Monday, July 22, 2013

Memoirs of a Geisha-in-the-Making™ … How the Song Came to Be

As mentioned previously, GEISHA-MANIA!™ practically wrote itself -- after years of deliberation. Here's the story …

What did I know about recording a song -- or physical comedy for that matter? Not much, if you discount the east coast record company I worked with years ago in the 90's. Now THAT was funny. Talk about delusions of white girl grandeur. Let me digress. Back then, I actually found a label that would meet with me to discuss recording a so-called "comedy album," but when I walked into a room full of real rappers and music producers, all I could think was, "Holy sh*t!"

They sized me up and said, "Ok, sing." Just like that. My response was "Now?" followed by, "Can we at least close the door?" Doors shut, I mustered as much Bronx-bred bravado as possible and sang. (Well, I wouldn’t quite call it “singing,” but you get the drift.) And when I was done, five big black dudes were slapping their knees, stomping their feet, and hooting hysterically. I kid you not.

I actually recorded a comedic novelty song with them, but wasn't thrilled with the contract and refused to sign. That song was never released, but I walked away with a TV track (instrumental version). Regardless of what could have been, I've always known how much I loved making people laugh. From a baby's belly-laugh to adults chortling liquid out their noses, it's still music to my ears.

Around that same time, I created a goofy geisha cartoon and thought it would be funny to bring her to life, like a female Austin Powers-type character. ("Very GEISHA-NISTA, baby!") Of course she'd need a theme song, so I used that same TV track to “produce” the original version of “Geisha-Mania."

Armed with a second-hand karaoke machine, I somehow recorded vocals and layered the chorus to sound like a crowd. (Sort of.) I have no clue what I did, but soon found myself on radio morning shows back in NJ, opening nightclubs in Brooklyn, and center stage at the Atlantic City Film Festival with an over-the-hill Sally Kirkland, who stuffed herself into a black spandex dress like sausage at San Gennaro. Don't even ask. 

All that was great fun, but back then I honestly didn't know how to spin the character to the next level -- nor did I have the time or money. I was a struggling single mom who didn't have the luxury of playing wannabe performer. Forced to put “Geisha-Mania” on hold, I knew I'd figure it out at some point. 

Early last year was that point. While working as a senior writer for Disney Interactive, I started re-thinking the project, but couldn't finalize an angle for the character or new lyrics. "Gangnam Style" started ruling YouTube, and I knew a K-pop revolution had begun -- the timing was right. I was still mulling it over until September, when my entire division was laid off right after Labor Day.

Later that month it all became clear -- the lyrics, the angle, everything. Like manna from heaven. “Geisha-Mania” would be GAGA GONE GANGNAM! Seemingly lychees were being laid at my feet. With Psy's wacky horse dancing and cheesy moves all the rage, my crazy "Lady Geisha" character was perfectly poised to follow in his footsteps … but how? 

Again, I knew nothing about recording a song so I called various industry peeps to find out what was needed -- a music producer, beats, mixing, mastering? The guys I spoke with listened to my story and gave good advice. I scheduled meetings with several producers, but one really stood out after our conversation -- Rico Lucky, owner of Lost Angels Studio in the Hollywood Hills.

I met with Rico and never went to my other appointments. We hit it off immediately. He liked the project, thought it would be fun, and explained exactly how the production-recording process would unfold. We worked on the music together at the studio (he's a-MAZING) and two weeks later I was in the recording booth. Three days after that, he sent over the master copy of GEISHA-MANIA! as we now know it, which presented a new conundrum – how do I sell this thing? 


IT'S A ....

CONGRATS TO KATE & WILLS ... the ‪#‎RoyalBaby‬ BOY is here!!! #royalbabywatch
#duchessofcambridge #princewilliam

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Got Sushi?

How’s THIS for a middle-aged underdog with killer biceps?

My one-of-a-kind sushi bikini was created by fashion designer Aly Weinberg, a graduate of Otis College of Art & Design. I'd say it's "totally dope" (love that term) but won't because I don't want to sound completely lame. Aly did an amazing job -- you'll def see this in the GEISHA-NISTA™ HALL OF FAME!

Check out the rest on YouTube:

It's a Dog-Chic-Dog World!


Ziggy, Shiloh, Marley, Layla, Biggs, and Kobe rock their kimonos at the GEISHA-MANIA! shoot ... along with choreographer/dancer Polet Vartanians (behind those Foster Grants!) and makeup artist Abe Steinberg, who gave Harrison and Joe their geisha-tastic looks. 

Have YOU watched them in action? Check'em out:

How many puppies does a GEISHA-NISTA™ need?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lady Geisha | Geisha-Mania! | CD Baby Music Store

WOOOOOO-HOOOOOOO, I'm getting excited and there's not a Louboutin in sight!
GEISHA-MANIA!'s for sale on CD Baby ... that's right, you can now download the insanity. CHECK IT OUT!

 Lady Geisha | Geisha-Mania! | CD Baby Music Store

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lady Geisha - GEISHA-MANIA!™ Official Video (HQ1080p)


Let's sing, dance, and CELEBRATE freedom with GEISHA-MANIA!™, the perfect summer song to get toes tappin' and booties shakin'!

Please show me some love by WATCHING, LIKING & SHARING WITH FRIENDS! xoxo

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Joe Goes Geisha ...

Who hasn't fallen in love with my geisha "gal pal" Joseph Carl White II???

Not too many, especially those of us that worked with him on GEISHA-MANIA!™ -- talk about hysterical. Joe was a-MAZING! His joyous spirit, talent, and level of professionalism is beyond impressive, not to mention the fact that he's too damn funny. (In between costume changes, he made me laugh so hard that the tears kept ruining my eye makeup for TWO WHOLE DAYS! It was out of control and my MUA Martha Fernandez can attest ... and he thought THAT was funny! Martha, on the other hand, did not.)

When he walked into the casting call at FFL Studios back in March, Joe had me and co-director Paige Cone rolling on the floor. I almost wet myself. He sat smack in front of us in a red Barcelona chair and owned the room. Wow. That's when I knew he HAD to be part of this singing, dancing fiasco of fun. I was so right. Without Joe, GEISHA-MANIA! just wouldn't be the same -- from our scenes in Chinatown (especially of him and I on the marble horse, see below!), my geisha lair, and the nail salon to hot times in the hot tub, he truly embraced the moment and was a great sport ... something not too many guys would be comfy with.

Besides stints on Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" and "Tosh.0," Joe's a pro wrestler -- for reals. He didn't bat an eye lifting me like a Barbie barbell on set. But it's his heart that really touched everyone -- always positive, always sweet, always smiling. There really are no chance happenings.

Stay tuned for the video interviews with Joe and all the cast and crew - I love them all. xo

Check out his website to learn more:

Lady Geisha - GEISHA-MANIA!™ Official Video (HQ1080p)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Tortured by Instagram?

Have you visited GEISHA-MANIA on Instagram? Well, then you must. It's definitely a work in progress ... that is when I actually remember to leave the damn pics on my phone. Is there a way to upload photos from the computer? That would make my life so much easier. (But let's not get nuts.)

Oy Vey ... Part Deux.

A little inspirational gift ... from James Harris at LACMA's Stanley Kubrick exhibit. Enjoy!

Lady Geisha - GEISHA-MANIA!™ Official Video (HQ1080p)

Memoirs of a Geisha-in-the-Making ... Oy Vey.

Quickies are better than nothing, eh? ;P

Earlier this week, I was in the middle of writing a post about writing the song and got sidetracked by several things, one of them severe lack of sleep. The saved file sits prominently atop a pile of digital “must-do’s" that I really must get to. Really. In the meantime, mull this over.

My singing, dancing musical snack, AKA, GEISHA-MANIA!™, is now nearing its third day (not quite 72 hours) on YouTube with over 2,100 views — which isn’t too shabby for an unknown. (Although it’s like a watched pot that refuses to boil, which is quite maddening.) I’m thrilled to share the journey — from drawing my first Lady Geisha caricature to bringing this cartoon character to life — and all it entails.

I was warned by many friends/family/crew members NOT to read the comments, but as human nature has it, I can’t help myself. Some are wonderful (LOVE YOU BACK!) and, as you can well imagine, some are not. Do haters hate because they’re incapable of realizing their own dreams? So it seems, because even insipid, shallow people can make shit happen. But God Bless America, we’re all entitled to our opinion.

My only response is something I’ve always believed, but was lucky enough to read in black and white this past Friday at LACMA’s Stanley Kubrick exhibit. (Fabulously inspiring show!) It was an excerpt from an interview with James Harris, his early producing partner.

When asked about Kubrick’s perfectionism and intensity, he replied, “Stanley believed that you shouldn’t be inhibited by what people are going to think of you, whether they’re going to like you or not. For him, every single detail was extremely important and he was ready to give himself up totally to achieve his goal - which was the movie - for you have to live with your work for the rest of your life."

Amen … and I hope you’ll stick around for the rest of the ride. Bumpy or otherwise. xoxo