So the first time I taped my round 1 performance for Break’N Through, the organizers weren’t happy with how the tapes came out for all the pop acts, so they invited each pop act to come back and tape their performance again to open up another genre’s night. I was invited back to perform on the rock night, and it was tons of fun, just like last time. I’m glad I got a second shot at it, because I think I did better this time with the dance moves. Hopefully the tape turned out great, and it will be up soon so I can share it with y’all!
I also did a really funny post-show interview with Charmin Ulltra lying on my lap the whole time, so I can’t wait to see that tape either!
After the show, we got some funny comments. A lot of people said they loved us and they were so happy we did “Show Me Love,” because, 20 years after it came out, it is STILL such a beloved song for so many. As I passed by some dude in the crowd, he was like, “Nice job, BOYS!” Haha. It’s so funny to me that people always think I’m a guy when I’m dressed up. I guess that’s what happens when you surround yourself with drag queens and dress like they do. It’s also funny that people think this would be upsetting for me. It’s just silly and funny. Some other guy was like “Thanks for not sucking like everyone else usually does!” Haha. Can we say “Jaded music industry person?” But I agree.
So over the last many days, Krystal Something-Something, Charmin Ulltra and I worked on making a dance to Robin S.’ 90’s masterwork, “Show Me Love.” We only rehearsed together twice, but I was running through that routine on the subway cars, on the platform, on the street, in my mind, everywhere! This was in preparation for our performance at the first round of Break’N Through, an awesome unsigned artist showcase I recently got into. We taped interviews for the showcase on Sunday, which was super fun, and then, on Wednesday, it was time to do the show. It was one of my longest days ever, but also one of the most fun!
Things began at 12 noon for sound check at Red Bull Space, where I chatted with the other artists in the show until it was time to sound check my set. We ran through “Show Me Love” and “Dance Dance Dance” and the other artists loved it, which was so cool to see. It was another reminder that absolutely every single time you get on stage should be treated like your biggest show ever, because that was the only time the other artists really got to watch my whole set. After run through, the boys and I went out for lunch in SoHo, and we ended up sitting a few tables away from Moby, who I probably see like once every two months in New York. He’s ALWAYS out and about in the city, and I must say I love that about him. No entourage, no sunglasses, no bs. Just Moby, hangin’ out in New York, alllllllllll the time. It was Krystal and Charmin’s first Moby sighting, so they were excited. It was just another awesome part of an awesome day. After lunch, we returned to Red Bull Space to start getting ready, and once the boys were in full makeup and costume, we started taping pre-show footage and interviews, which was super fun. When the audience came in, we went downstairs to mingle, have our picture taken over and over, and walk the red carpet, which was SO much fun. We met lots of awesome people, and before we knew it, it was time to go on.
We got up on stage, and as soon as the first note of “Show Me Love” hit, the crowd was totally on our side. I heard the sounds of recognition and excitement as we started dancing to that infamous synth line, and I was so excited along with everyone else in the room, because that really is the best song ever, and everybody knows it. The crowd also LOVED when we did our little Stephanie Tanner from Full House dance move, which I specifically requested we do, since “Show Me Love” is such a 90’s song, and that’s such a 90’s dance. It was amazing. People literally laughed out loud when we busted that out. It was perfect. Then we did “Dance Dance Dance,” which always goes over well, and before we knew it, it was all over! Then we were whisked away for a post-show interview, more pictures, more schmoozing, and more fun. The people who had come to see me were blown away and kept telling me that everyone kept saying that we were their favorite act. So awesome!
As soon as it’s time for you guys to help me win round 1 by watching the video of my performance as much as possible on YouTube, I’ll let you know!!
This may sound crazy, but May has been so busy, I barely even remember these shows. All I know is that Mimi Imfurst is fabulous enough to invite me to do them with her rather often and they’re a lot of fun. At the first one I sang “Dance Dance Dance” and “My Ex Is Delicious,” which was cool. I always love seeing the looks on peoples’ faces who really get into “Dance Dance Dance.” Those who get the song, really get the song. It’s awesome.
The second show happened on the Busiest Weekend Ever, when, after doing basically four shows in a night and staying out till 4 on Friday, then doing one insane show and staying out till 3 on Saturday, and having to get up early to work on Saturday and Sunday, the fabulous DJ Scotty Rox invited me to sing at his birthday party at Posh. Scotty is fantastic and I am in “say yes to everything that makes sense” mode, so of course I said yes, and at his party I sang “The Wizard and I” from Wicked and “Show Me Love” by Robin S. It was a lot of fun because I never get to sing songs from musicals these days, and they’re so fun to sing. Also, a Broadway actor/dancer/singer who was in the crowd just assumed that I am currently in the cast of Wicked because he thought I did such a good job, so that was sweet to hear. After that show/weekend I almost literally just dropped dead and slept as much as I could. Hear more about it in the recaps of the shows on 5/14 and 5/15.
I just had to answer all these questions for a possible blog feature and I had a lot of fun doing it, so I thought y’all might be interested in checking it out:
What is your first musical memory? My first musical memory is starting to watch MTV as a six-year-old back in 1989 and continuing to watch it through the early 90’s. Seeing videos like “Rock the Cradle of Love” by Billy Idol, “Epic” by Faith No More, “November Rain” by Guns and Roses and “Straight Up” by Paula Abdul had a huge effect on me. Now, music from that time period makes me happier than any other music. I’m so glad that some of the club music from that time STILL gets played in the club whenever I go out, 20 years later. “Show Me Love” by Robin S., the best song of all time in my opinion (which is NOT the same song as “Show Me Love” by Robyn from 1997), will apparently never die as long as there are clubs in New York City. Thank God for that!
What was the first concert you ever went to? It was probably some boring crap at Carnegie Hall, since that was right in my neighborhood, but the first real concert I ever got excited about going to was Jamiroquai at the Theater at Madison Square Garden with Busta Rhymes opening, in 1997, when I was 14, right after “Virtual Insanity” had just blown up in America. Jason Kay, the lead singer and songwriter of Jamiroquai, was an excellent showman, and I think he’s definitely written some of the best groovy/funky songs I’ve ever heard. Busta Rhymes was riding the success of “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” at the time, and he was adorable. It was nice to see Busta putting effort into his show then, because when he came and did a show at Harvard, where I went to college, 8 years later, he half-assed it worse than an amateur and I was really disappointed. The best concert I ever went to was the Spice Girls farewell tour, and if you don’t like that, you can kiss my @$$. 🙂
What or whom do you go to for musical inspiration? There is some really incredible, soul-stirring electro-pop coming out these days, and most of it comes from my favorite artist, the UK’s Frankmusik. He is a total genius. There are also some amazing remixes of stuff like his floating around out there, including one of his song “Confusion Girl” remixed by Russ Chimes. That is the best, most beautiful electronic song I’ve ever heard. The use of strings in that song is just heavenly. Then of course I always draw inspiration from early 90’s club pop, like stuff from Black Box, C&C Music Factory, Robin S., etc, because they were the masters of perfectly danceable pop that makes you happy, and I just think that sound needs to come back in a big way. I’m always happy when someone tells me my songs remind them of early 90’s club music. That is the highest compliment I can get.
Without using the words “alternative,” “pop,” or “rock,” describe your sound. Early 90’s club music-inspired electro dance amazingness.
Stones or Beatles? Neither. Sorry! I like synthesizers. I respect and am in awe of both groups, it’s just that I don’t really listen to anything they’ve put out.
What’s your dream collaboration? Frankmusik, Robin S, Britney Spears.
Do you find the song or does the song find you? Mostly, the idea for the song and the melody pop into my head as a response to me thinking about something in my life that usually has to do with love, relationships and dealing with emotionally retarded boys.
How do you discover new music? I check Frankmusik’s twitter over and over to see if he’s put out anything new. Also, I listen to terrestrial radio (sorry!), internet radio (everybody happy now?) and occasionally check the odd blog about electro/dance music.
So there you have it. Whaddaya think? Leave a comment below. 🙂
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.
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.