musings of a subway performer and lifelong troubadour

Dolly Dimples revisited

Added on by Cathy Grier.

update June 25th followup: Thanks to the CBS story, a viewer located Dolly's uhaul trailer -most items were stolen, but at least she got some things back. Here's the story, my clip CBS used comes in at about 1:54.

Back in 2011 as I was arriving to perform in Times Square, I happened to be at the right place at the right time with my camera filming subway musician William Ruiz as two clowns passed by us. I was able to film them for my Inspiration Project. Now 5 years later, I have learned that during a recent move, Dolly Dimples had her UHaul truck stolen with all her clown costumes inside. This means $1000's of dollars of investment and what she needs to work her craft.  I was contacted by a CBS 13 affiliated station out of Sacramento, CA asking me if they could use this footage. "Certainly," was my response. Anything that can help return Dolly's items to her is okay by me. And maybe inspire people to pitch in and help re-outfit an incredibly talented clown. 

See and hear what inspires Dolly below:

Not to mention that both Dolly and Sparky won third place performance medals at the 2011 Clown convention competition!

Inspired Erin McHugh author of Llife

Added on by Cathy Grier.

This year's Tony award for best musical went to Fun Home the poignant gritty memoir of notable lesbian Alison Bechdel. Also winners in a big category (not aired on primetime-SHAME) was the writing team of Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Korn, who broke ground for being the first women to win in the musical score category. 

A few years ago my friend Erin McHugh wrote a book entitled L life. Here is Erin's inspiration for writing the book in which she features Alison Bechdel.

"In a place where we are already a minority, we're the invisible part of the minority....time to step up and bring out a book that will honor them."

here is Erin for the Inspiration Project

Meneachea's inspired mantra

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I met Meneachea at Columbus Circle, her enthusiasm for what I was doing made her stop and chat. I'm happy I asked what inspired her. Her answer was quick off the top of her head and spot on. "music, life, service, and the earth." Listen to her reasons why. Filmed in 2011, just as relevant now as it was then.

I honor her as we celebrate International Women's Day on March 8th #IWD2015

Verbal Ase beatboxing busker

Added on by Cathy Grier.

How does Verbal Ase do that?  All the sounds coming from him are natural, or unnatural as it might appear.  Amazing he can do that through his nose! He calls it beatboxing from outer space.

I met Verbal Ase = Adam Steven Evans at his gig in Grand Central and asked him how he stays warm on cold days.  I was surprised to get my own Verbal Ase shout out.  Who can say they've had someone compliment them by beatboxing through the nose!

Glenn Roth Inspired Vlogger

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I met Music Under NY guitarist Glenn Roth while he was playing in Vanderbilt Hall during the Grand Central Holiday Fair. What surprised me is how he knew what question I'd be asking him. That was a first.  Check out the clip and see what inspires Glenn.

Jed Loves the Sun + NYC

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I am always happy when people I know just happen to walk by me..  I was performing in Union SQuare when Jed Montgomery walked by with his best man Ben Campbell.  (Last August, I had the wonderful experience of performing at Jed's wedding to another Ben, Ben Illany).

What inspires Jed?  Sunshine and New York City!

Baton Rouge tourist jam in Grand Central

Added on by Cathy Grier.

While performing in Grand Central harmonica player Frank Ames stopped by to sit in. Three tourists from Baton Rouge also stopped, Trampus, Hillary, and Will. I saw Will had a guitar and invited him to jam with us.  Of course I asked my favorite question, what inspires you? (Sunrise, People, Love).

In this clip, Will borrows my guitar for a spontaneous cover of Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'

This is a perfect example of what it's like to perform in one of the busiest stations in NYC.

co-edited by Ian James MacRae Jackson

Rose Mandolin jam @Penn Station

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I met Rose all the way from Victoria Island, BC, while I was performing in LIRR Penn Station, excited to her mandolin case I urged her to jam, and she did.  What a treat to play with another female musician, not something you see much in the subway.

What inspires Rose besides music? New York City of course

co-edited by Ian James MacRae Jackson

NYC is a World Music Stage

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I met Moroccan musician Hassan Ben Jaafer while I was performing in Union Square, he walked by and instantly took out his Krarbes (metal castanets) and began to play along. He then showed me the bass he made. Unfortunately the sound wasn't loud enough to share with you here.  I posted an excerpt of his band Innove Gnawa when I came upon him later that week busking in 34th ST. station.

Keep You Out words and music Cathy Grier

co-edited by Ian James MacRae Jackson

 

8 String Guitar Jam inspired Vincent Denis

Added on by Cathy Grier.

I met Vincent when he auditioned at the Music Under NY Auditions (he's also in the clip I made about the auditions for my Inspiration Project series).

One day Vincent showed up while I was playing in LIRR Penn Station and we jammed. What inspires Vincent? music and people and the chance to play.

 What's Your Inspiration?

thanks to Ian James MacRae Jackson for co-editing this clip

Winner Best Documentary Web Series

Added on by Cathy Grier.

What an honor to have been selected as Best Documentary Web Series at this years Chain Film Festival.  Only in their second year and this is the first time they have added a web series category. All I can say is for years I haven't thought of myself as a film maker, just someone who has captured my experience in short vignettes on my flip camera. Those who have been involved, the musicians, the commuters, the passersby who have answered a simple yet complex question "What's your inspiration?" captured on film, have caught the imagination of those watching.  Congratulations to you all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQC6Jwf7ops&index=1&list=PL01109F04C202C9FC

here are the films I submitted, the Inspiration Project: