the next service is in Los Angeles on June 11

Posts In Fantasy

JoNell Kennedy | Featured Performer


For this Sunday, my dear pal from LA theater days, JoNell Kennedy, is going to do the reading for us. The theme is FANTASY and JoNell is a fantastic performer and person so it’s a great fit. The service is Sunday, October 11th at Bootleg Theater at 12 noon. We think she’ll be reading a little something about falling down the rabbit hole…

Here’s JoNell’s bio:

JoNell Kennedy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father is retired Federal Government Employee (Labor Dept.) and mother was a vocalist with 1960s group “The Dixi Kups”. JoNell is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where she majored in theatre. She is a recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Theatre Award Sings with Rock/Soul Band “The Soul Of John Black” She was awarded the 1992 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Revue for “Spunk-Three Tales by Zora Neale Hurston” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. Recent TV appearances: The Mentalist, Southland, NCIS and Shameless.


Megan Rippey | Featured Performer

For this Sunday’s gathering in LA, the theme is FANTASY and so we have a wonderful burlesque performer taking part. Megan Rippey is an actress and singer and burlesque performer with a background in Gender and Sexuality Studies–Megan comes to us via our pal John Henningsen and she’s going to grace our service with illusion, the power of the feminine and the aura of fantasy right here on earth. So excited to have her with us.

Here’s Megan’s bio:

Megan Rippey is a Baltimore girl, a Calartian, and a passionate explorer living and working in Los Angeles. She holds a multidisciplinary Bachelors degree from St. Mary’s College of MD in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts. She is an accomplished burlesque performance artist, and incorporates acrobatic pole dancing into her art. She practiced classical vocal technique as a soprano with the Johns Hopkins Peabody Children’s Choir for eleven years. Among the things she adores are Maryland-style crab feasts, unicorns, and cross-country road trips.


Anthony Ausgang | Featured Performer


This coming Sunday, October 11th, we kick off the first service of the season in Los Angeles and the theme will be FANTASY. Anthony Ausgang, our featured visual artist, is someone who makes fantastical works of art and animation and he’ll be sharing his work with us. With references to hi and low culture and an understanding of the classic and the kitsch, Ausgang is a art-world rebel and a charming prankster with a great sense of color and play. His work is often seen at the legendary Zero One gallery in Los Angeles and we’re delighted to share his work with our community.

Anthony Ausgang was born in Trinidad and Tobago in 1959 to a Dutch mother and Welsh father. The family moved to Houston, Texas in the early 1960’s, a particularly difficult time for an immigrant family to parse American culture. Nevertheless, Ausgang’s father made brave attempts to assimilate by attending custom car shows and demolition derbies. Ausgang eventually encountered Ed Roth and before long had a shoebox full of Rat Finks, a small plastic figurine of a noxious rodent that had somehow become the embodiment of Hot Rod and Custom Car Culture. Ausgang’s mother continued the European traditions by dragging her son to endless operas, symphonies and art museums.

This combination of High Art and Low Art was to prove a fertile cultural mulch for Ausgang’s artistic inclinations. After a short stint studying art at The University Of Texas in Austin, Ausgang succumbed to the myth of California and moved to Los Angeles where he began classes at The Otis Art Institute. Disappointed to find out that the curriculum there didn’t include target practice, admiring cars or watching surf films, Ausgang dropped out to start showing his artwork to as many galleries as would tolerate his frequent visits.

Finally accepted by the infamous Zero One Gallery, a combination of after hour’s nightclub, gallery and crash pad, he had his first official sale, to a drug dealer. At his solo show later that year Ausgang sold to a more diverse and socially acceptable crew as collectors and critics began to take notice. At the Zero One, Ausgang met Robert Williams, who was one of the main forces at Roth Studios in the 1960’s and was the most successful practitioner of the type of art that would later be called Low Brow.

As the “official” art world began to accept Ausgang’s work so did the commercial art world and he began making record covers and posters and working as a consultant on computer generated animation. In 1993 Ausgang was included in the Laguna Beach Art Museum’s seminal exhibit “Kustom Kulture” which investigated art influenced by gear head car culture. In 2003 Ausgang’s paintings could be seen in Morning Wood, a primer of Post Graf art; in 2004 his work graced the pages of contemporary art survey Pop Surrealism and in 2005 Weirdo Deluxe explained his art to the unenlightened.

Ausgang draws influence from as many outside channels as possible, preferring the toy contents of grocery store gumball machines to the latest exhibit at the Whitney. Opinionated but informed; he is able to see the beauty in both a Rembrandt and a rat rod. This variety of interest has led him to design his artwork on the computer but complete it on the easel, the perfect combination of new technology and traditional media.

Ausgang continues to live and work in Los Angeles. Check out some of his recent work in Volcom’s Summer 2012 Featured Artist line and at


Natalie Rowland | Featured Artist


Our upcoming service in LA – this Sunday, October 11th at noon at Bootleg Theater – is jammed packed with magical people, which is only fitting: the theme is FANTASY. One of those magical people is Natalie Rowland, a soon-to-be 16 year old actress and lover of life. In fact, Natalie’s birthday is Sunday, October 11th and, in honor of that special day, she’s going to be reading the Cultural Calendar for us. Natalie’s sparkly and great and I can’t wait for her to take part in the event.

check out her bio:
Natalie Diane Rowland: Lover of life and humans and everything in between. Musician, singer, songwriter, arranger, actress, filmmaker, baker of cakes, and founder of nonprofit organization Heartstrings Foundation, which provides free ukuleles and lessons for hospitalized children. Tell me your middle name and I’ll be your friend forever.


Pamela Albertson | Food Offering


The theme for our upcoming event in LA is FANTASY–Sunday, October 11th at Bootleg Theater–and we have a FANTASTIC person lined up to deliver it. Pamela Albertson and I met in grade school and became best friends in High School. We did theater together and worked together and got into all sorts of trouble together. Nowadays, she goes by Pamela Gregory and she lives with her husband and kids in Napa, where she is a maker of all sorts of wonderful things from mosaics to batik to breads to jams to clothes–you name it, she has either made it or will make it someday soon.

I reached out to Pamela about doing the food offering for LA, turns out she’s going to be in town and she’s bringing something special for us. Can’t wait.

Here’s her bio:

Pamela spent her childhood getting pats on the head for her artistic abilities. Her father once told her she made lime jello better than anyone else in the world. With this support behind her, she’s gone on to pursue a life devoted to making things.
A life-long and self taught crafter, cook, actress, knitter, seamstress, gardener…she took a break to earn a degree in Sociology and shop for a husband at UCSB. Pamela’s day job is directing youth theatre for kids 2nd- 5th grades.
She and her husband Sean have three children and live in Napa, CA.


Alan Ishii​ | Featured Performer


Here we come LA! Following our season kick off in NYC last weekend, we now turn out attention to Los Angeles and, Sunday, October 11th when we’ll be back there for FANTASY. Our musical guest is a dynamic, iconoclast–singer, pianist, composer of a distinctive mix of pop, classical and avant garde music. Alan Ishi creates in a fantastic world of his own making and we’re thrilled he’s going to share his work with us.

Alan Ishii​ is a singer, pianist, composer, and producer from Los Angeles. Having recently graduated ​summa cum laude​ from California State University Los Angeles with a degree in audio engineering, Alan has bursted out the gate, striking in all directions, making a solo piano debut at The Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, having a Classical chamber work taken in a twelve city tour of China’s concert halls by the famed Zodiac Trio as part of their ​Zodiac: Across the Universe​, and proudly venturing toward whichever vast artistic horizons call.

Lately, Alan has been touring ​Wild Sounds!​, a solo electronic-cabaret performance piece for voice, loop pedal, and synthesizer that sets the voice on fire and lets it burn. Avant-garde vocal pyrotechnics, ​bel canto ​wails, from sub-bass belts to stratospheric, theremin-like coloratura soprano whistles, punctuated by sultry crooning are all utilized to aggressively execute an opus that touches on Jazz, Country, Rockabilly, pulsating Dance, Punk, Salsa, to Enka, the Blues, Bossa Nova, and beyond.


2015/2016 Season

Here it is, folks, the big line-up for the year. Very excited about the themes and the venues and the few changes – note the Winter Solstice event at Judson Memorial Church on December 20th. It will be our first evening service and a much bigger venue.

Thanks to all who helped out with suggestions of themes.

  • Sunday, September 27th – NYC/Dixon Place – COLOR
  • Sunday, October 11th – LA/Bootleg Theater – FANTASY
  • Sunday, October 25th – NYC/Dixon Place – EVOLUTION
  • Sunday, November 22nd – NYC/Dixon Place – DIRT
  • Sunday, December 13th – LA/Bootleg Theater – SUGAR
  • Sunday, December 20th – NYC/Judson Memorial Church – STARDUST
  • (Winter Solstice event – starts at 5:30pm)
  • Sunday, February 21st – NYC/Dixon Place – THE FORBIDDEN
  • Sunday, March 6th – LA/Bootleg Theater – PROPHECY
  • Sunday, March 20th – NYC/Dixon Place – ENERGY
  • Sunday, April 24th – NYC/Dixon Place – RISK
  • Monday, May 23rd – NYC/Dixon Place – Secret Admirers
  • Our annual benefit to support the work of The Secret City
  • Sunday, June 12th – LA/Bootleg Theater – FREEDOM
  • Sunday, July 31st – Woodstock – PLAY

So, you can see, it’s going to be a LOT OF FUN. And, because it’s The Secret City, it will also be deep and meaningful and beautiful and rare. And it will be so much richer and better if you’re a part of it.

See you at The Secret City