Gratitude- Reflections on a week of Michaeling

The past few days have been somewhat of a whirlwind. 
I haven't been sleeping much.
I haven't been traveling or preoccupied with work (for once) but, just really busy with enjoying my friendships and "Michaeling".



For those of you that aren't familiar with the term, it's a common term for fangirls (and guys alike), especially here in NYC. Michaeling refers to any series of activities or Michael Jackson related events that one engages in, at any given time.  I've done three fun MJ related events with friends in the last few days and I thought I'd share some of it here.

The first event I attended was DJ Spinna's annual FOREVER MICHAEL party in Brooklyn.


DJ Spinna has been one of my favorite DJs for a long time. I feel like he and I really vibe off of the same wavelength when it comes to Michael Jackson. He plays all of the well known songs of course but, really digs into the crates and plays a lot of lesser known Jacksons' tracks at all of his MJ parties. Some of my favorites that night were "That's What You Get (For Being Polite)" and Jackson 5's "Body Language". I love a lot of the R&B and deeper grooves as opposed to the more popular pop/rock type songs so, DJ Spinna parties are always great times for me.

For six hours straight, friends and I danced and enjoyed the atmosphere. I got there around 10:30pm with my blogging bestie (also my best friend from high school) and stayed all the way until after 4am. One of the few times I've went to an MJ event with a non- MJ fan friend but, it was a great experience. She and I both had a lot of fun.


The first ALL Michael-music party I ever attended was on August 29th, 2009... just around 2 months after his death. It was a bittersweet moment. As a kid I'd always dreamed of being together with people who really got me. I've never publicly admitted this but, one of my favorite Michael Jackson short films was always "HIStory". Weird for some but, it represented a reality that I could only ever dream about (watch the video here).

After years and years of daydreaming... parties like this became real life. So much so, that I stopped going for a few years. But, it feels good to be back into the swing of things.

Here are some photos from the night below:



It's sad that it took losing Michael for me to completely find the sense of community that I had always searched for. But, nevertheless... I am grateful.


With one of my MJFAM sisters, who I founded Legacy of Love NYC (an MJ fan club) with, 7 years ago. 

ladies night
The smiles you see above belong to 6 hours of non-stop Michael music and the feelings of 4:30am.


On June 29th, I saw my first movie under the New York City stars.
Friends and I gathered for one of the NYC Parks: Movies Under the Stars events and of course, we went specifically to see Michael Jackson's This Is It.

I am not one of those people who gets sad when I watch This Is It. I can watch it at home and feel okay (usually at least until "Man In The Mirror") so, I was excited for this gathering without hesitation.


When I got to the park, the inflatable screen was already blown up and some of my friends had already arrived to hold down a spot. We all came equipped with blankets and snacks but, at MJ fans always do... out group took it to the next level,


When I got to the park entrance, I immediately knew which direction to head. Why? Well... my friend brought her speaker and was blasting some cool MJ tracks loud enough to be heard throughout the area. 



And what's a movie without a full picnic spread, including some drinks to get us all a little loose and relaxed on a Thursday night?





We also had fun reading the closed captions- some of them accurate, some of them not so much so.


After the movie we stayed in the park and listened to music together until well after midnight.


The last event I attended was seeing Who's Bad, my favorite Michael Jackson tribute band, perform at Brooklyn Bowl.


It was my seventh time seeing Who's Bad and each time feels like the first. You can read about my reviews of the band HERE and HERE but, I've said it before and I will say it again- they are THE BEST at what they do! 


I can only speak for myself but. I LOVE Michael Jackson tribute shows because I love hearing Michael's music played loud and live by fellow fans. 


James Times III is my new favorite tribute artist. He performs with awesome precision and you can tell that he has practiced a lot and takes a lot of pride in capturing Michael's energy on stage. You know how certain artists remind you of certain eras? 

Well, James is 100% Dangerous Tour to me and I think that's pretty good. (Most rank around HIStory tour or are frankly, only comparable to Michael's tour dancers.) Who's Bad has always done a pretty good job at selecting their main Michael leads and James is no exception.

He is also incredibly kind and took multiple photos with my friends and I, with a smile.


The Who's Bad band is also SUPER good! They have a new guitarist that I noticed did a great job fitting right in with the team. If you're interested to find out when they will be in your town, check out their official website whosbadmusic.com.

---
I had a moment this week that really reminded me what my love for Michael Jackson and his music is all about. Someone asked me at the Forever Michael party, what I loved about Michael.

I gave him a smart-ass answer... "EVERYTHING."

He challenged me further 

"No-- really?" he said... "What is it about Michael Jackson that you love? You say you're a real fan... so tell me... what is it?"

I looked around the room and held my hands out towards my friends. "You see all of these people?... This is why I love Michael Jackson.... he gave me all of this".

Michael Jackson is so loved, in part because of how he brought (and continues to bring) people together. Since the age of 14/15, I've been blessed to be a part of the fan community and have created so many bonds and friendships since then. My very best friends are people I've met through being a fan. Although we may not always see eye to eye, it's ALL LOVE. And that's the truth. 

I hope that you all enjoyed this post and special shout out to my friends who appear above and gave me permission to include them here.


____________________________________________

This post is dedicated to Michael Jackson. 
Michael- Thank you for all of the music & the memories. 
You are missed.




Why do YOU love Michael Jackson?
How would you answer that question briefly, to someone you've never met?





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1 comment

  1. Havent had so much Michaeling in a long time. So good to enjoy the good times with you. Really upset that I allowed myself to miss Who's Bad. Next time tho! Looking forward to August tho!

    ReplyDelete

thanks for commenting, #MJfam! xx

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