It was one of those gigs where I was so happy I took piano lessons as a kid, I had stuck with it as and adult and, most importantly, remained a professional so that I could witness what I am about to tell you.
No one thinks they really need live music. Most importantly the ‘Bean Counters’ who sit around in their office and don’t realize that music truly is the universal language that we all understand.
That’s okay. We all have a job to do.
It’s like Gatorade after a 60 minute workout. It’s like scratching an itch in a hard to reach place. It’s like a hug and a kiss from a loved one who has returned from a long trip.
Here’s the story …
This guy was your typical office worker who didn’t have anything else going on his life except to be an office worker. He was kinda grumpy. He had no sense of humor. He had no friends. So he was the guy that made everyone feel a little uncomfortable.
He wore the weird shirt that didn’t appear to coordinate with his tie – or anything else that he wore for that matter. And his hair was always a little bit messy. He didn’t talk much because, well, he liked to be quiet.
Let’s call him ‘Ralph’.
What nobody knew about ‘Ralph’ was he had watched his Mom die of cancer when he was 10 back in 1969. As you can imagine it was horrible.
She was a single Mom. He was an only child. They were not members of a church so there was no support network of any kind. After she died he went to live with an aunt he had never met, in a state he had never been to, with an ‘uncle’ who wasn’t married to his aunt. They had no other kids either. His aunt was nice enough and all. But let’s just say ‘nurturing’ was not a concept she knew much about.
School was also a little rough for Ralph in this small rural town of about 4000 people. They were nice and everything. But having come from a large city school, he felt lost and way behind the other kids.
He wasn’t very coordinated or even remotely interested in sports. He just didn’t get the importance of all that running around and throwing balls and stuff. No one had ever showed him how and he didn’t have any allegiance to one team or another. So, seriously. Like, what’s the point?
The thing about his new school tho, was they had a choir as part of their curriculum. He had no idea how it would change his life.
Choir allowed Ralph to be around other people – especially girls. It allowed him to comfortably shift into his changing voice as puberty set in. It allowed him to express his emotions which ran so deep and so pensive at such a vulnerable and tenuous time of his life.
He stayed with choir all through middle school and high school. He didn’t excel at singing. He was never a featured soloist or anything. He just really enjoyed it for reasons that a growing young man could simply not explain.
But that’s where it ended. College was not in the picture for Ralph. He went to work and learned finance. He was actually pretty good at analysis. He eventually learned accounting with a small local firm that had hired him right out of high school.
In 89 that small local firm was bought out by a much larger one which then grew into a multi-billion dollar corporation through the 90s. He was a good and consistent employee. He was promoted regularly but never to management. He got transferred back to his hometown city in 98 where he just slipped easily into the anonymity of the hustle and bustle. He lives there to this day.
He never married. He never joined a church or a community choir. He doesn’t do much of anything in the way of outside activities. He likes going to the movies. But he feels too shy to search for anything. No one ever gave him permission.
Until one night in February his company event consisted of a large Holiday Party featuring piano music entertainment.
‘Ralph’ was sitting alone, kind of in the background. I don’t think he was eating much off the buffet. I didn’t notice his beverage of choice. But I did notice he was alone.
When I perform I never call anyone out. I never embarrass anyone. What I use is a technique I call “A Saucer of Milk”. It’s like when you want to call a cat over. You don’t yell or command. You just lay out a saucer of milk. If you want what we have to offer, (and your soul knows you do), then you’ll be over in time.
This story is getting a little long. So I am going to finish this tomorrow.
In the meantime, thanks for listening and let me know when you want to have great live music and comedy in the form of piano music entertainment and interactive, sing along fun that brings people together and creates life long memories for everyone in attendance.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have event planners tell me that is exactly what they’ve heard people say, and honestly, they’ve said it themselves.But how do you get to that point? How do you create a corporate event that leaves people “wowed?” For me, it’s a collaborative process with the client.
I’ll create that one special song, or develop that one memorable moment or special entertainment experience that has people clapping their hands and tapping their feet.
Whatever the event, I’ll create customized songs that fit in with a strong brand presence, or key elements of a new product launch or trade show theme, or find a way to honor that someone special.
When you hire me, here’s what you get: a seasoned professional who has built a reputation of making events an overwhelming success, filled with lasting memories for everyone.
Isn’t that what you want when hiring a lead entertainer?
Of course it is. And I know corporate entertainment! It’s a unique niche, and it’s what I specialize in!
I work hand-in-hand with you to make sure the content, the music and the comedy is in line with your goals, your company and your audience.
There’ll be no surprises, no red flags, no questionable content – nothing that will embarrass you or anyone in your company.
Once we decide on “the line,” I won’t cross it. So you can rest assured that everything will go according to the plan we develop together.
Sound like the professional entertainment you’re looking for?
Let’s talk about it!
I encourage you to give me a call at 773-527-7417. I’m here to answer any questions you may have, discuss the process or check available dates.
If you have the responsibility to book a key entertainer for your company’s next big event, I know that this is not your first rodeo.
It’s a complex process that’s probably taken you many years to acquire the skills required to make it a successful event.
And there is absolutely nothing like getting a call or note from the CEO telling you what a great event you orchestrated.
My career is based on playing a significant role in helping you get those types of calls and notes.
Whether it’s the parody songs I create or the way I weave your message into comedy entertainment or my ability to get everyone to stand up and sing along together, I know how to engage a room full of people.
I’ve been doing it successfully for most of my adult life.
But don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at what others in your position have to say about me:
Marda Cottrell Popejoy Inc. Fairbury, IL 61739 Ph-815-692-4471
“We had an absolute ball with your guys at our party! Since we have used you before we knew what we were getting and the second time was just as great as the first! My boss said he thinks this was the best Christmas party that we have ever thrown! I hope that we can work together again in the future!”
Cheri Breneman, Administrator Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts email@example.com 800-524-6620
“As for the evening entertainment, I heard nothing but positive comments on you performance. Your talent was an exceptional fit to our audience (age, gender and culture) and the conference social event. It is a true pleasure being involved with something that makes others happy and you accomplished that in more ways than one. Thank you for your service to the IAFPD 72nd Annual conference.”
Hopefully, I’ll be able to add your testimonial to my list of references.
A phone call is the best way to get that process started.
Please give me a call at your convenience. You can reach me at 773-527-7417.
I look forward to talking to you!
Another beautiful frosty day in November here in Chicago. We had another successful corporate event last night. It was a dueling pianos show in Peoria IL courtesy of Central Illinois Dueling Pianos. Thank you very much Andrew
We entertained a whole bunch of government officials. Some newly elected. Some newly un-elected. And of course all of their staff. We had a lot of laughs.
I love that part of our job as a musician, as an entertainer for an event.
Getting people to laugh. Sometimes we’re just improvising. Sometimes they’re routines that we have been doing for years. But the thing about dueling pianos is we are always going to have something different.
It’s because of the audience. Every audience, tho similar, is different. Different requests. Different celebrations. Just different.
But we know you’re going to have fun. We know we’re going to get you to where you want to go. You want to have fun and you need to laugh. We just have to organize the deck chairs, if you will. Alphabetize the chaos.
We had that rolling laughter last night. That interactive banter that keys off of people in the audience and their responses. A quality dueling piano show allows for that to happen. It’s so flexible.
I feel like the laughter is the key. I have always been looking for that laugh. As long as I can remember. Its a key component of what I do. Getting people to laugh.
One of the ways to do it is to be able to laugh at myself. That right there is probably the top way to get others’ to join me in laughter. I don’t take this whole music and comedy thing too seriously. I know, comedy is a serious business and all. But I just don’t take myself too seriously.
I hope you don’t either. And don’t take it too personally either. We’re all human. We’re all really kind of the same – for the most part. We all do and think the same stupid stuff. So it’s okay to laugh at yourself sometimes. It lightens the load we have to carry.
I think I read something somewhere about how laughter releases a chemical into our systems that keeps us young. I hope that’s true. Because there are times when I absolutely crave hearing laughter and having a good laugh – at myself most of all.
I hope you have a great Holiday season. We are busy busy busy again. Yet there are still a few dates open. I’d love to help you laugh some night too. Call me and we’ll see what we can do.
We are up in Wisconsin providing entertainment for events like these all the time. While every night is special, I need to tell you about this one.
Sheriffs and deputies and their office staff. There were about 130 people in attendance. We took one look at the room, noticed there were mostly men in the house and thought, “Keeping 50% of these guys would be a major success.” Usually in a corporate event keeping 25% is successful. It’s just the way it is.
Let’s face it most folks go to a convention or a conference to meet other people in their industry and to reacquaint with old friends. So live music entertainment is the last thing on their minds.
So we went up there on stage and tried something a little different. We didn’t go up there and do our usual, “Hey! Here we are! We’re going to rock the house!” Instead we just went up there, laid down a saucy groove, played a couple of solos and listened to them get quiet as they began to listen. We introduced each other, waited for the applause and then went into our show.
It was remarkable! We kept over 90% of the people in the room.
We know we’re good at what we do. We know we will get people feeling good and singing along (even if they’re not inclined to sing). We just don’t always know how you’re going to get there. Our methods are to take chaos and organize it somehow. But honestly the audience tells us everything we need to know and we adjus from there.
By the end of the night, we had everyone gathered around the pianos, arm in arm singing at the top of their lungs. An organized chaos if ever there was one.
Handshakes all around and platitudes galore.
One of the quotes from one of the wives said, “You don’t kow how much these guys needed this!” Someone else explained, “These guys are under intense pressure everyday. You gave them some much needed relief.”
I’ve kept thinking about that all week. These folks in law enforcement see the rest of us at our worst. Either as perpetrators when we are guilty or as the victims when we are not. I have no idea how they do it, how they hold empathy and compassion while doing their jobs. In essence, how they maintain their humanity.
Again, it wasn’t us. We were the guys behind the pianos that night and we are good at what we do. But it is the music. It is the power of the music that speaks to all of us – when we bother to listen, it is the music that heals and nurtures and pulls us all together in the face of our day to day trials.
So let us help you. Let us come to your next event and take your guests and friends and family to a relaxing, soothing place. Let us do our jobs so you can do yours. Thanks.
Happy July everyone. I’m not so sure what I can write this week in a commemorative vein that will not alienate or divide you, my readers, my fans, my friends.
I have been fortunate to not only be born in the USA. I have also been fortunate to travel all over the world and listen to others’, their lives, their situations.
I have met people from the islands in the Caribbean and Asian countries and from Europe and India. There is more than one opinion out there. There is more than one way to get to where you want to go.
I am proud to say I am a citizen of the Earth today. We are all on this rock together. I do my best to listen to all points of view. No matter where they’re from — another part of the country or another part of the world.
Tho we may differ greatly in our beginnings, our defenses towards intolerance may stand a chance of evaporating in the end. Our mutual caring, understanding, compassion and love for one another can, and MUST, continue no matter what side of an issue we think we stand upon.
The good ole US of A was founded on freedoms, freedoms to believe and to seek a new opportunity. I ask you all on this anniversary of my country’s declaration of independence from tyranny to keep an open mind to the idea that we share variety along with our need to belong.
It will not matter if you believe in someone else’s list of beliefs or if you are a free thinker and you have come up with your own set of rules and ethics, I am certain there is room there to tolerate long enough to hear that we are all after the same thing —
To be at peace within ourselves.
To be capable of doing the things we love to do with people we like to be around.
To be comfortable to try new things with the limitations we all must encounter.
To be able to grow and change with dignity and grace, compassion and encouragement for others’ who are trying to do the samething you are.
To love unconditionally, without expectations that others who did not start out the same as you will be able to receive love.
Because in the end we know that love conquers all, Love for our country, Love for our elected officials, love for our neighbor even if they don’t act like they love us in the same way.
Happy Independence Day to all my American friends May your pursuit of happiness be of service to those around you.
One of the best ways I know of to bring ease and harmony is through the gift of live music.
Give me a call so I can do my part to bring joy to your life and the people you love.
I always love the feedback!
All the best,
Many people tell me, “I wish I could do what you do. But I’m not creative.”
Cue the game show buzzer.
Ladies and gentlemen. We are all creative. Come to one of my shows and observe how I can get a room full of people who, in some cases, have never met each other, come together in one unified voice and sing like they’ve been friends for seven lifetimes.
We are all creative. You probably haven’t been given permission or found a safe way to explore.
My wife told me of a friend of hers who decided to take singing lessons in adulthood. She is only doing it now because she was told she wasn’t a good singer when she was younger. She has joined a singing ensemble at The Old Town School in Chicago and is really enjoying it and has joined a band.
We tend to think more inside the box than youngsters do. We have jobs and rules and penalties for not following the rules and lawyers that cost money to get us out of trouble when we do. Or we’re afraid we might fall down and get hurt and then our insurance premiums might go up or we’ll have to wear a bandage on our head to church and we’ll look stupid. But that’s wrong. Incorrect. Totally fake.
That’s F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real. .
You are creative. Now. Today. No matter how old (or young) you are. I mean honestly …
Is there a time limit?
CUE THE ANNOUNCER
“I’m sorry. You didn’t do it before you turned 30 so you must return to your seat and place your tray in the upright position…. or … off with your head!”
I know. I know.
There is a bit of a hitch. As adults we tend to be much tougher on ourselves than kids are. We feel like if we make a mistake that it’s over. We’re wrong. We can’t undo it.
But that’s why the arts are perfect. There are no rights and no wrongs. Someone will not get injured or killed because we sing a different note than everyone else. It’ll just sound — well, different.
There are no attorneys waiting to litigate you in a courtroom for picking up a guitar or taking salsa lessons.
Arts are great for kids because it allows them to crack that shell of conformity and see what’s inside. It’s ten times better for adults to experiment in the arts. Our societal instincts get to be shattered and replaced with a whole new perspective. Step outside the safety of the herd. Be different. Be unique. It’s risky. But compared to what? Cliff diving in Honduras? Taking up chiropractic medicine on your Gramma?
Sing like no one can hear you. Dance like no one can see you.
I had one woman in an audience at a cabaret show I was doing last week tell me “Oh no. I don’t sing.”
Ha! I told her what I thought of that thought. “If you can talk you can sing,”
So get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Try and do something someone told you you were no good at when you were younger but you want to do it anyway. Just go do it.
I used to be a pretty crappy singer. Some would kid and tell me I haven’t improved much. But I tell them at least I know which notes not to sing. And if I do, I try not to repeat em
But like my piano playing I got better with time. I repeated mistakes and called the good mistakes jazz.
Same thing as a creative writer. For years and years now, I have written countless bits, jokes, plays, sketches, songs, lyrics, commercials, scripts, stories and podcasts. They weren’t always good. Some were perfect. Exactly what the client needed for their product roll out or corporate event.
I have cultivated my creative abilities over time. It has been an occupation to be creative and it has been a choice. Out of either the necessity of the deadline looming over the horizon or out of the curiosity to discover the right combination of music and lyrics, I have developed a system of being creative at will. On demand if you will.
It’s not an original system I use. I learned about it from a woman named Julia Cameron. She wrote a book called The Artists Way.
I can only keep recommending this book for forever. I still use her very clear, loving and supportive direction to develop new projects all the time. I still write piano music both with and without lyrics. Listen to this podcast. PMSPODCAST
Her system of awakening and nurturing our creative beings — that resides in every human being, is effective, safe and possible for everyone. No matter your occupation or position in life.
I can go on and on about the tasks and the methods and the joy and the fears and the breakthroughs and the ecstasy of accomplishment that comes from taking a risk from trying some thing new. Of being creative. Of being unique and significant and, well, being human.
If you buy The Artist Way through my link l will get a small commission. It won’t cost you anything extra. But I will get paid for my referral.
Be creative because you are.
To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.
I always love the feedback!
All the best,
Glo Glee Music, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC. Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
We have a wide variety of live music acts available for your company Christmas party again this year. Most importantly — it is very affordable when you go with one of the great piano players we have on board. Namely Me. Dan Gillogly. Okay … so it ain’t bragging if you can do it. But as much fun as you guys have, it is more fun for me. I’d love to hear from you so we can get things rolling.
We had another fantastic night of entertainment last Saturday night. People came together singing songs that everyone knew the words to and laughing along with all the improvised comedy and having a great time listening to live music as their entertainment.
Your party planning never got easier. Just pick up the phone and call Amber at +1 773-527-7417. We may still have your date available. It’s hard to say. There’s always one way to find out. If you’re the one in charge of finding great entertainment for company event this year, give her a call. I can GUARANTEE you will have fun! You guys will be talking about the great laughs for months — possibly years after the superior night of live music and comedy entertainment at your company event.
… Glad to hear it. Most people wait until the last minute and then they can’t find quality professional entertainment for their company office party. It makes it extra hard to come up with quality holiday entertainment ideas under the pressure of the calendar deadline.
It’s simple really. Most of the best entertainment agencies have their bookings solid by the time the leaves start to change their colors. But that’s because they have a limited number of options available for you to choose from. Not here. We don’t want you to be left out in the cold. We have a versatile entertainment company to assist you.
If you’re looking for corporate Team Building activities you can include in your company Christmas party, try a dueling pianos show.
We also have live music in the form of world class bands, jazz trios and hoola hoops.
Okay NOT hoola hoops. But when it comes to great party ideas, of course we’re going to recommend live music and comedy. It’s what we do best and it’s what we’ve been doing for well over 30 years now.
But if you’re in charge of organizing your company Christmas party for all the other Cubers, then think about a couple of these ideas.
Gingerbread Decorating Station. Everyone gets to decorate their own cookies. even take some home to the wee ones. Or better yet, build a bunch of fruit baskets that you can hand out to your friends as gifts.
Yes we know that when you call us with your date and you’re looking for holiday party planning ideas, we can deliver. It’s not an easy task being in charge of coming up with holiday party ideas for a small office — or a large one for that matter.