Sunday, October 7, 2012


Each time I have a Birthday party, friends, acquaintances and strangers alike present me with gifts. I am deeply grateful and touched by this. Over the course of the last three and a half years that I have been producing events once more, I have had three birthday parties. I have watched the nature of what I am doing evolve, parsed down from a more general purpose- to hold Goth/Industrial events, to a more spiritual, evolved and deeply fulfilling purpose- to forward artists with a common theme- Classical Values expressed with a Gothic or Old World sensibility and aesthetic. Beauty, Love, Truth, Spirituality, Honor, Straightforwardness, Steadfastness, Loyalty... these are just some of the values depicted and infused in the works of music and art of the group of Artists that has gathered around AbsolutionNYC Productions. If I had known, starting out and throughout some of our troubled times that the result of my actions would be that I would become interwoven with this amazing group, I would have been very comforted and redoubled my activity to get to this point. But happily we have arrived. So there you see- sometimes you don't know exactly why you have been given heavy tasks to complete, until you have been in the thick of it, doing it. When you look behind you at all the ground you have covered and are sitting at the top of the mountain, THEN you can "see" what it is you were doing. It's not necessary to know exactly what you are doing when you start out, just start making the motions that feel best to you, and all will become clear when the time is right.

I was touched beyond words to see what my dear friends had brought me this year. One brought the manuscript of a book he had written, photocopied because he has yet to find a publisher. One brought me a stack of comics he has contributed to throughout his career. One brought me a prismic jewel, representative of what HE felt that we represented- beauty, through HIS eyes. One brought (really tasty) foods that she had made from scratch. And so forth. It was this moment that that these gifts made me understand that I was leading the charge toward creativity- and not just any creativity- creativity in the face of nearly crushing obstacles like the economy and the city's draconian policies against nightlife.

It is this quality that we Finnish people call Sisu, which is described in one article as "a peculiarly Finnish brand of doggedness, capable of facing down death itself..." It's a toughness that transcends just having simple "guts", there is an endurance quality to it too, and a fierce independence to it as well. This well describes all we have done, and more...I am particularly stoked that we put on about 150 band's performances last year. 150 performances says a lot about what we are capable of when we put our minds to it, and our bodies to the test. Musicians composed and performed, artists drew and painted, writers wrote, dancers danced... the New York City Gothic Revival has begun and is well underway!

I want to end by saying that the dearest and sweetest gift of all is your time, your company... by consistently focusing on this movement and coming together to lend your energy, you the patron inspire us to higher heights, greater accomplishments. By participating in the movement with your fashions, your thoughts, your dreams, you help fuel this movement, inspiring us ever onward.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What CAN you do?

In order to keep a wonderful underground event running, a community must participate together. They have to decide that it's something they believe in and would like to have around.

But there are a lot of people who are kind of bogged down with work, family, other sorts of issues, etc. They wish the community well, but they feel that they just can't participate because they don't have the available time and energy they used to- or maybe they've just become numb to not having the variety of wonderful events in their city these days and a kind of helplessness has set in.

Instead of saying "I can't", why don't we decide what we CAN do? Here is a list of things you can do to help even if you can't go:

1) share the event on your facebook page with a nice recomendation- only takes a minute.

2) take a few flyers when you are at the event and leave them in a place where other like minded people may see them

3) forward the website to friends who might like to go, or who are looking for something to do when they visit

4) word of mouth- a nice buzz about the event is always appreciated

5) donate an old black T-Shirt to the collection of T-shirts we keep for people who didn't know about the dress code but still want to come in

6) do the old fashioned thing and CALL a friend who might want to go to tell them about it:P

7) if you can't make it every week, maybe you can make it once or twice a month.

8) think good and positive thoughts about the event. There are some people who are bitter about not being able to go out right now and then proceed to badmouth all nightclubs and events. Don't succomb to negative thinking. Other people still have yet to meet friends, significant others and inspiring people and make their own memories and they NEED these events. And you never know, one day soon, YOU may need the event too, so be kind and positive.

A conversation with a wonderful friend recently confirmed for me what I have always known instinctively - partying is a practice like Yoga- it's something that takes work to achieve and enjoy. It's a sociable state of mind that allows you to have fun in a group. It doesn't always "flow" right away, you have to relax and get through the awkward moments in order to get to the "sweet spot" where you really start to enjoy yourself. Don't give up on a night if you show up and don't have fun AT FIRST. Just relax, sip on your drink or soda or whatever, and give the night a chance to grow on you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nightclub Ettiquette

1) Any career, fulltime employee of nightclubs or producer of nightclubs is given free entry to other nightclubs, even if they are not on the best terms with that club. It is very shameful for a producer to charge another fulltime producer for entry- unless they choose to pay in order to show support. This only applies to FULLTIME producers or employees. Just doing a monthly is not good enough to merit free entry everywhere, nor is being a part time DJ.

2) It is a well known fact in the industry that patrons do not visit the same venue twice in one week. Therefore, producers do NOT use the same venue as another producer- they find their own. Parasiting off of another producer by stealing their venue is the most dishonerable thing that a producer can do to another producer- it literally takes food of the table. It goes without saying that the offending producer will become persona non grata for doing such a thing. Knowledgable and experienced managers and owners never allow such a thing- they carefully nurture any production they have invested time and money in by considering the theme of each new production and how it will affect their current productions. A lot of times, new producers try their hand at doing an event and they naturally think "oh, my friend has such a great venue for doing their events, and look, there's even a day free right before their event! Won't that be nice if I have my event on that day?" No, it is the opposite of nice. Instead of being happy, that friend will be truly upset and have to have "a talk" with the person who decided to do this. Hopefully, the friendship will survive it. Producing is a field that requires intense study and a fulltime commitment to do it right. Trying to have a 9-5 and do it part time almost never works, and also messes things up for those with a greater commitment to the field. It's far better to contact a fulltime producer for a onetime event and work in under their umbrella than inadvertently hurting someone's event and earning a bad reputation to fulltime producers in the process.

3) This is something I've been over before, but I'll say it again. If you work with a producer at their event, you can't turn around and work with another producer on the same day without hurting the event you were just working at. If the producer you worked with was willing to take you on and give you publicity to build your name and reputation, working against them after they've done this is considered "biting the hand that feeds", being a turncoat, betrayer, etc. You will definately be persona non grata if you do this intentionally. If it was unintentional such as is the case with a new performer or producer, you may get to have a "talk" with a producer and get a second chance. Not all producers do this, however- in the beginning of my career, a club I really liked stopped hiring me and I never knew why until later- I had been producing an event on the same night as one of their nights that was too close to the theme of their event. They gave me my name and reputation, and then I turned around and used it to hurt them and take food off of their table. If only they had talked to me about the situation, I would gladly have understood and switched my day or theme, but I wasn't given that chance. It's a producer's perogative if they want to try this. I generally do give one chance to new producers or performers who have never been clued into this fact of promoting. It's something that every performer on Earth has to take into consideration, it is the business aspect of show business. What if huge acts like Lady GaGa went up against Brittney Spears on the same day? Millions would be lost from each performer and thousands of fans would be dissapointed. It goes without saying that if you want to get ANYWHERE in the field of performing, you will need to learn to observe basic courtesy.

Smart performers see that there are only 3 or 4 main investors in the Goth/Industrial scene of NYC and stick with the investor who best represents their chosen genre and the needs of their artistic project or image. That means supporting them in the face of other events, being loyal, etc. If you can't figure out why basic loyalty and goodwill toward the people who make your genre possible is necessary for the survival of your genre, you should take some time to seriously think about it. Hurting the people who make your genre possible is like striking out against the hand that is pulling you up out of a pit.

In the past, these rules were commonly known and agreed upon. However, with a new generation of producers coming in, certain disohonerable oldtime producers have figured out a particularly sleezy way to exploit the new people and use them as a way to hurt nightclub rivals. They encourage the newbies to break the rules so that the other producer they are in competition with will be the one to have to have "the talk" with them about what they are doing, and consequently get the "blame", potentially hurting their relationship. Don't be used like that. The one who really suffers is the newbie- the jerk who encouraged them to break the rules isn't going to hire them, and if they choose to get upset about getting "a talk", they won't get hired by the other producer either. It's really one way of making sure new talent has a hard time and ultimately won't succeed, so don't be victimized. You'll hear all kinds of things like "they can't tell you what to do", "don't be intimidated", and all sorts of other garbage. This has nothing do do with "intimidation", "telling anyone what to do", etc- it is just business reality. If you weren't told by us, you would quickly have been told by another producer, especially the douche who encouraged you to break the rules if you were trying to do it to one of HIS events and/or venues.