I have new photos of myself from Joanna Angel’s Pool Party online today, and you should look at them because they rule. I think they’ll make you nice and wet. =)
Watch the SFW trailer –
Hey guys, I’m in NYC, though I wish it were under happier circumstances. I’m in town for a memorial/celebration of life in honor of my friend DJ Jess, who passed away last week.
We wrote a song together earlier this year, and it was the best collaborating with such a talented, bright human that I was lucky enough to call my friend – I’m so glad we created this. Jess, your music will live forever.
Here’s our song/video O Face –
Visit djjessmarquis.com to listen to all the awesome music he’s made. It’ll make you dance your pants off in happy fits, I promise. I think that’s what he would have wanted.
A memorial fund in Jess’s name has been set up by his family and friends, and will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Click here if you’d like to donate to the fund in his honor.
If you’ve been paying attention, then you know I spent my weekend in Baltimore for mine and Emily Parker’s appearances at the Baltimore Hustler Club. We also went to the Baltimore Tattoo Arts convention, and it was super cool.
Apparently, artists do work on prosthetic hands, so Emily and I had a little fun with that. =)
I also got a tattoo in memory of my friend DJ Jess who recently passed away – by Grant Cobb.
It looks amazing, thank you so much. I think he would be really happy being so close to my butt, forever.
Draven and I went to the Horseshoe Casino late one night – and we expressed our feelings towards Guy Fieri.
Here I am getting squished between Ophelia and Emily’s boobs, it’s close to what I imagine heaven is like.
More about my trip to Baltimore soon!
You need to drop your pants and give me 20, because Dude, Am I A Slut? Episode 1, from our Jason Ellis Show porno parody is now streaming online! It features Rizzo Ford who wore a skirt and no panties to the Army recruiters’ office one day, Xander Corvus and Mr. Pete!
Rizzo Ford is an American hero.
And in case you didn’t figure it out, this movie stars ME, as Jason Ellis. Watch the trailer here –
We’ll be talking Episode 1 on Lewd, Screwed, and Tattooed tomorrow on Vivid Radio, so don’t miss it!
A dear friend of mine passed away yesterday. DJ Jess has been in my life for about 13 years, he’s been a real inspiration to me, a huge influence on my life and my company – and he’s responsible for some of the most fun nights I ever had. New York City will never be the same.
I don’t know how to sum up my friendship with him in one blog entry and I don’t know how to put into words how I am feeling. I just want him to be remembered forever.
Anyone who knows the history of BurningAngel, knows that it started in 2002 when I while I was in college, at Rutgers. I was in my 5th year there, what I jokingly referred to as the “bonus round” – the extra year for people who didn’t complete all the credits you were supposed to in four years. After I had officially graduated, I wasn’t quite sure what I should do. BurningAngel was in its very early stages. We had a small handful of photo-sets on the website, updated maybe once every 6-7 weeks. Perhaps it would have been the most practical thing to do to just stay in Jersey and have extremely cheap rent while I tried to get my company off the ground – but my gut instinct was to move to New York City, and try to make something happen. What I needed to make happen I really wasn’t sure, but I knew there was something, or someone out there who could help me bring BurningAngel to the next level.
I moved to a cheap apartment in Brooklyn with some friends of friends. I went out anywhere I was able to get invited to or any event I found out about. At this point in time I didn’t even know the handful of girls featured on my own website – because at the time, the girls were sending in photo-sets they took on their own. One night at a bar on 2nd avenue called “The Hole” (calling it a dive bar would be giving it too much credit. This was literally like, some kind of crack in the wall with a handful of bottles of alcohol and plastic cups), a friend of a friend introduced me to Jess. It was summer time and the 200% humidity in New York was not flattering to my problematic Jewish skin and thick frizzy hair, particularly in a “bar” with no ventilation. However, Jess was like some kind of magical unicorn, wearing a leather jacket and tight jeans without an ounce of sweat on his face, and a perfect pompadour. It was as if Morrissey coughed and spat him out into existence.
The friend who introduced us (who, funnily enough, was actually named Jessica) knew I was interested in meeting someone in NY to collaborate with to try to do something with BurningAngel. She told me Jess was a local DJ who was about to start throwing his own party. She introduced us, “Jess- this is Joanna. She’s the owner of BurningAngel. Joanna this is Jess.”
He got on his knee and kissed my hand. Like something out of a movie, he gripped my hand and twirled me around and did one of those dips – as if we were magically transported into in some kind of ballroom. But truly – we were um… in a hole. I was incredibly self conscious because I could literally feel my wifebeater being glued to my back with a layer of sweat. He told me he had read about my website, and he asked where my entourage of punk rock girls was. “Where’s the paparazzi?” he asked, and I simply couldn’t stop laughing. I had spent my day answering emails on a 6 year old PC laptop on my bed. I was by no stretch of the imagination any kind of celebrity – I hadn’t even called myself Joanna Angel yet – I was simply Joanna – the name I was born with. In a very poetic way Jess told me he was going to start throwing parties and he would love for me and the BurningAngel girls to be part of it. I gave him my information – and after we got that business crap out of the way: we danced.
A few days later he sent me an email and – man…. I wish I could find it. This was so many email accounts ago I wouldn’t even know where to begin to look for it. It was written like a poem, I thought it was even more well-written than most poems (the poems I had very recently studied by Shelly Keats and Byron couldn’t compare to the eloquence in this one email) and the simple translation of it was: lets throw a fucking party. As I said, at the time – I really didn’t know most of the girls on the website. They sent in their photos, the photos went up, and occasionally I would speak to them on instant messenger. This was before BurningAngel had any videos. The first time I reached out to all the girls in the area, was to ask girls to come to the very first BurningAngel party. And girls from the entire tri-state area made their way over to New York City – about 12 of them. We all went to the party together – we met, we spoke, we danced, Jess introduced us to the crowd as if we were celebrities and the mixed crowed of men, women, and everything and anything in between cheered us on. Jess inspired me. BurningAngel from that point on developed a style, an attitude, and a community. I realized that BurningAngel had the potential to be a lifestyle on and offline – and not just a website with some porn on it. My impulsive and financially irresponsible decision to move to New York finally made sense – I went there because Jess and I were meant to meet.
That was just the beginning. After the first party being a success, Jess and I continued to work together. We did New Years parties together for 8 consecutive years (it may have even been more – there are too many to count). We did an annual “BA Anniversary party” every year in April – and even when I moved to Los Angeles we still collaborated on events. At times when I missed New York, I would hop on a plane Friday morning, I would go see Jess DJ Friday evening – then head straight back to the airport without any sleep Saturday afternoon. I truly can not find the words to describe the energy he created – his parties had such a diverse mix of people. Gay, straight, cross dressers, transpeople, college kids, and hipsters all joined together – and danced.
As both Jess and I got older – our friendship and our relationship matured. Outside of parties, we met for lunches (I would force him to wake up at 4 pm) and would talk for hours and hours – he would help me work on some of my porn scripts, he would talk to me about the evolution of his party, and his evolution as a DJ. When I first met Jess he was basically just playing a really awesome playlist (which I loved) – but as time went on Jess learned how to make his own beats, his own music, and made his own remixes. Quite honestly, I really don’t listen to any kind of electronic music at all, nor did I ever give a shit about the art of DJing. But Jess always told me that it didn’t matter how complex his songs were or how long he worked on them for. He said that he knows when he is doing his job right when he sees a room full of people dance. I always found myself dancing, even to songs I hated when Jess was in the room. It was the finesse he put into his music, and his concern for making the crowd happy that made him into who he was.
The first time I was asked to host a party that wasn’t a Jess party I remember texting him and telling him how awkward it was. It really wasn’t the same. So any opportunity I could, I included him. The first time I threw a party at AVN – I had him fly out to spin it. And this continued to several years. Clubs that hired me, I would insist on Jess being part of the BurningAngel package, because nightlife really never felt right without him.
Years later Jess even went on to inspire my sister – Sarah. When my younger sister moved to New York with a degree in Opera – like me, my sister has a passion and wasn’t sure what to do with it. I connected her and Jess and he inspired her to do an Opera Burlesque show – something that has truly never been done before. Jess remixed opera songs for her and she sang them on stage at night clubs. My sister was classically trained and bored of all her auditions to attempt to be part of incredibly stale, stuffy operas. Jess didn’t just open a door for her – he created a door out of a solid concrete wall, and kicked it open.
I really don’t know how to sum up everything Jess and I went through together.. We had such a history. But no matter where my life has gone, we always stayed in touch. As I got older – I went to New York less frequently and my bedtime got a little bit earlier. Meeting up with Jess at his gigs at 3AM became a bit harder for me, but we always found time to meet up – either before he went to work or on a random night off of his. Last year while meeting for brunch, randomly out of nowhere he was like, “What are you doing after this?” I said, “Nothing,” and he said, “Let’s go back to my apartment and write a song – I have a great idea.” And that was how “O Face” was born.
I am distraught and I don’t know what to say. Jess and I joked around about getting older and existing in worlds where you had to stay young. We laughed at ourselves. We laughed at each other. I truly thought we would be friends forever.
I am at a loss for words, and I cannot comprehend at all why this bright light of a human being chose to end his own life. The world lost an amazing person. I love you Jess. You will never be forgotten.
“Life is long, life is hard, life is miserable, but life is over way too fast and right now for this night – for these few hours, we get to do what we love. We get a stage, we get a disco ball, we get a club with good taste in music. Cheers to us: live Trash, die young.” – DJ Jess Marquis