This was originally posted on my website September 20th, 2005.
Playing For a Cure, September 17th, 2005
Quick details of event:
Saturday, September 17th, 2005, the Balcony, 116 E. High St., Oxford, Ohio. Enemy Up 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm, The Fine Lines 6 pm – 7:15 pm, Mission Man 8 pm – 9:25 pm.
Ok, now that you have the basics, it’s time for my thoughts on the show. I put everything I had into this event. I gaveaway about 350 CDs with flyers in them, hit up two open mics at Stadium to get new people to know who I am, put up flyers on campus and around Oxford the week before school started. I sent out several mailing list mailings and personally contacted every myspace friend I had. I, of course, posted the show on missionman.net and myspace.com. I was extremely lucky (and thankful) to get advanced coverage in the Oxford Press, CinWeekly, CityBeat, the Hamilton (and Middletown) Journal, and the Miami Student Amusement. I put flyers up on campus again the week of the event just to make sure people knew about the show. I personally contacted every sorority on campus and gave them free CDs and personal letters. I also constantly talked about the event to everyone who would listen.I did it all to honor my mom’s memory and raise money for the American Cancer Society.
In addition to the level of marketing I put behind it, I prepared for this event more than any event I’ve ever put on. I had my first dress rehearsal almost 3 weeks before the event. I had about 5 full dress rehearsals including a public dress rehearsal at the Mad Frog in Cincinnati. I bought a dress shirt and tie specifically for the show (I threw the tie into the crowd and it fell at some guy’s feet; I told him to keep it). I even got an inflatable 24″ basketball style beach ball which I inflated with my mouth (nearly passed out several times) while I was sick because I didn’t have a pump. Since I was sick while I inflated it, I threw it away after the concert. Don’t need those germs turning into giant aliens who will eat people’s heads.
I got t-shirts made up, mainly to give to the band members for volunteering their time, and the staff for coming in when the bar would normally be closed. I also gaveway 7 or 8 shirts via random drawing while on stage.
Quick cost breakdown:
Dress shirt and Tie $40
Total (approx.) $438
The door receipts were $216 and I sold 2 t-shirts for a combined $26, so total intake was $242. It didn’t take much thought to decide to not reimburse myself for expenses. I sent a check to $250 to the American Cancer Society on Monday, September 19th. The event was meant for them, and I’m proud to have raised $250 for the ACS. The only expense I really thought about paying myself back for was the flyers. Everything else was at least partially optional. But $250 to the ACS feels much better than $190. I plan on putting this event on every year that I’m making music (which hopefully will be a long time), and next year I expect to have the event in Oxford, Dayton, and Cincinnati. Kellyn Moran of the Miami Student wrote a nice article today (Sept. 20th) about the event. Thank you Kellyn.
The event itself:
Let’s start with the beginning of the show.
Enemy Up kicked things off at 4 pm. I honestly did not know fully what to expect. I knew Dan Frease was a solid bassist since he played with me at Hole in the Wall on his birthday; he laid down a funky rhythm on the bass along with “Chillin’ at the Papa.” I also knew Marc was a good guy and had been playing the drums since he was in 5th grade. I wasn’t expecting the integration of Nintendo playing, xylophoning, and keyboarding along with Marc and Dan. They’re vaguely reminiscent of Oxymoronatron, but they are certainly not the same.
The Fine Lines took stage at 6 pm, and played a fantastic show for myself, Megan, Katie, and the Balcony staff. 3 of the 4 members of The Fine Lines played at Playing For a Cure at the Madison Theater, September 27th, 2004, and it was great to have them back. I did some funky dancing to “Kiss” by Prince during their set. The only pic I have of my dancing is on the left of the collage; you can see the back of my shirt.
Thank you Fine Lines and Enemy Up for being a part of this event.
My set. As I said, I had 5 full dress rehearsals, and when I counted I had either 8 or 9 outfit changes. I started old school with “Intro To My Mind,” from 1996, and did some of my old keyboard stuff after that. The set lasted about 85 minutes, and I gaveaway 7 or 8 shirts while I was on stage as well. I ended up doing “Chillin’ at the Papa” twice, but repeated no other songs. My goal is to stop repeating songs at all in a night. I know you have favorites, but I need to keep my songs fresh, for you and for me.
I ended the set with “Wanna Get Down,” which is definitely my favorite song to perform because I do so much in it. I have a freestyle section. I jump a little during the chorus. I have samples of “Playing a Little Basketball,” “Weightlifting Jam,” and “Running,” and get to run in place and pretend to lift weights. I invert the sound of my voice for the 3rd chorus. The bass riff in the first verse is different than the second, and there’s all sorts of random things going on in it. People also tend to dance to it, and when the crowd gives off that kind of energy it makes the show infinitely better. It kind of makes the ultimate statement about myself, my music, and my philosophy on life…
There are certainly times I’m very serious. I’ve been below the poverty level, my mom died from cancer, I had to work full time while going to school full-time so didn’t get the typical college experience, I dropped out of school for 2 and a half years because I couldn’t afford it. I had no luck starting a music studio or getting a job after graduating. I’m pretty much eternally single and constantly struggling to make music my career. However, that’s not what I dwell on. I don’t take the obstacles in my life and get depressed by them, therefore making them bigger obstacles. I do what I can to make my life better, and I’m an extremely optimistic person. I know the world has a ton of problems and I do what I can to make a difference. But, “sometimes I just wanna get down,” instead of letting life get me down.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this. Thank you Balcony for hosting this event. Thank you Fine Lines and Enemy Up for volunteering your time and rocking out. Thank you to the Balcony staff for coming in on a Saturday afternoon and spending your day being a part of this great cause. Thank you to all of the fans who came out and made this show worth performing, and for giving money to the American Cancer Society. Special thanks to Jake and Lisa (I hope that’s her name) for buying t-shirts to further donate to the ACS. Thank you to the Miami Student, the Miami Student Amusement, the Oxford Press, the Hamilton Journal, CinWeekly, and CityBeat for helping to spread the word. Thank you to Kate O. for passing out CDs and flyers and encouraging people to come. Thank you for reading this. This event and what I’ve said is a very large part of who I am and what I believe in.
Love with passion and live with love,
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