Yay!

I meant to write this chain of events down right when it happened, and then four days passed. Oops! But check this out:

1. Many weeks ago, I went to see my friend Anna Haas play a show at an event called Drinking for a Change.

2. At that show, I met one of the D4AC organizers, Peter Dunn.

3. I went to a Songwriters Hall of Fame networking meeting where I met a singer/songwriter/producer.

4. This singer/songwriter/producer was also in the Songwriters Hall of Fame New Writers Showcase at the Bitter End.

5. Peter Dunn hosts karaoke on Tuesday nights at Barracuda sometimes.

6. Peter invited me to do karaoke at Barracuda with him.

7. I went to Barracuda to do karaoke with Peter.

8. At Barracuda, I ran into the singer/songwriter/producer.

9. He introduced me to the owner of Barracuda, who had been to the Songwriters Hall of Fame show and loved my set.

10. THE OWNER OF BARRACUDA ASKED ME TO PERFORM AT BARRACUDA AND ELMO LOUNGE!!! These are both totally awesome gay venues. Who else came up in gay venues, you ask? Madonna, Bette Midler, Lady Gaga, the list goes on. VERY exciting.

11. At Barracuda, I sang my favorite song ever, “Show Me Love” by Robin S.

12. Mimi Imfurst, the host of karaoke that night, loves that song and all the 90’s songs I sang there.

13. I won the karaoke contest  and $100.

14. Mimi Imfurst asked me to sing with her on a future project she’s concocting, as well as BE HER SPECIAL GUEST this Sunday at Posh, where she wants me to sing “Show Me Love” and an original song of mine.

15. Posh is another fun gay club in Hell’s Kitchen, and I think this show is going to be REALLY fun and effective for expanding my fan base and proving that I can be a great entertainer for a gay club crowd, which will hopefully lead to more gigs and more fanbase expansion!

I’ve been wondering how and wanting to break into performing in gay clubs for a long time, and assuming that it would be really hard, when really, it’s just like anything else: once you’ve done the work to get good, it’s who you know. I did the Songwriters Hall of Fame showcase because I knew Peter Bliss. At the networking event and showcase, I met the singer/songwriter/producer. At Barracuda, he introduced me to the owner and I got to know Mimi Imfurst, who hooked me up with the show on Sunday. It’s also the old adage: 90% of life is showing up. If I hadn’t gone to Anna’s show or the networking event, I wouldn’t know Peter or the singer/songwriter/producer. If I hadn’t gone to karaoke, I wouldn’t have met the owner of Barracuda or Mimi Imfurst. Once I was there, all I had to do was be friendly and sing well, and from that I booked three gigs. Makes me wonder what the hell would happen if I went out to these kinds of things every single night! Maybe I should!

Also, I am VERY excited about the fact that the following chain of events also happened recently:

1. I went out with my dear friend Elijah to Sugarland in Brooklyn.

2. Sugarland is an AWESOME little gay club that is the perfect size, has a great crowd, plays great music, and has live performances on a little stage on the dancefloor that are very similar to what I do.

3. I asked someone how I get to perform there. He told me to talk to the bartender.

4. I talked to the bartender about what I do and asked how to perform there.

5. He booked me into the once-monthly showcase, Street Smart, on April 25th, from which he often culls acts for the dancefloor performances. If I impress him there, I’ll get to perform again at Sugarland!

So, the awesome news is that it seems if I just get out there and do what I do best (singing, performing, talking to people, chasing the opportunities I want), the results can be really amazing, easy and quick. Hoo. Ray.

Come see my shows!

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!

Just got back from a fantastic second photo shoot with the amazing and Australian Alex Green in SoHo. My favorite moments from the shoot were:

1. People taking pictures of me and smiling as they went by.

2. A woman shouted “I love it” about my look: pink wig, sparkly hoodie, furry black jacket, zebra tights, purple high tops. Score!

3. A dapper black man in a fabulous hat said “Move over, Lady Gaga!” to which I said, “Thanks girl! I love you!”

4. We shot outside Rudy’s Music on Broome Street and Alex was concerned they’d yell at us, but right as we were about to take the first shot, Rudy himself came into the store and said “Looks great, I love it. Hi, I’m Rudy, nice to meet ya. Looks good.” Awesome!

5. A teen girl and her mom crossed the street just to take a picture of me and were very sweet and complimentary. 🙂

We only had an hour but we got SO many cool shots I can’t wait to share with you! Will upload as soon as I get them back from Alex. Why does Alex have to live in Sydney???

For the last many weeks, I’ve been working on writing and recording the rest of the tracks for my upcoming debut album, “Four on the Floor.” I want to have at least 12 tracks on the album, and of course I want them to be as good as they can possibly be since I’ll be starting to push this material to bloggers and other press and internet radio and potential and existing fans etc etc, so I’m taking my time and trying to make it perfect while also hurrying and trying to get it out so I can start promoting it and hopefully start seeing the fruits of that promotion.

Right now, as you know, I’ve got six tracks finished and posted on jccassis.com (click on “music”). I have one more track that’s ready to be finished in the studio but there was a technical snafu I have to go back and fix. Then there are three tracks that are ready for vocals, one track I’m not sure about, and two songs I’ve written but not started the recordings for. So I’ve got to decide what to do with the track I’m not sure about, record vocals for all 6 songs that don’t have them recorded yet, and make tracks for two more songs. That’s a fair amount of work, but if I’m diligent about it I should be able to get it done over the next couple of weeks. Then it will be time to take everything to the studio to be mixed and mastered, then FINALLY the album will be done, I’ll cull a demo from it, and start sending them both out into the world. Of course I’ve also got to make album art for it and get some hard copies printed up to give out and sell, but at least all the creative work will be done for a while.

Happily, I’m VERY inspired to write these days so I’m confident I will continue to come out with new material a fair amount even when this album is finished and released, but my goals for right now are 1) to have a demo to give to industry contacts, 2) to have an album to send to reviewers/bloggers/give to potential fans/sell at shows/be my presence on iTunes and all other digital retailers, and 3) be finished with this album so I can spend the vast majority of the next few months promoting the hell out of it and hopefully get somewhere with it. It will be a LOT of work. I’ve got to get it all over internet radio, try to get it licensed for use in film & TV, get as much press for it as possible, make music videos for some of the songs, try to make as many new fans as possible through social networks and shows, and on and on and on. But I can’t start any of this until the album is done, so that’s what I’m trying to make happen right now. Once it’s done though, I hope I can count on you to help me get the word out! 🙂

p.s. I also got accepted into a songwriting workshop at the Songwriters Hall of Fame starting next week, so I’m hoping that will give me even more insight into writing hit songs as well as get me connected to some great industry contacts. Lady Gaga met her producer through a Songwriters Hall of Fame showcase event the story goes, so I can’t help but be a little excited about what opportunities this might bring about for me… 🙂 The first assignment is to write a song for an artist of your choosing that a publisher or record label would want, so of course I picked Britney Spears, and the song I wrote is REALLY good and REALLY in her style so I REALLY hope they like it! 🙂

Workin' it!
Workin' it!
Singin' with LS
Singin' with LS

Above: shots from the 9/9 ITPalooza show at The Tank, NYC

So September has been and will continue to be a very busy month for me, with a total of 6 shows!!! If I’m not mistaken, I think that’s an all-time high, and it’s a lot to deal with, because of course every show is a very important opportunity to do my best and make new fans and book new shows. Here’s the rundown for this month:

9/7 Guest spot in the Legs Malone Show at Public Assembly (www.myspace.com/thelegsmaloneshow). This show was a lot of fun. I did two songs, met some great people, and booked another guest spot at another burlesque show for later in the month! Score! Pictures coming soon I hope…

9/9 Half hour set with LS Huang of Hepnova (who did my “Can’t Stop” remix) as part of the ITPalooza, a showcase of bands containing members of the ITP Grad program at NYU. This was so great and so much fun. The Tank is the perfect music venue in my opinion. It’s small and intimate, has standing room and seating, a great stage, full lighting and sound equipment, etc. My outfit was great and I learned an important makeup tip: painting white around your eyes looks weird, not pretty, and makes your eyes look smaller. You simply have to line your eyes in a dark color to make them stand out more. Note taken! But the cool thing was that my outfit and makeup were eye catching enough that people walking down the street kept noticing and talking to me, asking if I was part of a dance troupe, and what show I was going to, etc etc. The audience at this gig was small (I really gotta start insisting on only playing Fridays and Saturdays asap–it worked for Lady Gaga! :), and I had a whole stage to play with, so I really let loose with this show, singing my balls off and rolling around the stage and being over the top with the dance moves. It was all caught on tape so hopefully I can post some clips soon. Met some great contacts at this show, too. Hopefully that means some new collabos coming up soon!

9/15 One hour show at 12:30 outdoors at 345 Park Avenue, then rehearsing all afternoon with my ex-accompanist the fabulous Socrates Cruz of Moniker for our set of Mexican songs at my friend’s Mexican Independence Day Party at Stay at 7pm. This is going to hurt, but it will be fun and it will be worth it. Ojala que pueda recordar todas las palabras!

9/19 Guest spot at Sugar Shack Burlesque at Jalopy, 315 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, 9pm. (www.sugarshackburlesque.com)

9/24 My MEANY Fest show, 8:30pm, Crash Mansion, 199 Bowery. Followed by an all-night bike ride through the five boroughs! Is there any end to the insanity??