Saturday, July 14, 2012

Up Here Together Forever

As many of you know, I'm no stranger to the party that is known as Magic Monday which resides at its latest home on the Lower East Side's Tammany Hall. On its first night, I sat in the less than impressive air conditioned St. Jerome's sipping on a Bud unaware of the fact that I was about to be charmed by a sequin clad man with a peculiar haircut and 70's porn reminiscent glasses. Two years later,  the glamrock dance party has evolved into a multi-faceted event heralding a mass influx of local bands and performers, surrounded by a jubilant atmosphere with free beer, rock n'roll, and me probably making out with you in some outrageous garb.

The Derek Mega directed clip does more than justice to the creative landscape of downtown New York City. NYC's notorious rock n'roll scene is famous for the acts that have spurred from it over the years. Legends, icons, party hosts, and just a bunch of really cool kids make up a kaleidoscope different from any other part of the world and this video truly embodies what we're all about.


I'm truly honored to be a part of this video and want to thank Derek and Breedlove for asking me to be in it. I kind of had a pseudo-epiphany throughout shooting the music video (subsequent to getting kicked out of an apartment building at 2 AM by virtue of excessive fog machine use no less) about my future, work, and identity. We had a great acting coach; the divine, charming, and extremely talented MaryAnne Piccolo, who reminded us why we are the way we are and why we do the things we do.  Why we chose to come to NYC. Why we stuck together. She extracted it from the deepest crevices of our souls and put it on film, urging us to tell our individual stories over PBR and fog.

Many people ask me: what do you want to do? How do you want to choke the world?

...And then I'd spew out some thoughtless, bullshit answer which really had nothing to do with the grand scheme of things. Sure, over the past few years I was able to muster enough confidence and bravery to finally exude the person I wanted to be to the world. This video is dedicated to my 17 year old self, sitting in math class dreaming about David Bowie, freaking out the world with gender ambiguous clothing, and becoming a face (read as: hair) that no one will forget. So what is my raison d'ĂȘtre?

To be perfectly honest, sometimes I don't wake up feeling fabulous or like a million bucks. I'm still as insecure as I was 3 years ago. I remember on the last day of filming this video I dawned a severely faux Versace shirt (courtesy of Etsy), garters, and a pair of communist boots. The "Bitch of Bushwick" as I named it. Something that wouldn't surprise anyone if you know me. I wasn't sure if I liked the look. I had a knot in my stomach on the way to the video, but as soon as I walked into the familiar sea of friends on top of the Bushwick rooftop, a calming wave came over me as I was exuberantly greeted. People lived for my look that night. We all drooled over each others ensembles, held each other, and worked together to create a beautiful piece of imagery for the world to see. And I realized this is what it is all about. We all live each other.

My artistry, style, and mission statement is evolving and becoming more crystal clear every day. I realized, sitting there in a plethora of disco punch and Marlboro fumes what I want the world to know about Greg Mania. No more is it about validation. Sure, it originated from a very shallow place. Attention seeking, limelight hogging, and getting my picture taken as much as possible. But it's more than that now. It's about collective identity. I guess I'll use one of my metaphors and call it an "intrinsic zit." It's becoming more and more apparent. During the stages of infancy, the zit makes an appearance and hurts. It becomes more obvious and clear as time passes. Then finally: BOOM, it's ready to pop. This is how I have felt about who I am and how I want to make my mark in this world. It has become more and more apparent over the past few months.

I want the world to know that anyone can form their own community like we do. A community where you're free to be yourself, where insecurities fade away and the masks we wear come off. You may not get smashed with your friends like we do, but you may find a place to call home with people who love you for you.  I hope I can tell my story one day and pass on what I can to another soul or two. So they can find where they belong and surround themselves with the right people and feel just as limitless as I do now.

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