Photography by Kevin Thomas Garcia
Jim Caruso: Musician
What inspires you?
Being around the most talented, smart, and wickedly funny people in the world is a constant inspiration to me. To be in their presence is exhilarating. I’m lucky enough to have fallen into a job that celebrates these people on a weekly basis, and between the Broadway at Birdland concert series I produce, hosting Cast Party all over the planet, and doing concerts with Liza Minnelli, Billy Stritch, Jane Monheit and Klea Blackhurst – I’m constantly bombarded with folks who are masters at strutting their talented stuff! I can’t imagine anyone not being invigorated by these people!
What does creativity mean to you?
There are very few surprises in the entertainment business at this point, so many acts harken back to another era – or are reminiscent of other performing styles. To me, true creativity involves a fearlessness to be unique– to own up to and celebrate one’s character and supposed flaws. Barbra Streisand. Michael Jackson. Judy Garland. Louis Armstrong. Kay Thompson. Amy Winehouse. Of course these people had bizarre amounts of talent, but they concocted themselves into unique personas unlike anything seen before.
What’s coming up?
What’s coming up is more of the same, and I couldn’t be more invigorated by that. I love taking Cast Party to as many cities as possible, and celebrating local talent. The Broadway at Birdland concert series is going great guns, and there are exciting plans for a new performance space at the club. Billy Stritch and I are booking our shows all over, and continuing our residency at Bemelmans at The Carlyle Hotel. Variety is the spice of life, to be sure, and my life is pure come-what-mayhem!
Ryan on Jim:
When Jim Caruso tells me to do something, I do it. He’s the guy who knows everybody, leads the wildly successful Castparty at Birdland and tours with Liza. I mean, come on. Beyond his resume, he’s a nice guy who has gone out of his way to keep me in the loop on artists he thinks should be featured in BLEEP. He has a keen eye for talent and a knack for featuring artists on his stage before they become pop stars and YouTube hits. He’s a star in his own right and I’m thrilled that he’s been a part of BLEEP.