Brace yourself for the fierceness in these photos. I warned you.

JC Cassis with bacKspace at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen
JC Cassis with Charmin Ulltra of bacKspace at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen
JC Cassis with bacKspace at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen
JC Cassis with bacKspace at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen
JC Cassis with bacKspace at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen
Krystal Something-Something at the 2010 Dance Parade. Photo credit: Cyz Chen

So every once in a while I have a moment in my life that is just too good to believe. That moment was performing with bacKspace at the Dance Parade this past Saturday. Allow me to explain:

I love bacKspace. Love who they are, love what they do, love how they do it. If you don’t know about them, read about them now. I needed backup dancers for the Dance Parade show, and I needed them fast. I emailed Krystal Something-Something (one of my fave stage names ever) to ask if they’d dance with me for this show and she said yes. We scheduled four rehearsals over two weeks which were super fun and full o’ laughs and fierceness. Now, Krystal Something-Something, Charmin Ulltra and I all look VERY different out of costume than we do in costume, so even though we were doing the dance for real in rehearsal, it was a whole different animal when we did it on stage. One of my proudest moments thus far was when, at the dress rehearsal, I changed into most of my stage outfit from my rehearsal clothes, and Krystal smiled and said quietly but approvingly, “You look like a superhero.” Now in case you don’t know, both Krystal and Charmin are total geniuses when it comes to looking amazing, so that meant quite a lot to me.

Anyway, the experience of doing the show was awesome from start to finish. First, I came a runnin’ down East 10th street to find my two beautiful drag queens stretching and looking amazing, then we walked across the street to Tompkins Square Park, where the stage was, to see that there was an ENORMOUS crowd watching the stage. As soon as we got into the park, everyone was asking to take our picture. We felt like rock stars. So we took a bunch of pictures, then we warmed up in the backstage area, then before we knew it, it was time to go on. We took the stage and gave it all we had and it went amazingly well. People were freaking out over it. The host was like “Oh my god, that was so amazing, I think I just had some anal leakage,” after which I promptly pretended to faint at the outrageousness of that. What was funny about that besides the obvious was that I had mentioned to bacKspace that we shouldn’t be foul or vulgar on stage in any way because it’s a family event and I wanted to be invited back, but we ended up doing such a fierce job that the host had to talk about “anal leakage” anyway. HA HA HA. Anyway then as soon as we came off stage, there were like 4 pro photographers taking our picture at once who were all like “Over here, please! Over here!” like paparazzi! Then a lot of the people who saw the show ran over to the table to sign my mailing list and they all wanted autographed CD’s. I felt like a total rock star. So awesome! Can’t wait to do more shows with bacKspace cuz that’s how my shows are all meant to be! I’ll post video of it soon!

To see LOTS more incredible photographs of this performance, friend me on facebook!

5/14 was a crazy, crazy, super awesome day for me. I started it off with the first in-person rehearsal with my amazing backup dancers from bacKspace, which was soooooo fun! They showed me the dance they had put together for “Dance Dance Dance” and it was so fierce and sassy and adorable I was like jumping up and down and giggling.

My fantastic new backup dancers, Charmin Ulltra and Krystal Something-Something!!!

Then we all worked on it together and grabbed lunch before I had to RUN back to Manhattan to make it to a sound check with Mimi Imfurst, since I would be singing Ace of Base’s “The Sign” with her later that night at The F Word party at Rebel. We did soundcheck with the live band, which was amazing, then Mimi, Meagan Gilliland and I all stood in the service entrance of Rebel together, harmonizing on “The Sign” many times over until it was solid. That’s also where I met Michael Formika Jones, the fabulous nightlife promoter who puts on The F Word, and we all talked about how hard it is to throw a good party in NYC because of all the stupid anti-fun laws there are in this city and all the hardships and bullying the clubs face. It’s really sad, because New York should be THE nightlife capital of the world and it’s not going to happen until we stop turning our precious and awesome clubs into shopping malls and condos and parking lots! ARGH!

Anyway, then I ran home to get dressed for my opening set at Santos Party House, ran down to Santos, did my sound check, put my makeup on by candlelight, did my show, sang backup for Comandante Zero’s show, watched Soulfege’s show, then went out for dinner in Chinatown, where I almost collapsed from exhaustion. Then I picked myself up and ran up to Rebel, where I arrived super early and fell asleep on the couch waiting for Mimi to get there. As my good friends know, I always take a “disco nap” in the middle of the night at the party, then get up and finish the rest of the party, then go to bed for real. So I got to Rebel at like midnight, dozed off till 12:30, then woke up to people laughing and photographing me sleeping on the couch. Classic. Finally, it was time to go meet Mimi in the dressing room, which was one of the most fun moments of the night, because I got in there and within seconds it was PACKED with me and like ten drag queens and a couple photographers, and then bacKspace showed up looking amazing and we all hung out in there for a while, and then it was time to go on stage! Mimi brought wigs and dresses for us so that when we went up there, it was like three Mimi’s all singing together. So awesome.

The show went great, and it was SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME to look out across the audience and see a packed dance floor with so many of my new nightlife pals, including bacKspace, dancing and singing along with us! AAAAAAAAAAH I want to do/have that all the time!!!

Later, I was down on the dancefloor, not particularly paying attention to what was going on, when apparently Formika decided to get the band to play a well-known rock song that he could sing along to. Before I knew what was happening, Mimi turned to me and said “They’re going to play a song and you’re going to sing it. Now get up there!” When Mimi tells me to sing, I generally obey, hahaha. It’s a good thing I did, because they chose to play “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns n’ Roses, one of my fave rock songs to sing and which is in a perfect key for me to be able to hit all the notes in a really impressive way. The trouble is, I don’t know the words that well. So I got up there, and Formika’s like “Do you know Sweet Child?” and I was like, “Gimme a second, I think so!” and even though usually I can’t remember lyrics in moments like those, suddenly I remembered all the lyrics in the right order, and I was like, “I know it. Let’s do it!” Then the band started to play it, and I just let loose and tore it up from start to finish, even dropping down to my knees and dancing with the mic stand the way Axl Rose does. The crowd loved it and it was quite a fantastic moment.

Then I finally dragged my butt outside the club, where I met Chandilier Period, the tallest drag queen ever, and finally it was time to go home and collapse. Magic!

JC Cassis at Sugarland 5/8/10 Photo Credit: Donavon Lowe
JC Cassis at Sugarland 5/8/10 Photo Credit: Donavon Lowe

The show at Sugarland’s SHOPAHOLIC event on 5/8/10 was quite fun and interesting. First of all, it was at 6pm so it was in broad daylight, since Sugarland has a skylight right over the stage. I am not used to performing in an indoor, sunlit setting. That was funny. The other thing that was funny was that there were like 10 people there, but they were all really attentive and into my show. The best thing about it was that bacKspace was there, and Krystal Something-Something and Charmin Ulltra danced impromptu backup for me. I loooooooooooooooooooooove those boys!! And even though everything’s a total blur in terms of what has happened in May thus far, I think that’s what caused me to ask them to dance backup for me for the Dance Parade show, which they did, and which was incredible. So. Everything happens for a reason and you gots to get out there and do them shows no matter what time they’re at and how much light is shining on you!