Category Archives: Writing

ARCHIVED: A Happening For…You

Tsunami.

Bus Accident.

War.

Hunger.

Poverty.

Good, now that that’s out of the way, let’s have some fun! “The MENSA of variety shows” is back.  This will be quite a happening and we all hope you will attend to share in the magic combination of complimentary absinthe, comedy and more dangerous movement than plate tectonics can shake a continent at.  Yes, there will be a hula hooper, a wonderful human with wild hair, a Goddess, a madam, a trumpet, a bass and surprise performances that promise to thrill and delight.

Featuring the music of Chet Baker, Julie London, Tom Waits, Rilo Kiley and original live music and language arts by Reggie Watts.  Attendance prizes will be drawn.  And no, we weren’t kidding about the complimentary absinthe.  It’s local, artisinal, small batch and made with home grown ingredients.  And it’s appropriately called “Meadow of Love”.

Entry for the evening is $11 and supports the participating performers.  Bios and further information about our cast can be found here.

Join us in the “Meadow of Love” on Sunday, March 27th at Ella. Doors at 8:30pm

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Final Sunday Show At The Slipper Room: Videos and Thanks

For the Sunday Show’s temporary finale last night at The Slipper Room (the venue closes for renovations June 12th) host Kiki Valentine does not survive a routine surgery and instead ends up in purgatory with Satan (Joe Pepitone).  It was a great show.

The dedication of the performers since the beginning is reflected in the immense amount of support and love we receive from each and every one of you.  For example, here is Michelle St. Darling in the first half of the Finale show performing beautifully to “Flight of the Bumblebee” despite receiving a terrible concussion only two days earlier.  This is the type of allegiance that is appreciated beyond words.  Again, thank you.

This will be the third venue change for The Sunday Show until The Slipper Room returns in its charming and newly minted form.  Since our humble beginnings,  glittering in the darkest basements of the Lower East Side and upwards to the legendary stage of The Slipper Room,  unexpected change has allowed us opportunities to develop on an underground level into a completely unique live, interactive and uncensored show.  We keep the concept fresh: each monthly show –  thematically, cast-wise and elementally –  is completely unique and never repeated.  And we appreciate the support of those who have seen only one show, as well as those who have devoutly followed our collaborations.  We are delighted to reveal that the next show – date TBA – will contain even more of the allure, camaraderie, humor, talent, variety and surprises one might expect from The Sunday Show.  However in a new, larger space (and especially one with higher ceilings) we will be able to develop even more conceptually rich, collaborative pieces to keep you on the edge of your seat without breaking the bank.

If you’re interested in being notified of the next show, or in receiving a copy of the last show on DVD,  please contact sundayshownyc at gmail dot com.

Back to last night: In the second half of the show Juliet Jeske –  breaking out of her character, Princess Sunshine, for the first time on stage – sings a heartfelt surprise song to Kiki which moved many in attendance to tears.  Later in the clip, we see the entire May cast as they join Juliet in singing.  Amidst other surprises, the show in its entirety delivered a fantastic experience for the ensemble and audience members alike.   What we started in 2008 will continue to grow through Summer 2010 – and beyond – as we do our best to support uncensored expression of, sustainability for and the continuation of these unique collaborations between extraordinary performance artists living in and visiting New York City.

We’re taking the opportunity to relocate as a chance to make an even bigger and more spectacular show.  We hope you will join us for the next incarnation of Sunday night.

Thank you.

ARCHIVED: Private Mansion THE PLAYERS Opens Doors For SPRING SPECTACULAR – And Kiki’s Birthday!

Landmarked NYC Jewel THE PLAYERS Opens to Public for “Spring Spectacular”

Performances by  Martha Wainwright, Jolie Holland

and NYC’s “It” Artists Highlight the Event

New York, NY – April 29, 2010 – The historical landmark The Players of Gramercy Park opens its private doors to the public for SPRING SPECTACULAR, a night of elegance harkening the rich history of Manhattan’s legendary entertainers with a Kennedy-era flair.  This star-studded evening will feature big band, swing dancing, burlesque and jazz while bringing together a staggering array of talent demonstrating the city’s diversity.  The event will be held Friday, May 7th at 8pm.  Guests are encouraged to dress in swing, beatnik or  modern mid-century attire (a la Mad Men).

This rare occasion celebrates the spring season through an evening of the exuberant entertainment of yesteryear with a modern, independent edge. Special guests include vocalist Martha Wainwright performing a selection from her album “Martha Wainwright Sings Piaf” in addition to the “velvet voice” of Jolie Holland, the independent artist who counts none other than Tom Waits as one of her biggest fans.  Accompaniment  for the night’s performances as well as live jazz and swing provided by the acclaimed JC Hopkins’ Biggish Band along with tap-dancing sensation DeWitt Fleming Jr. (called “an amazement” by The NY Times) and singer Champian Fulton (who The New Yorker touts as having a “galvanizing voice”). Singer Shien Lee (of Dances of Vice) will perform with pianist Bryan Reeder in the club’s Sergent Room.

The cabaret atmosphere reaches crescendo as some of the best burlesque dancers in NYC step on to the stage to delight and entice: winner of the 2009 Golden Pastie Award for “Most Sensual Performer in Burlesque” Peekaboo Pointe, Miss Coney Island Ekaterina, and, in band breaks, 1920s tap sensation The Minsky Sisters.

The entire evening is presented by Midnight Follies and hosted by James Habacker, illustrious owner of downtown’s The Slipper Room and with Kiki Valentine, actress and producer of NYC’s only uncensored variety show, The Sunday Show. Valentine explains, “The Players has an incredible history and energy…to open the doors to the public and create a happening like this seems to wake the spirits of Frank Sinatra and Sarah Bernhardt. It’s like they’re giving us their blessing. Plus, they always loved a good party.” The event is also celebrating Valentine’s birthday.

 

The legendary Players, boasting Twain himself in its luminary roster along with Nobel-prize-winners Eugene O’Neill, Ernest Hemingway and numerous others, is a social club founded by the famed 19th century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. The Players’ history-steeped home is a magnificent Victorian mansion with dozens of paintings, marble fireplaces, and a wrought iron balcony overlooking Gramercy, the only remaining private park in Manhattan.

Friday, May 7th, 8pm-1am

Complimentary cocktails from 8 to 9pm

The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South

$20 w/RSVP, $25 at the door

$15 for members

RSVP at midnightfollies@gmail.com

ARCHIVED:Village Voice Listing for next show! Thanks VV!

“This month the outrageous performers of the Sunday Show explore the theme “Through the Looking Gl(ass).” Hosted by Kiki Valentine, the show includes Princess Sunshine, Jo Boobs (classic burlesque), Taryn Tulla (comedic neo-burlesque), Richterscale (sideshow/juggling), Fetchin’ Gretchen (neo-burlesque), Dulce de Leche (singer), and Leta Le Noir. The show includes a parody of a popular female political celebrity not yet named. Curiouser and curiouser.”

We’re really excited! The countdown has begun!
Sunday, March 28th 9pm at The Slipper Room
www.sundayshownyc.com

We hope to see you there. “Never the same show twice.”

David Lynch, Opium, the Weather and a Giant Pigeon

I was barley awake when I took a picture the other morning. It really encapsulated the way that I would end up feeling the entire day (like there was a giant, wet pigeon following me). I am not sure why, but I am sure this has something to do with being an artist. Yes, I am both a business professional AND an artist.

giant pigeon invades brooklyn

The surreal image, totally pure and unedited, makes the pigeon appear to be gigantic and standing in the street below my window. It made me think of perspectives and how, like opinions and assholes, everyone has one. I took the picture because I was thinking about how often, as part of my life involves me being a performance artist, I am “pigeonholed”. I was also excited to see the pigeon on my windowsill, yet sad for it being forced to sit in the cold, windy rain and wait out the weather. Clearly I was having a very philosophical morning. And to be completely honest, I didn’t notice that the pigeon looked like some sort of “Japanese movie monster” bird in the street until someone later mentioned so on Facebook, where I post all of my pre-8am “Good Morning, Brooklyn!” photos. The perspective from my window, to some, made that bird seem enormous when all I was admiring was the proximity of the bird on my windowsill.

Thinking about perspectives in turn reminded me of a conversation with a friend the night before the pigeon appeared which revealed that David Lynch delivers the Los Angeles weather every morning from his home. Thrilled by this news, and after some investigation, it seems he has been religiously doing so for a few years now. My natural – and simultaneous – reaction: jealousy that I had not thought of it first paired with inspiration to do something even more simple/bizarre.  After voraciously reviewing every clip I could find of him on the almighty Internet, I began to think of how many times David Lynch has been or is currently completely misunderstood by his peers, audience, lovers, friends, neighbors, mother and mailman. It happens to me, too, because of the Sunday Show. I have been called names not worth repeating by people not worth mentioning who have never even seen my show.  I have been assumed to be “easy” or a conquest because I am putting my gender out in the open, covered in exquisite garments.  I will not judge those people,  lest I lower myself to a less open mentality, but I will admit that that sort of ignorance deeply rattles my soul. It’s a truly strange existence when creating and sharing something so intimate, surreal, fantastic and raw because eventually you are immediately identified with all of the dark and twisted intricacies involved with those pieces or projects. Even if, on most days, you’re just a normal person who just happens to be commandeering a concept that makes people laugh, think, smile and break away from their ordinary lives, even if only for 90 minutes at a time.

For Lynch, it seems like most days he is totally normal. Coffee, cigarettes and as he’s in California, pretty much the same weather report every day. But then he’ll surprise, and some reports reveal a bizarre twist, living up to the reputation with which he has been saddled as the director of some pretty amazing, albeit twisted visions. It just goes to show that you should never solely judge a person by their art, even if you think you can or should because you’re self-justified.  No matter how much you study from afar, will never know firsthand if those occasional fits of the bizarre you see – from me, from David Lynch – are actually the emergence of deep-rooted darkness in the artist or in fact only taking place to keep you entertained and believing that in order to make something so eccentric, so edgy, so provoking, one MUST be somehow off kilter.  Is it a giant pigeon in the street or a bird on a windowsill? I’m not telling if Lynch doesn’t. And this particular pigeon certainly isn’t talking, however he desperately wishes for you to stop trying to put me in his pigeonhole.

David Lynch Daily Weather Report from 2005

David Lynch Daily Weather Report from 2006

David Lynch Daily BIZARRE Weather Report

And just because you probably have never seen this commercial for Opium, it’s a gem. This man is a genius, even though I am sure people fail to understand his mind. Maybe you’re just supposed to enjoy the work, not analyze the person making it. (Yes, I prefer this.)

Sayonara, Twitter!

I have always thought that Twitter is ridiculous. It serves a purpose for a lot of mobile businesses and artists, but it also frightens me how addictive it can be to otherwise normal people. And how nothing, really, is sacred when people experience something and immediately think about sharing that bit of information with their world. This recent NY Times article about Protocols is also worth a read. And the video below made me happy because it means I am not alone in my fascination with Twitter’s dark side.

Since I create and wear costumes while often acting as a dead person in public, I tend to confuse certain people. Public desire to label and file me away as any one thing is convenient for many but confusing. It is true that I hate being called a “burlesque dancer”, one commonly misused label that I constantly strive to separate myself from. If anything, call me a performance artist because that is what I am. This pigeonholing also really annoys Madonna who once said “I think of myself as a performance artist. I hate being called a pop star. I hate that.” Mind you this is not because of shame, insecurity or fear but for the sake of my sanity. I am also a producer and a writer. So one might assume that I would be thrilled by the advent of a platform like Twitter in which I can share, through writing 140 characters, all of the self-indulgent, intimate morsels of my life with a gossip hungry and nosypants world.

Picture 8

I never really understood the point of Twitter and basically shunned the concept. After being interviewed about the MTA Service Specialist project receiving a cease-and-desist from the MTA’s lawyers, TJ Rosenthal of East Village Radio’s TJ AND THE TUX, roped me in and created a personal account for me.  Me at Twitter.  I was reluctant, but on the heels of a 5am interview on Good Day New York and a sleepless, nervous night about what my virginal Tweet would reveal, I gave in.  And that is how it all started. Soon, my ex boyfriend’s mother requested to follow me. And then my own mother. And then Britney Spears. It was then I knew that I was getting in too deep.

When I decided to transform myself into Courtney Love for the October edition of the Sunday Show, I thought it might be best to step into her shoes. I started using my Twitter. And sadly, just when I was getting into the random blurts of insanity, Courtney went and deleted her account. So, as a method actor, I followed suit and set forth to delete my account, too. I barely used it and don’t really understand the CULTural phenomenon associated with it, so this was not a big loss to me.

In the process of my disengagement, I did find out about some features the site provides which I never used. None of which, I believed, could win me back.

Picture 7

When I visited the site intending to permanently depart, the hot topics featured scared me. Much like when leaving a less-than-stellar relationship (why would his mother want to follow me after all of this time, anyway?) or putting back that second helping of cupcakes, I knew that I was making the right decision. I mean, the KKK? What is wrong with you people?

Picture 2

So I eventually approach the final stages of breaking up with Twitter. I am faced with a tearful cartoon bird asking if I am sure I want to leave. Yes, little bird. I am sure. Do people really want to know what I ate for dinner? Will I really stop what I am doing to share what I ate for dinner with thousands of people I don’t even know? And why do they care? Are they just waiting for me to divulge some secret information on there, like who I went to the museum with on Sunday or what panties I decided to put on this morning?

I took a screen shot of my last Twitter feed (including musings from Moby and Samantha Ronson) and, with a few clicks, became one step closer to Courtney. (This feels better than one might initially imagine.) The Sunday Show on October 25th was an incredible success. And today, I am still alive, well and free from “the tweets”. Of course, I can’t completely free myself from the Twittersphere as I have a hit show on my hands and an audience that loves to know what is happening behind the scenes. This being said, you can follow THE SUNDAY SHOW on Twitter @sundayshownyc. However to follow me, you can kick it old school and…send a text.

Picture 4

This is another good video.

Thanks for following me.