How Did I Get Started in Music and Comedy?

Live Music or Comedy? 

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 comedy. Or maybe comedy picked me. Music came along for the ride. 

 

We had dinner as a family every night at the same time. Dad came home on the 5:36 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.

We would sing. Loud! 

At the local 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. 

Performing doesn’t feel like a gift. I had to earn 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! 

 

List Title

  1. Company Events
  2. House Party 
  3. Employee Appreciation Night

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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 an 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 shown 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 the accounting business 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. Check it out here …

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 lifelong memories for everyone in attendance.

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.

Listen To This Hilarious New Blogcast w/ Comedy Music

Howdy All!
Welcome to our new Comedy Blogcast! 

This is the first in what may prove to be a very successful series of blogcasts.

Followers of this blog (and there are thousands of you every month right now) have the keen sense of wit and mental faculties to remember this very popular blog from last week.

Only this time I turn on the mics and get a good take; an interview, if you will, of the principle characters from this news style podcast. Thanks to The Onion for such consistent inspiration.

Please let me know how I did. Rate it with the the choices at the bottom here.

Also be sure to contact me to write custom material for your trade show entertainment, for your corporate events and your coming out parties. Our team has been producing shows for a couple of decades now. You should get it on it.

Call Dan 773-527-7417 right now. 

 

Entertainment for Events — Red Hat Society hosts Dueling Pianos

When you need quality entertainment for events like The Red Hat Society, dueling pianos really fits the bill. Dueling pianos shows are versatile and fit every demographic. Team building games and activities are always included. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for trade show entertainment or conference entertainment, dueling pianos works! Plus we can GUARANTEE you will look good — b’cuz we sound good!

We will be at The Sioux Falls Convention Center again for this event. The staff here is exceptional and we had everything we needed to help us entertain everyone successfully. We are honored to be included in the festivities.