Just got back from doing my first street performance as part of Make Music New York, and it was a lot of fun. At first it was soooo awkward to just start singin’ my songs in a quiet little park, especially with just the tracks playing out of my radio to accompany me and no mic or vocal amplification, but then I realized, you know what? I have a performance to do, and I’m just gonna do it and have fun. But I cannot wait till I get my amplification unit this week so that the next time I have an outdoor performance the sound will be balanced and I won’t kill my voice.

I debuted two songs that have never been performed before, “Good Time” and “Dance Dance Dance,” both of which I really like, and I think they went over really well. In the chorus of “Dance Dance Dance” I say, “I don’t care what you think/gonna flip my hair and sip my drink/and dance dance dance,” and it was so cute because when I asked the audience to sing along to the chorus, this demure man on the bench who was just minding his own business suddenly went, “I don’t care what you think, gonna flip my hair and sip my drink,” and did a hair-flipping motion. I didn’t even realize he was gay but he totally queened out on that line. LOVED IT!

I closed the show as I usually do with “Everybody’s Crazy in New York” and people loved that. It’s funny because everyone in New York knows we’re all crazy but no one stops being crazy. I guess it’s something in the air.

So one of the many delights that comes with trying to get noticed for what I do is that sometimes people notice it, and they really don’t like it. Better yet, they really don’t like me. This only happens once in a very long while, but when it does, it’s often funny, because it seems like everyone with bad taste also can’t spell and is totally ignorant, which I find comforting, because it means that my music is for people with a sufficient number of brain cells, and they’re the kind of people I’d prefer to have as my fans anyway.

I wanted to share with you a hilarious hate message I got. When I first saw it in my inbox, I thought it would bring me down, but then I read it and I just laughed and laughed. Here it is:

—————– Original Message —————–
From: Robby
To: JC Cassis
Date: Jun 13, 2009 10:48 PM
Subject: you being such a fag.

i my fucking god dude your the biggest flaming fag ive seen in atleast a year or two. if you wasnt a dude i guess your music wouldnt be near as bad but since your a fagget then it pretty much ruins it for me.  later ass monkey

Wow. Right? How many spelling and grammar mistakes can you count? I counted 20 in three sentences. That’s quite an achievement, Robby. Congratulations.

So this was funny to me because of the mistakes, and because of the actual substance of the email. I love that he thinks I’m a gay man, not a straight woman. I know my profile picture’s weird, but it’s not that weird, and it certainly doesn’t make me look like a man unequivocally (sorry if you don’t know what that word means, Robby). Also, being called a gay man is a compliment. I have more gay male friends I adore than I can count and it would be an honor to be any of them. Also, I love that he measures the time between instances of seeing “flaming fags,” and I’m surprised he’s managed to go “a year or two” without seeing any. I wonder what the last one was like, because he must have been quite memorable! I love how he makes it seem like he’d give my music some extra points if it were actually sung by a woman instead of a gay man, as if that makes any difference in how it actually sounds. Finally, “ass monkey” is a funny, cute insult. Monkeys have hilarious asses, and any monkey who is particularly into asses is doubly funny. Here’s my response:

I’m actually a girl, but thank you for thinking I’m a boy, how flattering! I love gay people so for someone to think I am one is joyous for me. You brightened my day! Hope you like my music now that you know I’m female. 🙂
I didn’t hear back from him. He’s probably too busy coming out of the closet and apologizing to people he’s insulted.

Whoa, such busy times these are! Here’s what I’m working on:

1. Switching PRO’s. SESAC will actually help further my career with actual support and connections and opportunities. ASCAP is better for people who are already connected and making gobs of money than for people who need all the help they can get from all possible sources. Hoping this will lead to some great doors opening. It sure helped the woman who wrote “Womanizer!”

2. Trying to finish another new song by this weekend so I can give it to the band to learn before Wednesday’s rehearsal. Lyrics and melody are done but making the backing track takes mad time and thought.

3. Prepping for tomorrow’s show at the 2009 Dance Parade in Tompkins Square Park (on at 5:55pm tomorrow at the Main Stage). Just had a dance rehearsal with my childhood friend Yvonne, whom I’ve known since I was 7 and who’s now a pro dancer, and her fab friend Shyrelle. They are both amazing dancers. Was great to dance and learn choreography again. You know, I can really move. 🙂 Made me want to get in way better shape, because there’s nothing more demanding of stamina than dancing and singing and entertaining all at once.

4. Collabing. Gotta write songs for two tracks from a fab woman I met at the ASCAP conference, had a remix made of “Everybody’s Crazy In New York” by DJ Identity and am waiting for two more remixes of my songs, one coming from Germany and the other from England. That happened from Myspace friending. It really does work! Also writing with the producer I sang for for the AIMP song pitching event.

5. Still myspace friending as much as possible every day I can, up to over 9,000 friends now. Almost at the original goal of 10,000 set both to get new listeners and create the impression that my stuff is worth listening to because a lot of other people are listening to it, which is true. People are really loving the music and I’m getting about 150 plays a day. 50 times what I got when I wasn’t using myspace often.

6. Studying music internet marketing and going to revamp my operations to be more effective.

7. Made a music video for “Can’t Stop (Remix)” which people have been loving. So proud of it. Check it at youtube.com/jccassis

8. Gotta record vocals for “Obsessed” and “Hands Off,” the two totally kick ass new songs I finished about a week ago. Time flies.

On the horizon:

1. New music videos, especially for “Everybody’s Crazy in New York”

2. New songs. I’m in a writing frenzy and having monthly shows is making me want to have new material at every single show.

3. Street performances, hopefully in Union Square, during the summer. Hopefully both full band and me with tracks and dancers. Can’t wait for that. Will be such a challenge, will improve my live show, grow my audience, and make some change. So so so exciting.

4. Almost ready for seeking out gay dance club gigs. Got a connection at Webster Hall, but not sure if that’s the right place to start off, rather than go when I’ve got a bigger following. But they have a small basement space that could be perfect. Still, I know that Therapy in Hell’s Kitchen has live shows, and that is a medium sized gay bar, so I should prolly see if I can start there and at similar small gay venues to have more intimate shows and get out there and meet/make fans. My music seems to strike a chord with gay men, which is exactly what I wanted, so I need to go to them and show them what I’m doing and see if they like it enough to start helping to build me up to where I want to go. If you can get a strong gay following, it can really grow from there. See Bette Midler, Madonna, Lady Gaga, etc etc etc.

Non-music:

Am looking into getting Invisalign to straighten out my teeth. Sick of taking pics that are ruined because the angle makes me look like I’ve been punched in the mouth one too many times. Need teeth that can be photographed from any angle and look good.

1000 business cards arrived today. Went through 500 really fast last time, wonder how long it will take to run out of these guys. Prepared to hand out a LOT of them tomorrow. 🙂