Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Interview With Frolic Mills
Frolic Mills is a name which has been known in Second Life media for most of it's history. Known as Juan Delgado in real-life, for several years he was the owner of the "Best of Second Life" magazine, a publication with an emphasis on Fashion and culture. In December 2013, he suddenly announced while addressing the audience at the Miss Virtual World Pageant that he would soon be transferring control of the magazine and retiring. Recently, Frolic agreed to talk to me about his time at the magazine. We met up at his lodge at Bonaire Country Club Boulevard.
"Welcome Bixyl," Frolic greeted me with a smile, "Please take a seat as soon as you rezz." I thanked him for the invitation, and complemented his place before starting the interview.
"To begin with," I asked Frolic, "how did you find out about Second Life?"
"I saw an advertisement on TV," Frolic answered, "and I was already playing in other virtual environments, so it was an easy jump for me."
"How did your first days go?" I then asked.
"Just like yours," Frolic mused, "lost as lost can be! But I communicate well, so I was a question maker machine! Anyone I saw, I would jump on. They were the good old newbie days and I do treasure them."
"Did anything stand out as particularly memorable?"
Frolic's answer was a surprise, "I was raped by green monster on my first day. About a week later, a friend of mine opened the 'PENIS FOR FROLIC FOUNDATION.' And believe it or not, in just a few hours people at some disco got together and donated enough money for my first private member! I knew I was gonna stay in Second Life forever!"
My response was to raise an eyebrow, then chuckle, "Well, you certainly found a way to turn around something that would scare the begeesus out of many." After a pause, "How did you get the idea for doing a magazine in Second Life?"
"At the beginning of 2007, when I rezzed, it was very hard to get much info on anything," Frolic reflected, "There were only two magazines inworld. One was about women's fashion, and the other was PORN! (very lovely by the way. So when I started discovering all the great things Second Life had to offer and the work of many artists, I decided I needed to share the information." Frolic smiled, "That's how the Best of Second Life came about."
"Heh, did it start out as a fashion magazine?"
Frolic shook his head, "No it was never a fashion only magazine. We covered the best of Second Life in all areas: from architecture to furniture to sims to fashion - we did it all!"
"How did it go in it's first days."
Frolic handed me a notecard from a recent magazine article, reminiscing about Best of Second Life's first days. He had written about his first cover photoshoot with Raven Pennyfeather. The Grand Opening event thrown for his publication, he had written as dozens of Second Life's top content creators arrived, he felt like, "Everyone we considered fabulous was there and I was nothing but a newb with a very ugly magazine."
"Heh, it does read like the opening went a bit hectic," I told Frolic, "but as the past seven years have demonstrated, it obviously went well."
"Yes," Frolic reflected, "seven magical years!"
"What was your favorite subject to cover?"
"The whole point of BOSL and my biggest joy was to discover new talents on the grid," Frolic answered, "But it also turned into a fantastic platform to help out models and charity events. I really enjoyed it all."
"Sounds good. Besides your first week, which topics you've covered have been the most memorable?"
"I'm sure that was an interesting place to cover," I told him, "I don't suppose anyone connected with the band ever came on while you were there?"
Frolic looked back at the coverage with pride, "Oh yes! Nick (Rhodes) did a concert live once (from there)."
"That must have been something," I commented, "there have been a number of tribute bands, but the singer himself behind the avatar ..."
"It was a huge story," he told, "even Linden labs placed the cover of my mag on their Facebook page that month.This was no tribute band, it was themselves." He reminded me that the article was from August 2011.
"Sounds like you've had quite a busy seven years." I told him.
Frolic smiled, "Busy and fun."
"I imagine," I then changed subjects, "I recall it was at the Miss Virtual World pageant in which you announced you had made the decision for someone else to run the magazine."
"Yes,correct," Frolic kept his smile.
"I imagine that was a tough decision."
"Well, yes and no," he answered, "I think it's important to know when to retire." He paused momentarily, "I have so many new games I want to play. I played editor, and I believe I won for seven years!" He smiled, "maybe it's time for me to start playing something else."
"So time to write about something else," I asked, "and leave Second Life to someone with a fresh perspective?"
Frolic smiled again, "Exactly."
Bringing up the publication's new owner, "I imagine you had a number of people interested in filling your shoes."
"Well," Frolic thought for a moment, "the first advise I gave to the new owner was to not try and be me. Many tried and all failed. I told her to do things her way and under her own vision. I hope she really does that."
"I'm sure she will," I assured, "What was the second?"
"Oh, I don't remember the second one." Frolic then laughed, "Who remembers the second anything?"
I chuckled with him, "Heh, ... About the new owner, Reign Congrejo, what has her experience in Second Life media been, for those who don't know yet?"
"She and I met during the 2011 Miss Virtual World Competition," he told me, "And she then opened her own Color Of Couture pageant, so she knows what it is all about. She also worked for another magazine many years."
"So now that you're officially retired from the magazine," I asked, "what do you plan to do in Second Life and elsewhere once you've had a while to rest?"
"No idea just yet," Frolic smiled, "but I will tell you my mind is spinning rather fast! When I get there, you will know."
"Care to tell us what games you're goofing off in at the moment?" I asked with a chuckle.
I complemented him, "can you tell about a momento or two?"
Frolic pointed to the table in front of him, "The ballerina in front of me is my favorite sculpture of all time! I got her in 2008."
I looked at the statuette, made by Unreal McCoy, "Nice."
"The poinsettias were custom made for me last year, and they became a best seller for the creator." He again smiled, and looked towards the door, where a number of photos were on the wall, "the pictures behind me tell quite a story. In one of them I am with my Second Life son. Anyways, a very special place for me."
Frolic handed me another notecard, one of his last editorial of his magazine.
I had two choices: One, to completely delegate BOSL and hope for the best, or two, turn it over to a new person who has the willingness, the enthusiasm and the fresh ideas to carry BOSL & CO forward.
When a dear friend expressed her interest in purchasing BOSL I knew my answer had been found. A great RL executive indeed, a person who has proven herself beyond any reasonable doubt inside Second Life, but most importantly someone who has been close to my organization for many years, and was even a participant in MISS VIRTUAL WORLD. She understands the purpose of BOSL and I truly believe she will continue to deliver a fantastic body of work under her new vision. I looked at the card, " 'With everything that is going on in Venezuela, I need to focus on my real life work and health.' Did you want to add anything to that?"
Frolic shook his head, "It's just what it is."
"I'm sorry," I answered.
"BOSL took way too much time, and I am done with it." he added.
It was about this time that the interview was coming to a close, "Did you wish to add anything, Frolic?" I asked.
"I am all good," he smiled.
We both thanked each other for our time, and I tipped my hat and went on my way.
I will be busier in Real Life, but I will continue to log in to SL as much as I can and knowing me, I will probably find a third life. Where might this new life lead me?, I don't know, but you are all welcome to play with me when I get there.
This marks the end of an era for me, this will be the last time I produce MISS VIRTUAL WORLD, THE BEST OF SL January issue will be my last magazine. But I wanted to tell all of you what this world has meant for me. Never in my entire life have I been happier to come to work day after day after day for nearly seven years now. While most people drag themselves to work, I actually had to drag myself away from BOSL. I suppose I've had my share of fame and awards and recognitions, but for me what has been the most important treasure are my friends and my beautiful staff who remained with me through thick and thin. I have friends and staff members who are still with me since 2007! Along the way I also picked up many others that have enriched my life in every possible way. You all know who you are.
Through it all, your words of love, support and encouragement have been my pillar of support not just this year but for all the year's past. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me this inexplicable wonderful and beautiful life.