The Busiest Weekend Ever, Day 2: 5/15 at the Black n’ Light Ball

JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte
JC Cassis getting painted at the Black n Light Ball. Photo credit: Arnaldo Ugarte

Wow. So I thought that the only crowd I really wanted to play for was a gay or gay-friendly crowd, and then I discovered the raver/Burning Man/insane-people-devoted-to-everyday-creativity-and-spectacle community. I now officially have two favorite crowds to play for. I learned this by playing the Black n’ Light Ball, a crazy black light rave put on by Kostume Kult and Disorient.

It was day 2 of the Busiest Weekend Ever, and I was exhausted from all the insanity the night before and having to get up early and work all day. But, a few weeks earlier, a friend I met through working on Figment, which is basically an outgrowth of Burning Man, told me about the Black n Light ball and said I should come. I said I should perform, and he told me who to get in touch with. I reached out, and within a few days I heard back that they wanted me to do a half hour set at 11pm at the party. Awesome! Fast forward to the party. I get there and it’s quite the hotbed of insanity. Everything was glowing in the black light, including some people’s dayglow contacts. It was wall-to-wall crazy costumes, and no one came unprepared. I watched the other acts do their sound checks, and it was so nice to (for once!) be playing among a group of artists who all actually fit each others’ vibes. I gotta get those people’s contact info and do shows with them!

As I waited, someone approached me and ask if he could put dayglow paint on my face and arms, since the white paint I had used somehow wasn’t glowing. I’m glad he did because his paint was the only paint that really showed up under the lights!

Finally, at around midnight, it was time for me to go on. Since I had a black light-appropriate outfit, I asked them to turn off the stage lights so I could glow with everyone else, and it looked fantastic. I loved this crowd so much because they had come to dance, not stand and stare, and they danced with me throughout the whole set. I even heard them singing along on songs that I don’t think they could have known in advance, so they were really into the performance and it was incredible to have an audience like that. It was just the kind of show I always want to play: it looked great, it felt great, and the audience was dancing right up by the stage and singing along the whole time! Check out the video below for a sample of the madness!

Black Light Ball – JC Cassis – Crazy In New York from Uuri Koh on Vimeo.

Unfortunately, I was so exhausted after my show that I had to go straight home. As I walked on 8th Avenue in my crazy costume, headdress and face paint, a lot of heads turned. I was totally spent, so I wasn’t smiling, and some guy said to me, “You need a friend.” In an awesome moment of mental clarity, I turned around and sassily said, “I have 1,900 friends on facebook!” Love it.

Really hope to perform at Burning Man itself this year and to do more KK and Disorient parties!

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