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Music and Comedy was a Calling for this Piano Player

People ask me all the time how I got into this? By ‘this,’ they think they mean “playing the piano.”

But by ‘this’, I think they mean ‘entertaining.’

When I was a youngster growing up, I was the middle child. So that’s one reason why I’m so good at making people laugh. The middle child was always in need of attention. They aren’t as important as the first two. The newness of parenting has worn off. So the middle child needed to resort to other tactics.

I picked music and comedy. Or maybe music and comedy picked me.

We had dinner as a family every night at the same time. Dad came home on the 536 train out of downtown Chicago. After saying grace, my main task was to crack the stern veneer of my Father’s deadly gaze. Manners were very important to him. Not so much to me.

My first comedy clubs were the family dinner table. It was a packed room of 8 every night. I was ecstatic when someone was invited over for dinner. I could go through my old routines all over again.

My sister told me later. We should have never laughed at your jokes. It only encouraged you.

It was not until my early 20s that I realized what a jokester my Dad was. He loved to sing and laugh and always enjoyed a party. But he died too young for both of us. I only have his memory and his letters from home when I was away at camp to remind me.

There was a pizza joint in a neighboring suburb. There was a piano player and a banjo player every weekend. They performed “Follow the bouncing ball,” Sing-along. We would get to eat pizza for dinner — with a Coke. My Dad would have a beer with his friends.

And we would sing. Loud!

We also sang at the Catholic school and in church. But nothing beat the pub for really kicking it out. Even if I didn’t know the ‘old fogey’ tunes they were playing, I still learned them and remembered them for the next time. Or figured ’em out before the song was through.

That’s what happens now when I have a mixed age room. I’ll pick current songs the youngsters want and pack them in with the standards the old folks want.

It doesn’t feel like a gift. I had to work at it. Lord knows, my family was a tough crowd. Mom, Dad, all my siblings didn’t fall for anything.

I can’t Dazzle them with Brilliance. Nor Baffle them with Bull.

The same holds true for every audience since.

I still view it as a gift when I see the joy in the crowd’s collective faces. Hear their laughter. Enjoy their compliments, handshakes, and hugs.

I feel like a kid riding his bike for the very first time. Every time I step on stage.

Let’s be kids again together. Give me a call for your next event.

Business or pleasure.

Company events and private house parties.

I have theme party ideas galore.

Ice breakers for conventions to let your prospects sales staff get to know each other.

Surprise birthday parties that create long-lasting memories for all.

It’ll be a blast!

Valentines Day Ideas

21 Romance Sparking Valentines Day Ideas  

These are 21 Romance Sparking Valentines Day Ideas. These might be some new ideas. Or maybe some these are some old ones you forgot about. Everyday life tends to get in the way from time to time. Taking a look at this list may spark a bit of imagination; possibly a bit of romance, on this heartfelt holiday. Besides, you might look like the hero for coming up with the best date ever on Feb 14.

Date Night Ideas for Lovers 

  1. Get your astrology fix: If love is in the air, it probably started with the stars. See if your stars are truly aligned. Go to a planetarium or get astrological chart read. Fun for both. Another one no one really knows about but is gaining in popularity … get your Akashic Records read. Don’t know what it is? Neither did I. It’s really cool. My friend Christina does it and it was really fun and insightful. Tell her I sent you. https://akashicloveandlight.com/
  2. Sign up for a cooking class: Food. Glorious food. Try some new recipes. Go together and see what you two can come up with.
  3. See some great live music together: Nothing like going out and hearing your favorite band. Or since this is about trying something new … go see a band or visit a club you haven’t been to yet. Live music always changes the way we feel. I know what I’m talking about. I am the Dan the Pianoman after all.
  4. Take a yoga class: Many to choose from. Acroyoga is partners yoga. Kundalini is very sensual and focuses a lot on breathing you can use later … Wink*Wink*

 

Valentines Day Ideas 2019 

5. Watch the sunset or sunrise: Find a hotel bar with a great view. Or take a trip up to the top of a skyscraper like the Willis Tower Skydeck. https://theskydeck.com/

6. Explore part of your city you’ve never been to: Large cities have restaurants and night clubs that are off the beaten path and frequently well worth the effort.

7. Book a Hotel room: Order room service. Need I say anymore?

8. Take a spa day: So nice in the middle of winter. Relax. Rejuvenate. Sometimes you could get a massage. Kick those endorphins in gear. Mmmmm ….

9. Watch a comedy show: Funny you should ask. Yes of course I do get out to see some live comics. Stand up is a great way to go. Laughter is great foreplay. Or so my wife tells me. I don’t always do a ‘stand up’ act. Because I’m more of a ‘Sit Down’ comedy act. I play the piano and sing silly songs. So let’s book a Valentine’s Day event where you are at this year.

10. Go karaoke: I see how much you enjoy singing along. If you’re not heading out to a really good piano bar for some sing along … or is you’re going to call me to come on over at another time … Karaoke is a great date night on Valentine’s Day. Singing gets the blood flowing and we all know that can lead to other great things flowing with a romantic date night.

11. Poetry reading: Have you guys heard of Poetry Slams? They’re taking off all ovoer the place. Look one up in your neighborhood. Writers get up on stage and read their material in front of a live audience. No Poetry Slam where you’re at? Curl up under a blanket and read some to each other. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

12. A burlesque show: These are cool too. Not a striptease per se. More like a vaudeville show celebrating beauty, movement and entertainment in a cabaret setting.

13.Rollerskating: This one of the first dates I ever went on in junior high school. Of course we were surrounded by 20 or 30 of our closest personal friends at the time. But still. 

14.Ice-skating: No matter the weather … ice rinks are now so modernized, we don’t have to wait for the weather to be cooperating. On the other hand … have you ever been skating out on a frozen lake?
Just sayin’ …

15. Go to a basketball or hockey game: Living in Chicago we have two pro teams. But there are also some pro teams at the level below the NHL or the NBA. Womens basketball leagues and semi-pro teams are in abundance.

16. A theme dinner: Not like a costume party. But close. Themes can include ethnic fare you wouldn’t normally try. Besides guys, we can never go wrong if you’re the one who likes to provide for your partner. It can trigger deep rooted primal patterns in our lovers that pay off when the time is right.

17. A night at the museum: There are so many variations on what used to be the archaic museums we grew up on. Interactive museums can be so much more exciting. For example, Art Museums where you get to create some art. Music history museums that will allow you to set up some instruments and jam along.

18. Ghost tour: Maybe more of Halloween date. But … hey … a good idea is a good idea, right?

19. Chocolate tasting and Truffle making: Yummy, yummy, yummy get some love in your Tummy

20. Have a bonfire: I know it’s winter. But what about a walk out into the woods and I’m sure it’s colder than you’re used to. But a bonfire can be so spiritually connecting and invigorating. If not, try blazing the wild fandango out back. Or perhaps in one of the forest preserve shelters. I’m in Chicago USA. We have a ton of natural wildlife places to go – even in winter.

21. Or my personal favorite idea … Hire Me !!!  Bring 20 other couples. We’ll have a blast! I go everywhere and everywhere I go we have fun. My pianos are portable or I can play your piano. 

Let’s make this Valentine’s Day extra special. Live music & comedy always creates great memories that last well beyond the holiday.

So give me a call and let’s see what kind of fun we can create.

 

 

List Title

  1. Valentines Day Ideas
  2. Live Music Chicago
  3. Comedy Date Nights 

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Graduation Quotes Worth Remembering

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving.
They make mistakes but don’t quit.- Conrad Hilton

This is the season of new beginnings. Spring time. Hope. New things.

One season ends and another begins. Accomplishments bear fruit and we see the results of our efforts come forth. Graduation.

We had another high school graduation this month. Our youngest left high school and embarks on her next chapter. College. A new season. A new beginning.

With all of our children, we have hopes and dreams that they will one day do well; find their way, contribute on a meaningful way.

We give them the best of ourselves (and sometimes the worst) and we hope that it will be enough for when they need it most. Schools. Clothes. Friends. The best of everything – or at least the best that we can provide at the time.

graduation quotes, graduate, graduation parties, comedy, quotes, It’s like the great Robin Williams joke. And I’m paraphrasing of course, You hold them in your arms as a new born and you wonder what their lives’ will be like. Will they be hearing “… and now to accept the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Physics and Basketball …” or will they be saying “Would you like fries with that?”

So here’s to all of you and yours doing well this graduation season. May all your parties be grand and festive and may all your futures be bright and productive.

graduation quotes 

Who Has The Best Party Ideas For Adults?

I gotta admit. It was not my best night of live music. I was feeling a little off. I felt like I was a beat behind. Even tho I was playing solo piano, I didn’t think I was keeping the groove too honestly. It felt like I was dragging the tempo in places. But I was the one who started it off. I set the tempo. There was no drummer on the gig. So what gives? party ideas for adults 

I had worked all day in the studio. I wasn’t really tired. But this was the late set at The Redhead piano bar in Chicago. I started just before midnight and I was going until 3 in the morning. So maybe I could have slept longer last night.

The place was packed. People were having a really good time by the time I got there. I settled in behind the piano and got people rocking and singing along. There were lots of dancers on the floor. Always cool to see that. But I was still trippin’ on my tempos. And then I started forgetting whole verses. Like entire chunks of lyrics. I could nail the choruses. But the verses were elusive. For example, I couldn’t remember the first verse of ‘Folsom Prison’ by Johnny Cash. “I hear the train a-comin’ ….”

party ideas for adults, party music, piano music and comedy,

a.k.a.Captain Energy

Then came Justin. I nicknamed him ‘Captain Energy’. He was gonna be the guy tonight. The Alpha Male. Numero Uno. He had the impetus to get things goin’. He was my savior. My go to guy. He knew every lyric to every song I sang, or started to sing.

He brought the house down. It was amazing! Every lyric. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant? Nailed it. Africa by Toto? No sweat. He never came close to singing on key. But that silly little technicality did not stop Captain Energy. No siree-bob.

Plus he was willing to jump up and dance. What he lacked in melodic capability he did not make up in rhythm on the dance floor. Let’s just say he was an original.

He got people dancing by pulling them into his vortex on the floor. He pulled off Elvis impersonations with no shame.

Then he imitated Neil Diamond during our rendition of “Forever In Blue Jeans” by adapting the Will Ferrell line, “I wrote this song on the back of a dixie cup …” and added the line himself “after I stabbed a homeless guy to get an erection.” Captain Energy was on fire!

I was rescued. I fed off of his energy. I got my groove back. 3 ½ hours went by in no time. I didn’t want to leave when I was done. No one did. Except Captain Energy. He gave his all and he had to go. When he left we all felt like it was time to turn in.

Every room needs a Captain. Justin was ours tonight. Every party needs a ring leader to get things going. Who is going to be your ringleader? Call me to find out how to get your party going. If Captain Energy doesn’t show up, I’ll be sure to do my part before he does. Even if my rhythm is a little off, we’ll still have a great time. 773-527-7417 party ideas for adults