Craigslist Adventures
Craigslist Adventure #15 Entertainment for Gay Rugby Tournament Afterparty…Bingham Cup

This Craigslist Adventure was a few years ago and listed either under Musicians or talent Gigs, not quite sure. The gig was to find a band that could perform for The Bingham Cup After party… The Bingham Cup is a gay Rugby tournament that happens every two years. The Bingham Cup is named after Mark Bingham, a gay Rugby player who was part of the heroic crew who brought down flight 93 in 9/11. 

I was contacted by Brian, who booked us. I have to say, this was one of the better gigs we ever played in Manhattan. We were paid well, fed well and played to about 1000 people throughout the night. I guess the only part that was kind of hilarious was watching a bunch of very muscle-y men grinding each other in chain like fashion during “Hey Ya”.  The guys in edibleRed are VERY straight, although open minded, but it was kind of hard not to laugh. 

One thing that was kind of funny was the individual teams had curfews they had to adhere to, so while they were rocking out to our music (and we found that gay rugby players are totally a good demographic for us), they would have to leave in groups of 20 mid song. One of the guys invited us to play his club in London although we never made it out there. 

I’m still up for it! 

Craigslist Adventure #14 The New Yorkers TV show…

"Looking for New Yorkers with interesting jobs". Talent Section. Well, since I was in major promo whore mode for edibleRed, I decided that being the lead singer of said band was an interesting job and they should interview me. Apparently they agreed. 

It wasn’t until I was on set that I realized the show I was about to go on was a serious staple of the public access experience. I had been seeing this show while flipping through channels for YEARS… lol. One studio over were the famous public access TV psychics. Fuck yeah. 

The New Yorkers aired in New York and um, Florida for some reason. The other guest was a body language expert. The first thing she said when she saw me on camera was “She looks like she has given interviews before.” Awesome. They played the “Sugar and Spring” video and the next day we got a ton of emails from people from FLorida. Sweeet. 

Some day I will have to make a complete list of every TV show I have gone on because of Craigslist. The number is surprisingly high. 

The ad as usual was in the talent section, they were looking for female talent to act in “edgy” skit. I realized edgy most likely meant sexual, which I am surprisingly conservative about, but i answered the ad any way. I met the ring leader/main writer Nick Ruggia at my local coffee shop to brainstorm suitable ideas. We decided it would be best that I didn’t sway to far from my box and that I would play myself in a sketch. 

Nick had the idea of doing a “Rock of Love” type sketch, only with myself as the Brett Michaels character which I loved. The guys in the troop would play my suiters and hilarity would ensue. 

The guys in the sketch were all pro and hilarious, so it made my job super easy. The best part was my cat got to be in the sketch, which was great since I am determined to make my cat a Youtube superstar. 

Craigslist Adventure #12 Splash that A**, hip hop hook singer.

I would have to say that this was the first time that a singing job ever made me feel like a musical hooker. I answered…drum roll please… an ad in the talent section for a hip hop hook. One of my favorite things about working as a session singer in New York City is the variety of studios I get to work in. This was one of the platinum ones. To this day I can not even tell you the name of the act, because they never told me who they were. 

 I get to the session and I am told that the song is about…well…splashing the ass. Please don’t make me go into detail. I sang the part of the girl about to get her ass splashed. Since then I have sang on more dirty rap tracks, it’s just a job to me now. Although, when the subject matter is too adult, I ask not to be credited as a singer. And yes, they usually don’t tell you what you are singing about until you get to the session. 

I tried to make small talk with the group, but they clearly wanted me in and out (just like a hooker!) . They didn’t exchange much dialogue, nor did they offer me any of their weed. Truthfully, when it was over and they paid me…well, it felt kind of dirty. 

I asked them to send me the track when they were done and their answer was “this is for hire right”? Very weird exchange. 

So if you hear a girl singing on a tune called Splash that A**, it’s me. 

Craigslist Adventure #11 My Demon Roommate

You know that gut feeling that guides you in 90% of your decisions? Never, ever ignore it. For real. So every few months I have to have a random Craigslist casting call to see what complete stranger is next coming into my life… New York has changed a bit. There used to be people lining up left and right to rent my space, sometimes offering well above what I am asking. Now people say “I’ll get back to you… whaaa?” That is interesting since the rent is pretty damn cheap and I am in a PRIME hood”… 

So I was having one of my casting calls, trying to find a replacement for a room mate I had to give the boot too…she was basically bouncing checks, taking trips to Mexico, coming home really late and leaving really early so I wouldn’t get to confront her about the rent. Oi. 

I was having a Craigslist casting to replace her.. this man with a very nervous energy walked in. My first gut feeling was “OH HELL FUCKING NO WAY WILL HE LIVE HERE”.  His first words were “I’ll take it”. FYI the guy  who looked at the room BEFORE him was off his rocker too… Sensing my apprehension, Demon boy said “what can I do to convince you to rent this room to me?”. I started talking to him about my reservations and how room mates had hurt me in the past. He proceeded to tell me about his own room mate horror stories and slowly gained my trust after chatting for an hour. I offered him a beer. “Maybe he isn’t so bad”, I thought. 

"I can give you cash, right now", he said. He talked me into it. 

People, do not ignore your gut instinct. Ever. 

He was beyond awesome at first. Buying me coffee in the morning. Cleaning. Offering his food. By week 3 he was talking about how his mom “tapped his phone”. By week 5 he was clearly snorting mountains of coke. 

Sidenote: If you ever rent from me, my number one rule is “NO coke in my house”. If people want to do coke fine. But they have no place in my home life or in my inner circle. 

By Week 12, Demon Boy started noticing that “his money was missing”. I wasn’t in a place to even remotely acknowledge this horse shit. “No One stole your money” I said. His paranoid skitzo act was getting to be a bit much for me. I knew it was going to be time to evict him soon. 

So as the weeks passed he was becoming progressively more moody… staying up at all hours of the day. Searching for imaginary things in his room that didn’t exist. 

Oi. Here is this coke head in my apartment that blew a couple hundred bucks… I so don’t have time for this. I need to get rid of this punk. So the day I confronted him, I told him I thought it was best he moved out. 

"Well I got something to talk to you about", said demon boy.  I was prepared for a conversation about how I don’t clean the bathroom. Or how I am paying the same rent, but have a bigger room. 

"I have video footage of you coming into my room and stealing my money. You’ve taken about $5000 from me. This is grand larceny!"

For the record, I never entered his room. Once. 

And with that, I dialed 911. 

So folks, if you ever have a bat shit crazy room mate… here is my advice: 

You need to move out of your own house until they GET THE FUCK OUT. But make sure to be JUST AS CRAZY AS THEY ARE, so they will want to.  The authorities informed me that it would be best to go through the proper channels, instead of just booting his ass, throwing him out and changing the locks. Best to dot the T’s and cross the i’s they said. Go by the book. 

And with that I took my cat and moved into an office of a bar. For four days. I eventually decided to him on a heart to heart level. I told him I knew he was going through a tough time with his family and he was using me as a scapegoat. And that I knew he met his ex girlfriend Geri in rehab. 

For the record, that was Geri Haliwell aka Ginger Spice. Yes, it wasn’t until he had threatened my life that I decided to Google him. He had met Geri in rehab. She was in there for an eating disorder. He, for drugs. Yes, as it got to the point where I was living in a bar, I thought I would google him to see if there was any public criminal activity in the press. And this was what I got. I knew he had dated a celebrity, but he never said which one. 

So for the next four days I called on all my male friends to escort me into my house. I refused to go in alone until he was out. Did I mention at one point he threw groceries in front of his door? FML. 

Anyway at the end of the day, he did some good. I was able to trace his presence in my life to a psychological issue… where I tend to keep someone who is dark in nature at arms length at all times… traces back to my childhood. Once I was able to identify the issue, I was also able to break it. 

But I didn’t rent that room for a whole month. I was too scarred. 

And that kids, is my lecture. Don’t ignore your gut. Ever. 

This Craigslist adventure started right around the time that my old band, edibleRed was winding down. I was initially hired to sing on 4 songs, but it turned into a full album. After 10 years of pouring my heart out into original material and being kind of exhausted from the original-artist-in-New York thing, it was refreshing to just go in and sing someone else’s songs. The entire process took about a year and was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have ever had. 

I learned a lot about being a session singer from this experience. Throwing out the ego and doing take after take until you see the writer’s face “light up”. It forces you to go outside your box and be open to choices that differ from what you would instinctually as a musician. I discovered parts of my voice that I previously had ignored and realized that there was a whole world outside of edibleRed (which was healthy). 

As an added bonus, I got to work as a vocal coach for one of the co-writers of the Rory Sylvia album and prepare her for her first record. Both records were recorded at the Cutting Room Studios. I practically lived there for a year. It was awesome and I was also kind of sad when the record was finished because I loved going to the studio. 

The Rory Sylvia Band album is available on Itunes, Amazon, CD BABY etc. 

Craigslist Adventure #9, The voice of Barbie commercials

This call I got on New Years Day, around 3PM while I was still VERY drunk. A small jingle house needed a singer for a Barbie commercial. The producer/engineer acknowledged that it was odd for me to get a call on New Years Day and He suggested that I bring a chaperone just in case if I thought it was sketchy. He gave me his website to check his credentials, I saw that he had musical directed one of the opening acts for New Kids on The Block. That’s all I needed to hear. 

He asked me if I wouldn’t mind doing an onsite audition. I did and passed with flying colors. Studio singing is a highly different animal then live singing and is my specialty. BTW, I was still drunk. Jingle singing is very interesting to me because it requires you to deliver a vocal performance that is appealing to non musicians…advertisers. There are constant lyric changes, odd phrases etc. If your too much in your “artist” head, it can be quite daunting. When I was a new jingle singer, it scared the shit out of me. But now I enjoy the challenge. They say you can’t swing a dead cat (gross) in New York without hitting a singer. But to hit a jingle singer who is really good at their craft is quite hard.

The check came just in time, as I had just quit a bar job with an evil cook who was in a constant state of PTSD from his days serving in the military (another job I got off of Craigslist).It was basically the amount I would make working full time as a waitress or bartender for one month. More of these please! 

Craigslist Adventure #8, Hair Care Focus group.

I love to talk and give my opinion. I got to talk about hair care products for an hour and get $150 to boot. Score!  More of these please.

Craigslist Adventure #8 Extra in Metal Music video “Embrace the Gutter” by The Autumn Offering

The Talent gigs section never fails me! This was a fun one as we were bussed out to some paint ball field on Long Island to shoot this. The guys from Suicide City were in the video as well. Best part of the shoot hands down was getting to set the tent on fire. There were like 15 firefighters on the set.  This will be one of a string of music videos I will be sharing with you due to the power of Craigslist. Get ready. 

Craigslist Adventure #7 Mock Game Show contestant “Super Millionaire Password”

Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any more random. I had responded to an audition for Super Millionaire Password and didn’t get on the show. I did however, get to be a MOCK contestant. Apparently, they need people to make sure that the questions were not too hard, nor too easy. 

Fun fact that is equally as depressing: Had I been playing the real game I would have made $250,000. They partnered me up with someone who was just as kick ass at the game as I was. We were a good team. Sigh, how I wish we were on the actual show. When we got to the $250,000 we decided to stop playing and “take the money” (they wanted us to play it as if it were really the real show). 

Compensation $50 CASH for about 1 1/2 hours of work. AD Craigslist talent gig section.