"Emotional Baggage Bard Tour" 2/7 A Return to NYC and The Inspired Word
Greetings wonderful wondering wanderers!
So continues my journeys after exploring and performing in New England and leaving
Rhode Island with a full stomach courtesy of Geoff's Superlative Sandwiches and Drent's generosity
and heading south to return to New York City to perform as feature at Michael Geffner's Inspired Word series at Parkside Lounge. On the last tour I did, the "NovEmbark Tour", I made my debut here at the onset of Thanksgiving week, and Mike was kind enough shortly after to invite me back for a second feature opportunity!
On my way down to NYC I listened to the following podcasts
(a pretty "heavy" list of topics. Note that "Cortex" is one that was on the list
that Vaughn suggested to me in New Haven, CT!):
Which got my head full of injustices, frustration about systems that don't necessarily work for the people who need them, and on a more personal note to me regarding the Cortex episode what of my own systems of working and occupying my time don't necessarily work for me or help me to be as productive as I could be.
By the time I arrived in NYC I was somehow lucky enough to find a spot just in time parking in the street which gave me none of the anxiety and crazy headache of the last time I was in the city. (My mental breakdown and missed opportunity in NYC.)
|Chelle Mayer's original portrait of my performance,|
eels and ethereal booger glops were not present at the venue.
Sadly I knew this would be the last time I saw one of my close friends, Dani Blum (she who is expertly collaborating with me on illustrating my short story collection) before she headed off to live in Milan for 3 months (and if all goes well for her, several years). So this would be bittersweet. I was just as much looking forward to seeing my poetic genius of a friend Eliot Greene come out and support. Mike Geffner is always so supportive of the arts, a journalist who in his own words could have retired but at the last minute decided to contribute instead to fostering an artistic community in the city, which it seems he has done, and rather well, as the series has been going on for an incredible 7+ years, Another photographer who is a staple there, Marvin was there and it was his birthday (he and Mike are responsible collectively for all of the photos you will see in this blog) an a very generous and funny host, Ryan McCurdy! Chelle Mayer was in the crowd drawing the performers all night, later she went home and colored in this illustration of me in a very surreal way! Check her work out by clicking her name or the PEACEFULSHADES - CHELLE MAYER FB PAGE HERE.
Among many of the performers, here are a list of a few I managed to write down whose work I really enjoyed (pardon anyone I missed misspells or links that I didn't manage to get, honestly between improvised comedy, covers, originals, a capella singers and even a sort of interactive spiritual breathing/stretching performance art exercise the whole night was a lot of fun and full of impressive talent!)
|Kathleen Potton killed it toward the beginning of|
Lex Rockheart, Josh McKinda, Jonathon Ferris, a high energy Italian man Massa who passionately and gregariously sang George Michael covers.
My set was one I rather enjoyed performing and people seemed to respond well to it,
the crowd there is generally very supportive and also is a listening crowd that is more relaxed by this point in the night so I just did my best to do the songs well and address the audience and convey the songs strongly. Eliot and Dani and several other people who generously bought cassettes had very nice things to say about my set so that was very reassuring. Overall this was certainly the most monetarily lucrative event of the trip but also there was so much information being shared about the local community and opportunities and events.
"The Following Story...(A Midnight Pursuit)"
And the night ended with sound-man//producer//singer//guitar player Clyde Phalanx's excellent performance of a Kanye West Flashing Lights cover and an upbeat and hopeful original that had everyone present singing along to the encouraging outro/refrain! The remaining crew of the night got together for a shot after our chorus (included below). I said goodbye to my new friends as well as to Eliot and after a drive to her subway stop, said a monumentally upsetting and yet nonchalantly reserved goodbye (a paradoxical sort of farewell that seems to be reserved for true friendships, the awkwardness of the heavy departure due to the strength of the friendship battled by the surety of the safety of the friendship due to that same strength.) to Dani as well.
With a smile on my face and the love of creativity and new and old friends in my heart, I headed wearily to my Grandmother's house in Nassau County to pass out before I headed back upstate the next day to perform in Syracuse.
All in all it seems to me after spending time with my soon-to-depart and long-lost friends,
after hearing the stories of so many creatives who work so hard to make their life their craft
and who have a home to do so thanks to Mike Geffner's lovely series (which I found out was
a retiree's alternative plan to find fulfillment, after a life that he describes was "hard work, but no work at all because I had a full career doing what I love") yet again the lesson is to do what you love and to surround yourself with folks who do the same and love you as well.
Surround yourself with love and you will love your surroundings.
Thanks as always for reading and following along with me
and so many thanks to those who take part in my life in these little
-Bruce "AllOne" Pandolfo