On my Alaska shoot, during some down time, various members of the cast & crew watched a few Closet Singer videos… Publicly they declared it hilarious, and that I should jump back into the closet and start the series back up after this long hiatus away from it. They watched some of the bigger/weirder ones… “Little Red China Hood”, “Alone All By Myself”, “Pirate King Louie”, “I Am I Said”, “Sweet Transvestite”…
On the plane ride towards Alaska, I sat between a married couple that didn’t want to sit shoulder to shoulder next to each other, but after some time found themselves listening & watching the quirky “Empty Chairs Empty Tables”… Both of them wanted to know why I wasn’t singing on Broadway, and “doing more than just singing in the closet.” Being from Long Island, they had apparently seen the Broadway show Les Misérables more than a dozen times, and felt I delivered every bit as much as anyone they had heard do it previously on stage.
To go back in the closet or stay out?
Each Closet Singer video took far longer than anyone would imagine (who doesn’t sing/record/edit/shoot/mix videos). While some took only a few hours, the Pirate video took weeks to figure out, create the music for, shoot and finish completely. I always found it incredibly discouraging when a person simply lip-syncing got a million times more hits from a cell phone capture, or a cat being a cat would receive more than 10 million times more hits.
I understand, happiness, learning, development, humor, artistry or creativity are not about hits, and that most of the mainstream is only able to understand one degree of creativity off of what they know, until someone they creatively trust tells them it’s okay to laugh or like it. I mean, let’s face it, if Ellen, SNL, or Fallon jumped on board, hits would be through the roof.
One of the crewmembers of the Alaska shoot clearly demonstrated this point of needing to be told whether something is funny or not when he said, “I really like it, but I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.” Apparently he was confused because he found the video he was watching absurdly funny, but also incredibly touching, and wanted me to tell him how he was supposed to react… To which my response was something like… “I don’t want to tell people how to react, that’s not really my job. I only want people to react.”
Honestly, the best thing that possibly came out of the first round of Closet Singer videos (70+ of them) was meeting many people who have stuck with me, following my career, since discovering any one of the many quirky songs online. That I had the honor of touching a few people here and there with whatever reactions they had. Making Closet Singer videos was also an amazing learning experience with regard to production, recording, microphone technique, set dressing, costuming, concept conception, lyric interpretation, story telling, green screen, lighting, song set up, direct communication with a video audience, pushing public and personal boundaries… And while recording in a closet doesn’t have the instant gratification or energy of performing live, or the feeling of camaraderie or constant discovery while working live with other musicians, it also didn’t come with the constant responsibility of getting people to leave their comfortable couches to put their needed butts in cabaret seats to cover certain costs…
Link to YouTube Closet Singer Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2AC2B01716E6147A
So, while I don’t know if I’ll jump in that tiny walk-in again, under the same scenario, doing nearly everything myself, investing hours upon hours, using my own funds, blindly releasing videos to anyone who may stumble upon them until YouTube tells me to take them offline, without much possibly of monetization… I am certainly continuing to entertain the thought of it…
What are your thoughts?
BTW… If you have ever been even the smallest of champions of my career or the web series, thank you very much for recommending, posting or sharing the videos with your networks of friends.
– Quiche Out
For links to all the recorded songs… http://www.ClosetSinger.com
I Am I Said:
Little Red China Hood:
Empty Chairs At Empty Tables:
Pirate King Louie:
Alone/All By Myself: