Jorian's Blog

Jorian Clair Live! at the Gardenia
performing her song, "Eye Candy,"
and a Lerner and Lowe classic
at the Gardenia, a historic cabaret showplace
in West Hollywood, CA

Click on the video below.

Jorian Clair Live! at the MBar in Hollywood.

See a clip from the hour-long videotape of the
June 9, 2011 premiere of Jorian's "Here's to Life" show.

Click on the video below.

Jorian Clair

Jorian Clair Releases New Song Online

"What Was I Doing?" Jorian Clair's first love song since those she created for her "Lost and Found" CD album, is now being distributed at web sites worldwide by CD Baby.

This is a classic yet contemporary love song about two people on the brink of forming a relationship. One is afraid of commitment; the other understands that such fear means the loved one must be set free until this personal conflict has been resolved. But what will happen when a heart closed to love is opened and the seeker's destiny is revealed?

Lyrics by Jorian Clair; Music by Jorian Clair and John Belzaguy
Accompanied by pianist Rich Eames, bassist John Belzaguy and drummer Jon Stuart

Jorian Clair

For a 30-second sample from “What Was I doing?” click on Jorian’s Songs.  For digital downloads click on CD Baby direct link: http://cdbaby.com/cd/jorianclair5.

 

Jorian Clair The Crooked Little Christmas Tree Book

"The Crooked Little Christmas Tree"Nets
Ongoing Sales and 5-Star Reviews on Amazon

The holidays have passed, but not the demand for Jorian's "The Crooked Little Christmas Tree" book. Orders continue to come in to Amazon for this award-winning book and increasing numbers of 5-star reviews are being posted by readers.

From Me to You
By Jorian Clair

In my November 2014 column, I told you how a new song had come to me in spite of my intended hiatus on singing and songwriting. I also described some of the difficulties my blindness caused in developing this song into a finished creation that my music collaborator, John Belzaguy, could complete with one of his beautiful arrangements.

In order not to miss an entry deadline for a Love Song Contest, we rushed into recording this song sooner than I would have like. But with Rich Eames on piano, John Belzaguy on bass and Jon Stuart on drums, my team of talented musicians had my back. The result is I now have a new song for you, my first love song since those I created for my "Lost and Found" CD album.

I invite you to take a look and listen to a music sample from "What Was I Doing?" by clicking the link to the Jorian's Songs web page on this site or by using the direct link to my CD Baby site. I also would love to hear what you think of my new song and hope you will tell me with a review at either or both sites.

I do not know where my songs come from; I was trained as an actress, not a singer or songwriter. They are a gift to me that I share with you. But I do know that song lyrics differ from the words I write for screenplays, novels and my memoir trilogy. The difference is that when words become an integral part of music, when they are transformed into lyrics, the combination produces a rainbow of emotions and, for me, the ultimate emotion is that of joy.

I hope never again to deliberately exclude the creating of songs from my life. Yes, I know. There I go with the "never" word again!

Yours in words and music,

Jorian

Blog Entry Updated 01/07/15

From Me to You
By Jorian Clair

The songwriting hiatus I announced earlier this year has ended, though not intentionally.

For several months, I had been ignoring melodies that sang in my mind, determined to devote all of my time and energy to completing Book 2 of my memoir trilogy. Then came the melody I could not ignore and I had no tape recorder available to capture the music.

I rushed into my office while I kept humming the melody so I would not lose it and used speed dial to call my music collaborator, John Belzaguy. When I got his voice mail, I left a message telling him I had no other way of retaining the music that had come to me and proceeded to sing the melody.

The next day, I received two MP3s from John: These were keyboard versions of my melody with one as a ballad and the other with a Latin accompaniment. When I called John to thank him, I also asked if he thought I should pursue development of this song.

"Yes," he told me. "It is a haunting melody."

By the following week, music for the bridge had come to me. This time I was ready with a tape recorder, and John had me play that into his voice mail as I had done with the first chorus. Soon, I had an MP3 of the combined chorus one and bridge in both the ballad and Latin versions.

In all the years and with all the songs I have created, with and without sight, I developed only those that came to me with lyrics as well as melodies. This meant I now faced a challenge: How could I write lyrics for a melody whose notes were still new to me?

My blindness required that I move back and forth between listening to the lyrics I was writing in a Word document to listening to the individual notes of the music on my computer's media player. The constant switching was stressful and took so much time and energy that I grew frustrated over the resulting neglect of my work on the trilogy.

During this process, I also provided John with the melody for chorus two; then we decided to do an extension on that (repeating the second half of the second chorus melody for the lyrics that would provide a resolution to the song's story).

I do not know what source is responsible for the songs that come to me. I do know that I have many musical fragments on tape recorders around my condo; I never took the melodies to completion because I had no lyrics for them. After this experience, I think I will return to my previous practice: Ignore any melody that does not come with lyrics. But then, if it were not for John, the melodies would remain in my mind; it is he who translates them into a reality that can be performed and therefore shared with others. This last is the only reason I continue to create songs since there is no money to be made with them.

It is my opinion that in today's music world, only celebrity songwriters can earn a living. Many new songwriters and composers must also assume the costs of being independent producers. This, combined with the public's lack of respect for what it takes to create a recorded song may force many to abandon their creative efforts.

This causes me to wonder: Will those who feel entitled to pay little or even nothing for the songs they obtain online notice when the river of songs is reduced to a trickle?

What do you think?

Blog Entry Updated 10/28/14

From Me to You
By Jorian Clair

I never make New Year resolutions. Instead, I make commitments. This is because to me, there is an important difference between a resolution and a commitment.

At the beginning of last year, I committed myself to making some important decisions that would create equally important changes in my life. So, while I began work on Book 2 of my serialized memoir and submitting "cold queries" to literary agents regarding Book 1, I also was reflecting on my pending decisions and the resulting changes created by these choices.

Entering the year 2014 provided me with a deadline for setting in motion the following decisions:

* I am taking a hiatus from songwriting and the subsequent indie recordings. (My CD album, "Lost and found," and single-track recordings of my last four songs remain available on the Internet and my web site.)

* I also am taking a hiatus from cabaret show performances.

At age six, I was a Hollywood stage actress and singer, but at 18, I discovered what goes with the territory of being a "celebrity." To me, the invasion of my privacy was a price I was not willing to pay. This is why I walked away each time my periodic return to singing seemed to be on the verge of launching me down the celebrity status road.

The 18 months I spent in the local cabaret world was challenging, fun and rewarding (especially communicating with an audience I could no longer see), and I loved the camaraderie of recording sessions of my songs. But this was only another detour from my life's journey, which is and always has been that of writing. Most important to me, I was able to earn a very good living as a writer without ever having to become "public property."

 Now, I will return to the almost monastic devotion required if one is to produce the quality of writing I hope to achieve: the kind that earns one the title of, "a literary author." Because writing is a solitary endeavor, many authors tend to prefer a quiet, solitary way of life that rarely results in a celebrity status that invades their privacy. It is my preferred lifestyle, although the show-business persona I learned to assume at an early age has often concealed this side of me from others.

With my time and energy now fully dedicated to writing, I hope to finish the trilogy of my memoir and, if still alive and well, create another screenplay and write another novel (both of which have been incubating inside my creative oven for some time).

Because of my decisions, I will no longer be posting the types of activities previously being reported on my blog and Facebook pages. Instead, it is possible that I may share commentaries from my journal, "Interlogues: Conversations with Myself." These "conversations" encompass a wide and eclectic range of subjects integral to the introspection I believe necessary to an improved understanding of and appreciation for the world in which we perceive our existence.

In closing, I bid you Namaste, a Hindu word that (loosely translated) means: "The light of my soul salutes the light of your soul."

Jorian

Jorian Clair Martial Arts
Jorian was still partially sighted as a Tae Kwon Do Orange Belt (4th of 10 belt levels).After that, she was completely blind as she progressed to a Senior Red Belt(10th level and one test shy of receiving a Black Belt).

Prior to losing the last of my sight to Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) in 2000, I began to use a blind person's cane, which I named "Charlie" (as in "Good-time Charlie"). Soon after completing orientation and mobility (O&M) training with the cane, I began to practice my new skills by going for walks with Charlie in my neighborhood.

One day, after turning a corner onto a quiet, unpeopled side street, I became aware of footsteps behind me. I halted, and so did the footsteps. When I began to walk again, alternately slowing and speeding up my pace, I decided the person behind me might be following with nefarious intentions. After all, a petite woman using a blind person's cane must look like an easy target for a mugger or worse.

Because my peripheral vision was severely limited, I turned my head so I could scan my surroundings and confirmed that there were no signs of people or traffic. So, when I reached an intersection, I stopped at the curb, raised Charlie to a horizontal position across my chest and, gripping each end of the cane with one hand, I pivoted to face the person behind me.

When I saw the young man slam to a stop, eyes skittering about as though to determine whether or not anyone was observing us, I spread my feet apart in a confrontational stance.

I knew my potential stalker could not be sure about my lack of sight because my eyes were hidden by a large sun hat and dark sunglasses. I increased my assertive posture and continued to stare right at him.

His expression turned uneasy, as though suddenly wary of whether or not I could see him. Abruptly, he shot across the street nearest him, and continued to run until he disappeared from view.

Whether or not he had actually been following me was not the important lesson I learned from this incident. No, the important lesson was that I was now vulnerable to aggressive behavior from others because the blind person's cane I needed to safely navigate terrain I could no longer see, communicated a "potential victim" alert.

Well, I was going to make sure that this signal would, in the future, prove false.

What I did as a result of this decision is included in a three-part article I wrote, "Achieve Self-Empowerment through Martial Arts." The first two parts have been posted on my web site; Part 3 will be posted in the future.

ADDENDUM: Some years later, after I was completely blind, and had earned my Tae Kwon Do Orange Belt, I experienced another incident relevant to this subject.

I was waiting for a taxi on the sidewalk in front of my condominium building when I heard a car roar up and slam to a stop next to the curb near where I was standing. Then, I heard the driver's door open and slam shut with the car's engine still running. I listened intently to evaluate what was happening.  I heard a man's footsteps run around the car to the passenger's door, the hinges protesting when he yanked it open, but I heard no one get out. A brief silence: I had forgotten about the grass between the curb and the sidewalk.

Suddenly, a man's strong hand grabbed my left arm (Charlie was in my right hand).  He was forcefully pulling me toward the car.

A natural reaction to this type of aggression would be to try and pull away, moving back in order to escape. But mine was the martial arts response of stepping in close to my opponent because proximity would at once enable me to judge his size and where his body parts were. This move also unbalanced my assailant since he was prepared for his victim to attempt to pull away, while I had moved forward.

If my right hand had not been holding Charlie, I would have punched the man in the throat with my fist. As it was, I rammed the head of my cane upward beneath his chin, simultaneously shouting "Kiav!" While the blow I delivered might not have been serious, its combination with the yell and his surprise at my counter-attack did the trick.

My would-be abductor released me and ran. I heard the passenger door slam shut, then that on the driver's side. A moment later, the idling car peeled rubber as the driver took off.

I was safe because I had known what to do to try to protect myself. Knowledge can be an effective weapon. And that is what my three-part article" Achieve Self-Empowerment through Martial Arts" is about.

Jorian

Home l Biography l Lost and Found CD l Jorian's Songs l The Crooked Little Christmas Tree Book
Tokyo Cow\boy Novel l Martial Arts l Jorian's Blog l Jorian's Webstore l Credits & /Links l Contact Jorian

Last Updated 01/07/15
All rights reserved. Copyright 2014 by Jorian Clair