JC Cassis performs at MEANY Fest 2010 at Crash Mansion

Recently, my friend Kimberly Korn invited me to open for her at MEANY Fest. I’m always excited to have another gig thrown my way, so I took it immediately. When the day of the show rolled around, though, things were so busy that I was strongly considering half-assing it, and then when I got to the venue 30 minutes before my show time, I was informed that they were expecting me at 7, even though I had only ever been told 8pm from the beginning. They also told me that the 8pm act was already there and was not happy about the idea of me going on at 8, and wondered if I could go on later. All of which made no sense, since I had been told I was the 8pm act and had confirmed that with the organizer, and since the show hadn’t started and everyone knows the opening slot is the worst one to have to do. Then they told me my set was 22 minutes when I had been told 45. Haha. So it was a huge mess, but my feeling was, if even one person had shown up to see me, I had to do the show at the time it was advertised and do the best job I could.

JC Cassis performs at MEANY Fest 2010 at Crash Mansion

So, after explaining that opening slots suck and I would be happy to take the worse slot and let the next act have the better slot and I’d do a 22 minute show with no setup or breakdown time, the organizers agreed that that made the most sense. At that point, I was really glad I hadn’t half-assed my look or my set, because there were actually a lot of people there to see the next act who would have to see my set first. Plus, photos and video of the set were being taken for the MEANY Fest website, and no one wants video and pictures of them half-assing a show floating around out there.

JC Cassis performs at MEANY Fest 2010 at Crash Mansion

I’ve learned this lesson not to half-ass anything so many times, and that’s why I never do, but I really wish that voice in my head that tells me to half-ass things would go away already. It’s such a terrible influence and it’s always wrong. I ended up looking great and having a totally awesome performance, and by the end of it I’d won over the next act’s audience and gotten a lot of new fans on the ol’ mailing list. I also gave my CD to the supervising producer of Kimora Lee Simmons: Life in the Fab Lane on the Style Network, who said he might want to use my instrumentals in the show, so that was awesome. And again, if I hadn’t done the show or performed my songs really well, he probably wouldn’t have said that to me or been won over as a fan, so you just always have to do your best, because you really never know who’s watching!

JC Cassis performs at MEANY Fest 2010 at Crash Mansion

JC Cassis at the Crash Mansion show (photo by Nelson Onofre)
JC Cassis at the Crash Mansion show (photo by Nelson Onofre)

The last few days have been busy busy busy! Thursday 9/24 I did the MEANY Fest show, which was a lot of fun. When I got to Crash Mansion I met two comedians, Andrew Schulz and Colin Kane, and chatted with them for a while. Then I got into my stage costume, which looked awesome as you can see from these photos, and had a funny moment in the bathroom when I asked one of the bartenders if she ever meets interesting people through working at Crash Mansion. Then I looked in the mirror. “Oh right,” I said, “of course you do. Here I am!” Hahaha.

MEANY Fest 2009 performance (photo by Nelson Onofre)
MEANY Fest 2009 performance (photo by Nelson Onofre)
JC at MEANY Fest 2009 (photo by Nelson Onofre)
JC at MEANY Fest 2009 (photo by Nelson Onofre)

After the show I ran home to change to go to the Columbia University All-Night Bike Ride, which started at 11:30pm from Columbia and went all the way till 5:30am at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It was so nice to see New York by bike, late, late at night, with 200 strangers riding bikes all around me. I always like to get out of my routine whenever possible. Then I dragged my aching, exhausted self home for a 2 1/2 hour sleep before getting up, packing my bag, and running to catch a bus to Boston for a wedding! I got to see old pals, relax, and have brunch all weekend, then it was back to crazytown in New York, where I have another hour-long noontime concert outdoors on Wednesday, lots of songs to write and record, an album almost finished, lots of new remixes on the way, and on and on and on.

Oh! And I just found out I got into Art for Progress (http://www.artforprogress.org), an awesome group for artists in NYC which will hopefully give me some great performance and networking opportunities in the future, so that’s awesome.

Now it’s back to workworkwork!

** For the rest of the MEANY Fest photos, please see my facebook profile! (www.facebook.com/jccassis)

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??