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Live video and tweets from Jam Fest

Camille Doty

By Camille Doty
April 13, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated April 13, 2012 at 11:14 p.m.

For live updates from Jam Fest, scroll to the bottom of the article.

Paul Nagi traveled from New York to California with a dream to pursue acting.

The 33-year-old Staten Island native discovered his golden voice in the Golden State.

Nagi has appeared in the films "Blood from a Stone" as a war general and "Color of the Cross," as one of Jesus' disciples.

Most recently he was featured as a musician waiting for his big break.

"It still hasn't happened," he said.

Friday evening, Crossroads residents caught a glimpse of his struggles through the music documentary "Unsigned."

The premise of the film explores artists never giving up on their dreams.

The feature-length film was an appropriate introduction to the Jam Fest, the Victoria Fine Arts Association's signature event. Nagi will be the opening act for Saturday's festivities.

"We're excited he's (Nagi) here and we're off to a good start," said Geri Schroeder, the association's board president.

Close to 100 moviegoers brought their lawn chairs to the Junior League Courtyard to watch Nagi and his counterparts in action.

The New York University graduate schooled South Texas with his alternative sound, which could be described as a combination of rock and funk.

"When I heard about him I was sold on going," said Robin Janecka, Victoria businesswoman.

She appreciates his 80s-style flair because it serves as a reminder to her childhood.

As soon Janecka, 36, got the chance, she greeted the eclectic musician with "Welcome to our small town."

"It's a pleasure," he responded.

Director Edward Payson found Nagi online for the film.

"It pretty much starts and ends with Craigslist," he said.

Payson, a former film student, understood the pains of finding a lucrative career.

The New Hampshire native thought he would be working for Steven Spielberg after film school.

But he was in a for a rude awakening and settled for a desk job, which he described as cubicle hell.

Payson said Nagi's story gave him plenty of material.

"Everything that we needed happened," Payson said.

"Unsigned" was originally submitted to Anthony Pedone for the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival, but there wasn't an available time slot.

Pedone and members of the arts organization invited the Los Angeles-based entertainers to Victoria.

Nagi said he's enjoyed the hospitality and history in the Crossroads. To him, the old buildings tell a story.

He's learned to play in front of large crowds and no one at all. He said he can't wait to rock out on stage Saturday.

"Hopefully we'll get a good turnout and they will enjoy it," he said.



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