I've been using MailChimp and have attempted to keep friends informed with this software and email blasts. It's taken a few years to build an email list. Then I need to think of something clever to say so my upcoming show posts don't look so self promoting. And then I need to figure out how to build the graphic. I usually get between a 40% - 60% open rate. But as time goes on I get busy... I forget... and my monthly update turns into a quartly update and then a annual update. And social media gets more complicated. It's hard to tell what is effective, what is redundant between Facebook, Twitter, Vine, Instagram, etc.. and what is simply a waste of time.
So I'm attemping to get this chimp off my back, so to speak, by trying something new... like a blog. I use wix for my website and it is user friendly for me so why not add the blog function tab? I like writing in "stream of thought" mode. It may not get more butts-in-seats (which is every self-producer's mantra) but it may work out better for me in keeping friends up to date.
So, let's see... let me back track and tell you what I have done so far this year...
I'm lucky enough to gig in New York on a regular basis. I performed at The Metropolitan Room twice in January. The Met Room opens it's doors and arms to me everytime I go. Bernie, Joanne, JP and the staff are simply the perfect hosts when I am in town. New York has a completely different energy and vibe in the club scene and I always enjoy my time there.
With Natalie Douglas and Joanne Tatham at Birdland in January. - Photo courtsey of Russ Weatherford
PLAYBILL named it as a Pick for the month of January http://www.playbill.com/news/article/10-shows-to-see-this-month-from-joes-pub-to-54-below-and-beyond-339055?r=n so I'll be back at The Metropolian Room on Friday, September 25 @ 7:00 pm. Here is the link for tickets: http://metropolitanroom.com/event.cfm?id=196539&cart
In March I opened the Pacific Northwest Cabaret Festival in Seattle with Arnaldo! Drag Chanteuse. Seattle is a great city and Arnaldo and the PNCA are just the best.
With Arnaldo! after the show.
Also in March, I had the privledge of performing on Frasier Entertainment's Classic Broadway Series at Rockwell Table + Stage in Los Angeles. GLEE's Brad Ellis musically directed and I got to meet and sing with one of my idols Eileen Barnett.
Brad Ellis, me and Eileen Barnett.
Here is what I sang for Classic Broadway
Video courtesy of Marc Saltarelli.
Somewhere around this time John Bucchino was in LA doing a show. Had to meet him in person. I sang one of his songs, "In A Restaurant by the Sea" on my first CD.
With John Bucchino.
In April London's Harold Sanditen toured in the US and I was lucky enough to catch him while he was in LA. A fun night. Harold hooked me up with Nelson Riddle's son for drinks when I was in London. Well connected, handsome and a great singer. Harold has it all.
With Mark Winkler, RS, Harold Sanditen, Joanne Tatham, Dianne Frasier, Shelly Goldstein and Linda Purl.
Also in April, I had the honor of performing for the Young Artists Benefit in Sonora again this year. Also performing on the bill Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Married With Children and Scandal's Mark Damon Espinoza. What a wonderful human being.
With Mark Damon Espinoza.
And I don't need to list his credits (but he has a new book out) the amazing Sam Harris.
With Sam Harris.
One more shot of the Sonora "village"
I won't list everyone but note the Grants's founder, Todd Schoeder and his wife Carrie Stainsby Schroeder, in the middle. So proud to call these people my friends and a complete blast to stand on stage with them.
What's New? I'll be guesting at the Laguna Hills Community Center July 13. This is an orchestra show and we will be performing the Nelson Riddle arrangements. They are glorius. If you plan on coming arrive early. The producers tell me they are typically are SRO. It is a 300 seat theatre.
What's next? The cat's starting to get out of the bag, so I will just announce it. I'm starting to work on a new show. The subject? The one, the only.... (drum roll) Billy Barnes.
Why Billy Barnes? Was it coincidence, or maybe kismet. Either way, I ran into Richard Tyler Jordan at the S.T.A.G.E. Benefit last year. Here is a photo of us when he drove down to the Orchestra Show in San Diego. We started to have a conversation about interpreting or reinterpreting some of Billy's songs. As I dig into his songs I'm quickly becoming smitten. With no music education in most schools and everything a two pitch rap, it is getting to the point where no one knows how to write music. And NO ONE wrote them like Billy Barnes.
With Richard Tyler Jordan.
For all my non-musical friends who don't know Billy Barnes... you know him. You just don't think you know him.
If you still don't know him, Wiki him.
And yes Barbra, if you think you were you probably were too young to sing this song in the '60's but you are completely owning it now.