One of my favorite performers is a dude named King Famous. He's a little bit this, a little
bit that. He's worked in theatre, film, music, comedy, graphic and web design, and I've even
read through some of his comic books. I am happy to call him friend and we've collaborated on
a number of things together.
Some of my readers may recognize his hand in my recent
promotional poster for the Silent
Station Tour over in Europe last month, or some of you may have caught the Adaptables playing
some of his music up in Sommerville, Mass. Maybe you've watched the man on stage. That's my
So when I heard that he was taking whatever it is he'll be doing to the LA Fringe this year,
I got excited. When you take King and mix it up with a large performing arts festival where
expectations are supposed to be blown out of the water, well, that is just what you're going
to get. I decided to give him a shout and he told me what was up...
Me: King Famous, when first we ran into each other, it was New Brunswick some years back,
I was hosting the open mic at Tumulty's Pub and, I have to admit, you were poised to take over
the town. Some of those early performances at Tumulty's and even at Cafe 52 (may that wonderful
place rest in peace) were so original and unforgettable that I can still recall them perfectly.
At times it was underground hip hop with beats, at other times at was folk punk with a barely
tuned guitar. Where do you think that all was coming from?
King: Mike Toth was a serious rock and roll recording artist and he happened to work in my
Dad's print shop. When I asked him about open mics or where I could perform in New Brunswick,
he took me to Cafe 52 and introduced me to you. I'm not sure where anything comes from, or why
we do certain things, but my music growing up was all rap and then hip hop. Not gangster rap,
but more like Tribe Called Quest, Leaders of the New School - De La Soul. If I wasn't
listening to that, I was all about Blues Traveler, Phish and Widespread Panic.
I love playing the drums and rapping. That's really my favorite things to do. I feel at home
there and every time I get to write a rhyme or play the kit I find something new in it.
I started playing the guitar because a lot of places said "no rap." For me, I always
loved the live show.
When you have a situation like a live stage, or an open mic, that is when you will see what
is really on the minds of the blue collar musicians, the people that still work regular jobs
and can sing at the end of the day. These are the songs that have meaning. And, sometimes
it's painful, sometimes it's out of tune, and sometimes it makes perfect sense.
Let's face it, man, a lot of coffee houses and bars want an open mic to bring new people
in and to provide nice music and atmosphere. But, to me, an open stage is an open stage and
real expression is just how it has to be, whether it's beating up a computer, jumping out of
trees, or playing some folk songs about what's going on.
In my childhood I was lucky to have loving parents that were both teachers of the arts. So,
I guess that is where it really all comes from. And, recently, with the new shows I'm working
on for the Hollywood Fringe, I've come to realize that it doesn't matter who you are or where
you come from, or how many hours a day you got to work at a job so you can support yourself
doing another show. I can take anyone and put them in a studio and have them sing into a $50,000
mic and I can pitch shift their voice and bring in a marketing team with a big budget to plaster
your face all over the world. But real performers perform anywhere at anytime they want to.
It's not about "making it" or "getting noticed" or "getting signed."
It's all about the show, the show, the show.
No doubt, King, it is all about the show. He's got two performances, both different but equally
enigmatic. If I know King Famous like I think I do, and if the people are really ready for it,
I'm betting that King Famous will be the hit of the LA Fringe this year. So go check him out!
Show info below.
Also, I decided to included a clip of one of the characters you may encounter during one
of the shows.
Thanks for reading! As always, email at [email protected].
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