh) in Knightsbridge who attempted to explain how to get trousers on. I spent the next few days like that and eventually tried to sort myself out a bit.”

I wanted to know how Isabella found SL London, she said “I sort of had some basic idea of what I was doing, so using the search box wasn't difficult. I searched for London within about an hour of being on SL and that's where I met Dougal, who helped me a lot! I also discovered the UGC for the first time :)”

Asking Isabella if she had worked anywhere else before the UGC, she told me “I've never done anything other than host, but my first hosting job was at PIER, right before it closed down. It was a great place and I had a lot of fun.” I asked her how she came to chose the UGC and eventually get a job there, she said “The UGC was the first, and for a while only, club that I visited and the hosts there were always brilliant. I asked about a job, but stood no chance as I was about a week old lol. It's since then that I wanted to do something like that.” So we are really lucky that Isabella stayed and landed the job that she had wanted to do!

I watched Isabella greeting a newbie girl last week and I was really impressed with her kindness and patience as she talked the girl through a few instructions on how to dance and get her music stream working. I asked Isabella if she enjoyed the experience of helping new people, she told me “A shift is always interesting when you have someone to help. As a very newbie orientated place, the UGC offers many challenges as far as they are concerned. As for my overall view of them, I think that everyone should be accommodating and helpful towards newbies, as long as they are in return. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.” And what about awkward people who misbehave? I asked, she said “The most difficult type of customer is someone who's ignorant. You can be trying to do your very best but when someone just won't converse/co-operate, it gets you a little irritated.” I totally agree, some people do go out of their way just to cause annoyance.

I asked Isabella if she had any favourite places besides SL London that she likes to go to and she said “I spend a lot of time at The Mirage Lounge as that is where I host too. Just as with the UGC, I love it there and always have a laugh.”

SL is a place where people do make such good friends and some groups use the virtual world to create an extended family. Isabella is a member of an SL family and I asked her to tell me about her SL relatives, she said “So Suzi Gravois and Boone Blanco are my SL parents and Seth Burckhardt is my brother :) Octavian Cale also comes into the picture as an uncle and he is just as lovely. It has sort of become a very extended family, as Seth is fond of adopting other 'uncles'. It sounds completely mad and although at times it can be, it's also really nice. I first met Boone and Suzi in the UGC and then Seth a little later on. I think I sort of thrust myself upon them but they hardly ever complain :) Suzi and Boone own the Mirage Lounge, a club where I also work, so we sometimes spend time there. Seth doesn't come on here as much anymore, but we used to do a lot of good stuff with him. . I really don't know where I would be without them all though, they have helped me a great deal and I will always be thankful.”

I wanted to know if Isabella had any other career prospects in mind, apart from being a host, she told me that she is content to stay with hosting for the moment, but she said she would love to do some journalism, as that is what she enjoys in real life! I think Isabella would fit right into reporting in SL, and would make an excellent journalist, I have found that people who really do want to write are quite a rarity in the virtual world, and with Isabella’s enthusiasm she should certainly have a go at it.

I asked Isabella what she thought of SL London, she told me “You can have a lot of fun in London, though they keep expanding it so much that I lose track! However, the nicest people that I know, I have met them there and I'm sure that's the same for a lot of people.”

Lastly I wanted to know what she thought about the future for virtual worlds, she said “My RL currently revolves around education at the moment and although it makes coming on SL difficult, I always find some excuse to come on, so I reckon I will continue to want to be in this environment. I haven't experienced any other virtual world, but I think as long as there are people around the world wanting to meet one another with some degree of anonymity, there will always be a place for things such as SL.

It was a pleasure talking to Isabella and I would like to thank her for this interview.


Elizabetta Westland said...

What a great article on such a sweet person! Isabella is so kind and funny, I'm so glad to count her as one of my friends. :) Lovely job, Janey!

HotStuff said...

Ahhh that was nice, well written janey!

Janey Bracken said...

Hi Liz and Hot, thank you for your lovely comments!