Anjj's Blog

October 29, 2007

anjj on TV with Andy Bumatai

Filed under: Events,News — Anjj @ 6:54 pm


I spent 37 hours preparing for 5 minutes of broadcast television to an estimated 200,000 people watching, the show.  From the moment Jim Bryan, the producer of NightTime, Hawaii’s First Talk show called, my hands didn’t stop shaking.

View here: NightTime Video

I arrived at the Hilton Hawaiian Villiage, on-time, which is ‘early’ for artists.  I said hello to everyone and saw my ex-boyfriend there on the camera dead center.  Oh my god.  He was the inspiration for 18 of the 18 angry, I’m-going-to-get-you-back break-up songs I wrote that were never produced or sang in public.  As if the nerves weren’t enough of a challenge….  yeah, it was just kind of awkward.

I had my make-up done by someone who could have been a model herself.  Her name was Hailey Natto.  She has a famous father that played music for years in the islands, you may have heard of him…Richard Natto.  She did a fantastic job and I walked out of there like a mask with feet – my mom didn’t even recognize me (that’s what TV make-up feels like.)  What’s really amazing is that I already overpainted my face before I got there. I thought, television make-up has to be really packed on. So I got out the primer and put on two coats. But Theresa, the set manager/woman who tells everybody what they – should or should not be doing and whether you can go to the bathroom or not, said, “Okay an-juh-juh, let’s get some color on your face.”  By the time Hailey got through with me I could barely see through my eyes because the armour of mascara on my eyelashes stuck together like a shield protecting me from the blinding stage lights.

                                                                                       Photo by Dustin Larson

I waited in the backroom with some of the other guests.  The most interesting was a 15-year-old acrobat who was stretching/preparing for her show. I’m sure she had bones and an entire skeleton….but if you saw what I did, you wouldn’t think so.  Her dad was “helping” her stretch, but if they weren’t in the circus business, you would think he was doing anything but helping.  Ouch!

I was dying to do a soundcheck, but everyone kept saying, we’ll do it later…you’ll have time.  Five minutes before I went on, they said, “mike her”.  It sounded more like I got selected out of a line-up of criminals.  Todd, who was supposed to be helping me set up my monitor said….”we’re just going to have you go directly through the board.”  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! I calmly said, “that’s fine, but what about my monitor and effects for both my voice and guitar?”  He said, “Oh, we’re not going to use that because it sounds different on tv.  It sounds too distorted and feedsback and stuff.” 

I let a whimper out.  “help….”  My guitar is much louder than my voice, and without a monitor all I can hear is the guitar. Yikes! Again, I pleaded with the nearest engineer.   “John, please, I need to hear myself.”  John said, “I wish I could help you, we’re planning on getting ear monitors for talent in the future…we just don’t have the budget for them, yet. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.” I start to feel heat in my chest, my stomache is making noises and water begins to well up in my eyes. I look up and see the camera man right in front of me (you know who) and take a deep breath.  Then I look at my mom, and she’s smiling ear-to-ear and it makes me smile because she doesn’t have a clue of what’s going on.  To her, everything is as perfect as perfect can be.  And really, besides the little inconveniences and awkwardness….I couldn’t be happier.   Ahhh, I’m in a happy place, oh, such a happy place.  Ohhhhhmmmmmm…………

Andy finishes with his previous guest, the fitness instructor who lit some chips on fire and segues over to me by the mike and introduces me as “….and now Hawaii’s top solo JAZZ artist.”  One of my eyebrows lifted ….jazz? I was stunned, then remembered the time was running, and my song was fairly long…. so I played my song without being able to hear myself and prayed the whole time that I would be in perfect pitch.  I only made 37 mistakes on the guitar.  That’s a little less than the previous week when I performed on a television show that was being broadcast to Tokyo.   I’ve only played my song “fire” over 365 times.  Sheesh.  I’m still hoping practice will make perfect.  I wrote that hard to play piece…what was I thinking?

Of course, all the non-musicians in the house congratulate me on being superb.  How they’ve never seen such talent. Where did I learn?  Can I take a picture with you so I can tell everyone I knew you when you before you got famous… How did I get so good? ….Meanwhile the professional studio musicians : Adriano, G-Money and the other cool looking guy that refused to give up his name I think his name was Mike, conspired in the back on how they were going to take me out of my misery when nobody was looking. 

                                                                                       Photo by Dustin Larson

When the commercial break ended and I was sitting down with Andy Bumatai, I was able to mention some of my musical influences….mom, dad, stepdad brad, Dave Lawrence (who educates me on Classic Rock), Johnny Helm who is just a phenomenal artist I’ve recently met and had the pleasure of sharing the stage with – YOU ROCK JOHNNY!!!!, and Dr. John Hart, of course I would have said a lot more, but I only had a minute, and Andy had to do his thing….so he offered me a chip from the collection that his last guest had set on fire to prove that the fat content was immense.  So I took a chip and threw it over my shoulder for good luck to infer that the salt content was immense.  Unfortunately, I was told later by my mom that I inadvertently threw the chip at the other guest sitting behind me, and she so-wanted to have a food fight.  She left before I was made aware of that and was not able to apologize.  And here I was thinking everyone got my joke about throwing salt over my shoulder.

All in all, it was a great show, challenging, stressful, but a great great experience. ..

                                                                          v          photo by Dustin Larson

anjj feeling sad about leaving Arnolds

Filed under: Events,News — Anjj @ 6:50 pm

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

anjj feeling sad about leaving Arnolds
….I’m leaving my musical nesting ground called Arnolds Beach Bar. A place where white collars, blue collars, no collars, dog collars, come to chill out and let loose. All walks of life pass through that joint (no pun intended).

It’s time. I’ve progressed, travelled with music through the world, and still came back to dwell in Arnolds old familiar feel, for a little longer. I knew I’d have to leave sooner or later.

I saw Johnny Helm play tonight at Lulu’s tonight and his music – it makes me so happy, even though most of his songs are kind of sad. He came over to say ‘what’s up’ and commented, “eveytime I see you, you always have this big smile – you always look so happy….it’s creepy.”

Ho wow, lau lau…. tanks eh braddah! What a charmer.

…..Well, excuse me, but first of all I have lots of teeth.

Secondly, cheerfulness comes from keeping the inner child, alive – and mine has ADD and wants to escape and rule the rest of me. Pain is only pain if you dwell. There’s a difference between feeling and dwelling. Change is like a world of playgrounds. You have to face the sadness of leaving one to go to another. Sometimes, you are not the one who leaves the playground – others leave you. But…death is something I have a very hard time with … I’m definitely a dweller, there. I’m still grieving the loss of my cat Oscar and can cry at will just by thinking about him dying in my arms just over a month ago. He was my friend and opera partner.

Ironically, I rejoice in Johnny’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get persona, his hard-edged demeanor when he compliments you as he frowns, and his light-spirited ease with which he flows through life.

Hey, I’ll take the truth any day. So cool…he and Jack also sang “Happy Birthday” to my niece, YVONNE, TwICE!!! She was so happy. ( Don’t ask me what she was doing at a bar on a Monday night at 11:30pm – it’s very complicated and I have half-bitten fingernails to file.)

Well….anyway, enough ranting @ 3:00 am … Mom, and Brad, I guess this means you won’t have to bring the bars of soap and hand sanitizer to Arnolds for me anymore. :)

June 5, 2007

Anjj Anounces The Release of Her New CD

Filed under: Events,Music,News — Anjj @ 10:54 am

CD PhotoAnjj released her latest CD entitled “Highway” in June. All the songs on this CD are Anjj Originals (music and lyrics by Anjj Lee). Click Here To Purchase. Click Here To Listen To 90 Second Exerpts.