Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Worthwhile Waste

Friday December 4th, 2009 - Milwaukee, WI/Lake Villa, IL

I’ve had this entire week off except for Monday, and my sincere intention was to hunker down and get some serious work done on several projects. So far, if I’d have to estimate a percentage of how much of that I’ve accomplished, I’d have to go with a big fat ZILCH.

Life just keeps getting in the way. The phone rings, and I’m off and running somewhere I hadn’t planned on and before I know it another day has slipped through the cracks. I can make all the excuses I want, and some of the distractions are legit, but I’m WAY behind.

That being said, after today I’m another day in the hole but this one I don’t regret at all. My friend Marc Schultz called and asked if I wanted to tag along to Milwaukee to watch a holiday show he books at Rockwell International, which all Milwaukeeans know by the former name of the Allen-Bradley Company. It’s the building with the four sided clock.

I remember as a kid hearing about a big Christmas show that went on in that building as a few kids in the neighborhood had relatives that worked there. Word got out about candy and toys and cartoons and jugglers and even an appearance by Santa himself. What kid in his right mind wouldn’t love to attend a show like that? I always wanted to be a part of it.

Apparently they’ve been having these shows for around 80 years now and Marc’s been booking the talent for them for around 20 of them. I’d always heard Marc speak highly of them and he’s been inviting me to tag along for years now. This was the year I said yes.

Yes, I know I should have stayed home and answered emails and tried to get booked for 2010 and who knows what else, but my little inner voice told me to go with Marc so I did. I’m already way behind on work and who knows when I’d be able to see this show again?

I’m really glad I went. Marc booked ventriloquist Chuck Field to host the show and I’ve always liked Chuck. He’s the guy who introduced me to Marc and that alone is a favor for which I’ll always owe him. The kids loved his dummy that was a duck and his act as well.

Ken Mate is another guy Marc books a lot and he was spectacular. He’s a magician and a really good one, but adjusting to kids is a whole different skill. He pulled it off superbly, and cracked up the adults with his quick wit but didn’t go blue. I was really impressed by how he pulled that off, and I told him that after the show. He earned every dime he made.

Closing the show was ‘Circus Boy’ Bobby Hunt, another major talent. That guy juggles and rides a unicycle and spits ping pong balls out of his mouth and as hokey as that might sound, he pulls it off and it’s magnificent. The whole show was outstanding from start to finish and the kids went nuts for it, as did I. I clapped and yelled louder than all of them.

It’s great to appreciate the talents of someone else. I couldn’t do any of the things any of those three acts did and that’s why I enjoyed them all so much. They’re total pros and I’m well aware of how hard it is to get there. I’m a day later, but that’s ok. This was worth it.

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