JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte

Wow. So I thought that the only crowd I really wanted to play for was a gay or gay-friendly crowd, and then I discovered the raver/Burning Man/insane-people-devoted-to-everyday-creativity-and-spectacle community. I now officially have two favorite crowds to play for. I learned this by playing the Black n’ Light Ball, a crazy black light rave put on by Kostume Kult and Disorient.

It was day 2 of the Busiest Weekend Ever, and I was exhausted from all the insanity the night before and having to get up early and work all day. But, a few weeks earlier, a friend I met through working on Figment, which is basically an outgrowth of Burning Man, told me about the Black n Light ball and said I should come. I said I should perform, and he told me who to get in touch with. I reached out, and within a few days I heard back that they wanted me to do a half hour set at 11pm at the party. Awesome! Fast forward to the party. I get there and it’s quite the hotbed of insanity. Everything was glowing in the black light, including some people’s dayglow contacts. It was wall-to-wall crazy costumes, and no one came unprepared. I watched the other acts do their sound checks, and it was so nice to (for once!) be playing among a group of artists who all actually fit each others’ vibes. I gotta get those people’s contact info and do shows with them!

As I waited, someone approached me and ask if he could put dayglow paint on my face and arms, since the white paint I had used somehow wasn’t glowing. I’m glad he did because his paint was the only paint that really showed up under the lights!

Finally, at around midnight, it was time for me to go on. Since I had a black light-appropriate outfit, I asked them to turn off the stage lights so I could glow with everyone else, and it looked fantastic. I loved this crowd so much because they had come to dance, not stand and stare, and they danced with me throughout the whole set. I even heard them singing along on songs that I don’t think they could have known in advance, so they were really into the performance and it was incredible to have an audience like that. It was just the kind of show I always want to play: it looked great, it felt great, and the audience was dancing right up by the stage and singing along the whole time! Check out the video below for a sample of the madness!

Black Light Ball – JC Cassis – Crazy In New York from Uuri Koh on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, I was so exhausted after my show that I had to go straight home. As I walked on 8th Avenue in my crazy costume, headdress and face paint, a lot of heads turned. I was totally spent, so I wasn’t smiling, and some guy said to me, “You need a friend.” In an awesome moment of mental clarity, I turned around and sassily said, “I have 1,900 friends on facebook!” Love it.

Really hope to perform at Burning Man itself this year and to do more KK and Disorient parties!

I have already had a fantastic 2010 so far. New Year’s was spent staying up all night with my best bud Elijah, the guy I wrote “Friday Night Forever” about, like we love to do. It was complete with crazy face paint, a sketchy part of Brooklyn, a ridiculous party, a 3am trip in freezing weather to a Dunkin’ Donuts where the only way we could get served was to WALK through the DRIVE-THROUGH, plenty of laughs at outrageous comments, sleeping at the party, sleeping on the train to Manhattan, fried chicken in the East Village at 5am, and general good times.

Jan 1 was a little dead, but Jan 2, Saturday, I went to meet Elijah at Club 57, the much buzzed about Saturday night party, and we had the best time, dancing like mad and running into college friends as well as meeting new friends! That night I met two awesome new guys, one from Brazil and the other from Argentina. Then I went out with the Argentinian on Sunday night to a hilarious drag show, where we danced till 2am and met two hot, sweet Venezuelan guys! Then we went to Greenhouse for their awesome Sunday night party where we had the BEST time and ran into the Brazilian again, then we hung out on Monday afternoon and bonded over our mutual love for the movie Rent, among other things, then on Tuesday we went dancing till 3:30am, where we ran into one of the Venezuelans again, then we hung out in a 24 hr Starbucks talking and bonding and listening to music until 6am! That was the most fun I’ve had in a four day period in a long time. There’s nothing I like better than meeting new people that I really like and being really excited to stay friends with them forever because they’re so awesome. And since my insane friends keep moving out of New York, it’s good to keep getting out there and replenishing the friend supply. I’m so glad the album’s finished so I can go out again!

I also realized that making friends from all over is awesome because it ups the chances of me getting to do shows in more places. I currently am talking to friends about performing in Tucson, Boston, Long Island, Buenos Aires, Florida, California and Pennsylvania. I may not go on an actual continuous tour, but instead do shows here and there all over the world, as they come up. I’m excited about that! And who knows, maybe if I bring CD’s and t-shirts with me to sell, and the shows are well-promoted and well-attended, it could be a nice little money maker. The more I look for opportunities to do paying, well-attended shows, the more I find they’re totally out there, within my reach. One of my big goals this year will be to do shows in as many places as I can. After all, wouldn’t you think a little bit more of an artist who can say she performs all over the country/world than one who can’t?

Because of my new friends, new experiences, the fact that my album’s totally done, and some decisions I’ve made about important changes I’m making in my life, I am feeling REALLY good these days, and I intend to keep it that way. Life is so much more fun when you are excited about it! 🙂

How’s your 2010 so far? Leave a comment below and let’s chat! 🙂