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.
The rest, as they say, was history.
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!
(c) Jens Wolf/dpa/Corbis
Right now, in St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt, Germany, there’s an organ playing a song that has no end—in our lifetime, anyway. Even though the sheet music for minimalist composer John Cage’s “As Slow as Possible” is only eight pages long, the song will take 639 years to complete. It’s part of Cage’s larger exploration of how music exists in time and space; he wrote the piece for an organ because the pipes can last for thousands of years. A machine, called a blower, constantly supplies air, and a weight holds down the pedals. The first three-note chord, which was played in 2003, lasted for a year and a half. The church is committed to playing the song until it’s over. If you can’t wait for the full version, don’t worry: The club remix will drop any day now.
Now that’s one of the longest music gigs ever! Call for a shorter one +1773-527-7417
“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!
“The whole world is about three drinks behind.” – Humphrey Bogart
Happy St Patty’s Day
We are getting ready to go on at a cancer fundraising event. Great benefit here in the SW Suburbs of Chicago. fundraising entertainment With dueling pianos is a great idea if you’re looking to raise money for your charity.
They have a bunch of great items to give away at he silent auction. Do you see that Blackhawks jersey from Shaw. That’s pretty cool. I would bid on that.
Country club entertainment
Yes we are at Tippecanoe Lake Country Club Entertainment
tonight for a dueling pianos show.
This is our 6th year in a row. 6 YEARS!!!
A lovely club. They have increased their membership by over 20% in the last year. I guess we’re both doing something right.
And sure enough… the next morning we got a call from one the members who saw us here. He asked us to come back and perform at his house in the summer. Whdd’ya think wee said? Of course we said yes. What a great time they’re going to have. We bring our own piano and we can go anywhere.
Call us for your next party 773-527-7417