Category Archives: corporate entertainer

Here’s your one chance to get your event entertainment done right

Surprisingly, we have something in common.

We both want to make your company’s next big event a huge success – we just go about it in different ways.

You do it by hiring the best talent available, and I do it from the stage, making you look good for hiring me.

That’s a win-win for both of us.

But just in case you haven’t heard of me (pretty rare), or you’d like to learn more about me (most people do), I’m happy to oblige.

I’m Dan Gillogly, aka “Dan the Piano Man.”  I’ve been providing music and comedy entertainment for company events, product rollouts, sales seminars and trade shows for many years.

I’ve been successful because I deliver the three main things that you and other event planners want: unique entertainment, attendees who really enjoy themselves, and a truly memorable event.

I offer live piano music, featuring original and parody songs that drive your message home faster than a ballot box getting stuffed during a Chicago election.

I honed my craft at Second City in Chicago, where I was hired for a 3-week fill-in stint and ended up staying for 10 years. I joined the ranks of Bonnie Hunt, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Chris Farley, Tina Fey and Dan Akroyd, just to name a few.

Understanding improv and how to relate to an audience in personal ways is what sets me apart from all other entertainers.

With my live music, it becomes a truly interactive show, engaging the audience in a truly memorable way.

Everyone at your event wants to join in and be a part of the fun. It makes for a very successful event.

I’d love to talk to you about what I bring to the table, er, piano, and a short conversation is the best way to do it.

I call it “phone improv.” I promise it’ll be enjoyable.

Please call me at your convenience at 773-527-7417.

How You (and Your Team) Can Be More Creative

The last couple of weeks I have been writing about how I remain creative on demand; whenever I need to be, No matter how close the deadline. These are ideas you can put in place with your team and your staff too …. or I can come and show you and your team in concert.

Sure I spent ten years at The Second City mastering the art of improvisation with the best of the best in the entertainment industry today. Yes, I continue to write and record and perform on stage on a regular basis. But there are multiple ways to teach creativity. Cultivate it if you will. And you don’t have to be a professional entertainer who plays multiple instruments to be able to do this too.

But people always ask me how do you make up so many funny parodies to popular songs?

Basically, it’s my job. I spend hours and hours writing new bits and memorizing current pop hits (so I can roast those songs to the joy of everyone). This is what I do.

But there are techniques that anyone can use to become more creative. It doesn’t matter what line of work you are in. We are all creative to a certain degree.

The seminal book written by Julia Cameron helps maintain my Muse in the manner to which she has become accustomed. There is journaling which we talked about last week. Writing about three pages longhand in a spiral notebook every morning is a fantastic way to ‘clean the pipes’ of all the debris that clogs up the creative water lines.

The other side of that same coin is to go on what Ms. Cameron calls an Artist’s Date.

This is time spent by myself in an activity that allows me to play. To do whatever I want. I turn off the phone. I go by myself. I am alone. I may be around people like if I want to go to a candy store or a movie. I am essentially taking myself out on a date.

It was very unnerving at first. I thought I was dating a little kid. That was what it felt like cuz that was what I was doing.

We all have a playful side to our personalities that gets ignored as we get older and have more responsibilities. As creative human beings it is important to remember what that part of us wants.

At first, I was at a loss to think about what to do or where to go on my Artist Date. So I started simple.

I took myself to a toy store. I looked around at all the toys and asked myself which one would I like to play with the most? I picked out a paper airplane kit complete with instructions on elaborate flying forms to make out of the included cardboard. It wasn’t until I had made one of them, that I realized as much as I thought I wanted to play with paper airplanes, my playful self didn’t like following directions.

So the next time I went to an art supply store. I bought some crayons and a coloring book. Again, I realized I don’t like coloring inside the lines. So I took some paper out of the printer and started coloring.

I have since collected numerous crayons, markers and paints. I have a sketchbook and I bought a book about different patterns I can use as inspiration to get me started.

I love having my crayons with me when I go on the road … when I’m in between gigs in my hotel room … or I’m waiting for my flight at the airport. It relaxes me and it keeps me in tune with that ‘still small quiet voice’ that we all need to listen to more often. (And now I’m finding I don’t mind coloring inside the lines — sometimes)

I do other Artist’s Dates. Now that I have gotten into the rhythm of it. I make a date with myself at least once a week. Every other month I go off by myself for a whole day. Sometimes even an overnight. It still shocks me the amount of chatter I hear in my head. The criticism. The negativity. And I’m a positive person. I become a grown up fighting with the little child. “You can’t do that.” “That costs too much.” “That looks dangerous.” “People will laugh at you in that helmet.”

But I do things anyway. Because that is the essence of creativity. Doing things that no one else would do. Doing things even if you don’t do them right or …. you’re gonna make a mistake or … because it might …. look silly … be stupid ….. sound weird … fail … succeed … and on and on and on

So take a look at this book. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It has opened up multiple avenues of creativity for me. You don’t have to be a professional entertainer or music producer. You can use this in all walks of life, business, family, with the kids, without the kids …. just get the book and try out the exercises within the pages. Or better yet … call me up and I’ll come over and run through some Fear Erasing, Brain expanding, Playful Games that will help you and your team become more productive. Team Building Sessions for grown ups who like to play.

You will be glad you did.

Oh … BTW … this is an affiliate link. When you get your book through this link, I do get a small percentage. It won’t cost you anything extra. And since it is through Amazon, you can donate a portion of your sale price to go to a charity of your choice. Pretty cool if you ask me.

TheArtist’sWayByJuliaCameron

MechanicalPencils.09Lead

CollegeRuledNotebook

LeatherCoveredJournal

To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.
Check out some of my other projects.

I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan Gillogly

The Artist’s Way and Creativity

Last week I talked about The Artist Way. As one part of The Artist’s Way exercises that I use to stay so creative and productive all the time is Journaling.

It’s a pretty simple tool. I’ve been journaling pretty much every morning now for … I don’t know …. maybe ten years now. In that time I have written countless blog posts, newsletters for subscriber lists, sales letters and other marketing materials for my music business. I also use it to stay fresh on stage with my improv comedy. But I am constantly writing songs, lyrics, piano pieces, for my CDs and for other artists, podcasts, plays, stories …. I mean the list goes on and on. It seems to be a never ending font of available source of creative energy.

I credit it, in major part to, writing in my journal everyday.

I think of it as ‘cleaning the pipes’, if you will. A data dump from the chatter of useless thoughts that get in the way when I am trying to write for a deadline for a corporate event or for an advertising piece.

What I do, what is suggested in Julia Cameron seminal book, The Artist’s Way, is to write 3 pages long hand in a notebook every morning right after waking up. Boom.

I can write about anything. I can write jibberish. Mukka Lukkah Whukkah Bukkah Blabber Dab fest swing set.

I can complain. “Oh my horrible hang nail.” “I need a haircut.” “When am I gonna get a new car?” Anything.

It can be dreams. Ambitions. Goals.

It can be Mantras or prayers. Or affirmations.

I think of it as transmitting to the universe. Clearing the way to work things out that I am thinking about.

Everyone talks about being positive all the time. I find that next too impossible. Sometimes I need to whine a little bit. The daily journal is a good place to do it. Plus, once I got into the routine of constantly writing every morning, I found that on the days that I didn’t get to it, I really missed it. So I would do it in the afternoon when I got a break.

It is suggested to get a notebook. But sometimes I write on my lap top or on my ipad if that’s what I have available. But its not the same. I can tell by my hand writing what kind of mood I am in or what I am feeling even if the words don’t exactly communicate it all.

I know some folks keep a really nice journal book. They maybe have a nice leather bound cover that they swap out new notebooks in as they get filled up. I like to go with the Standard College Ruled 1 Subject Notebook. Spiral bound.

Sometimes I splurge a little on nice pencils. But I prefer the mechanical pencils with the .09 lead. I press down on the page pretty hard some mornings when I get going and I’m in my zone. I like the different colors and feel of the pencils in my hand. I’ll put a link at the bottom of this page so you can see what I’m talking about.

So look at this book by Julia Cameron if you want to develop your creativity. It is excellent. It’s not just for musicians or artists necessarily. She talks in the book about people from every different occupation benefiting from these activities. Anyone can use them to enhance their creativity. Try it. I’ve had mind boggling good results. You will too.

Oh … BTW … this is an affiliate link. When you get your book through this link, I do get a small percentage. It won’t cost you anything extra. And since it is through Amazon, you can donate a portion of your sale price to go to a charity of your choice. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Artist’sWayByJuliaCameron

MechanicalPencils.09Lead

CollegeRuledNotebook

LeatherCoveredJournal

To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.
Check out some of my other projects.

I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan

I wish I could do what you do. But I’m not creative.

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.

Check out some of my other projects.

I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan Gillogly

773-527-7417

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.

How do you know so many words to so many songs?

One question I get asked all the time is “How do you know so many words to so many songs?”

Long answer? I’ve been doing this for so long it comes to me pretty easily. But not before some long years and months putting in the hours.

It wasn’t always like this. I studied. A lot. I went to college for music AND I played with some stellar musicians and entertainers along the way. I learned from them as well.

It’s also a combination of physical memory combined with an emotional memory.

Many times I will be on stage singing a song and I’ll be in the middle of the first verse and silently ask myself what are the words to the second verse? But then I calm myself down and say well I’m not on the second verse yet so I don’t have to know them. So then I get to the chorus with everybody singing along and here comes the second verse and sometimes I don’t remember what the second verse is while I’m singing the chorus. But when I finally get to the second verse, my memory banks kick in and I’m right there.

Another trick is if I can start off with the opening line of a song, I can usually get it after that. But if for some reason I stop in the middle of a song to crack a joke with someone in attendance, a song like Devil Went Down To Georgia or Baby Got Back, I need to go back to the beginning of the verse to get back on track.

It also helps if I can read the lips of someone singing along. Really! I can see them mouthing the words and I think, “Oh yeah. That’s the correct version.”
To learn more about how I can provide unique and memorable music and comedy at your event, call Amber at (773) 527-7417.

Check out some of my other projects.
MyCDLink
MyChildrensBook
MyPodcast
I always love the feedback!

All the best,

Dan

EP1: Piano Music Show Podcast-Soothing Melodies for Work

Piano Music Show Podcast offering great live piano music to get you through your day at work, at home, in the car. From Dan Gloglee at www.PianoMusicShow.com

Tell us what you think and how you would like the show to go in the future.

More On Chicago Mayoral Election Results 2015

Hi There and Welcome to Another Installment The Piano Bench Blog Cast:
Chicago Mayoral Election Results  

Today’s broadcast comes in the form of some more great piano music and comedy. Our topic? Chicago mayoral election results. I certainly hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed writing and recording.

Chicago politics has no shortage of great comedy material. So tune in regularly.
And be sure to contact me, Dan, for your custom written music and comedy for your client appreciation night, your corporate event or hospital visit.

Warm Weather Means Chicago Dueling Pianos At Navy Pier

Chicago Dueling Pianos at Navy Pier must mean …
The warm weather is here?

It’s the first warm day of spring here in Chicago. I think we may be close to 70º. I took my walk outdoors today instead of on the treadmill like I usually do. I saw the robins out in earnest. The smell of BBQ was prevalent throughout the entire neighborhood. A sure sign that Chicagoans are ready for the warm weather to appear and the snow blowers and salt to disappear.

Dueling pianos, entertainment for events,

Chicago Dueling Pianos Show

We are down at Navy Pier tonight for a dueling pianos show at a corporate event. Entertaining in front of several thousand people. We’ve got the traditional dueling pianos fun; sing along, dance along, laugh along live music entertainment. Yet tonight we have added a new wrinkle. We’ve added a drummer to the festivities.

That’s one of the reasons why Chicago Dueling Pianos are one of the most versatile party ideas. 

We can take your requests so that you get to decide which music you want to hear. But we can add a full band, or just a drummer like we’re doing tonight. We can add a featured vocalist. It just gives the extra added dimension to our regular piano music entertainment for events. chicago dueling pianos 

So after we do load in and sound check, I think I’m going to go for an additional walk down around Navy Pier and enjoy this beautiful weather. You never know how long it is going to last. Because you know what they say, If you don’t like the weather in Chicago, wait 5 minutes. It’ll change.

Call us for your live music entertainment at your next corporate event, charity events or backyard BBQ. We love BBQ! HeckFire … we’ll c’mon by before it hits 80º. We’re not picky. Live music and comedy goes with every kind of weather. So does Chicago Dueling Pianos for that matter … 

What can we say? We’re Chicagoans! Give us a call. 773-527-7414

We can GUARANTEE … You Will Look Good B’cuz We Sound Good!

Alcohol with Your Piano Music Entertainment? Aghast!

Alcohol was invented so the Irish would not rule the world.” – Irish Proverb

When I’m out playing piano music in public, many folks ask me questions that are quite similar. They range in similarities like, “What do you do during the day for work?” and “What does your wife think of what you do for a living?”; things like that. I would love to write an entire blog post about each of those questions.

But in honor of the great St. Patrick’s Day coming up this week, I would like dedicate this holiday blog post to the patron saint of Ireland with a post about alcohol.

Alcohol is the great social lubricant.” – Also Irish Proverb

A couple of questions I get asked all the time would be:

  1. Where are you playing that we can go see you?” I don’t play out in bars all that often. But when I do, I like Dos Equis …. oooppppss Sorry. I do play out public sometimes when the schedule opens up. But for the most part I like to concentrate on company events and corporate gigs. They’re not as easy to perform at as a bar gig. They require a little more finesse and a whole lot more restraint. Certainly neither of my two favorite things to do in the whole world; restraint and finesse that is.I like the raucousness of a bar gig or restaurant. People cutting loose, cracking jokes, laughing at things that are not normally funny in polite company. But isn’t that the point of going out drinking with your friends? No need to be polite.At company events and corporate functions where we are providing live music entertainment, people tend to hold back a bit because they have a level of decorum they need to uphold in the course of daily commerce. No sweat. People want to keep their jobs.

    For when the wine is in, the wit is out.” – Thomas Beacon

    But that brings us to the next question I get a lot:

  2. Do you think that we need to serve alcohol at our event to be able to get people to sing louder?The answer is a resounding, “No!”“How so?” you ask.I answer thusly.Have you ever heard a room full of kids sing loudly?Of course you have.

    Well they can certainly get pretty loud. And I don’t think ALL of them have been drinking. Do you?

    You answered “No. Probably not ALL of them Dan.”

    So I repeat myself. No. You do not need to serve alcohol at your company event to be able to get people to sing along loudly.

    Does it help?

    Hell yeah!

    It also helps if you’ve got the winning lottery ticket in your pocket. But it’s not going to solve all your problems.

    You will need to hire a professional entertainer (like me, for instance) who knows the tried and true formula for a successful evening of piano music entertainment. Someone who knows how to get people interacting knowing that they won’t be embarrassed come Monday morning around the water cooler, or feel like they’re the only on who knows how to have fun after hours. No.

    If you are not going to serve alcohol at your event, then might I make my professional recommendation that before you start your party, make sure the sun has gone down and that you just gave them all raises.

    But No, you do not need alcohol to be served in order to have a good time with live music entertainment for events at your company party.

Thanks for playing along and I’m certainly glad you’ve decided to read this far. Maybe you would indeed like to go a bit further. Give me a call at 1 773 527 7417 to see how affordable live piano music can be at your event.

Happy St Patty’s Day one and all! 

The whole world is about three drinks behind.” – Humphrey Bogart

piano music entertainment and green beer celebrations

Happy St Patty’s Day

You Call It Piano Music Entertainment. Your Soul Calls It Thirst Quencher

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 …

piano music entertainment

Sing Like No One Can Hear You

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.