Friday, December 4, 2009

Ms. Badu

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blues Wail

I had an odd dream last night. At first I couldn't recall it (per usual), but I was waiting to be seen at a job interview this afternoon and I heard Ella Fitzgerald singing a Christmas song. The dream replayed in my mind's eye instantaneously.

That's right, last night I dreamt that I was stuck in a whale with Ella Fitzgerald.

This is some scary shit. It's hot. It's humid--and it doesn't exactly smell like febreze and cookies. Fortunately for me, unlike Pinocchio or Jonah, this is not real life. So instead of being slowly consumed by stomach acid and plankton I had the luxury of sitting on a sofa. It was almost as if we were sitting together in a sort of womb-themed waiting room. There was a television playing music videos (some of which Ella was in--this made me feel awkward, but she was very gracious), and a plate with crackers and fine cheeses. By the way, Ella doesn't care for Havarti.

In this room with us sat Ella's best friend from childhood, a blues singer by the name of Lena Chatanooga. Apparently they were inseparable as children. They would sing songs together, play double dutch and run all around the orphanage that they grew up in. However, Lena never made it as big as Ella and this led to some rough spots in their relationship. But the two stayed lifelong friends through and through.

Mind you, this is not historical accuracy, merely what's occurring in my dream. Today I did some research and found no record of a woman named Lena Chatanooga though Fitzgerald did spend some time in a Colored Orphans' Asylum as a child in the Bronx (something I didn't know about her until my dream). All in all, the dream was warm, maroon, bluesy and beautiful. Here I was sitting with two life-long friends eating good cheese and singing some of the best music America has ever made.

Last night my roommate and I were discussing what an orphan is. Well, we were talking about Goldilocks and I referred to her as an orphan to my roommate's disagreement. My only supporting evidence was the fact that she ate all that porridge and so did Oliver. Not to mention the fact that she was ransacking homes in the middle of the woods, probably on a school day.

When I was in foster care, court reports and official paperwork always referred to me as an "Orphan/Ward of the Court," a title that I found offensive. I was never an "orphan." I had two parents who I knew and loved. Just because I didn't live with them shouldn't warrant me being called an orphan. Hell, Ella lived in an "Orphan Asylum" and she had living parents who were unable to care for her at the time. I hadn't given much thought to the title until examining the life of Goldilocks last night.

I looked up whale and jazz in an online dream dictionary. The whale is an omen signifying protective influences around you and can also signify a desire to cry out about something (a pun on wailing). There was a definition for the dream symbol of jazz, but the dictionary warns that if one is a jazz aficionado that there is no symbol for the music in a dream. Oddly enough, the definition of the whale defines jazz for me too. Jazz is a warm, comforting and protective force that also allows one to cry out and wail through a smoky hall.

So why shouldn't three orphans find some comfort in sharing a song or two in the warm womb-belly of a whale?

One Man Show

The ball is really starting to roll on my one man show,
From Foster Care to Fabulous

The Ahimsa Collective Website now has a page up about the show and we have a video on a website called kickstarter which is an awesome website that serves as a funding platform for artists, designers, filmmakers, journalists, inventors and so on (as the homepage of the website describes it).

So please check out all of the information about the show and please make sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends! You don't want to miss this show, it's gonna be fantastic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Community Pool

Some of you may be familiar with a monthly artists' party called Community Pool. The Ahimsa Collective hosts this event once a month at The Talking Stick in Venice. It's a great evening filled with all different kinds of performance including musical acts, readings, spoken word, dance pieces, improv and much more!

This month's Community Pool is a special Thanksgiving Potluck! Julia Goretsky and her roommate, and Rachel (my roommate) and I are going to be hosting the event in both of our homes since we live so near by to one another!

Thank You

I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of Bare this past weekend and the Cabaret last night at Vitello's!

Whether you were involved in putting the shows up or you came out to support them or you listened to me talk about them, I really appreciate it!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Come see my Cabaret!

Hella Boujie

An Evening with Patrick Burns & Julia Goretsky

Tuesday November 17, 2009

Upstairs at Vitello's

4349 Tujunga Ave Studio City, CA

$7 Cover Charge & 2 Drink Minimum

Boujie (būzhē) adj.

1. person who embodies an attitude or state of mind of superior taste, inclination toward posh and luxurious goods, magnificent fashion sense, and an ultra chic persona that lends to the title of being Boujie.

ex: Patrick Burns and Julia Goretsky? They're Hella Boujie.

Come help Patrick Burns and Julia Goretsky kick off the Holiday Season with a classy evening of song, stories and stylings.

This is the first time Patrick and Julia have appeared together in Cabaret and you don't want to miss it!!!

Call (818) 769-0905 to make a reservation.

See you there!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'll Drink to That

Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.

-Stephen Sondheim

Pounding the Pavement; Working the Loom

What a week this has been! Monday was one of those days that smacks you across the face, dips you in dirty water and then leaves you out to dry in a bitter wind.

It all started out so auspiciously. I got a phone call in the morning inviting me to interview/audition for an accompanist job at a Los Angeles Performing Arts College. I was told to "Bring myself and my fingers down to Hollywood," so I did. The interviewer had mentioned that there would be some sight reading involved, but I was not prepared for the magnitude of it all! There was a binder full of music that I played through and it took over an hour! Long story short, it was an embarrassing hour due to the fact that a great deal of the music was extremely difficult and a lot of it was material I had never played before. They said they'd call me.

Let's just say I'm not waiting by the phone.

So, that makes it two months that I've been unemployed. Thank God I've had artistic projects going on or I would be a man at the end of his rope! On Wednesday I thought I would try to take advantage of retailers hiring seasonal help (Deck the Halls, and all that) and went all over Los Angeles applying for jobs. I even walked from West Hollywood to Koreatown, the logic being that if I walked it would be easier to stop and apply if I saw a place that looked apt. While out on my adventures my dear friend Andrew Delman called me to see what I was up to. When I replied "pounding the pavement" he asked me why I was engaging in Lesbianic sexual activity. Maybe that expression is out of date.

The good news is that Julia Goretsky and I were able to book a night Upstairs at Vitello's! We're going to be appearing in a cabaret act with great songs and stories. I'll be at the piano and we'll both be singing and having a fabulous time. Make sure to come check it out if you are available! The cover charge is $7.00 with a two drink minimum. It's a great restaurant. I had my birthday dinner there last month! (And I have good taste)

And don't forget that Bare is November 14th and 15th. It's selling out pretty fast so if you want to come see it, you should get yo tix, girl. I'm not sure why I went ghetto while selling tickets, maybe it's a subconscious scalping ritual or something. Scalping like tickets, not Indians. Sorry. Native Americans.

That reminds me.

When I was six years old, my family moved in with my Grandmother who was battling cancer. This way my mom could take care of her and my Uncle who was only two years older than me. My grandmother was an eccentric woman.

In our small town of San Lorenzo, a suburb of Oakland, most of the generic, post World War II houses were filled with generic post World War II decor. But my grandmother's house was filled with Buddhas, Egyptian statues and countless other exotic artifacts. I distinctly remember her wearing jewelry that had fossilized beetles inside of it.

Now, Grandma died when I was eight years old, unfortunately I don't remember everything about her. I know she used to bring me in her room and make me watch hours of Star Trek Next Generation with her and I know she was in the newspaper when Star Wars came out because she saw it in the movie theatre thirty seven times. My mom tells me she was the third best rifle shot in the state of California. But one thing I never understood about my grandmother or her house was the use of her dining room.

Most homes feature a dining room table in the dining room. I mean, if the title of the room is in the title of the furniture, chances are the two go together like fire and smoke, Fred and Ginger, ginger and chicken. However, we didn't have a dining room table in our dining room. No, we had a giant loom.

Can you imagine explaining that on play dates?

Child Friend: Why's your table be lookin' all crazy?!
Me: It's not a table.
Child Friend: What is it?!
Me: It's a loom.
Child Friend: What the fuck's a loom?
Me: It a weaving implement.
Child Friend: Who weaves? You weave? What you weave?
Me: I've never seen anyone use it.
Child Friend: You're weird.
Me: Shut up. You suck. Let's do our Math homework.
Child Friend: Ok, you wanna use my calculator?
Me: That's cool. My grandma loaned me her abacus.
Child Friend: What the fuck's an abacus?

I realize it's cliché to describe how the eccentricities of one's childhood makes them a more well-rounded, interesting adult. But what I find fascinating is that I never think of that Loom. I never think of that environment that shaped me. It was just my Grandmother's house. However, I am certain the simple fact that there was a weaving machine in my dining room instead of a table, even though I never used it or gave it much thought, has surely made a profound impact on creating the man I am today.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Platt, Rhys, Chesus, Wax & More Cast In BARE 11/14, 11/15 2009/10/30

Official Casting Announced for the Bare Concert!

Check out the Broadway World article!

Platt, Rhys, Chesus, Wax & More Cast In BARE 11/14, 11/15 2009/10/30

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bare is Back!

In case you missed it last time, Bare is back!

November 14th and 15th at the Hudson Theatre which is the theatre that Bare originally premiered at ten years ago!

For more information you can check out the facebook page or the Bare-LA Website

Don't miss out!

This is me rapping. It's on.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One Man Show

Some of you may recall my original One Man Show I performed a reading of last May in Irvine:

It is my joy to announce that I will be having a three week, fully produced run of the show in Los Angeles in early 2010!

Opening night will be January 30, 2010. We will run for three weekends at The Improv Space in Westwood. The show is being produced by the good people at the Ahimsa Collective under the direction of Negin Singh.

For those of who not familiar with the show, it chronicles my experiences in foster care in the Bay Area. It boasts with laughter, tears, music and a quirky cast of characters.

Stay tuned for updates!

graphics by Ray Ramirez.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bare opens tonight!

Bare opens tonight at the Art Works Theatre on Santa Monica!

We're sold out, so thank you to everyone who is supporting the show.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Come see me this weekend in the LA Concert Production of Bare: A Pop Opera

Friday and Saturday October 2nd & 3rd in Hollywood!

More information and tickets available at the Bare Website

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kittens inspired by....


Have you seen this? My dear friend Katie Horwitch shared this with me via facebook. I have watched it about five times and I am still laughing my ass off.


By 1:30pm I have finally shaved, watched three episodes of 30 Rock, considered casting away worldly possessions to live in the woods and done a disturbing rendition of "Music and the Mirror" in nothing but a towel.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Los Angeles Updates

Hello Everyone!

It's been so long since I've been able to update!

I wrapped up the season at Sacramento Music Circus with the opening of Cats and went home for a few days to the bay area for a visit. My little brother and nephew are really starting to become little people instead of babies. They are adorable and hilarious! It's exciting to watch them grow.

Then I headed back to Irvine for a couple days where I packed up my old apartment and moved out! I am now living on the border of Koreatown and Wilshire Park in Los Angeles in an extremely charming 1920's townhouse with my dear friend, Rachel.

During all of this activity I have also been working on some projects!

I have been lucky enough to assist Dennis Castellano with the Musical Direction of Sondheim's Putting It Together at South Coast Rep in Costa Mesa, CA. The show is a revue of Sondheim songs from several shows strung together with a new plot of a socialite party in Manhattan. The music and lyrics are by none other than the great Stephen Sondheim and the show was devised by Sondheim and Julia McKenzie.

The show begins previews September 11, 2009 and opens officially on the 18th. For more information please visit the South Coast Rep website. Directed by Nick DeGruccio.

I've also been rehearsing for an upcoming concert workshop version of Bare: A Pop Opera! I wasn't very familiar with the show before being cast in it, but I understand that it is quite popular. I'm playing the role of Lucas, who is a Catholic high school student and drug dealer.

The show runs October 2-3, 2009 at the Arts Works theatre on Santa Monica Blvd and Wilcox. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Bag Tickets. The cast features several UCI Alums and some other cool kids too. And did I mention that my featured moment in the show is a rap?

Yes ladies and gentlemen, my hip hop stardom is on the rise, and you don't want to miss it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let's be Real

It was nine seasons of Friends.

I don't want to talk about it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I am: Fig Tart

A few weeks ago, Dennis and I drove up to Reno with Will (an actor in the company here) to see our friend Eric Weaver in 42nd Street at the El Dorado Casino. We had never been to Reno before. I had heard tale of this magical place from my dear friend Taylor Katai whose father lives there, but I still was not quite prepared.

Reno is a strange mirage of casinos and hotels in the middle of nothing. I hear that is what all the big cities in Nevada are like. Well, the show was great and Eric tapped his little heart out. Also, we realized part way through the show that another friend, Melinda was playing on of the leads. She was fantastic! And afterwards we found that another friend, Kristin, was the stage manager.

We hadn't had time to get dinner before we got to the show, so by the time it had ended we were famished to no end. We desperately searched through the casino to find a restaurant, which sounds easy but is no walk in the park.

Casinos are gigantic! And there are places where you feel like you are outside, but you aren't. You are in a some oversized hallway with a sky painted on the ceiling and mirrors and flashing lights enclosing in on you.
So, after stumbling around the hallways of trickery, we stumbled upon a restaurant called the Roxy.

As soon as we sat down these two sixty year old women at the next table started staring at us. If you don't already know this about me, crazy people love me. If there are a thousand people in an open field hanging out and one of them is crazy and one of them is me, that lunatic will without a doubt run directly over to me and ask me if he knows me from our time in the Japanese Interment Camp. No, sorry you loon, I've not trekked through Manzanar this lifetime, we must know each other from somewhere else. Then in his rage, he will through glitter in my face and tell me I've been a terrible wife and an even worse cat.

Dennis leaned over to ask me, "Do you know those women?

"No." I replied.
"Are you famous?"
"Not here. Not in Reno."

We went on to enjoy a lovely meal (Rosemary chicken is a dear friend to me). The two lushy old birds were finishing up their second bottle of wine when they decided to approach.

Drunk cougar number one asked us "Which dessert should I get?" whilst waving the dessert menu around like it was overcooked linguine.

"You should get whatever dessert you want to get," I retorted icily.

"Should I get the fig tart?" She obviously doesn't take hints well. At this point my sarcasm was tickling the back of my throat like acid reflux.

"I told you never to call me that."

Two can play this game, she thought.

"I'll call you whatevers I wants to, you fig tart!" The words were definitely slurring together like grapes in a wine bottle. "Fig tart! YOu're a figgg tart."

Luckily she got tired and left. And I was bestowed an extremely unexpected nickname.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Cast is opening at Sacramento Music Circus this Tuesday!

Click Here for ticket information!

This is the last show of the season and my last show here as the Music Assistant for the summer.

Two months, seven musicals and eight seasons of Friends later (The girl I'm subletting from has every season. Don't judge me.), I will be heading back to Irvine where I will be packing up my apartment and beginning a post-college life in Los Angeles! Here we go!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Playing Backgammon with Hitler

I. Fucking. Win.

Friday, August 7, 2009


The other day I was walking to work and a man stopped me on the street:

Man: When's Memorial Day?
Me: It's in May.
Man: Then what's this month?
Me: August.
Man: NO, what Holiday is this month?
Me: None...but Labor Day is the first weekend in September...

Then he walked away.

I got to work and checked my email. The Urban Dictionary word of the day was holidrawl.
I guess that man was feelin it bad.

Tamale Amor

Last summer I had the privilege to work with the delightfully quirky conductor, Michael Rice and his cat Walter.

Here at Sacramento Music Circus, we pay homage to a sacred Thursday tradition. That tradition is the Tamale lady. Her name is Esperanza and she journeys from the mountains of Mexico three thousand long miles all the way to Music Circus atop the back of a mule cradling a satchel full of magic tamales made of Gold and Visiones. Well, maybe she just pulls up in a beat up white station wagon, opens the back and sells tamales in the street in front of the theatre, the point is: these tamales are fucking delicious. There is always a line and sometimes people fight over them. Okay, sometimes I fight over them, but no one else does.

Michael and I (along with comrades Rachel Stivers and Brian King) developed a special love for this Tamale Ritual. We soon learned that a bad day could be healed with the sweet love found between the sheets of a corn husk molded by Esperanza. Many days stress would bog me down and deadlines would overwhelm me like mustard gas to a trench. Luckily, I would return to my desk and see that Michael had been the Tamale Fairy and left me a little slice of hope.

Esperanza was not named arbitrarily.

Michael isn't in Sacramento this summer, but Brian and I are keeping the dream alive. Though, it is unfortunate that the tamale lady has been less consistent this year. In fact, I've been trying to pin that bitch down all summer and just had my first tamale of the season yesterday. I was getting so insanely frustrated by her inability to show up to our weekly date that I began referring to her as the "Nomadic Tamale Bitch" and occasionally "The Mexican Brigadoon."

I emailed Michael yesterday saying I finally got my mitts on a tamale and he said:

"If Brian really cared about me, he'd have faxed me a tamale."

And that's just what he did.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Musician's Life

Musicians mark blank pages in their scores so that they know it isn't a mistake.
I'm preparing scores for the Orchestra read-through of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers tomorrow.

So, I'm editing the trumpet book and apparently the guy who played the book last time the show was done at this theatre was feeling a little broke:

Shit just got REAL.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Into the Woods

As I have mentioned before, I am currently assistant musically directing at Sacramento Music Circus! Our fourth show of the summer, Into the Woods opens tonight!

For information on tickets and show times please click here.

For more information on the cast and creative team available on the Playbill Website.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Legos with TJ

I hate these things:

Not only are they UGLY, but those people look crazy! As a person driving behind you, do I honestly need to know that you are a heterosexual couple with two identical, crazy-eyed daughter children and a dog?

Not that I have anything against children, dogs or heterosexuality (apart from my allergy--to dogs, that is), but I don't see why I someone feels the need to have it hieroglyphicized all over the back window of their Ford Windstar/Chevy Venture/whatever scary soccer mom gas-guzzler he or she is driving.

Maybe it's like those signs you see in people's windows that are meant for firefighters: "We love our (2) cats, (3) dogs and (4) GERBILS ." Perhaps the intention of these icons upon the ass of a minivan are a mobile parallel for these signs. Say the car flips over and the ambulance comes and the EMTs have to pull everyone out from the depths of the "safest car on the road." Can you imagine that conversation?

EMT 1: Well, John, it looks like we got everyone out safe and alive.
EMT 2: OMG! Like, look, there's a puppy on the back window! You have to go back in there and get him Mike! If you don't he'll die! DO YOU WANT THE PUPPY TO DIE?!?

The worst version of these tiny stick figure role calls are the ones that actually have the family member's names underneath the icons. This version is not only obnoxious and tasteless, but dangerous. A child abductor could be lurking around the grocery store parking lot and do his research on your family quickly and effortlessly. When he walks up your daughter he will be prepared:

Abductor: "Hello little 'Cindy,' I'm your Uncle Barney. Your mommy 'Cynthia' and your father 'Chuck' told me to come get you from this produce section so we can go walk your puppy 'Sassy' and play Legos with your brother 'TJ.' "

Poor little Cindy will be so dazzled with familiar names that she won't think twice about trusting Uncle Barney. We all know how that story ends, and it ain't with TJ and Legos.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Iniquitous Gumballs

My dear friend Liz Cox came to Sacramento for a visit!

Today we went to the mall and saw some apparently Toxic Gumballs.

Then we went to the capitol!

We had a wine night last night, just like we often did in college. I regret to inform the world that I had my first hangover this morning. How could this happen?! Countless nights have been spent slaying my poor little liver-who-could. Not one month out of college, I have a hang over. Granted, we drank a lot of wine. A LOT. I was complaining to Liz about the tragedy of it all and she simply said: "I guess this means we're adults now." Cheers.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Current and Upcoming!

As I have mentioned before, I am working this summer as the Music Assistant at Sacramento Music Circus. Please come check out our shows, they are top notch!

Altar Boyz opened this past Tuesday and is receiving great reviews!

Guys & Dolls is opening this coming Tuesday, July 21st.
More information here: Music Circus - Guys and Dolls

Stop to Smell the Flowers

...or at least snap a photo.

These are the flowers across the street from my summer apartment in Sacramento.

This picture is pretty good quality considering I took it with my cell phone.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sacramento Music Circus

I'm currently working as the Music Assistant at Sacramento Music Circus. Our first show of the season, Thoroughly Modern Millie, opened this past Tuesday.

The Last Five Years

Just the other day I found that there are some videos on youtube from the production of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years that I musically directed and accompanied this past March.

The sound quality isn't incredible (and there is some weird beeping sound), but it's still worth looking at. Plus, Ashley and Ian are wonderful singers!