Last Thursday was Episode Two of The Bearded Lady and I believe it was even better than the first one! Episode One was fantastic, don't get me wrong, but last Thursday everything was a little bit amped up. There was more music, more magic, more nakedness, more people, and more Fun! Perhaps this has something to do with the fabulous Rum cocktails that Salon #10 whipped up as welcome drinks, and perhaps it has something to do with the excited anticipation of the guests who came for the second time. No matter what it was, I was happy to be a part of it.
*Ellis Does his best Carmen Maranda, singing "The Lady with the Tutti Fruity Hat".
There was a bit of a departure for me from my normal act at this event. I sang!
I hope you enjoy the clip of my take on Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher. It was quite a bit of fun to perform with such a great band. I have always had a desire to be a singer. When I was a child I would perform at all the Church choir functions and I was the male lead in most of the musicals. That means at some point I
Played Jonah, Jesus, a wise man, Daniel, Moses, and King Wencesloss. This went on until I was in middle school and being in a church choir was something to be embarrassed about. That and my voice started to change. I didn't know what to do about that.
I have always involved myself in singing in some way since. I was in a short lived band in University as a singer, and after graduation made an almost weekly appearance at select karaoke nights for about ten years. That ended when I moved to Hong Kong. It's funny that I sing karaoke less now that I am in Asia. But the experience is quite different from New York City. In New York it is all about the show. It's great if you can cary a tune and have a voice to go with it, but not as important as stage presence. In Hong Kong it's all private rooms. I often feel like I am singing to myself in this context. People here don't automatically applaud, they chit chat while your are singing, they don't really watch if you are trying to put on a performance and its hard to do because the central focus is the screen not the person singing. You don't truly engage the room unless you sing in Cantonese or you sing Lady Gaga....or LMFAO. Basically it's singing practice, and I feel like I am singing for myself. I can do this in my shower.
*The Fabulous Bearded Lady Ensable
So needless to say, my soul got a great fill of its singing void from this show. Now, I'm no great singing, but I feel now that if I had a band as good as the one at The Bearded Lady, I would feel happy to take on any song in my range. The music at the event was fantastic. We had Latin arrangements from 1943 with Gigi Marentette and Danny DePoe singing and playing trumpet. I love these two! If you get the chance to see them, you are in for a treat. I also got the chance the other day to hear Danny's new album, which he has not put out yet. I can't wait to have a copy, it is my type of music. He described it as Nirvana meet Michael Buble.
But these two were just fronting the band, every member performing was equally impressive. On piano and sax was Jim "the professor" Schneider, who I had the privilege of rehearsing with. I learned a lot from him in a very short amount of time. Bob Mocarsky played, rocking most of the night on piano. On purcussion was David Chala (who I believe is from Cuba?) who kept us in the Latin groove. There was also an Operetic performance from Olivier de Molina which was breathtaking. A burlesque dance with banana leaves from Julie Shah who was sexy and fantastic! and interludes of salsa dancing from Paola Sinisterra; who I cant seem to get a bad photograph of. Even our host with the most Ellis Kreuger sang late in the night, treating us to the theme song of the event, "The Lady with the Tooty Fruity Hat".
*I eat razor blades.
*Olivier de Molina sings!
*Julie Shah dances!
*Salsa with Paola
*Gigi and Danny being amazing!
I also, of course, gave a few performances of the magical sort. I ate razor blades early in the evening, and also performed a prediction effect later. For the late late crowd I did my rendition of the oldest magic trick, the cups and balls. I didn't perform as much close up magic this time because I wanted to get a feel for the party, and I truly enjoyed the mix and mingle. As I'm sure you can tell, I was most excited about singing. It's fun to get nervous again! In future Bearded Lady productions I plan to perform a bit more intimately with mental miracles and close up experiences.
*A touch of the Mental...Brains!
*The old Cups and Balls.
*Our Hosts Ellis and Alex (with a guy I didn't meet) enjoying the performances, and Stefano looking cool.
Thanks again to all those who performed, and to Moustache and Stiibu for putting on this fantastic night!
And of course, many many thanks to all the guests who came and made this happening a reality!
All my best,