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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tessa Chats with Porter Paquot

Hi Kasbah People! It's time for another Chat with Tessa! This time I sat down with Porter Paquot, from Portland, Oregon. We met on Skype this Sunday to chat about SL and RL. I have to say, I learned a lot about Porter, she is an open book, willing and eager to discuss both her lives.

Porter came to Second Life at a difficult time. She was struggling with depression and was barely handling RL. Coming to SL and performing gave her the opportunity to be herself and to gain back some of the strength she needed to again function in RL. She attributes her recovery to singing in SL and having the interaction she was lacking. She is now back to graduate school and performing both in and out of SL. I asked Porter what her favorite thing about performing in SL is and she told me how much she enjoys meeting new and interesting people and how she now gets to sing everyday!

Since Porter is singing everyday, I was curious to know if singing in SL had changed her RL performances. The answer was a resounding YES! Porter was very animated as she described how her band had been commenting on how much her vocals have improved, and even she has noticed her range has widened. She also told me how she has been able to explore different styles of music and to just have fun when she is singing. "Performing in SL is just fun for me, I am not here to get rich or famous, I just want to sing and be entertained."

When Porter is not in SL singing she can often be found performing with her real life band Fez Fatale. The band has been around for about 15 years and Porter has been a member for the past 5. She describes the band as "very quirky" and explained that they do all originals and are sort of a "lounge rock" act. Porter is one of 7 members, 4 of which do vocals for the band. If you go to the website you can find some of their recorded works including one titled "Six Pack" which Porter can be heard on.

I happen to know that Porter's band has come into SL to perform with her so I asked about their next scheduled performance. I was pleased to hear they are scheduled to perform at Kasbah on October 3rd at 10pm, it will be a live show with the strong possibility of live video as well! For those of you that might be in the Portland area the live show will be held at The Blue Monk. Since we were speaking of future plans I, of course, asked what else might be in store for Porter. She was very honest and forthcoming saying "I want to widen my fan base, play new venues and even perform at different times than I am used to. I also plan on having Fez Fatale perform hopefully once a month."

Besides the October 3rd show, Porter will also be performing weekly at Kasbah. I twisted her arm (lol) to tell me a little bit about her feelings for the venue. "I LOVE Kasbah, it's the prettiest venue in SL, so classy and well done. It has such a high caliber of music and I am honored to have been included in the lineup!" I don't know about you, but I got the impression she likes it there :-)

If you have been to a Porter Paquot show two things will immediately stand out. First is her powerful voice, and second, her fun and sometimes rowdy group of fans. In SL more so than anywhere else, fans have the opportunity to interact with performers and the performers have that same opportunity. No one enjoys interacting with their fans more than Porter. She shared with me a few of her favorite fan stories. "At one particular venue, the stage is surrounded by water...but it's prim and you can walk right on it...I noticed my fans were all staying back behind the water...somehow the idea came to pass out flotation devices...rubber ducks, and before I knew it I was surrounded by an army of yellow ducks!" She also described a giant beer bottle designed by a friend that she loved so much she has included in her fan gift pack. Porter's relationship with her fans is special, she thinks of them as her friends and enjoys, even encourages them to be as silly and fun as possible. She says it makes the shows even better not only for the fans but for her as well.

The hour was winding down, so I asked Porter my standard last question...and her reply was both touching and fun if that's possible. "Last words to my fans...hmmm, I think my fans are fun, sometimes rowdy but not crazy. I think I have a personal connection with a lot of my fans and consider them my friends. I feel like they are there for the fun, but also to help me grow. They tp in people to hear me and always welcome new people just like I would. I want them to know I appreciate them so much, for coming to the shows, for being rowdy and fun...I just...their help has been invaluable to me. I call them My Peeps, they are family and I love them." It was an awesome hour, talking with Porter today will always be one of the highlights of my SL. Until next time... Tessa1 Beck

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