2015 marks my 25th Anniversary making a living as an entertainer on the lone prai-ree where the coyotes howl, etc. I’ve been very lucky. People ask me what I do, I tell ’em I drive. So far, I’ve logged 783,4523 miles; 4,037 shows; 8,045 jokes that no one laughed at (and, luckily; 24,000 they did); a gazillion notes plucked; 2 bazillion hours of humbling practice; and more songs sung than you can shake a sticky note at.
Why do you do it? For the money, of course. But I also love performing.
What’s the secret to your success? I never gave up my day job. Really most of what I do is the business of the entertainment business. If I didn’t do that I couldn’t do the fun stuff.
How do you do that voo doo that…? My motto is: make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em laugh so hard they cry. As Fats Waller said, “Find out what they like and how they like it and let ’em have it just that way!” If I do that, the audience and I get to do a little dance. Sometimes I lead, sometimes they do. If the stars are aligned they stand up at the end. Usually when that happens they’ve been sitting for a while and their git up and go has to git up and go.
I did a show for a group of people, average age 80. At the end, they all stood up. It took a while, but they all stood up. And clapped. Just as fulfilling? A few shows ago, a couple of young guys said quietly as they were leaving: “You sure know how to play that thing.”
Thanks to all the people who helped me along the way and all the audience members who enjoyed the shows.