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1st Annual Friend Raiser photos and videos


Check out the photos below the video link! 






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Michael Mott & Friends will make their Debut at Birdland Jazz Club


We just got word and wanted to share with you that a show called THE LEFT SIDE OF THE MOON: An Evening with Michael Mott and Friends is making it's debut at Birdland Jazz Club on February 27th. 

Mott, a friend of The AJ Project, will showcase several new songs as well as music from his debut album, "Where The Sky Ends" and his original musicals: "In The Light," "The Don" and "Lucifer." He is also really excited to share his new song co-written with Multi-Grammy and Tony Award nominated composer/producer Frank Wildhorn (Jeckyll & Hyde, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Victor:Victoria, Dracula:The Musical, Bonnie & Clyde and Wonderland).

Michael's friends for this show are a who's who on Broadway and a few pop artists that have made a name for themselves as well. The evening features Kara Lindsay (Wicked), Broadway's longest running Elphaba, Jackie Burns (Wicked, If/ Then, Hair), Jeremy Stolle (The Phantom of the Opera) Alan H. Greene (School of Rock), Brad Greer (Bridges of Madison County), Dan DeLuca (Newsies), Loren Allred (NBC's The Voice), Meg Doherty Scannell (Hairspray) and Turkish pop star, Seran Bilgi. Complimenting the talent will be a five piece band under the musical direction of Joshua Zecher-Ross   (frequent 54 Below musical director). 

The iconic music venue is located in mid-town Manhattan at 315 West 44 Street. Compared to a lot of NYC show places the $30 ticket price and $10 food/drink minimum is a good deal.  According to the Birdland's website they offer "top-flight jazz in a world class setting, good sight lines and acoustics, elbow room, and an award-winning menu featuring American cuisine with a Cajun flair." The doors open at 5 pm/show 7 pm. For more information on the venue and ticket information you can visit

I first met Michael Mott and many of his "friends" when I was introduced to his cabaret show at The Astor Room located in the Kaufman Astoria Studio complex in Astoria. On any given Wednesday night you may see an up and coming singer, Broadway star or witness the beginnings of the next Broadway hit (at the songwriters showcase). The unrehearsed evening usually starts a little after 8 pm with an opening number by Mott then followed by three to four performers accompanied by a talented pianist on the famous baby grand rescued from the now defunct Kaufman Astoria recording studio. An added plus to the fun filled evening is there is no cover, no minimum and no reservation needed. For you outer borough travelers its an easy walk from the N,W or R train to the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex where it is located. Don't walk by too fast because the location can easily be passed. Just look for the big Kaufman sign and you are there.   

Michael is constantly working on projects and is currently in the studio recording his second studio album which he hopes to release in late spring/early summer. Like his cabaret shows, Michael has invited his friends into the studio and feature some of the best from the Broadway community and Pop world. According to Mott "this is a very different direction from 'Where The Sky Ends,' which was really a compilation album of several different musical styles.' I have really found my voice as a writer over the past couple of years and have focused on the feel good pop and soulful romantic side of my musical vocabulary. There are several different styles of "popular" music included on the record including dance pop, soul, R&B, gospel and folk, to name a few. I have teamed up with an incredible pop and hip hop producer named Richard James, who is really bringing these songs to life in a fresh, new way that makes them feel very current, yet timeless. I cannot wait to share this album with everyone and start to include all of these new songs in my concert set list." 

Announced vocalists for his new release so far include: TONY Award Nominee, Jennifer Damiano (Broadway: American Psycho, Spiderman, Next To Normal), Jay Armstrong Johnson (Broadway: On The Town, Catch Me If You Can, Hair), Natalie Weiss (Breaking Down The Riffs), Eric LaJuan Summers (Broadway: Kinky Boots, Motown, The Wedding Singer), Loren Allred (NBC's The Voice), Kacey Velazquez (Upcomingpop/ R&B singer). Several other singers will be announced via Mott's Instagram page at @Michael_Mott over the next several weeks.

For information on booking Michael Mott contact Stacy Swain Management: To add your event to The Arts Voice Box contact

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Membership is free: Our tribes include but are not limited to: video and film production, editing services, live and produced music, actors and stage performers, graphic artists, body painters, live event production & consulting services on your production.

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The AJ Project Fiscally Sponsors LIC Reading Series - Receives QCA Grant

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Body Painting Video for Organ Donor Awareness

The #Livelifegivelife #4AJ video uses the power of the arts as a platform to support and promote organ donor registration. AJ Perrelli's mom, Christine Perrelli, the founder of The AJ Project, met a group of body painters and shared her wish to create a collaborative video using her son's gifts of life as the inspiration. The music was written and performed by John Keitel and is inspired by AJ Perrelli's actual heartbeat. The body painting was conceived and painted by Ish Peralta, Shelley Wapnaik and Hector Lopez and represents AJ gifts of life. The models are AJ's brother Michael and sister Kitty and the cinematography and editing was performed by Joseph Bearese. 

The AJ Project was created in homage to AJ's passion and dedication to his life as an actor, dancer, singer and stage performer. They strive to create opportunities to support the artistic community and through the collaborative efforts of many, created this video commemorating AJ’s final role, as an organ donor.  

 #4AJ #imadonor4AJ 

By clicking on the link above you can register as an organ and tissue donor on this national site.  There is a link to let The AJ Project know how many people have registered through our site.  Even if you are already registered we encourage you to sign up on this site. They built a database that lets you use your social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) to TELL THE WORLD YOU SUPPORT ORGAN DONATION USING SPECIFIC HASHTAGS. Plus, they store that information and provide it to your next of kin at the appropriate time so they can see your wishes in your own words. Are your registered as an organ/tissue donor.


*Video Produced by The AJ Project non profit for the arts as part of their Create from the Heart series.  The AJ Project is a 501(c)3 founded by AJ's mom Christine Perrelli and friend Christina Neubrand. Their mission is to honor AJ's legacy by creating, curating and cultivating emerging artist. This is the second video in the series.  To watch the first click here.

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AJ spoke to the World through Facebook -







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Burlesque Show comes to Astoria

by Christine Perrelli
performers and production contact

   FB-fLogo-Blue-broadcast-2.png   twitter_lgo.jpg   like_FB.png   aj-silo-with-name1.png    Instagram-v051916_200.png

The iconic Astor Room located in the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens NY is making a name for itself as a premiere hotspot showcasing amazing singers, musicians and the occasional magician. Now you can add a monthly Burlesque Show to the mix. Starting Thursday, September 29th the Speakeasy Burlesque NY will debut in the new event space called Studio A. The evening will benefit a non profit for the arts called The AJ Project.

Produced by Director/Choreographer Steven Cardona in partnership with The AJ Project a 501(c)3 non profit for the arts, the themed shows plan on engaging the audience's through texting and emailing a secret password for entrance, drink specials and to receive the theme for the next months show.  Guest are not required to dress the theme but if they want to play the part that is encouraged. 


Loreto_720px.jpgMontserrat L'umiere guest performs at The Astor Room on Thursday September 29, 2016Photo credit: Giovanni Gellona

For their first show "Diva's" a variety of performers will take the stage. Steven's co-host this month will be comedian Liz Magee who performs stand-up all over New York City. The line up includes Loreto Astroza performing as Montserrat L'umiere who's credits as a dancer span both Chile and NYC. This gorgeous dancer has a background in Latin, Jazz and Salsa so expect a hot sexy performance. Featured dancers Milagros Simon as Lady Day and Kitty Perrelli offer a beautiful mix of performance and fun. To mix things up songstress Amy Rivard will perform and Joshua Warr as Stormy Weatherz brings a little Drag to the room. 

The Speakeasy NY Burlesque NY will be at held the third Thursday of every month at The Astor Room located on 35th Ave and 35th Street in Astoria. Doors open 7pm/ $10 cover at the door.


The relationship with The AJ Project and The Astor Room began this past June when they co-hosted a Tony Awards Viewing Party. For 20 bucks (half going to the AJ Project!) guest watched the televised Tony Awards hosted by James Cordon on a big screen TV. They were entertained during commercial breaks by members of the AJ Project's tribe with song and comedy. Jarvis Green played the beautiful baby grand for singers Rachel Lauria, Haley Clair, Kitty Perrelli and Alexander Sage Owen. Co-hosted by Steven Cardona and Comedian Cate Wineberg, the audience was also given the chance to win prizes by answering trivia questions presented via video taken especially for the event from Broadway stars; Heather Parcells from Tuck Everlasting, Amanda LaMotte from Matilda The Musical, Jeff Blumenkrantz from Bright Star, Natalie Charle Ellis from School of Rock and Sam Rodgers from American in Paris. As part of the special evening guest were treated to a light menu & 1 free cocktail as well. Youtube_logo.png  

Because the night was such a success, viewing parties are on the schedule for Rocky Horror Live on October 20th and Hairspray Live on December 7th. Once again entertainment will be on the menu. Attendees will be encouraged to dress the part so make sure you sign up on the website to get more details. 

Astor_room_pics.jpgIn this world where live performers have fewer and fewer places to showcase their work, Manager Gjovalin "John" Nikci is a strong supporter of the arts. This is evident by the variety of opportuinities for entertainers to showcase their talents at The Astor Room. Besides the incredible food and signature drinks offered daily live jazz is on the menu at Sunday Brunch and also Friday and Saturday evenings. Tuesdays feature pop performers and Wednesday's Michael Mott & Friends presents a weekly cabaret style show where singers and the occasional magician come to the stage and perform anything from pop to broadway tunes.

John_and_Chris.jpg You  can check out the Astor Room calendar here. 

It is with great pride, like that of a stage dad, that John boasts of the historic building that houses The Astor Room. Built in the 1920's this once commissary to the stars sits upstairs from the former Studio A music recording studio where greats like Billy Joel have recorded. With the recent renovation of Studio A to an event space, Nikci envisioned not only a great place to host meetings, weddings or Bar Mitzvahs, but had a specific vision of having a Burlesque Show. Once down the stairs through a non-descript hallway you enter a private venue that seats up to 100 has a full stage, lights and projection set up.  It has a full bar and the ability to transform into any theme you can imagine. It is the perfect space for The Speakeasy Burlesque NY show.  AJ_Montage.jpg

The AJ Project is a 501(c)3 non profit organization for the arts located in Astoria Queens. Their mission is to create, cultivate and curate adults pursuing the arts as a career. The NPO was founded little over a year ago by Christine Perrelli, AJ's mother, to honor the memory of her son who was a dancer, actor and singer. He passed away in 2013 at age 26 from a head injury. Creating this monthly show is a win win for both The Astor Room and The AJ Project. The Astor Room is able to support a local non profit and host a spectacular evening filled with talent and The AJ Project can has a venue to cultivate the arts community. AJ used to say that "Adulting" as an artist is hard. It is the job of The AJ Project to find ways to make it easier.  All of the $10 donation for the Diva Show will go to The AJ Project and their mission.  If you would like to offer your creative services to future works of The AJ Project you can go to their website and join at or email For performance info on the Burlesque shows contact

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"Adulting" is hard. We're making it easier for Savannah!

We need your help to fill the Gap!

Savannah couldn't wait to share her news with us. She landed a contract as a repertory ballet dancer in Maine starting mid August 2016! Then reality set in. Her NYC apartment lease and "survival" nanny job are both over the end of June.

Can you help Savannah by donating resources to Fund the Gap by making a tax deductible contribution?

Savannah is the perfect example of what The AJ Project wants to do as an organization. We provide resources to emerging artists  so they can be artist! In this case we are trying to FUND THE GAP for Savannah and keep her dancing! 


Our goals were set:

 housing-studio time and stipend for travel for 6 weeks

As of 6/20/16  we have received:

two weeks of housing - $200 towards expenses -18 hours of studio time 

As of 6/30/2016 we have received

3 weeks of housing - $225.00 towards expenses - 18 hours of studio time at one studio and free Double Barre classes at another

We still need: 

7 days of housing - additional funds for metro cards


Savannah Lee - The AJ Project supporter and ballet dancer.

Like so many emerging artists, Savannah has sacrificed so much. She worked her ass off in odd jobs, trained continuously so she would be ready when the opportunity arose and auditioned for every opportunity she could. For the past few years she has been living in various places including a convent( yes I said a convent) and a retirement home that offered rooms with a ballet dancer roommate so  she could afford to live and train in New York City. That is sacrifice!!!  

If you or someone you know has a safe place for Savannah to stay from July 19th- 27th or would like to contribute to a fund we set up to help her out until she starts her contract you can either contribute on the link below or contact

Your contributions will directly purchase housing, transportation, dance classes and a stipend for Savannah. The AJ Project will not keep any portion of the proceeds. 

The AJ Project is a non-profit 501(c)3 that works with adults in the arts by connecting them to resources to help them survive. Their motto is "Adulting" in the arts is hard. We make it easier! 



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70th Tony Awards Viewing Party to Benefit The AJ Project-June 12th

The Videos are up from the Tony Viewing Party!!!! Check them out 

Special Shout out to our friends Jeff Blumenkrantz, Amanda Lamotte, Heather Purcells and Natlaie Charles Ellis, live from Broadway, who helped out with the Trivia Questions!

and to our performers

Haley Claire, Rachel Lauria, Kitty Perrelli and Alexander Sage Owen

(Tag yourself and Share!)

Thank you to all who came out and had a fun night celebrating the Tony Awards with us at The Astor Room in Astoria!  Sign up for our newsletter to receive information about our upcoming events!   



The evening featured special performances, trivia and raffles hosted by

Comedian, Cate Weinberg and Choreographer, Steven Cardona.  

Tickets were $20 in advance and $25 at the door which included 1 free drink and a light menu.

7 PM- The Astor Room  35-11 35th Ave Astoria, NY 11106

 #4AJ #tonypartynyc 


Want to host a Friendraising event in your area?  Contact



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In his own words: “About Me”

One month before he passed away, AJ finally finished his website.

On there he wrote an “About Me.” These are his words.


About Me

First the fun stuff. I am the oldest of four children, a native New Yorker, I love all music from Mozart to Marilyn Manson and everything in between, and a little fun fact, I know the tune to practically every song in history and the words to almost absolutely NONE of them ;-) Now my story.

At the age of three or four, I pointed (so I've been told) at the television screen in our small railroad apartment in Astoria, looked up to my mother and father and told them that I wanted to go THERE. They thought I was referring to Sesame Street. Of course that probably would have been a fantastic idea, but I think I was truthfully referring to the shows, movies, and stories that were constantly captivating me as a child.

By the age of ten, I started to do children’s musicals and plays with local theaters. By twelve, I was in the recording studio doing voiceover work for children’s shows and “English as a second language” tapes. By thirteen, I was told you needed be a "triple threat" and realized that I had two left feet and couldn’t dance.

I decided (after some convincing) that I would start to attend a tap and jazz class just to shake off the awkwardness. Apparently there was some dance in me after all. Nine months later I was offered a full ride scholarship to a dance school in Orlando, Florida. I practically lived in the studio and started to do all forms of dance.  I had the fortunate experience of winning scholarships to New York and California to study even further and also become part of DDK, a pro am dance troupe. Remember this was way before it was cool to be a male dancer but I did it and loved it.

Five years later I was looking at a professional dance career.  I started scoping out ballet companies to audition for after high school graduation and hoped to get to the next level.  Well, as the adults and teachers in your life tell you, and as the semi old adage goes...“you should always have a backup because you never know what could happen.  Dance is physical and you could have an accident and your career is over.”  I didn’t have a backup, nor did I want one.  I knew that I wanted to be on stage, sharing myself and story telling.  This was the only life for me.

As luck would have it, three weeks before high school graduation, I was involved in a horrible car crash.  I graduated high school in a wheelchair and my newly found dreams of becoming a professional dancer was dashing away.  I was told by the doctors that it would take between a year and a half to two years to completely recover to normalcy and also to “find a new ambition”.  They suggested that I would not be able to dance after the surgeries and the rod they put in my thigh attached to my femur may not allow me to gain my full strength.  I had a choice and my “I don’t have time for this” kicked in.

Within four months, I was out of my wheelchair.  Within one year, I was dancing again in my first show.  From there,  I decided to push the envelope and stare the “you can’t do this” in the eye.  I trained and was hired to became a professional stilt walker with Universal Studios.  My next goal was the arial arts and the silks.  I did that too.  I worked with several cirque companies throughout Central Florida.

After landing an international tour with Disney Live and Feld Entertainment, I traveled Asia and Europe for three years as an actor, dancer, and puppeteer.  When I decided to leave the tour, I knew it was time to return to my roots and true passion.  I knew that my dance shelf life would be coming to an end sooner than later. I also knew the longevity and strength it took to be on stage was getting more difficult for me due to my injuries.

Not so sure what I was going to do I moved to New York.  I had some fear for the first time in my life.  I auditioned for dance gigs, did some commercial work and picked up odd jobs to keep the money flowing.  What if I couldn't do this? Be this?  

It was then that it hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was as if the clouds had cleared.  I became so obvious to me that EVERYTHING happens for a reason.  I would have never stopped dancing, and would have never been able to fully return and commit to my original and still very alive dream of being a professional and well trained actor if it weren’t for some bigger power putting something like an accident of that nature in my way.

It was at that point I put the dance shoes back on the shelf for a while.  I applied for and was accepted to The William Esper Acting Studio.  I diligently studied in many different classes of the craft and completed the two year acting program in May 2012. Since then my life has been committed to growing and learning within my craft as an actor.

I am applying my life experience and world travel to my work to become the fullest, sharpest, and most flexible and available actor I can be.  Although I always continue my studies, and there is always more to learn, everything that I have acquired and brought to the table seems to be working wonderfully.

I am proud to say that I am now a consistently working actor in film, television, and theatre, and can’t wait to grow within my craft, myself, and my career.

Thank you for coming to my website, and I’m very excited to work with you soon!

AJ Perrelli

AJ passed away at the age of 26 from a head injury.  His life's journey has inspired many artist's to pursue their passions in the arts, created the conversation about organ donation and inspired the launch of The AJ Project. 
Like us, Follow us- Instagram us @4theajproject - The AJ Project 501(c)3 
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