My Exciting Evening with Eric Jaffe

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

I don't write about everything (there's simply not enough time…) but I love to write about people that leave a lasting impression on me, and after a one night stand (that included spontaneous Uke and Popeye's Chicken) with Eric Jaffe, I was blown away by his back story. He's one driven dude, and I'm excited to see just how far he goes in this city and beyond. 

I asked Eric what brought on the Ukulele, and he told me to buckle up butter cup becuase it was quite a story.  

"I started in College, I felt talented but wasn't getting cast. I was continously told by directors that I need to pull it back, tone it down and real in my over the top expression. I began to feel displaced and decided if they weren't going to cast me, I was going to cast myself. I was determined to continue to make art in one way or another, so I looked into a variety of instruments. The guitar seemed like the best bet, it was sure as hell more portable than a piano. But I didn't want to be just another dude with a guitar. I looked up on the wall of the guitar shop and saw a Ukulele, I asked to check it out and the second I held it, I knew I'd never put it down.

"After I spent a few weeks learning the basics, I booked my first gig in a local bar. My theatre friends were beyond supportive and came out to my show, I packed the bar and rediscovered my love for performing. My college took note and began finding ways to work my talents into their seasons and productions.

"The versitlity of the instrument is what keeps me falling in love with the sound every day. Some people find it restrictive, but I find it forces me to add creative flairs to my songs and helps me produce a unique sound."

I asked Eric how he felt about performing around the Gayborhood.  

"I love the venues, and the crowds are responsive… but it's tough at times, a lot of people think (drag) queens are the only "type" of performers. Some people forget there are burlesquers, singers, dancers, comedians etc…. Occasionally I'll finish a show with my Haus of Ham troupe (Mistor Fahrenheit and Lili St. Queer) and an audience member will ask me to take a photo of them with the queens. It doesn't always hurt, but when it does, I use it to fuel the exciment fo my next performance. 

You can support Eric Jaffe (and Dan Callahan ,S.M. Luke ,RachelRocks, and Paulette Branson) this Friday at their Absolut sponsored show "The Eric Jaffe Show"… I've been, it's great, plus it's fairly easy to score a free drink ticket. More info here.

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