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Out of my Comfort Zone

I have begun a new project. I am debating telling y’all where to find it, because I am deliberately keeping my identity as separate from it as possible. So for right now, I will describe it, but not directly point you to it. In practice, it would be hard to connect me to it because it’s hard to connect me to this, bit it’s the principle of the thing.

I am becoming a vtuber.

My character is a teenage girl who has lost all of her memory and is now staying with a family that took her in a year ago. She is… everything I’m not. She is cheerful, she has friends, she actually loves life. She loves her foster family, and is just generally a pure soul completely unaffected by the difficulties of life. I haven’t yet decided on a further plot, but I’m also not sure I need one.

And, quite honestly, this might be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

It’s honestly triggering, in a way I didn’t expect. Quite honestly, I’m not sure how actors do it. They have to put themselves into a somewhat uncomfortable headspace and somehow keep their sanity on the other side. And it’s difficult, particularly when you’ve made a direct and specific effort to play a character that is as much of an exact opposite of you as possible.

I have not yet produced even one video or stream, but I have already learned a great deal. I have learned how to create characters in vroid studio and where to find clothing. I am learning how to pose and render in blender. I am becoming familiar with face matching and streaming technology. I’m even learning how to morph my voice so the character is more convincing.

But what I’ve learned the most has nothing to do with vtubing, nothing to do with technology, nothing to do with streaming. I’ve learned just how jaded and fucked up I am. The truth is, while the character I’m playing may have a bit of lack of realism (I have obvious constraints that are difficult to surmount without finding a teenage consultant), it is realistic enough. Realistic enough for me to look at the character I produced and actually be a bit jealous of her. She is taking on a personality of her own, as most good characters from sufficient writers tend to. (I have had experience before with characters running away from me and asserting their own desires, and it’s horribly disconcerting.) And it’s a better personality than mine!

And I made her up! How fucked up is that?

I am learning a lot of, I think, useful skills. I am way out of my comfort zone. This may or may not open doors in the future that would not have otherwise opened in the YouTube and vtubing world (those doors are my primary motivation for making the effort). And it’s looking more and more like I will live to regret this idea.

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