Well tonight we were suppose to have a night of DEBAUCHERY. Usually at this time, I would be printing out my set list, triple checking everything in my suitcase and configuring a makeshift wheeled contraption consisting of a handcart, the raffle and gig bag, bassoon, floor length mirror and our marquee sign. Thank God for bungee cords.
I would carefully scoot it over to Clown Kong's house, a sparkle studded white girl trying to move about inconspicuously through a Bedstuy neighborhood. We would then bounce hosting bit ideas together as we put on our makeup and head off to the venue together. Sometimes he needing some of my mine, but often times me bumming off of him. But tonight instead, I am writing this.
As I finish off my first year of producing, I really take stock on all the responsibilities that come with being a producer. And a co-producer. Working all sorts of shows and venues around the tri-state area, I remember my good and bad experiences with different places. I keep that in mind when I think of my performer's happiness. As much as I hated having to cancel the show that was expected to happen tonight, missing out on seeing my good friend Jelly Boy the Clown, Debauchery is instead on the hunt for a new home.
Three of Cups
We pride ourselves in making Debauchery a wild and spirited experience. The "professional shit-show" we loving refer it as, there are certain things that were not working at Three of Cups Lounge. While we and the venue could not agree on the original financial arrangement, and took it upon themselves to simply not pay us for our last show, we did agree on one thing- Debauchery was way too big and awesome for their venue. With our rock band, and a full two set cast of performers, raffle and games- we were definitely not the atmospheric performance slot usually seen there. That was the show presented to them initially and I guess after a couple shows, they decided our show "isolated their customers." We decided it was time to look for a new home once we experience hostility and refusal of payment at the last show, but wanted to spare the next month cast of a cancellation.
All I care to say about that is I truly doubt that both Clown and I would misunderstand the financial arrangement presented to us. We both met with the booker together, and both hung out with the person separately to talk about the show. Instead of charging a cover, we were allowed to do a raffle and tips and get a cut of the bar sales. I produced three times there. Our last show, Clown's 50th birthday show and the little spin off show House of Sin, when we had to reschedule Debauchery due to a family emergency. I did not play music from my DJ set list the entire night for either show and still got my bar cut. In fact, I remember it being said that there was no problem with the bartender playing off a personal iPod at the end of the show. For both shows, both Clown and I were never warned "now this was the original arrangement, next time have a DJ playing till close" - we just got our cut. But last show it suddenly was a problem. If we were expected to follow those terms, then that would have happened first show, no problem, no questions asked. So I find this treatment perplexing and flat out shady.
Lesson learned? The importance of written contracts. So we will move on to kinder tides. The place had a good vibe for us, but it really was a tight space. And I agree that we could use a bigger stage and dressing room. Their sound guy/barback was as sweet as could be and many of their customers were very enthusiastic and showed us lots of love. I wish nothing but the best of luck to Three of Cups and whoever decides to produce there in the future.
Three of Cups
DEBAUCHERY is will be turning five years old next month. It has been at several venues, it will go on. I am also not his first co-producer, and I feel incredibly honored to be chosen to carry the torch when Stormy Leather got married. He could had a big community to pick from but saw something in me and took a chance. So I must stand by my Clown. Wherever we hang our sign is our home. I know this show is his baby, and means the world to him. Bringing the show back to the neighborhood certainly raised our spirits and made the show even better than it was before. I sure miss Kings County Saloon though, that place was like our playground. If only we could have picked up the entire building and moved it to the East Village.
King County Saloon
I'd rather close out my blog with a happy story. Last year's show "My Bloody Valentine" was a very spirited night. I remember that I went with the bloody Valentine theme because I was a bit heartbroken and going through a lot of changes. My life was taking a complete 180 degree flip, a guy I was starting to get cozy with got spooked after seeing our first show, I was adjusting to life after the Slipper Room and the morning of the show I found out my cat was experiencing kidney failure. He would need to receive daily treatments. Stuff such as this comes in threes. What better way to deal than some stage therapy? So we made that a recurring theme throughout the night. We had Miss Vivian do a needle piercing burlesque act, Lewd Alfred Douglas as Lady Bathory , the very handsome Eli Rose and two of my favorite heart throbs, Pinkie Special and Minx Arcana.
I raffled off the panties I was wearing for the show and my "big brother" Johnny Horrible won them. He couldn't wait to put them on, and they surprisingly fit nicely! He kept them on over his jeans for the rest of the night. I closed the show with a revised version of my Beauty Queen deconstruction act that I sometimes do for private birthday parties. It uses a mix of Leslie Gore's "It's My Party" and Daft Punk's "Lose Yourself to Dance".
Blue is really his color!
I played a drunk girl that finds out her man leaving her for another woman on her damn birthday. She then goes on a self loathing binge on cupcakes, is horrified when she realizes she's being watched and then starts smashing them all over herself in an imploding outrage. I then walk over and bring out another plate of cupcakes, simply drop the entire plate on the floor and belly flop onto them. I kinda just went into a free for all slip-and-slide break dance improv session while Clown started the curtain call. I was already butt naked covered in cake but the cast came out one by one to the sweet beat and proceeding to mash cupcakes all over me. I got a lot of frosting filled kisses. I gotta say it felt wonderful to unhinge, be raw with an unsuspecting audience.
As I kept scooting and sliding all over the stage, my cast were dancing around, shouting
"FUCK THAT GUY, FUCK THAT GUY!"
That's what we call closure. For sure. I struggled to my knees to wrangle the microphone with my cake crusted knuckles. In a sheepish shrug, I cry out
"I can't see why this guy broke up with me ladies and gentlemen, GOOD NIGHT!"
That was the night Matt Dallow told me that he now sees what Clown saw in me. It was also the night that Eli Rose gave us our tagline....
DEBAUCHERY- The Show That Lives Up to Its Name!