You Call It Piano Music Entertainment
Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher
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.
My job today is to let you know how important
live music and comedy can be for your soul.
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.
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.
Event planners often have some “go-to” ideas when it comes to hiring a headline act for their big corporate event.
Maybe it’s a magician, or a cover band, or an impersonator.
There’s just one problem with all of those types of acts: they’re not improvisational.
And not only is the audience not connecting with the entertainment, (they’re just sitting and watching), they’re not connecting with each other.
Unfortunately, that means it’s not going to be a memorable event.
Think about it: would you rather watch a magician perform some tricks, or watch an entertainer that has your colleagues laughing, singing and having a terrific time?
The more you can make the entertainment memorable, and the more you can forge an emotional connection with your audience, the more meaningful the experience becomes.
It’s not just my opinion; it’s the opinion of “experts” as well. Take a look at this article and you’ll see what I mean.
Speaking of making your event a more personal experience, check out this article too.
What I offer is a one-two-three entertainment punch: music, comedy and improv.
Working together, those two unique talents helps to ensure that the event experience invites, embraces, engages and delights the audience.
They’ll walk away with happy, lasting memories of having had a wonderful time for themselves as well as with their colleagues.
That’s exactly what you want to happen!
And whether you’re planning for a product rollout, sales seminar, trade show or other type of company event, I deliver an interactive entertainment experience that has your audience clamoring for more.
Sound exciting? You bet it does. And the best way to see how it fits into your overall strategy is to talk about it.
How about giving me a call me at your convenience? You can reach me at 773-527-7417.
The lights dimmed. The crowd quieted down. And as the spotlight hits me onstage, 700+ people in the audience at Navy Pier waited for me to begin.
Make that excellent history.
Make that decibel-busting laughter, applause, singing and clapping history for everyone who was in attendance at that particular show.
As an entertainer, I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s as if everything I strived for in my career came to a head that evening.
Was the client happy? If I’m telling the story, do you even have to ask?
(The answer was an unequivocal “yes.”)
The key was my being able to put everyone at ease, so they were engaged. They were leaning in from the very beginning, enjoying themselves in ways they never expected.
So it wasn’t just entertainment, it became an experience for the audience.
How did I do it?
The kind of experience that ten years of improv at Second City gives you. You learn a lot on how to engage an audience using improv.
It teaches you how to read the audience’s responses. You hear what they laugh at, you see their reactions and you play off their energy and build on it.
But a memorable event doesn’t start when the lights dim. It starts in the planning.
I’d like to tell you more about building a memorable event, and the best way I know is to talk to you about it.
Why not give me a call at your convenience, at 773-527-7417.
I promise that it’ll be time well spent!
Putting together a successful corporate event means that a lot of moving parts are working together successfully.
And if it’s your responsibility, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the following questions:
How do I make it perfect?
What’s going to help me differentiate this event from all the other ones – in a good way?
How can I personalize the event to create lasting memories for all of those in attendance?
What can I do to ensure that my colleagues are singing my praises, instead of suggesting I take on a different job?
Well, one way is to pack your event full of emotion. You’d be surprised just how important emotion is to the success of any event.
Here’s an article that I found on the importance of emotion within event strategy, and I think you’ll find it interesting. Article
I understand just how important emotion is when connecting with an audience, and make it an integral part of every single performance.
To get started on creating a successful and memorable event for you, let’s talk.
You can reach me at 773-527-7417.
I look forward to talking to you!
Ten years on the stage at Second City taught me one important lesson: use a warm and personal approach to engage the audience.
That’s how I’m able to put people at ease, and receptive to hearing your message.
And best of all, I do it with music – the kind of music that makes people laugh, sing along arm in arm and smiling from ear-to-ear.
Here’s another thing – they’re not only engaged with the music and me, they’re engaged with each other.
Now, I could go on and on about myself, but I’d rather let some of my clients do the talking for me.
Excited about using entertainment with great music? Let’s talk more about it!
Just give me a call at your convenience, at 773-527-7417.
We played a corporate event with our dueling pianos show last week.
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.
We were performing to a group of law enforcement folks.
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.