When I Lived In Hotel Chelsea’s Penthouse & My Birthday On Saturday

OMG! FYI, EVR – pronounced ever which is soooo clever or is it clvr – is wonderful. It’s that lounge on 39th street between 5th and 6th Ave. I DJd there last night for the early-evening sexy time. It was well-dressed adults mixing with the wonderful staff as I mixed my rock into disco and soul and funk and other fun genres. Everything is new and clean and state-of-the-art. It looks great. There are bold design decisions keeping the travel areas and service areas raw while the rest of the  place is completely done up. There is cool art everywhere – or is it evrywhr? Lots of my pals came and will again as they’re having me back. I hung out with industry stalwart Mikey Lights who showed me what all the bells and whistles do on the mixing board and CD players I use. OMG! I have a whole lot of new knobs to play with. After the gig, me and mine went to see Zero Dark Thirty in not-too-far-away Times Square. I think it should be renamed "Zero Dark Three," as the movie – except for the wonderful, obviously no-surprise ending – was a colossal bore. 

Everybody wants to know where I’m going to watch the Super Bowl and well…I’m not. I have never seen an entire football game and I’m not going to start now. I hear the major sports bars are sold out. I’m going to do something a little more my speed, like catch Joey Arias, the performer, diva… the legend at Joe’s Pub. This is week two of three, so get your act together and catch this act. Joey ruled at the now-shuttered Bar d’O for a decade. He performed with Bowie. He cavorted with Klaus Nomi. This week, he will be joined by Flotilla DeBarge. If all this doesn’t make any sense to you, then by all means pop some brews and watch the game.

Just wanted to mention the 130th birthday of the Hotel Chelsea. I spent my social Wonder Bread years at the old hotel. At one time I lived in the big penthouse, which was actually a house sitting on top of the hotel with a magnificent giant garden around it. I was told that Arthur C. Clark wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey in my joint, and that John Garfield and John Wayne and a hundred others passed through. I don’t have enough space to mention the celebrities and bright lights that called it home. Friends lived and died there. For me, it was like a town that I could leave but was always welcome back to. Now, it’s all tangled up in real estate legalities and it isn’t the same and we…all New Yorkers, are a lot poorer and less fabulous for it.

Saturday is my 100th birthday or something like that. I will be celebrating…or something like that at the Mercury Lounge, where I will be amazed and amused and maybe even aroused by Guns N’ Hoses – which I am told is an all-female G N’ R tribute band. Afterward, I will paint the town red or just head straight to bed, after all, I’m old—er, or something like that.

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Sandra Bernhard Returns To Joe’s Pub For New Year’s Eve

"Joe’s Pub always turns it out," Sandra Bernhard told me last year when I talked to the comedian and performer about her eight-show New Year’s run at the venerable downtown performance space. And Bernhard turned it out as well, offering her regular mix of cultural and political observations with a selection of songs both old and new. In an amazing encore, the performer came out on stage wearing a Candy O t-shirt, fishnet stockings, and a jaunty black hat and proceeded to belt out a mash-up of "Sex Shooter," "Pumped-Up Kicks," and "Janie’s Got a Gun" for a room full of her fans. And that’s the kind of thing one can expect this year, as well, when Bernhard takes the stage again this year.

Doing an amazing run of ten shows in five nights, Bernhard also gives a hip alternative to your regular Near Year’s Eve plans. Why not celebrate with the glitz of the newly renovated Joe’s Pub rather than a packed Brooklyn house party? And as a bonus, Joe’s Pub is offering an early-bird special for her two New Year’s Eve performances if you buy tickets before Thanksgiving. 

You’ll definitely see me ringing in the new year with Sandy. Check out the aforementioned encore performance from last year’s show below!

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Hallelujah! ‘Never Sleep Alone’ Returns to NYC Friday

NYC’s fuckability factor just rose 60 points – and it’s not just because you moved here. With the return this Friday of Never Sleep Alone – the hit show that helps get you laid – countless New Yorkers are now on their way to never sleeping alone every Friday night, from now until Nov. 2nd, so please plan accordingly (i.e. wash your bed sheets). And in celebration of the special opening night performance, this Friday’s 9:30pm show at Joe’s Pub is Black Tie-optional, and includes luxury limo service for the entire audience to the after-party at a very secret and sexy new club.

Just to re-cap: Never Sleep Alone is The New York Times-acclaimed show led by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller. The Dr.performs sex-infused pop songs, dispenses golden advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, and encourages mingling and on-stage make outs between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid or you’re with a date, just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold while you wish you were single again.

The details of this special opening night performance mean several things:

  1. It’s Black Tie-optional, ensuring that already hot people are going to look even hotter
  2. Free limo service from Joe’s Pub to The Very Secret and Sexy New Club ensures optimal bonding time and rendezvous in the leathered corners, and
  3. The cocktails from both the show and after-party locations make every bit of this all the easier!

So if you’re ready to share your bed and get laid in it too, buy a ticket, get dressed up, and make your way to Joe’s Pub this Friday. And if you’re not ready to do that yet then, well, you’re selfish and deserve to be alone. Forever.

‘Never Sleep Alone’: Get Tickets and Get Laid at Tomorrow’s Last Show

In our obsession with shows about sex, singles, and ways of helping singles have sex, it is with great sadness that we announce this season’s final performance of Never Sleep Alone this Friday (tomorrow). Yes, we are in fact talking about that New York Times-acclaimed show that helps singles hook-up (evidence provided). And since each show sells out before you can even say “but I’ve been involuntarily chaste,” get your tickets today so you can get laid tomorrow.

Watch hot sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller perform sex-infused pop songs, dispense golden advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, and encourage mingling and on-stage make outs between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid or you’re with a date, just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold while you wish you were single again.

The last show is happening at the usual spot: Joe’s Pub at 9:30pm. And a ticket includes free access to NSA’s after-party, which is at a secret and always-sexy location. DO NOT miss the after-party. Trust us. It just might be the last time you’ll ever hook-up.

Until Friday, September 14 at 9:30pm, of course! When Never Sleep Alone returns to Joe’s Pub and our nether regions do a little dance. 

“Never Sleep Alone” Hooks People Up: We’ve Got the Transcripts to Prove It

When a show is created that is designed to hook you up, you better believe it delivers. Need some evidence? At Never Sleep Alone, patrons are given an email address and phone number to call and report their post-show and after-party hook-ups. Here, we’ve provided the scandalous, real-life transcripts of all the triumphs.

Just to re-cap: Never Sleep Alone is The New York Times-acclaimed show led by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller. The Dr. dispenses advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, performs some sex-infused pop songs, and encourages mingling (and occasionally on-stage makeouts) between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid, you can just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold. Performances are at Joe’s Pub every Friday this month at 11:30pm. This Friday, March 16th is the next one – and only three shows are left, so get your tickets now – they sell out quickly. Each ticket includes free access to NSA’s after-party, which is at a different location every time, and is always-secret and sexy. This Friday’s will be at a very exclusive downtown hotel… come to the show to find out where.
 
Now, onto the testimonies: 

Hi, my name is ___.  I was just calling to report what happened after the Valentine’s Day show. I decided to stay at the after-party by myself because my girlfriends were all going to work in the morning and wanted to go back home. And so, getting into the mood of the show, I decided to hang out. I ended up meeting this amazingly smoking-hot Brazilian. He took me to a late-night restaurant/lounge that served food, and after a couple of martinis, we started making out like crazy. I went back to his apartment, and the rest was history. I have to say: it was one of the most memorable nights I’ve had in a long time. God, super amazing. Just thought I would call and let you know your advice clearly works. Thanks, Dr.

WHERE did that guy ___ come from? Is he some hustler you hired, and did you put something on our champagne because, I swear to God, it was the best random hookup OF MY LIFE. Love you so much!

I am reporting TWO hook ups from Friday night: one at the show, where I kissed a girl by the coat check, and another at the after-party where I did more than a kiss 😉 I don’t have to call her, do I, Doctor? Just joking. I do want to and will see her for dinner this week, but if it doesn’t work out… I want the Doctor!

Hey Dr. Alex. The show was phantastic.  We laughed our butts off and ___ wants you to know that she did not sleep alone. She was very good at being mysterious with the guys you showed to her at after-party spot Pravda and he was thrilled with your program, too. Thanks again, I’m telling EVERYONE.

I had a fantastic time on Friday night. I had to call and say thanks.  I made about with the guy you brought on stage. After the after-party, we went to Blue Ribbon for oysters, he bought, and we did not sleep alone. What a time. I really may see him again. Thanks, Dr. Excellent time. Thank you.

Feel silly doing this, but I figure I owe it to you, Dr. I went to the Valentine’s Day show and had a really good time time. I’m 32 and work a professional job and I was just in a relationship for a while – seven years – kind of had a rough break-up.  But my buddy was like, “You gotta check out this NSA thing,” and I went and met this really fun girl that you had actually pulled on the stage, and ended up sleeping not alone ; she actually came back to my place and stayed for the next 48 hours! So, I guess I’m back in the dating scene. This is a lot of fun, and I’ve been telling everyone to check it out.

Hey, this is ___; you were just telling my friend and I to contact you if we hook up, and thanked us “’for being so handsome” (which was very kind of you but we don’t believe a word of it, heh-heh). Anyway, you were a very gracious hostess and even introduced us to two women we’re meeting for brunch on Sunday, so, cheers! 

Hi, Dr. Alex. It’s Jake. Loved meeting you last night and thanks for the good advice. I did what you said and told the girl directly that, “I want to take you to dinner tomorrow night. Would you prefer sushi or Italian?” and she laughed but said yes, so now I have to cancel on my cockblocker friend. 

Do you have a post-NSA hook-up to report? Call 917-830-3672 or email NSAshow@gmail.com.

Never Sleep Alone: A Show Designed to Hook You Up

Do you want to meet hot people? Do you want to have sex? Do you like music? Then get a front-row seat to Never Sleep Alone, the New York Times-acclaimed show designed to hook you up. 

In this appropriately named performance by sexual psychologist and music therapist Dr. Alex Schiller at Joe’s Pub, the Dr. dispenses advice from her book Get Laid or Die Trying, performs some sex-infused pop songs, and encourages mingling (and occasionally on-stage makeouts) between all the rows and legions of single people in attendance. If you’re feeling timid, just sign up for the more expensive “voyeur” seat in the back and watch the action unfold.
 
“Single straight males should sit with single straight females,” says the Dr. “Hot gays with hot gays, older rich men with younger drunk women. Why sit with people you find sexually irrelevant?”
 
Performances begin this Friday, March 2nd at 11:30pm, and continue every Friday in March. Each ticket includes free access to a post-show after party at an always-secret and sexy location.
 
Note: Clean your apartment before the show –  there’s a very good chance you’ll be bringing someone back. 
 
Never Sleep Alone crowd

Sandra Bernhard Celebrates New Year’s Eve in New York

Sandra Bernhard is a consummate performer, blending elements of cabaret and stand-up comedy while examining the personal and the political. The tall, lanky, outspoken comedienne has been skewering the notion of fame and celebrity long before that other famous redhead Kathy Griffin stepped up to a mic. She’s also been proving the existence and relevance of funny ladies for years (the late Christopher Hitchens even gave her a pass in his infamous essay for Vanity Fair, which sparked a debate concerning the gender inequality in the comedy world).

Bernhard is a brash yet contemplative critic of popular culture who has crafted several venerated one-woman shows both on and off-Broadway, immortalized on countless recordings (most recently I Love Being Me, Don’t You, released this summer) and in films. Bernhard returns to the New York stage next week with a string of New Year’s Eve-themed shows at Joe’s Pub, where she’ll be celebrating herself and touching on a variety of pop-culture and political topics. We spoke with Bernhard about what she has planned for her run at Joe’s, her performance style, and her musical theater ambitions.

Let’s talk about your upcoming shows at Joe’s Pub. You’re doing eight of them in four nights, right?
Eight in four nights. I usually do two hours and this is like an hour and ten. It’s appropriate for the venue and the holiday season. People like to come in and they don’t like to be tied up all night long because they always have somewhere else to go.

Are you doing anything special for the New Year’s show?
Yeah, Joe’s Pub always turns it out: the champagne, the glamour of New Year’s Eve for those who brave being out. I always try to tie in a year-end wrap-up and make it fun and festive and also a little introspective.

That’s what’s so appealing about your act. You not only have standard stand-up fare, but you also include a lot of music, performance, and introspection. Is that something you’ve been doing since the very beginning when you started in L.A. in the ‘70s?
I think naturally that’s how I am as a person. I can be full of hilarity and really out there and then I kind of come back to neutral and recharge. I think that’s just people in general. We work at a lot of different levels as people within our own minds and in our relationships with friends and lovers, and I like to show all sides of that way of being we all experience every day.

I see your material as more of a conversation between you and your audience. Do you try to incorporate that a lot?
I do! I like to really bring people in and have it be kind of a cocoon of fun and, you know, just kind of cover all the different topics that people find interesting and that I love to expose about myself.

You’re very active on Twitter, as well.
Twitter’s good because it’s the same thing: I can throw an idea out there, or something that really made me laugh, or something that’s provocative. You don’t lose the momentum. Sometimes if I go a month without performing I’ll keep a notebook and journal. But it’s just so great when it’s so ephemeral. You know a week later nobody will care, but in the moment it’s a great outlet for all those thoughts.

Looking back on what you’ve done throughout your whole career, who would you say are your biggest influences, in both the comedy and music worlds? I know you’re a Laura Nyro fan, which I was thinking about today because she was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I know! I wish she was still here doing her thing. It’s interesting because I was watching some of [Lady Gaga’s] performances on TV and—I don’t know if Lady Gaga is familiar with her, [but] I’m sure she is because she’s a very smart person—I thought, I’m sure that was another influence on her, sitting acoustically at the piano and playing. Something about their energy is very similar. Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Carole King. All the rockers. Stevie Nicks and Nina Simone and the Supremes and Aretha Franklin—it goes all over the place. When I was little [I loved] Carol Burnett, Carol Channing, Mary Tyler Moore, and Barbara Streisand, and when I was a little bit older starting my career, Lily Tomlin. That’s a good cross section of people that I drew from when I first started performing.

You may be tired of talking about “women in comedy” and being compared to other performers, but something I find fascinating about your act is that you’re not self-deprecating at all. Is that something you’ve always tried to be conscious of and achieve?
Yeah. When I first started performing it was a very conscious decision because I was kind of a product of the feminist movement and it was so liberating at that time. Like, I don’t have to put myself down, I don’t have to be a victim of what society thinks women are supposed to be, and it was a real conscious decision and…made for an interesting approach to comedy that I was really happy I got to experience in my formative years.

Do you think the self-deprecating style may have hindered women who perform comedy?
I think people in the early days who I adored and still do, [like] Joan Rivers [who] is obviously still amazing, [wrote material] that was a reflection of the times. I don’t necessarily think that they felt that way but I think that’s what people related to and it was comfortable—a realistic jumping-off place. That’s what these women experienced in their lives. What else were they supposed to talk about?

Do you think you’ve surrounded yourself with other kinds of groups and scenes and that’s where you get your energy from? 
I mean, listen, I’m post-feminist, I’m post-gay liberation. I’ve kind of come through all of those movements and be able to blend in the political and the emotional aftermath of all of them and put them into a new context. Certainly my friendships with people are all over the place, and I have friends in a million different places and directions. I guess that’s just my life in general. I enjoy people who are smart and funny and provocative. 

Occasionally you poke fun at celebrity friends or make jokes at the expense of famous people whom you may or may not be friends with. Do you ever run into people who are aggravated with that material? 
I feel like what I’ve done is disseminate pop culture and fame, and the fine line…of [people] just being who they are in the world and longing for fame—the same kind of fame [examined in] King of Comedy. I didn’t write that movie; I was just fascinated by the juxtaposition of being who I am, which is a real person [who is] friends with famous people and [is] in the public eye, so I always played with those notions. And most of my work when I’m talking about celebrities, you know, is kind of made up, fictionalized. I don’t go for cheap shots; it’s not like I’m there to rip people apart. It may be a veiled critique, but it’s not just a critique of the performer. It’s a critique of what made that person and what people on the other side expect from fame. It’s very layered and never like, “She’s fat, she’s ugly.” That’s not even in the realm of what I do, so I don’t think people ever are offended, and if they are they don’t understand it. It’s rare…I haven’t gotten too much blowback from people about it. 

On the last album you recorded, you talk about the musical you’re writing with Justin Bond. Do you have any more details about that?
We finished the first draft of it and he got kind of sidetracked [so] it’s been a bit stalled out. I hope we can revisit it, but right now it just seems like we’re off both off in our own directions. Hopefully we’ll get it back together again and try to get it done, but right now we’re kind of in a holding pattern.

Is it a narrative musical or is it more of a cabaret act? 
It’s a narrative musical. We play these estranged cousins who reunite at a wedding and it’s kind of like this journey. The music’s great and the story’s cool. It needs work and it needs a director and a collaborator to help us finish it. But we both have so much going on, it’s kind of crazy. Is that something you’ve always wanted to do? Originally when I first started off I wanted to be a musical comedy star. I got sidetracked into doing my own work, [but] I kind of feel like my live performances are like mini-musicals. So if the right thing comes along, absolutely I’d love to do it.

I saw this week that you were on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live and talked about being one of the original actors who were considered for Sex and the City.
I was offered the role and at the time it wasn’t right. In the first place, when most shows start up, there isn’t necessarily a buzz like, “This is going to be the next big show!” Maybe if I’d been able to project a little more into the future, or maybe if I’d been in a different headspace it would have been something I wanted to do, but at the time it just wasn’t the right fit for me. I think Cynthia Nixon did a great job in that role. Honestly, I could have done it but it would have been a much different approach to it. But everything’s meant to be; there’s something else waiting for me whether I’m creating it or I just get cast, but it was a fun show for sure.

Have you felt that working on your own stuff opens up more doors than auditioning for things?
Well, I audition for things, too. I kind of go at both approaches, but you know, I’d be very happy to be cast on a great ensemble show. Tonight I’m on Hot in Cleveland, and in the spring I’m on [Good Christian Bitches] with Kristin Chenoweth. I just filmed that. That’s the kind of show…I’d love to be on; [part of] an ensemble but not [carrying it] all on my shoulders. There’s a lot for good stuff that you get to do, so that’s what I’m looking for right now.

Introducing Danish Songbird Agnes Obel

Danish-born, Berlin-based musician Agnes Obel has made waves overseas with her debut album, Philharmonics, a hypnotic blend of classical instrumentation — think piano, harp, cellos — with tender, graceful lyrics. But while the album has gone double platinum in her native country, you’d be hard-pressed to find many fans Stateside. (You might have heard her single, “Riverside,” on Grey’s Anatomy.) Before her show at Joe’s Pub last week, we caught up with Obel at the Gershwin Hotel to discuss her creative process, love songs, and performing live.

Did you come from a musical family? Yes and no. I would say I’m from a family of music fans and music lovers, but they are not specialists. I grew up with a lot of instruments, so my brother and I could basically choose whatever we liked to play, and he ended up playing a bunch of instruments, but I ended up playing the piano.

Is there a particular environment you like to be in when you’re writing music? I am not very good in an environment where it’s very competitive. I don’t like that at all. I get really scared.

I imagine it’s hard when there’s a lot of pressure put upon you to write a song. When it’s like, “You have to do it now now now!” that doesn’t work with me. I need time and I have to feel really comfortable.

Is it frightening to you to put so much of yourself out there in your music and lyrics? Yeah, I wish I could say its really easy, but you feel really vulnerable, and sometimes when you’re performing, it feels like you are stepping over a border, but then on the other hand you get so much back when you do it, so it’s worth putting yourself out there.

I heard that you would love to one day score a film. Are there any directors whose films you’d love to create music for? I have some directors that I really like, but I’m not sure I would support the lyrics very well because they have a very distinct style. I’m not sure I would be the right one for them. I’m totally aware of that. There is a director I like very much called Tomas Alfredson from Sweden. He made a movie called Let The Right One In. It’s amazing. It’s almost like it takes place in my childhood or something, it’s really scary.

Do you find a big difference between music here and in Europe? There’s some rock culture here. I feel like I don’t know it well. It’s really interesting to me. And then of course there is a lot of that bluegrass and country music that has really deep roots here. I like this feeling that it’s building up on something up in history. It’s really amazing to me, this experience. I don’t know a lot about this music yet, but I like that it’s a way to tell stories and I’m really fascinated by it.

Your album was a huge success overseas. Was that surprise for you? We didn’t expect anything! This is a quiet album, it’s kind of a surprise to everyone. It kind of moved out of nothing when it was released in October. There was no big promotion. I know a lot of friends of mine had heavy promotion, but I didn’t have any.

Was there a reason you chose to make this album? It was a personal project, it was something that I always wanted to do, to make my own album with my own piano, to do it my way after working with other people for my whole life. It’s the first time I’ve stood on my own. It was completely terrifying when I first had to release it, and if I knew it was going to be released here, I would have been even more terrified.

Do you have to be in love to write a love song? I don’t know. I know some musicians and artists, in general, they work really deliberately with their own emotions and cling on to sad experiences or rejection, but I have not been doing that. I could lie on my back and listen to my mother play piano, and that can trigger emotion, this creativity in me to create songs.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing? I like to read American literature. Truman Capote is one of my favorites. I just read In Cold Blood, it was amazing. I was like, ‘We have to go to Kansas on tour, I want to see the tumbleweed!’

How do you feel about performing live? I have a little bit of ambivalence towards it. I play an instrument that I can’t carry around, so I am very dependent on the instrument that they have in the venue, and this is very different from place to place. At some places it’s totally out of tune and broken, and you have to play a half hour concert on it, and that’s just how it is. But I learn from it, and I love the fact that you can meet new people and see all these places. Since October, I’ve been in so many countries. I’ve been all over Europe. There are so many different cultures, and it’s such a small place.

Mid-Week Celebrations and People About Town

Wednesday nights have been my favorite for a long time. Right dab in the middle of the week, it deters day workers who need to be on point for their day jobs on Thursdays, and most believe they can cruise through a Friday after a Thursday night debacle. Clubs that can create a decent Wednesday have a great advantage over the rest. Most operators can make Thursday through Saturday work. For a myriad of reasons, Tuesdays have always banged — they’ve always had an industry ring. The weekend hangover has diminished and patrons need to feed their savage beast. Wednesday is a night for the stir crazies, the crazies, out of work, early strippers, club people, and tourists who go out every night they are in town. It’s a sexy night with looser door policies. Those who are turned away later in the week have a better shot at getting in and enjoying the fabulous joint experience. It’s often a throw-away night for owners, who will just say “what the hey?” and try new or experimental programming until something clicks. When something clicks, it can be great gobs of fun. New kinds of fun.

With that in mind, the dapper Erick Foss has turned over his iconic joint Lit to the forces of Lesley Arfin and Elizibeth Spiridakis. They will host “the only Madonna night ever thrown in New York City.” I am not sure this is true. I seem to remember previous incarnations of this theme, but embrace it nonetheless. They want people to dance, and even sing along. I think it’s worth going just to see what Foss will wear, or just to figure out what you will wear. I will be tooling around Virginia in an old car (don’t ask), or else I would be there with pegged jeans, pointy shoes, a Danceteria T-shirt, and my leather. I’d even slick the hair just a little. Let’s hope week 1 is groovy and that you get to check out my gear next Wednesday.

Another gig I would have liked to attend tonight is at Joe’s Pub. Lelanea Fulton invited me, and I rarely say no to her. Alas, I will be tucked away in bed after a day at malls with relations that couldn’t be seen at Christmas. She says that Piotr Krolikowski is the real deal, and she will be inviting all her lovely and interesting friends to see him perform. It’s a 7-piece band, which has a real southern bluesy folk about it. He’s a trained classical pianist, but sure knows something about the blues. She told me “the band just recorded their album a year or so ago in Nashville, so I’m pretty stoked to hear them perform live. I grew up on the deep southern blues, and it’s not to often I run into mild reflections of that genre here in NY. But it’s music like that that feeds an artist. Or this one at least.” Joe’s Pub was built right, programmed right, and still thrives under the radar for most. It’s those under-the-radar type of places and events that make Wednesdays enchanting.

Nightclubs and the hospitality world serve as stepping-stones for those who want to support themselves on their way to careers as actors, writers, musicians, or even doctors, lawyers, or Olympians. The decent pay and flexible hours attract a mixed bag of attractive types. Sometimes it becomes a trap. When the career goals prove unattainable, after years of trying, they find themselves, and define themselves, as bartenders instead of actors, or waitrons instead of dancers. New York is often a town of broken dreams, as well as harsh and expensive realities. Having an exit strategy is something I always instilled upon my employees. I asked Lelanea about this.

Tell me about your club career and how you transitioned out. I was in the biz throwing bottles, slinging drinks, running doors and cursing tightwads. I was also going to school at The International school of Photography. I used the industry to free up my days for class and castings, working late into the night. The money at that time was lucrative, so the late hours were justified. Before the night life I was making my way through school, working in the wine world as a Sommelier and wine director. I traded it all in for the mirror balls and ear plugs. Good times!

Do you miss it and has the transition been difficult? I’ve been out of the business for a little over a year and devote my time to my photography and wine. Going for my advanced certificate in wine, and currently freelancing. I enjoyed the industry, the interesting and unique people I had met, and the networking that the industry allows a young artist. I was also smart about not allowing the industry to consume me: I made my money and then bounced, not to get caught up in after hours. It’s all to be appreciated, but when you live it, work it, and play in it, it’s too much. I have seen people lose them selves to wake to nothing but a lengthy hangover. I can say that working in the industry made New York much smaller to me. Working in this particular industry allows you to meet key people that you run into when you’re in LA, Miami, Paris, or even just walking through SoHo. It definitely has a way of humbling such a massive animal as New York. I spend my evenings enjoying art, great mixology bars in Brooklyn, and the incredible music scene that stems from such an intense multi-cultural neighborhood as Greenpoint/ Williamsburg and Bushwick.