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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
First, let me ask you what makes for a successful corporate event, product rollout or trade show?
It’s when people in the audience are engaged, enjoying themselves, having fun and participating in the evening’s entertainment!
It’s when people are not fidgeting, checking emails or leaving their seats – and the room, in search of something better.
So what is the key to having a successful event?
It’s having the right entertainment. It’s having an expert on stage, connecting with your audience.
I’ve been playing piano and entertaining a crowd of people for most of my adult life, and my love of doing that while bringing people together has never diminished.
For years I’ve been doing all types of corporate events, and one of the keys to my success is that I incorporate live music into the entertainment.
Music is the universal language. Everyone loves to sing, listen to and enjoy music.
That’s why it helps me provide attendees with a wonderful experience, one that is engaging, exciting, inviting and most importantly, memorable.
Music is a powerful tool when it’s used to touch other people. And I know how to use it effectively!
I’d love to talk to you about your company’s next event. Please give me a call 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.
You call it Dueling Piano Music. Your soul calls it Stress Relief.
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.
I always love the feedback!
All the best,
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.
All the best,
So I want to talk about all the company event entertainment coming up that we have on tap for everyone, now that I know you all like my new logo,
As you know the Holiday season is upon us. If you’re not sure, then just turn on your TV or your radio> It’s okay. It’s safe to do so now that the elections are over and done with. When you do, you will see a semblance of Christmas ads already in full swing. I guess advertisers are getting a good rate now that the politicians are out of the way.
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.
“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:
- “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:
- 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?
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!