Alan Sands Entertainment

 

Tales from the Trails - August 2nd, 2016

Last night I slept in the back seat of my truck. Yes, at 56 years old (my birthday is in two days), I still sleep in my vehicle on occasion. It is actually one of the criteria I check when buying a vehicle. Can I lay down in the back seat and not be in a fetal position? I don’t have to sleep in my truck, after all - we fair performers are independently wealthy since we make the big bucks (insert sarcastic LOL), but all hotels surrounding Yellowstone NP run about $250 a night for a Super 8 in August and I think everyone but “The Donald” would whine a bit about paying those prices. I am not on vacation and I have no one to impress, I am alone - and truthfully, I found a campsite along a river in the woods where it was just me and the moths. I was in paradise and I slept well. Fortunately, I am 5’7” and my truck is 5’6” wide inside. I have a 2” piece of foam I put inside a $20 sleeping bag as a futon and I have one of those sleeping bags that is thicker than any blanket I have ever owned. It’s difficult to roll up at times. You have to use clips to hold it folded in half before you roll it and it is huge once it is rolled up!  I also bring a firm pillow so I don’t feel the arm rest under my head. I’m a guy - sleeping alone along the road is OK every other night and I feel safe and the world is my urinal. Alan Bruess brings his kitchen with him everywhere. I bring my bedrolls, and I have a kitchen, too but I will leave that for another time.

I have driven through Yellowstone National Park every year at least once for the last 28 years. The first year was the year Yellowstone burned, 1988, but I move ahead for a moment. One year I spent six days in the park. I flew a girlfriend into Jackson Hole. We stayed in a hotel in Jackson Hole when she arrived. I then reserved rooms with the help of someone in the park at one of the reservations desks. If you called on the phone they would have said, “Sold Out” but at the desk, we found rooms throughout the park, spaced out evenly, driving every road, ending up back to Jackson Hole where we stayed again in the same hotel the last night before I flew her home. It was the only time my Tundra got 18 MPG because the speed limit in the park is 45 MPH.

My first year on the road was 1987. Wow, OK - 29 years … I joined RMAF the fall of 1987. It was one of the first associations I joined after joining the IAFE and WFA the previous year. I joined RMAF because my office partner, Fred Anderson said, “I want to see the Teton Mountains,” and so now, half my life has been visiting these national parks and the surrounding states.


 Fred was my office partner. We did our marketing together. We were both San Francisco street performers and we knew that fairs were the logical market to go into from the streets since you were working outdoors, fighting the elements and you had to gather a crowd and do a show. The only difference was on the streets you had to ask the audience for money at the end of the show. At fairs, you had a guarantee. Back in the late 1980’s Fred and I would work together getting work for the summer fair season. Fred would make the phone calls. I would type out cover letters (without a spell check - I am sure my letters were horrible!). We would stuff two VHS videos into an envelope and for $2.00 we could mail them out together - same price, up to two lbs., one or two tapes. 

In 1987, Fred and I were about the only two variety acts working the RMAF Convention along with Gibb Richards the clown. Gib was well established there already. Gib was a math teacher at a University in Albuquerque and he spent his summers working for fairs, charging just enough to break even and vacationing in the region. There was one other act. Triangle Talent was handling a balloon sculptor that did HUGE balloons of a Motorcycle - the acts last name was Hamilton I think. Dave Hamilton rings a bell, but don’t quote me on that. He was good. He wore a white suit with a red shirt and red shoes. He looked sharp! I wonder how many of those suits he had. They certainly did not stay clean, I am sure. The four of us were the entire convention entertainment line-up of variety acts. There were musical acts, of course. Almost as many musical acts then as there are hypnotists now! Things have changed, though. Now there are over 100 variety and grounds acts I believe in the Rockies region, but competition is good I feel, too.

So, what is my point? Why am I sharing all this? Well, this all comes to mind because yesterday, Fred Anderson sent me a text message asking if I could videotape him at a show he was doing locally in the SF Bay Area.  I began thinking about those first tours through the region. Fred was a Juggler and I did magic and balloons. We sold ourselves as a two act package. Fred never drove a car, so he didn’t mind making less to have a personal chauffeur drive him everywhere. Fred had a great showcase but was shy. I’d do the pitch in the room. This is one of the benefits of being a sidewalk balloon clown for so many years.

Back then, the small fairs would help route the acts. They would co-op buy together and run you along Reed William’s carnival route from town to town. We’d get five fairs in a row, two to five days each. We needed to make $2,500 each a week back them to stay on the road and come home with enough money to buy chicken. 

The first two years, Fred and I toured a lot together. One of our “Seymour” Moments was when: we went to the Big Horn Mountains and rented a log cabin for a night between fairs. The place had a small diner on the property and as we sat there eating, we looked out the huge picture window onto a small pond maybe 50-100 feet diameter and in the middle of the pond stood a moose, just standing there, throughout our entire meal. He might still be there now, for all I know.

I have since learned that moose are aquatic animals. They give birth standing in H20 and you do not see them in zoos because they need to roam free. They simply do not make it in any type of captivity. Zero - nil. I love learning animal trivia.

I also remember one year I did the Big Horn County Fair in Basin, WY. I was only doing comedy magic. I was working on a flatbed tractor trailer truck bed doing my shows. I packed up my act into my magic box/table and left it sitting on the stage. I went to the office to collect my allowance so I could go home and buy chicken, I then got in my car and drove 100 miles over the mountain to Sheridan and I went to the movies. When I got out of the movie it was dark. I looked in the back of my minivan and realized something was missing. I forgot to put my act! It was not in the car with me!  I drove back over the mountain and found it sitting in the middle of the flatbed right where I had left it.

I am on my way back to Basin, WY and the Big Horn County Fair right now. I will perform for two days, then I drive to a private party I am producing the entertainment for in Montana.

I was vegetarian back in the 80’s and it was really difficult to find veggies in Montana and Wyoming then. The Rockies were a meat and potatoes world. There were no salads at fast-food places. I found I was eating french fries as my only meal. I had to give up my veggie lifestyle to remain in this business. Things were different back then.

Being on the road as a tailgate entertainer is a lifestyle. I am sure people not in the business would say “You slept in your truck?” and I would have to reply, “What? And give up showbiz?”

 

 A Tale from the Trail

 I performed at the Canyon County Fair (and Festival) in Caldwell, ID for seven years. It is a 50K attendance fair about 30 miles from Boise, Idaho. To get to Boise from the San Francisco Bay Area, you take I-80 east, through Reno and turn left in Winnemucca. You drive a few hundred miles through the sagebrush, cross a corner of Oregon and into Idaho. It’s a 12 hour drive, and when I have time, I’ll give myself an extra day, Stay in Winnemucca in the Winners Casino and not shotgun the trip. I like the Winners because it has a motor lodge, you get a free drink (to get you into the smoke filled casino) and the Wells Fargo Bank is across the street. Small reasons, I know - but enough.

On this particular journey, I had recently bought a new Dodge Caravan. My old one lost the transmission at 125K - or perhaps it was the one I back ended another minivan with and did $5,000 worth of damage to mine and almost zero to them because they had an iron tailgate (on a mini van! Who would have thought?). Regardless of the demise of the previous Dodge MiniVan, I was in a new one and before abandoning the old one I removed the full-sized spare from under the trade-in and replaced the toy spare under the new vehicle with the full sized spare.

I had taken this road many times and I always notice the small “attractions” signs as I travel. Like all of us, we love to get out of the vehicle and stretch our legs. Along this particular road, there is not much to admire very long, but I always saw a small sign every time I traveled this road that was in the middle of nowhere. I just tried to find the mane of this attraction to share, and it is so insignificant, I can’t even find a reference to it on the internet after searching for the name for a good half hour. Let me describe it to you: The small sign referenced volcanos, lava formations, fissures - it was a small sign and probably 99.9% of people driving by ignore it, I am sure. On this trip, I decided, “I have an extra day - let’s go look!”

I turned right. One half mile up the dirt road another sign tells me my destination is 23.5 miles ahead. I decide, I am on the adventure, I have the day off and am early - go forth and explore!

At 21 miles into the wilderness, having passed nothing resembling any form of civilization, the road starts to get a bit rough. Not ruts and dirt clods rough, I am talking Lava rocks jutting up 4-6 inches rough. Sure enough, about 1/2 mile from the lava formations and 23-1/2 miles from the highway, I get a flat tire.

No problem, I get out, pull out the full sized spare … and to make a long story short, the lug nut holes on the older model Caravan wheel do not match the later model Caravan. I have no cell service, but I decide to walk to the top of a hill I see and see if I can get service there.

Sure enough, I have one pip of service if I stand on one foot, hold a coat hanger in the air and wear a tin foil hat and after trying five times to reach AAA, I get through without getting disconnected. they connect me with the AAA Service people in the area. This conveniently located service station knows exactly where I am - he is familiar, and he is only 85 miles away, oh … and … his tow truck does not work, the starter needs replacing, so he will come to me, pick me up and my flat, bring me back to the station, change the tire, drive me back to my car and get me on my way!

This gives me time to explore the lava domes, which were fun to look at the little 20’ high funnels. If my memory serves me right there were 20 or more of them of all different sizes and formations, some were the size of a hollow tree, others were bigger, like a fort and others were much smaller.

Two hours later, my AAA representative arrives, we grab my wheel and flat and head back to his shop — 85 miles away – which I will refrain from calling civilization. It’s a metal barn in poor shape, an RV Park that resembles a trailer park you’d not let your kids visit and play in if you had a choice, and they have a diner and small grocery store that has one refrigerator and minimal groceries, but enough to camp and survive if necessary if you are camping there.

We get to the shop, and Bad News; he does not have the correct sized tire to replace on my rim. Good news: his father is at Costco in Boise and will pick up the tire and bring it back. This took another four hours before dd returned, but he did bring the right tire, they changed my flat, did not charge me an exorbitant price, only fair market value - and they drive me back to my handicapped minivan siting in the wilderness raised up on a floor jack. It is now dusk, we replace the tire and when I get back to the highway, it has been a 12 hour adventure.

All is well that ends well, and my tale has no real hicups, it was all a good experience and now I have a story I can share. My next one will be more humorous and a lot shorter. Stay tuned.

Does a Hypnosis Show need a quiet space to do your show?

Not necessarily, but it greatly improves the quality of the show. do you need quite around you when you watch TV, go to the theater or movies? If you want people to give the show their undivided attention without distractions - then yes, you want there to be no conflicting noise or activity going on.

Is it OK if will have several activities going on at the same time as your show?

Only if you are challenging my abilities. If you were teaching a class, would you want these same activities going on at the same time? If you are having a late night party for high school students and you are paying for a premium service, why would you want other activities going on at the same time?

We are serving dinner during this time, also. Will they need to be finished eating before you start?

Unless people are paying for the entertainment, out of their own pocket, food beats entertainment almost every time. People do not want to look up from their food to watch a show. There are types of entertainment that work during a meal. They are the type of entertainment that does not need your undivided attention including background music and belly dancers.

If you hire an act that is a visual act - magicians, hypnotist, jugglers, puppeteers & ventriloquists; then you want to begin the entertainment after people are done eating. Especially if the show requires volunteers. No one wants to get up from their meal and participate on stage while their food is sitting on a table.

Let’s discuss this in more detail:

Do I need quiet because "...there will be other activities going on at the same time."
I agree to this as much as driving on the wrong side of the interstate, against the traffic.

Hypnosis shows are a LOT of FUN! Sometimes you have to make people sit down and watch them for them to discover they like what they are watching and see it for themselves. If one has never seen a hypnosis show, they are naive and won' know what they missed if you don't make them watch the show. My ex-wife forced me to go and see Wayne Newton once. I would never have gone on my own. I am SO VERY GLAD I went!!!

Can I work while other (noisy) things are going on? Yes. I do county fairs with the Tilt-a-whirl screaming and the livestock auction pointing it's speakers at me across the fairgrounds - but for a party when you have 50-500 people (give-or-take) there are some general guidelines that will (1) make the party most successful and (2) give you the most bang for your limited dollar.

I am going to deviate for a moment. Hypnotists like metaphors. Bare with me:
If you are doing a child's 7th birthday party, the standard formula is:
(1) kids arrive at 1:00 or 2:00 PM. If they arrive earlier, they will not have eaten lunch and they will be hungry. If you do not want to feed them lunch, have the Lovelies arrive at 2:00 PM
(2) Have sugary and salty snacks in bowls, over hardwood or stone floors that are easy to clean for them to snack from in case they are hungry. Finger foods are great, and will fill their little tummies with just enough that they can run and play for the first hour from 2-3 PM. Chips, Cheese Doodles and M&M's. If they are girls, give them cupcake foils to carry the snacks. If they are boys, give them baggies. (Keep the vacuum handy)
(3) At 3 PM, you gather the little Delights together. All the late arrivals are there and you play games, or have an amateur or professional show that you hired - magician, ventriloquist, juggler, clown…
(4) 4:00 - it's time to open the presents following the organized entertainment. the kids are all sitting and attentive and will give the birthday child their celebrity attention.
(5) 4:30 - give them cake and ice cream filled with lots of sugary loveliness
(6) Parents come and take sticky, ‘pumped with sugar’ children home where they will be crazed and animated for 30 minutes, then need a nap and probably won't eat dinner.

NOTE: If the party starts earlier, give the adorable hatchlings Pizza, Chicken Nuggets or Hot Dogs, the universal foods of 7 year olds - easy to serve, and the food will not be placed in the trash. Everyone will be happy.

This formula is created from doing hundreds of children's birthday parties for 15 years, at one time in my life. There are exceptions and there are “no rules that can not be broken” because it is a "PARTY" not a prison or school. Exceptions come into play if parents/adults are present, if there are ethnic considerations (serve ethnic food), it's a slumber party, the host child is diabetic... but you get the idea.

Let me share my experiences doing "late night safe & sober, drug-free, bash, grad night & post prom high school" events. I started doing high school lock-in parties in 1993 and I consistently do 30 of these events a year now. I sell another 30+ hypnotists to additional schools that I am not available to perform for.

Late Night parties also have a formula that seem to work for 90+% of the time. the questions this blob provoked (answered above) not only "DO NOT" fit any formula, but they break rules that make me uncomfortable. Rules that are Sort of like asking your contractor to paint a 3-story house without scaffolding. "Use a Ladder" the client said... "Or use two ladders and make a scaffold..." Yeah. OK...

 Your Seniors are Not adults, but in many ways they are. I could give you a few analogies, but will save those for another blog. Let's stay with the party you are holding and your questions for now:

#1 - HUNGRY PEOPLE offered HOT FOOD wins over everything else. If you serve food, nothing else should be going on.
Exceptions include: {a.} music {b.} belly dancers {c.} strippers {d.} raffles {e.} speakers you 'really do not care' if the people listen to.

If you want people to ignore the performer, presenter or activity you are offering and only want them to pay attention with half-a-mind, have hot food present and expect people to eat at the same time.

#2 - FEATURED EVENTS - I am not sure what you were planning on doing at the same time as the hypnosis show, but I will assume it is games. Carnival games, inflatable games, group games, individual games, casino games ...

When your guests leave this party and talk about it for the next few years, do you think they are going to talk about:

(1) The food
(2) The games
(3) The gifts and prizes they did and didn't win ( quality prizes including: iPods, iPads, computers, bicycles, dorm room refrigerators, microwaves, etc. are the exceptions)
(4) The comedy show that made them laugh so hard, they cried.

Let's discuss formulas that work best (exceptions can be had):

#1 - Using the Hypnosis Show as the first thing of the event, used to gather them quickly into one place before they are shipped off to the off-site event.
I have had a number of schools that have had me perform at the school, in the gym or theater as the first thing of the night. All the kids gather and park, go into the show (after being searched - all wallets, money, beverages, purses, etc must be left in car) and they come in, watch the hypnosis show for 90 minutes, then they are put on busses and shipped off to the event at an off-site location. (Arcades with go-carts, H20 Parks or Bay Cruise Ships, usually). This does work, but is not my favorite formula.

#2 -THE MOST POPULAR FORMULA - done at over 90% of the late night events I have ever done - The Comedy Hypnosis Show is the last activity of the night.
Say the event goes from 9 pm - 5 am, do the hypnosis show at 3-4:30 am, and the only thing that follows is the big raffle and then they gather the raffle items and take them home. The only other thing that should follow the hypnosis show is more food - but keep in mind, very little of that food will get eaten. Few people eat at 4:30 AM. If you do serve food, make it elementary school sized finger foods like donuts cut in half, and tiny 6 oz. boxes of orange juice. if you cook a hot breakfast, make servings really tiny. I have seen enormous portions of french toast, pancakes and sausage thrown away at 5 am.

My final share: No one goes home after 4 am and drinks or does drugs. I see these events pushed to 5 am, 6 am, 7 am ... In my opinion, this is not necessary. You can end at 4 AM, and definitely no later than 5 AM and you will have fulfilled your mission of seeing the kids safe, and you will leave them saying "I had an awesome time." 

SUMMARY
>>Will you need a quiet space to do your show?  We will have several activities going on during this time.<<
• I will not compete with other things going on.
• It is not fair to me and it is not fair to the audience.
• It is not fair to the audience that wants to watch the show and not have people running around, making noise, being a distraction.
• It is not fair to the people who want to do everything and you are making them choose whether to watch a featured show or participate with their friends in doing other things.
• It is not the best use of the $$ you will pay me. Let me be a feature, not just 'another thing' happening.

One last metaphor:

I have a daughter. When I do things with her, it does not matter what I want to do. I do what she wants to do because I want to be with her and spend time with her. I miss a lot of live shows at amusement parks because my daughter only wants to ride the rides. I have never seen a live show at Dollywood. I am in the live show business! You have no clue how disappointed I am that this is how it is, but this is how it is....

Don’t make people choose between spending time with friends doing other activities or spending time together watching the show. So many high school students are “followers” not leaders and if they miss the hypnosis show, they will be very disappointed.

You Asked:
>>We are serving dinner during this time also. Will they need to be finished eating before you start?<<

YES

I have Light Pencil, Dark Pencil and Pen & Ink way of recording when people contact me for Gigs.

 A Light Pencil means they inquired, but that is all it was - It was a casual inquiry as to whether I am available, prices and other questions. Sometimes they fill out my form found on line here: http://alansands.com/contact. No one is promising anything to anyone else. It was just a friendly inquiry. 

Dark Pencil is a more serious inquiry. It means you have asked I keep you informed of my availability because you are seriously considering me, or one of my acts for this event. Some call this a “First Right of Refusal” Again, there is no obligation on either parties side, but I have made notes and will talk to you again. I also ask that if you decide to say, “NO” you give me the courtesy of letting me know, just like you’d like me to tell you if I can no longer wait for a reply and am taking another gig that date.

Pen & Ink - Means you have requested a contract. To make me Pen and Ink something, you have to fill out my form on line - http://alansands.com/agreement - and then I will get you an agreement. I will ask for a deposit. We are "Good-to-go" as long as negative energy in the universe does not interfere.

My Cancellation Policy:

Even if you send me a deposit, even if you sign my contract, I know “shit happens.” When shit happens and nothing can be done about it, I do not hold people responsible.

As long as a non-refundable plane ticket or rental car has not been purchased, as long as the performer has not gotten in their car and driven to the event, as long as another event has not been passed on to accommodate your event, I will allow someone to cancel a signed contract and I will refund any refundable / not spent portion of a deposit.

I do not wish to treat people the way airlines, insurance companies and leasing companies treat my daughter and me. Yes, it costs me money - but my disappointment is easier to stomach than your being pissed off at me. Life is short. I do not want people remembering me in negative ways over money. There are so many other creative ways I can piss you off and I am an artist, not a business man :-)

I also expect you will allow me to get you another performer of equal or better value for the same price to perform the same services if I need to get out of the agreement for any reason, whether it be a career opportunity or more money, less travel to make the same money, or any other reason that is reasonable.

I believe in Win/Win relationships.

Thanksgiving hints:

(1) Stuffing - is stupid. If you don't have to have stuffing, don't bother. It's dead bread. Stovetop stuffing is even stupider. It tastes nasty - like cardboard - and it only tastes eatable if you put a lot of gravy on it. Please don't bother.

(2) Squash - when is the last time you had squash? Yes, the Pilgrims ate squash probably, but they didn't like squash. They ate it because it was all they had at the time. Some really skinny, wild turkey and squash. We now have potatoes, lots of different types of potatoes - Thank you South America for your potatoes. For tradition sake, get a squash and use it as a center piece, but do not cook it. If you do cook it and serve it to your guests, be sure you have flushable baby wipes in the bathroom.

(3) Cranberry Sauce - do not make your own homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberry sauce is now available in the can, and it tastes really good. The home made stuff you make tastes nasty and bitter. Let the professionals make the cranberry sauce.

(4) Potatoes - make lots of potatoes. Make Sweet potatoes, make yams - if you make both, put a marshmallow on top of one so you can tell the difference, otherwise you will forget which one is which. Make mashed potatoes, make potatoes with cheese on them or baked potatoes. People like all potatoes, and make lots. Left over potatoes last and taste just as good as the first time around. Powdered potatoes ARE potatoes, and don't let people lie to you and tell you they are not. Make extra gravy for the white potatoes.

(5) Turkey - Turkey is good. Keep that tradition. Make one or buy one or steal one. All turkeys are good and they taste good frozen, fresh, cooked then frozen. Make two turkeys and share the fucking turkey with your guests. Let them take home some turkey goodness.

(6) Pumpkin Pie - If you don't have pumpkin pie, don't bother having Thanksgiving. Some people think Thanksgiving is about family, about being thankful for a good harvest, or about eating turkey. These are all urban myths. Lies told to you by people trying to sell their turkeys and religions and family values to you. Thanksgiving is about Pumpkin Pie. Don't forget the whipped cream. The stuff in the can is the best. The stuff in the tub isn't cream, it's a whipped topping. Probably made from the center of Oreo Cookies or something. Just buy the cans. If you have extra whipped cream, you can do whip cream shots at night when no one sees you put the can in your mouth and shoot it.

(7) Fruit Cake. Give everyone a fruit cake. Make sure it is in a pretty tin that is non-denominational and not holiday specific. They can use it at the naughty Santa Give-away. They may laugh at you now, but they will thank you at X-mas when they need a gift for the company holiday gift exchange.

last of all - I will remind you again: don't forget the flushable baby wipes in the bathroom. You'll thank me on Friday.

 

I had coffee with a friend this evening. She wants a man to support her. She wants two homes - one in the city, one on the beach where her family can gather for holidays. she wants money so she can travel and she wants to be around people who dress well.

I have other ambitions. I'm 55 years old and have no intentions of spending the best part of my life working my ass off so I can worry about paying taxes.

I love the mountains with trees and babbling rivers. I want to play in a wood shop, do stained glass, bend and sculpt metal, do ceramics. I get so much satisfaction when I build nice things with my hands.

I want to go to the theater and watch comedians, jugglers, magicians, puppeteers. I want to watch and write a One-man show and watch Broadway shows. I want to eat sushi, make sushi and drink Scotch every night. I travel a lot for my current work and will be in Billings, MT; Iowa; Bismarck, ND;, Salt lake City, UT; L.A., CA; Las Vegas, NV - I bet I am forgetting a few more places - I will be in all these places between now and January 9th.

Last year I collected coffee mugs in every state and province I worked in - not visited, mind you, but actually worked in and I had 20 of them.

This year I drove X-country and back, Drove to North Dakota and Back, Drobe to Montana - then Idaho and back. I went to England and attended the Glastonbury Festival and I spent eight days at Burning Man.

I have a very good bed and warm blankets and I live in a home where the refrigerator is full. My car is a great, fully loaded, full-sized, SUV and runs great, too.

I don't live in the mountains, in a forest, near a creek but that is because I have not found a mountain with a forrest and a creek as close to an International airport, and I do currently work - but I love what I do. I also love having access to so much theater and 'like minded people.'

Let me regress for a moment. My friends are dying around me and my friends are losing their family members to cancer or unknown causes in some cases. This year a friend of mine lost his daughter when her husband shot and killed her and her girlfriend in a domestic argument. My friend is now raising his three grand children in Western Montana. Another friend was disabled for months with a bad pancreas. Another friend was hit by a truck last year. She is recovering bravely after she was given a 5% chance of survival.

I know many people with addictions. I lost a fairly close friend recently to alcohol. He was only 53 years old. We can say he died from obesity and sleep apnea - but it was the alcohol. I have known my share of addicts: drugs, shopping, Jesus, food, sex, porn, gambling, video gaming - but I have come to the deduction the two biggest addictions are POWER (why else would Donald Trump try to be president?) and MONEY.

It reminds me of a story:

A banker is on vacation in a small coastal village. He goes to the pier to go fishing and small boat with a fisherman docks. Inside the small boat are several large tuna. The banker complimented the fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “only a little while." The banker then asked, "why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?" The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s needs. His family eats one fish and he sells the others. The Banker then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The banker scoffed, “I have an MBA. I could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to the City and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the Banker replied, “15–20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the fisherman.

The Banker laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich!”

“What then?” Asked the fisherman.

The banker said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

I did a private party last night for a wealthy woman in the Omaha region. She owns a ranch with really large metal barns (the $250,000 type) and she sponsors and puts on a Halloween party for friends, church members and family. She catered the event and paid her handyman to build a haunted house that rivals any I have ever seen, anywhere!

 
I charged $1695 to do the show. Asked for a deposit of $600, which she deposited in my account for me, and - something interesting took place...
 
I video every show with the purpose of selling the videos to the people in the show, or anyone else who wants to buy a copy. As I came to the 'end of show pitch', I realized (1) I was getting paid by an individual at her private party and I thought to myself 'it's rude to sell something to her friends and family' as well as I knew they all knew each other and sharing, pirating or buying one copy was all the group needed, as well as I knew the client's own family was on stage - it just felt wrong to charge them for DVDs, so I announced, "I will set business cards out and I will post the video on my private Vimeo site. If you email me, I will send you the private URL to see the show." I also added that "if anyone feels embarrassed by the video and you ask me to remove it, I will."
 
I figured, what a great way to attract more business from this group and - an unexpected result also happened; the client tipped me $405.00. Normally I sell the DVDs for $20 each at the show ($32 on my web site) and I rarely sell 20 DVDs following a show, so the tip more than compensated for any DVDs I might have sold.
 
It was a rare occurrence, the timing was right. I don't think I will do this all the time, but it certainly worked well this time!
 
I think I will put a note on the free DVD when I put it on-line stating the Video will only remain up for 1 month, and if they want a copy forever, they can buy a copy from my web site - but the "free on my Vimeo channel" idea is something to discuss. 
 
If I put it on my web site and there is where they go to find it, it will also drive traffic to my web site. It seems to be a win/win in every way!

 

Please leave comments here for others to read. Thank you.

Using an iWatch to do musical cues in your hypnosis show

 
Hold a microphone, hairbrush or a stick in your hand like a microphone. Notice that to look at your watch you must turn your wrist, moving the microphone away from your mouth, to see the watch face. If you wear a headset, this would not apply, but I use a hand-held mic myself.
 
Touch the watch face with a finger from your other hand. Notice you are not looking anywhere but down at the watch and it takes all your focus away from everything else.
 
The iWatch has small print; the print is on a watch. If you wear glasses or contact lenses while doing your show, you might be fine, but I do not so I could not read the fine print on the watch to determine what song I was on and the watch is very sensitive, so I found it difficult to get to my sound cues QUICKLY if a song ended or I wanted to change songs or adjust the volume with a moments notice.
 
The watch takes a bit of handling to get used to. You can use on-screen controls or spin the pin to change songs, and increase and decrease the volume. Learning to spin it one way or the other was confusing to me if I was not looking at the watch screen. Perhaps with more time, I'd get used to knowing these things more instinctually.
 
I like the watch for other reasons: it tells me when I get messages and emails, vibrates left (2x) and right (3x) when I use Maps as my GPS. If I leave my cell phone in another room when I leave the room or in the car while loading or unloading, and the phone rings, I can answer the phone like Dick Tracy and talk to my watch like a phone. 
 
When I am not doing a show, playing with the music function was fun! 
 
I have not played with it for more than a week, so all the pluses have not accumulated yet, but as for it doing my sound cues in the show - It's not going to work for me. Sorry Apple. I love you, and I will always use an iPod for my music, but the watch is not gonna be in the show!
 
leave comments here so others can see them, please

 

Some people have an option - some do not

There are performers out there, like me, who do not have an option.

We either perform - or we die.

Since I am 3-1/2 years old, I have been on stage. Doing solo work since I am 12, making money since I am 17, and never have had a job since I am 19 - I am now 54.

I honestly know little else. And when I am not on stage (or producing) I am depressed. It is not severe depression, but it is depression.

My sister deals with it too. She is an entertainer as well.

Why do entertainers, sports figures, politicians all have so many addictions? Shopping to the point of bankruptcy, religion, alcohol, drugs, over eating, multiple marriages, sex addiction, money addiction ... because we are trying to get HIGH. And we can't get the same high from anything else the same way we can get the HIGH from being on stage.

Everything else is temporary. The stage is our passion - and that is why George Burns and Sinatra were on tour till the day they died. And that is what killed Michael Jackson, Elvis and Marilyn - trying to maintain sanity between the highs of the stage and performing. The natural adrenaline - there is no better high. Why do politicians remain in office and fight to remain in office? Some thing it is power, and you are right - but really it is the "HIGH!"

Pursuit of the next gig will also help me - but it is an attempt to stay high. Find the fix, Get the Drug, have an audience that laughs, applauds and gives you their undivided attention for 60-90 or more minutes.

Do you want to get high with me? Come on stage with me. Better yet, do your solo - a song, a dance, a monologue, a routine - do an entire show. Let's get high together.

I go to other people's shows and I want to do the sound, work the video camera, be back stage - not in the front row ... I want to breath the show. Feel it, taste it, touch it. A show has a soul. Let me breath it's soul.

I live in a house - my sister's house. She is married to a performer and she is a performer and her five children are all performers - and why? Because it is in our blood. It is highly contagious, too.

We eat - drink - breath - sleep - discuss over dinner - discuss from the minute we awake - and we awake to answer the phone because ... it might be a gig. PLEASE - Get me HIGH!

Obsessed by it - we write about it - gig proposals or books or articles or blogs. We do all types of shows and we want to be around our own types - others who know the feeling, understand the addiction, support us - feel our pain.

We live together in Vegas, NY, SF, LA - because we support each other's addiction.

I went to dinner with Mitchel Barrett tonight and two other friends. Mitchel became quickly debilitated at one point and put out of business in less than a week. He talked about how he can't remember his last show ... and he wants to do a "last show" - Why? It is a passion. To run through a field with a favorite pet, to make love once more with the lover you remember best, to hike a mountain and camp in the wilderness with someone who you had the time of your life with - and to feel that applause, laughter and attention - to know you mastered that ...to remember your last show ...

Want to get high with me? I will turn you on to the most addicting drug in the world, and you make it inside of yourself - it is called adrenaline. Only Artists and presenters have the addiction. Politicians, Sports figures, Artists, Musicians, Performers - we all have a stage, an audience - the sound of the crowd... and it gets us very high. Very high. I will turn down anything to get on stage. It's better than sex!

No, really ...

Let me turn you on ...

This article is written for Hypnotists that carry a mixer with them. It will teach some basic attributes of a better mixer over a cheaper, smaller mixer with less buttons, knobs, dials and switches.

When you know how to use all the buttons, knobs and switches on a sound console the flexibility it give you is sometimes subtle but for a fickle ear or for optimizing what you are working with it does make a difference.

Metaphor: I don't know any professional photographers that use an automatic camera. They want to be able to set a white balance, set the F Stop (the speed of the shutter) and aperture (how big the lens opens to allow more or less light in) themselves. It is similar with sound. I can hear the difference and it drives me nuts when the sound is not tuned correctly, if there are no dynamics and worst of all is the sound is distorting.

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