Saturday, January 30, 2010

TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO HOLLYWOOD!!!



Inside The UPRIGHT CABARET
(1714 N.Vermont Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027)


Last weekend (Jan. 22 & 23) I played for the first time in many years a real gig in Los Angeles. Although I just moved here a few months ago, I still had not performed in LA officially because I still had obligations on the road. And most of my time in LA was limited and devoted to basically getting settled in with furniture, shipments, boxes etc...

I am proud to report that last week when I played 2 nights at The UPRIGHT CABARET on Vermont St. that the place was packed on Friday and SOLD-OUT on Saturday! Several standing ovations later, I can't tell you the warmth & welcome I felt coming back to LA after living in New York City for 15 years. First of all, about the standing ovations...nobody makes Angelinos stand. They have seen it all and are not going to give you a standing O that easily. This is the land whose biggest export is ENTERTAINMENT as well as attitude...lol! So getting a Standing O from this crowd holds some heavy weight.

As far as my 2 nights are concerned - I TRIUMPHED! And the GREAT NEWS is that they want me back exclusively to play once a month every Friday & Saturday for the next 3 months! I am so happy & excited! I'm relieved that I was embraced and accepted back in this town. I've been nervous for a year ever since I packed my first box to move out of New York Jan. 2009. The room has a state-of-the-art sound system and cozy seating for 85 people. It felt good to be in this venue. I have not played a proper run in LA since playing FEINSTEIN'S at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 2003 (Feinstein's no longer exists in Hollywood).

The UPRIGHT CABARET http://www.uprightcabaret.com/ is part of a cute complex which houses The Vermont Restaurant http://www.vermontrestaurantandbar.com/and another hangout / Restaurant called Rockwell VT http://www.rockwellvt.com/ Both are delicious and The UPRIGHT CABARET serves food and drink as well too.
They also have an UPRIGHT CABARET in Palm Springs.
I'm going to play there at the end of April.

I'm so lucky to have been embraced by this PROFESSIONAL establishment. I'm off to a good start in Hollywood. I'm having really good meetings again and the phone is ringing. I can't talk about the new developments yet because I don't want to jinx anything.
As soon as I can talk about it I'll write about it here. It's all good!

Oh and did I tell you that while most of the country is buried in snow or freezing, that here in LA it's about 70 degrees and Sunny? Don't Hate!

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In other news... Jan. 24, 2010
After my 2 great nights at The UPRIGHT, Sunday my friend and actress Gail Boggs and I went to see AVENUE Q at The Thousand Oaks CIVIC ARTS CENTER. WOW! What a fun musical. So cute and a little porno for puppets too...lol! "The internet is for porn" as one of the songs goes. Now I know why AVENUE Q won so many Tony's. I felt happy and like a kid again - but a grown up kid...I never knew this musical had some puppet soft porn bits in it...lol. Rated R but cute.
I'm doing my hand like I'm holding a puppet. Winter in LA it must have been a chilly 60 degrees. Don't hate!
Sign in sheet for the actors backstage.

It took me moving to California to finally see this wonderful Broadway musical. I hardly saw Broadway shows in NY when I lived there because I was always so busy, busy, busy. Doing what? I'm not sure anymore..well I think I was working on my career.

THANK YOU MICHAEL McASSEY http://www.michaelmcassey.com/ from New York City (Musical Conductor) for getting us the tickets with great seats and giving us a little backstage tour. You are a sweetheart! He recognized Gail Boggs from back in the day in NY. He also knew me from back in the "Don't Tell Mamma Cabaret" days (1987-89) hush. You really made a wonderful memory happen for Gail & I.
(By the way Gail Boggs played Whoopi Goldberg's sister in GHOST. She was the smaller sister. Gail and I know each other since the early 90's when I lived in LA).

Afterwards Gail and I went to P.F. Changs for dinner.

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In other news:
Things are coming together nicely in my room. I finally assembled my desk. I wanna give a shout-out to Fran & Lucy in Staten Island, NY who have been fans for many years. They know I have a mug obsession and sent me this Marilyn Mug for Christmas. Girls look how nice it looks on my desk. I love you and it was sooooo sweet of you to do this! Also a shout-out to my Ballerina friend in New York City Trutti! She sent me these beautiful silver coasters (among other things) for Christmas. I love you Trutti! Thank You so much! Look how nice it all looks!

I'm eventually going to get a white folding chair too. No black furniture. Everything white and light. I'm sorta leaning towards Mid-Century styling / Modern. For years my NYC apartment had chocolate brown carpet, black & brown furniture and hardly any light coming in. No more darkness in my life.

As soon as I have all the furniture in my room pulled together I'm going to take pictures of everything and show it here.

Here's a look at my previous desk. Yuk!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Hamburger Mary's MEETING


Had a meeting with a record producer this afternoon at the West Hollywood Hamburger Mary's.
When I'm allowed to talk about the project I'll let you know. But I like it a lot.

While we were having our meeting tucked away from everyone, a guy walked up to my table and asked for an autograph. Wow! I never think anybody knows me. That was cool. He said his boyfriend is from San Antonio and that they had seen me a few years ago at The Jumpstart Theater when I did some shows there. Then eventually his boyfriend came over to introduce himself. I was so flattered. They might come to see me perform at The UPRIGHT CABARET this weekend.

I told them I just moved to LA. One of the guys is a manager at GIANNI VERSACE on Rodeo Drive. Really cool. They were nice. I gave them hugs and even gave them my number to call me.

I told the record producer, "you see, I am somebody!" "take my picture!" "don't you know who I am?" We were laughing. It was the record producer's Birthday today but I said, "I don't care this meeting is about me!" (laughing).

More things keep on happening here in Hollywood. Stay tuned.

JJ

Monday, January 18, 2010

GETTING READY FOR MY SHOWS IN LA!

We're going to be having about 5 days of rain here in LA. Oh well...it cleans the air.

I bought a fruit picker this past weekend so that I can grab the avocados and oranges off the tree in the back courtyard. There are hundreds of avocados. I can't believe none of the neighbors grab them. So far I picked 15 avocados and put them in a bowl. It takes about 1 week to ripen.


Getting ready for my 2 shows Jan 22 & 23. 9pm.

Here's a little blurb about me in FRONTIERS Magazine, LA:
http://www.frontierspublishing.com/2819/nightlife/index.html


TICKETING INFO for The UPRIGHT CABARET Show @ The Vermont Restaurant /show lounge:
http://inticketing.com/EVENTS/68784

Friday, January 15, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2010 is "THE YEAR OF THE COIN!"

WELL....O.K! I've been lazy about posting.

After performing at a private Christmas party in Boston, MA. December 12, I took about a month off. But I feel good and ready to get back to work.

You would think I could have at least typed in this blog to say HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I'm glad I had that time off because I caught a bad cough - perhaps a relapse to the Swine Flu I caught during Thanksgiving. Who knows... All better now.

I'm back in Los Angeles and preparing for my show "IMPRESSIONISM" at THE UPRIGHT CABARET in Los Felis at The Vermont Restaurant and Show Room.
I'm performing a slightly different version than the show in Ptown this past Summer.

I'm extremely busy with projects and I'm excited to be working with my brand new white Scandinavian desk! It's not from Ikea. I got it at Plummers Furniture out here in LA.
I assembled it myself ugh...it was so hard to do.
See below:

I also got a new white bed frame from West Elm. I also assembled that! Ugh...
I won't complain. Look at the tragedy in Haiti. It's heartbreaking. It makes me grateful for what I have and I have nothing to complain about.
As soon as I get my room pulled together, I'll show you pictures. You'll be able to compare the current pictures with the early pictures (blog: May 6, 2009).

Take care!
JJ