Here are some pictures from my 3/27/10 show at Drom in NYC for Art for Progress’ Clash of the Artists. To see more photos, become my fan on facebook. All photos by DJ Ahomii!
Man, I have been a busy, busy bee! But SO many exciting things are happening right now! I’ll list as many as I can remember, completely out of order:
1. Had an AWESOME show on Saturday night at the Art for Progress Clash of the Artists. Everyone who was there said it was my best show ever, and I agree. I practiced more for this show than I have for any other show EVER since I finally actually have the time to practice, and I think it REALLY helped. Not only was I more vocally prepared, but my lyrics were cemented into my head to the point where they were on autopilot and I could do all my dancing around and getting on and off stage and interacting with the audience without missing a beat or a word. I’m also trying to practice as much as possible so that I don’t get so overwhelmingly out of breath during shows, like I have in the past. I think the practicing really helped with that too, since I didn’t get quite so out of breath this time, and I was still moving around a lot and singing at full volume. Also, practicing more has given me the time and opportunity to find better ways and places to breath during a song so I feel more comfortable. Here’s a tip for all you singers out there: sometimes it’s better to inhale less often. You don’t always need to re-fill on breath when you’re only half empty. I find it helpful to just sing to the end of a breath and then breathe again, unless there are too many words between breaths. But I used to think I should inhale whenever possible, and that’s definitely not true.
2. Also through practicing, I finally got the chance to start hammering out what moves I should do during my songs. After watching many pop performances, it became clear that it’s really helpful to have recognizable, highly imitable dance moves to do on the chorus of the song. Just makes things a bit more cohesive and gives you something concrete to do in terms of movement, which makes the performance look more polished and well thought out. Yay.
3. Got my music uploaded to both Pump Audio and Rumblefish, two licensing companies that will hopefully help get my music placed in various media including commercials, internet video, TV and film. I really want to get my new material out into the world, so hopefully that will help! Also got my music onto MusicSupervisor.com, another licensing company. Just need to get it into every other possible licensing company now, and hopefully those placements will start rolling in!
4. Also finally put my music on Podsafe Music Network, a site where you can upload your music so podcasters will know they can use it in their podcasts. Hopefully will bring in more exposure.If you’re a podcaster, you can grab my music from PMN here: http://www.musicalley.com/music/listeners/searchResults.php?SearchString=JC+Cassis&go2=Search+Keywords
5. Indeed, just a few days after putting my music on PMN, I was approached on facebook by someone who wants to add my music to his online radio station, LongIslandOnlineRadio.com. He says they get about 2,000 listeners a day and are trying to get up to 50,000 listeners/day. At this point, any exposure is critical and exciting, so I’m pumped!
6. Finally, after months of wanting to, I GOT MY OWN WIRELESS MIC!!! It is such a godsend. It has made my performance SO much better and SO much more fun. There have been so many times when I’ve had to perform with a regular, corded mic, where I’ve tripped on the cord, stepped on the cord, not been able to dance or go out in the audience because of the cord, etc etc. It’s like a leash, and I’m not the kind of performer who needs to be on a leash! (I know my friend Michael is laughing at that!) But seriously, having the freedom to dance however I want and go wherever I want without having to worry about a cord is SO AMAZING. If you are a performer who moves around, GET A WIRELESS MIC RIGHT NOW. You’ll be so glad you did!
7. I was approached to have my song used in a film project! Unfortunately it’s super low-budget so there’s no pay, but I’m so glad about it anyway. What happened was that my friend in the NYC music scene whom I knew randomly through another friend in the acting world, acted in a film project, and when the creator of the film needed music similar to mine, my friend suggested she check out my music. She did, and then she wrote to me on facebook asking to use my music in her film, I said yes, she picked “Anything You Want” for the film, and now she’s going to put it in her film and invite me to the premier! This is the first time I’ll have an experience like this and I’m so excited. Here’s the trailer for the film (it doesn’t have my song in it, but the full movie will!):
So that’s what’s been going on! And on top of that I STILL need to make the music video for Everybody’s Crazy in New York and edit it together, book some shows, etc etc etc. The work never ends. But it’s all good and I know it will be fruitful!
I have two very important, very fun shows coming up that I’d love for you to come and see. The first is Saturday, March 27th, at Art For Progress’ Clash of the Artists event in New York City. A ticket gets you admission, free drinks, food, awesome entertainment, and a ballot to vote for me and help me win the music competition. The proceeds from the event also go towards supporting education. If I win first place, I’ll get a great prize pack, so I hope you’ll come out and support me there. Click here for more information and to buy tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/100460.
The second show is a spot in the same showcase where Lady Gaga was discovered three years ago! I’ll be performing in the Songwriters Hall of Fame New Writers Showcase on Thursday, April 1, 8pm at The Bitter End (147 Bleecker Street) in New York. Admission is FREE so I really hope to see you there. Here’s the link for more info: http://songhall.org/news/entry/950. It’s FREE, so bring all your friends!
…or in which you can vote for me. I’ve entered the Art for Progress Clash of the Artists and I need all the votes I can get! That’s where you come in. 🙂 Please go to the website below and scroll down till you see my name, then click “VOTE” next to my name, and confirm your vote per the instructions. It’s one vote per email address, so if you vote, confirm your vote, and then go back to the voting page and click “click here to reset,” you’ll be able to vote with a different email address from the same computer.
Please use all your email addresses to vote and ask your friends to do it too! Thanks! Here’s the voting site:
So after putting together all my receipts from this year I found out that I spent a quarter of my total income before taxes this year on music-related stuff, which is about what I expected, but still, when you consider that most New Yorkers spend around a third to a half of their income on rent, then pay all the taxes we have to pay, the fact that I spent a quarter of my income on music stuff and still managed to save a bunch of money is pretty awesome. The expenses, from largest to smallest, were as follows:
Rent on my studio/office
Mixing and mastering my songs
Tech-related expenses (this was so high because I had to pay a tearjerkingly large amount of money to do data recovery and computer repair after my hard drive died this summer. Am I backing stuff up now? You bet your sweet ass I am. Holy shit!)
Deductible meals (networking, business relationship building, treating dancers and other favor-doing friends to meals in exchange for their help with my projects)
Site maintenance/hosting, songwriting contests, SonicBids submissions, payment for airplay on Jango.com
Transportation around NYC
Business phone bill
Rehearsal space for my band
Show-related expenses (equipment purchases etc)
Deductible tickets to professionally enriching music shows/movies
Membership dues for Women in Music and Art for Progress
Music conference registration fees
Mailing CDs to fans and registration forms to music companies
The good news is, I expect many of these expenses to go down, but if I do end up doing shows in places I have to fly to, the overall amount of money I spend on my career might still go up this year. But it’s nice to know that I don’t expect to have my computer melt down again this year, and if it does, I still won’t need to do data recovery if I keep backing everything up, which will knock about $1000 off the bill for having my computer repaired. I am also being more frugal in general with how much I spend at restaurants, I don’t expect to enter any songwriting contests this year as they’ve largely been a waste of time, I’ll be drastically reducing my submissions through SonicBids since I find it better to just advance my career in free and productive ways, I’m being more frugal with my MTA and cab spending since monthly unlimited cards have gotten expensive enough that they don’t make sense for me anymore and I love walking anyway, I’ve got enough costume pieces and makeup that I won’t need that much more this year, and I won’t be performing as much with my band this year since I think it makes more sense to do solo shows/shows with a DJ playing my tracks. This should eliminate a lot of expense and hassle while making more room for more shows and promo that are actually effective in building my fanbase and getting my career off the ground. I’m excited!