Archive for May, 2010

Networking Is Necessary

May 21, 2010

Wednesday May 19th, 2010 – Chicago, IL/St. Charles, IL

It’s only now that I’m really starting to grasp just how important building a network can be in terms of working in the entertainment business. People really do talk, and when I’ve been able to keep my name in front of someone who can do something for me, it’s usually paid off at least one time or another. The question is, how can I do it the most efficiently?

There’s a fine line between updating someone regularly and being a flat out pest. We’re all bombarded with emails and texts and most of those aren’t important so how can I keep my name and availabilities in someone’s head without bothering them? I wish I could say I knew, but I don’t. Nobody does. Everyone has different ways they digest information.

I’ve built up enough of a reputation with enough bookers around the country that I have people calling me for work. I do a solid job and can handle myself in most situations from a stage standpoint because I’m so experienced. I’ve seen it all and nothing rattles me, so a booker knows I’ll do the job more often than not even if there’s a flood or a wild heckler.

I don’t know how proud of that fact I am, but it’s true. I get calls from bookers all over who are ‘trying something out’ and use me as the guinea pig. It could be anything from a deaf mute biker rally to a gay lumberjack bake sale, or both. In the same weekend. Across the country. In a blizzard. And I have to be squeaky clean. With PowerPoint. In Yiddish.

Somehow, over the years I’ve been able to pull most of those kinds of shows off. That’s probably why I get so many calls for work today, but I’m still painfully lax on keeping the people who could possibly hire me informed I’m even alive. If I did, I bet I’d easily triple the amount of work coming in, and get paid more too because I could afford to be choosy.

Today Marc Schultz held a networking lunch with some of the clients he books through the year. Those are always fun, so I went hoping to meet some new people. Marc is one of the nicest bookers I’ve ever met, and everyone who knows him loves him. He invited Tim Walkoe and me, but we were the only comedians. The rest ran the entire gamut of variety.

There were magicians and jugglers and a ventriloquist and even a couple of other ladies who book entertainment that Tim and I have both worked for in the past. It was a fun time socially, but also a nice chance to network with people from another branch of a business that traditionally hires by word of mouth. This was a good opportunity for each one of us.

Occasionally people ask if I might know any number of different kinds of acts, so if I’m able to recommend someone and get them work I’m more than happy to do it. That’s how networking pays off, and I’ve had it come back to me in the past from other entertainers.

Tonight I went to Pheasant Run in St. Charles to meet in person with a small group that has been interested in a comedy class, but not enough to make an actual class. I met with them personally and answered questions they had, and I could tell they were impressed by my willingness to do so. No problem, that’s networking too. To do it is smart business.

Hooters And Rooters

May 20, 2010

Tuesday May 18th, 2010 – Greenfield, WI

Sometimes everything just works out. I look around at some people and I see it happen all the time. There are no glitches and everything moves along exactly how it’s supposed to. That’s never been me, but once in a while I’ll catch a day when it comes pretty close.

Today was one of those. For the second year in a row I was asked to emcee the swimsuit contest at Hooters in Greenfield, WI. I got it last year when my friend Drew Olson wasn’t able to do it, and he thought of me as a last minute replacement. My timing was perfect.

That’s not something I’m used to, so I took it as a victory. Any time there’s a chance for a paying gig on a Tuesday, one takes it – especially in this economy. I’d had experience in working for Hooters before from my radio days in both Reno and Salt Lake City, and they were always very professional to deal with. Plus, who doesn’t like to “check the menu“?

The thing I like about Hooters is they really know how to run an event. They’ve always been extremely thorough, at least from my experience, and they make it classy rather than take it into the gutter. Of course guys are there to gawk at chicks, but it doesn’t feel slimy.

The manager of the Greenfield Hooters is extremely sharp, and I could tell that as soon as I met him last year. His name is Bob Hall, and he totally gets how to run an event. This was his fifth one, and by no means was it easy to pull off even one. It was a killer success, and run well from top to bottom. Any time I can be a part of something like that, I do it.

One of the few things I know how to do well is emcee an event. I can think very quickly on my feet and keep things going smoothly, even when they’re not. That took many years to acquire, but I’m confident to be able to handle anything at this point. It’s not a big deal, but like a referee in sports – the host only gets noticed when something goes very wrong.

Nothing went wrong last year other than I made a couple of comments up front that had a bit of double entendre to them, and Bob told me I had to lay off of that kind of thing. He wasn’t a jerk about it or anything like that, he just told me where the line was and I got it.

After that, it came off without as much as a hint of trouble, and everyone was happy. He paid me immediately, and I was grateful to get it. It was a pleasant surprise to hear that he wanted me back this year, and it happened to fit into my schedule perfectly so I said yes.

This year’s event was even better. The crowd was more into it, and everything fell into place perfectly. The same sound guy was there, a guy named Bobby Donini who had a big system that really sounded great. He handed me the mike and everything went really well.

This year I had a co-hostess too, an absolute blonde stunner named Sarah who’s 21 and looks like Jessica Simpson but is a lot smarter. She did some announcements between the costume changes of the contestants and was a peach to work with. She wasn’t stuck up or a bubblehead at all. Nobody was. This was about as fun as a Tuesday in Wisconsin gets.

These are the kinds of connections that make life enjoyable. It started with Drew Olson. I’ve known him for over twenty years, and he’s always had a heart of gold. Even when he was just an upstart writer for the Milwaukee Journal, he was always generous and got the concept of sharing the wealth in life. Now, all these years later it’s paying off in spades.

Drew was a roommate of a comedian friend named Pete Lipsey, another classy guy who has always been a giver. I’ve tried to be the same, and for whatever reason the three of us hooked up way back when, and it’s paid off more times than I can count. I helped Pete get started in comedy, and had Drew on as a guest when I was doing mornings at 93QFM.

It’s funny to imagine now, but he was actually nervous the first couple of times he was on the air with us in those days. Nobody else knew that though, and he was very good on the show. We’d have him in when we could, and he always told me how grateful he was for it. I was happy to do it, and now all these years later the roles have switched around.

Now he’s Mr. Radio Guy and lets me sit in on his show when I want. He’s never blown me off, nor forgotten how I helped him get started. That’s not only a sign of real class, but a tribute to his lack of petty insecurity that can be so common in the entertainment game.

Drew passed the Hooters gig on to me, and I met Bob. Bob liked what I did last year, so he called me again this year. I totally didn’t expect it, and it was a pleasant surprise to get another chance to do it. He said he plans on doing it next year, and I’ll get the call again.

What’s even better is that there’s a similar contest at the Hooters in Rockford, IL. Guess who’s hosting that one? My old radio buddies Stone and Double T from 104 ‘The X’, and I was just a guest on their show last week. All the people were telling me how I needed to meet them but I told them we were already friends. Small world, but this one is a winner.

These are totally the people I want to not only hang out with, but exchange services and favors like this. Stone and Double T are great guys, and they give me the same freedom to come on their radio show as Drew Olson and Dan Needles do on ESPN 540. Bob fits into that mold, and now he’s another connection. He’d help me, and I’d surely help him also.

These people are more than just friends. These are RELATIONSHIPS, the kind that one never loses out by both seeking and developing. Nobody keeps track of favors, but there’s two way action whenever one is needed. I want to find as many of these people as I can in life and keep the network growing. The dividends it pays come back many years later.

I gave Bob and a copy of my Hard Luck Jollies CD, and I forgot I did a bit about having a Hooters in Milwaukee that should have been called “Udders”. It’s gotten big laughs for many years, but I felt embarrassed that it was on there. This Hooters is anything but that.

What a treat to have people like Bob and Drew and Stone and Double T in my life. I’m extremely grateful for all of them, and it doesn’t hurt to have to look at gorgeous women in bikinis all night to get paid. This is how life should be every day. I’m working on that.

Split Decisions

May 18, 2010

Monday May 17th, 2010 – Chicago, IL

Had dinner in Chicago with my grade school friend Tom Orlando and his nephew Alex, who thinks I’m one of the funniest humans alive. Tom has been wanting to bring Alex to meet me for a while now, and tonight was the night. I’m glad we were able to hook it up.

Tom is one of my all time favorite people. He’s truly funny and always was, even in our school days. He was in broadcasting and did quite well for himself, but he also has a great business head and decided he wanted the financial security of doing that. Good for him.

Tom has done it right, and he couldn’t be any nicer. He made a great point while we ate when he said “The difference between Bill Gates and me is – I have ENOUGH.” That’s a point I’ve never heard put that way, but he’s right. He loves what he does, but he also has time to enjoy it. He’s always doing things like going to Europe to backpack for a month.

It’s great to have someone like Tom as a friend now, because he’s known me my whole life and knows the entire story, just as I know his. We’ve had a lot of similar experiences, especially in broadcasting. We’ve also done very different things and that’s ok too. We’re able to learn from each other, and I consider him a true ally. He’s someone I really trust.

I brought up the whole idea of maybe going after the comedy booking accounts of some of the slimier agents around, and he was all for it. He’s from Milwaukee and knows about the history there, and he could totally see where my frustrations lie. He said he could see a solid opportunity, but only if I made a total commitment to it. I’m not sure of the answer.

Booking comedians has never been my goal. I want to keep myself booked, but I see the need for someone to step in who’s both ethical and competent, and I know I could do it at a higher level than those who are doing it now. It would appear I have no experience but I know the business inside and out from being on the other side. I could absolutely do this.

Rumor has it the Comedy Café in Milwaukee is going to reopen and the owners are in a process of reorganization. They’ve apparently interviewed several booking agencies from all over, and Funny Business has undercut everyone’s price in hopes of getting it. I’d hate to see that happen, and I’d love to have a chance to say my pitch to the building owners.

NOBODY in America could do a better job of booking a comedy club in Milwaukee. It can’t happen. I’ve spent a lifetime observing the city, the club scene there and the comedy business in general. I know the territory inside and out and could book it better and for the absolute lowest price around. It’s like a factory outlet, they could cut out the middle man.

Funny Business or any other agency doesn’t know the Milwaukee comedy scene like an actual comedian. I’d know exactly what to do, and would love to have a chance. I’d prove it to everyone, and results would be almost immediate. One thing I wouldn’t do is go over the head of the woman who used to book the Comedy Café. I told her I have no animosity toward her and I don’t. She’s ethical, and I wouldn’t disrespect her. The others? Look out.

Shuffling The Cards

May 18, 2010

Sunday May 16th, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI

Life is turning out to be much more difficult than I thought. I was sure I’d have all life’s  mysteries figured out by now, but I’m still bumbling along trying to piece it all together. I should be planning for a grandiose retirement, when in fact I’m just barely squeaking by.

I don’t like it one bit, but that’s where I am. And I know I’m not alone. I have to believe hundreds of thousands if not millions of people in this country alone are not satisfied with the direction their life is headed, but they do nothing about it except maybe drink a whole lot so they can forget it. The fact remains, we’re all self made and that can be a bitter pill.

I look back on my life and many times I had the right idea, but didn’t execute it and it’s too late to try again. Baseball cards are an example. I knew they’d be worth something at some point, so I began buying as many old ones as I could when I was barely a teenager.

I sent them away to get autographed, and I had all kinds of big stars who are now dead including Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Roger Maris and many others. I saved the right cards and had a fantastic collection by the time I graduated high school. I drifted from the card game as most kids do, but a few years later I got back in it and fell in love all over.

I bought some more stuff and then life’s storms started to hit and I was sick of having to move it time and time again so I ended up selling it all. Even though I made a very strong profit at the time, I’d have been able to make a total killing had I just held on to it longer.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda is part of everyone’s life, but I really did blow it. I should have not touched any of those cards for years, and then sold them right at the peak back around 1996 when prices were sky high. I have to believe I’d have been able to clear $150,000 or more, and I could have gotten out with a hefty chunk of change to show for my efforts.

Now, I’m trying to peddle my remnants way past the peak years and hope to break even on some stuff I probably overpaid for in the first place. I tried to force it rather than let the deal come to me, and now I’m paying for it in more ways than one. My timing was off on this deal, and not only did it take up time, space and money, it’ll take work to sell it all.

I drove up to Milwaukee today to take a run through the card show at Gonzaga Hall and meet with the guy who’s supposedly going to take my cards on consignment. He’s buying collections left and right because others are selling too, and doesn’t have room right now.

He’s been in the card game steady for 35 years, and everyone respects him. He’s from a small town in Michigan, but he travels every week to card shows and has a built up a very solid reputation for being an honest guy. I could have done that too, but I chose otherwise.

I’ve dabbled with cards for probably that long, and didn’t make a full commitment like this guy did. He’s not rich, but he’s got a plan and does ok. I’m scrambling to get out of it and move on with life, hoping to hit stride with something else. This life thing isn’t easy.

Sales Fails

May 16, 2010

Saturday May 15th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

Another Saturday night without a gig. I never enjoy that. It’s mostly my fault, as I’ve let my booking chops get rusty, but gigs have been coming in on their own so I’ve not had to be as aggressive as a young kid trying to get started. I’ve established a solid reputation for doing killer shows, and that’s why my phone keeps ringing. I’ve earned it the hard way.

That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be out there pounding the pavement selling myself every single week, and that’s exactly what I haven’t done. I don’t enjoy that, but now I’m seeing the direct result of my lapse by not working tonight, and if you don’t work – you don’t eat.

What comedy basically is is a sales route. My wares are my show, and I make rounds to buyers who can use what I’m selling. Some buy it for a night, others for a week, others do it for several weeks over and over again. It’s my job to line up more buyers, and also get a higher price from the ones who have bought me in the past. I’m letting my sources lapse.

I’ve been taking the easy way and just letting the phone ring at random. It’s been doing that, and that’s part of the reason I’ve been less than aggressive with the whole process. In a way, it’s good that I have some holes in my schedule as it will make me pay more mind and improve my habits. I’m off next Saturday too, though I am booked on Friday the 21st.

I used today to get a load of sports cards ready to take up to Milwaukee tomorrow to get the ball rolling in getting them sold. There’s the monthly card show at Gonzaga Hall up in West Allis, WI that’s been going on for years, and there’s a dealer from Michigan that has agreed to take my collection on consignment and sell it for me. It’s what I need right now.

Not only will it bring me some income, it will also help free some room in both my life and my home. I totally admit the timing isn’t right at the moment, and I want to overcome a big mistake I made by buying them in the first place. I did what I did at the time with as much information as I had then. Circumstances have changed, and I want to move ahead.

I also made some calls as to the possibility of trying to become a booker myself of some rooms. I’m not really looking to be a full time booking agent, but I know I could do a way better job than a lot of those who are doing it now. Plus, I could do it for a far lower price.

I know several people who used to be involved in the comedy business and could grasp the concept of getting the legwork done. If I had booking authority, I would hand choose individual shows with comedians who would work best in a particular venue. I’ve been at this my whole life, and I understand how it works. Chemistry is a major part of booking.

There’s much more to it than that though. There are a ton of possible headaches, and in no way do I think it would be easy. I just think it’s being so mangled now that somebody has to step in that has a clue and clean it up a little. This is business, and I resent the fact a bunch of incompetent no nothings were handed the keys to my immediate future by their father who never cared if we lived or died in the first place. This is totally about survival.

The Magic Question

May 15, 2010

Friday May 14th, 2010 – Libertyville, IL

Life has more pay ins than pay offs, at least for most of us. I know it does for me. I have struggled for so long, I’m having trouble getting myself in a mindset to accept whatever it is that’s going to be my payoff. Will there be one at all? I’m beginning to really wonder.

I was in a short tempered pissy mood all day, and I don’t know why. It was one of those days when absolutely everything got on my nerves, and I felt like punching something or someone just for looking at me wrong. It was a bad day to leave the house, but there were places to go and people to see and I needed to do it anyway. I avoided punching anyone.

My web person Shelley asked if I wanted to go with her on a ‘mystery shop’ at a brand new burger joint in Libertyville. She does those as a part time job, and once in a while I’ll tag along so she doesn’t have to go herself. Her kids are in school and her husband has to work, so it’s a chance for her to get out of the house a little and make some cash as well.

Shelley is a very sweet person. She’s a giver like me, and always tries to help people in need. I totally appreciate it, and she and her husband Bob have helped me eliminate some viruses from my computer when they totally didn’t have to. Shelley built my website too, and helped me when I really needed it. I don’t ever want to screw over people like that.

She likes comedy a lot, and would love to be on the road doing shows. A lot of people I know would. They look at me and think I have ‘the life’. Granted, there are a lot of facets of my life that are outstanding. I make my own schedule, and I’ve been able to survive for a lifetime doing what I really enjoy. I never lose track of that, but big holes still do exist.

We had to wait in line for our burgers, and I was in no mood for crowds today. I tried to stay positive, and if Shelley didn’t have to eat at that particular restaurant, I’d have turned around and got back in my car and went home. Halfway through lunch, Shelley asked me a question that stopped me in my tracks. “What exactly is it that would make you happy?”

Isn’t that the magic question for all of us? I sat there trying to figure it out for quite a bit longer than I expected, and I kept saying “GOOD question.” She looks at me and thinks I have the perfect life. I look at her with her family and that’s what I really want. I still love doing comedy and always will, but having a loving family really appeals to me. I want it.

I’m not saying that’s perfect either, but it sure would settle me down a little. Also, more financial security would do it too. If I sacrificed this much for this long, I sure didn’t get a decent payoff for it. I’m struggling to survive, and I should be doing a lot better than that.

What the hell did I sacrifice so much for if there’s no payoff? I want people to come see ME, not just go to a random comedy show and I happen to be there. There’s a difference, and I haven’t been able to achieve it no matter how hard I’ve tried. It’s SO frustrating, but what can I do? I’m too far into the game to quit now, but I definitely could use a big boost when it comes to my business skills. I’d love a family too. It would make me feel needed.

Keeping It Clean

May 14, 2010

Wednesday May 12th, 2010 – Oregon, IL

I had what was probably one of my top three personal best comedy shows EVER today,  and I’m feeling like a total loser. It’s mixed emotions to the tenth power. The show itself was as good as I could be, and I’m a tough critic. Too bad not a lot of people were around to see it. I feel like I missed my career bus, and am trying to hitch hike across the country.

The gig was booked by Marc Schultz at the White Pines State Park in Oregon, IL. They have a nice campground facility there that also has log cabins. There’s a restaurant on the grounds that has a theatre space attached that seats about 150 people. They have all kinds of entertainment apparently from celebrity music impersonators to bands to funny plays.

Marc has booked acts there before, but they’ve never had a standup comic, mostly due to the common (and too often justified) concern that the act will be dirty. Marc sent them my Craig Ferguson set on a DVD and the woman in charge bought me directly off of it.

That’s the main reason to get a TV credit, so as to parlay it into more work. Marc says a lot of places he’s tried to sell me before were afraid to book me because they thought I’m ‘too clubbish’, and didn’t know if I could do a clean set. The TV credit legitimizes me.

The good thing about all this is it’s starting to expand my venues. The bad thing is, I’m at the ‘tweener’ age. I’m getting old for young crowds and am young for old ones. I know I can do well with most audiences, but nobody handles them all. NOBODY. Anyone who says they ‘kill everywhere’ is a bald faced liar. Different audiences have different tastes.

Today’s gig couldn’t have gone any better. It was a 1pm show, right after the lunch but before dessert. They wanted me to do a solid hour, but no intermission as is sometimes an obstacle for comedy. There were about 55-60 people in the audience, and I doubt if any of them were under 50. I was told a church group was to be there, but I think they cancelled.

The woman in charge named Beth was both extremely friendly and professional, as was everybody else I met from staff. The audience was used to seeing shows, and was right on target from start to finish. These people were WONDERFUL, and it was a treat to get the opportunity to perform for them – even if the place wasn’t sold out. Still, it wasn’t easy.

A large portion of the audience consisted of The Red Hat Society. I’ve dealt with them a few times before, and they’re usually sweet people. Today was no exception, and all of them sat in one section and were great laughers. They’re a group of ladies 50ish and over and I think they do charity work as part of their group. They’re usually very conservative.

Marc Schultz told me this would be a clean show, and I had no problem with that. I can keep it squeaky clean, which I did today. I didn’t say even one ‘damn’ or ‘hell’, and if the church group had shown up, there wouldn’t have been any complaints. I was ready for it. This was a show that very few working club comedians could have pulled off, and I knew it as I was doing it. I adjusted myself accordingly, and I pulled off a solid hour on stage.

I challenge anyone who’s ever tried to be a comedian to do that. Believe me, it’s not at a small accomplishment. It took every single ounce of the experience I’ve earned for all my years of honing my craft thousands of times on stage all over North America and Canada to make today happen, and keep this group of seniors laughing without being off color.

I don’t usually work blue anyway, but sometimes that’s the direction the audience wants to go. I’m not offended at all by any swearing, and it can be a tool in the right situation on stage. This wasn’t the place to use it, and I knew that going in. It was a challenge, but I’ve always loved challenges and that’s why it felt so good to pull off such a solid show today.

There were a lot of things going both for and against me, but in the end I nailed it. That was what was so satisfying. People lined up to have me autograph their programs and get a picture with me and I did whatever they asked me to. I also heard over and over “I loved the fact you kept it CLEAN.” I know there’s a HUGE market for comedy that isn’t dirty.

The trouble is, most club comics who are funny can’t adjust, and most people who do a clean act aren’t funny. It’s a very fine line, and not many can do it. I was proud of myself, mainly for the fact that I knew where the line was the whole time and knew I wouldn’t let myself cross it. I had to really work hard to be in the moment and focus on getting laughs.

One of the Red Hat ladies went off on a tangent halfway through the show, but I knew I couldn’t flip out on her. She wasn’t mean or heckling, she just made comments that were a little out there. I took it and ran with it and got about five minutes of ad libs that had the whole audience laughing, but I didn’t have to slam the lady who said it. It was all in fun.

A lot of the skills I used today I learned from my mentor C. Cardell Willis. I used to sit and watch him work for older crowds, and he really knew how to do it. He slowed down, became much more animated than usual and he never got angry at them when they would talk to him during the show. Those were a lot of the very same techniques I used today.

I’ll admit I threw in a couple of old jokes too, but I knew exactly when to do them and I leaned into it and SOLD them like I just thought of it. That’s the key in that situation. It’s very much an attitude and likeability is very important. I was firing on all cylinders today, only because I knew what this audience wanted and gave it to them – for one whole hour.

That’s a long time on stage in any scenario, much less this one. I did my preparation for this show and it paid off with the satisfaction of both audience and venue. They said they want me back next year, and I’ll gladly do it. The bad part was I wasn’t able to draw flies.

That’s what made me feel so low afterward. I don’t mind performing for older crowds, and in fact if they were like today I’d love it. There are cruise ships that pay well and lots of active assisted living centers that would probably love to see a clean show like this and pay for it too. Still, I’m not known and haven’t been able to develop a draw. I could have easily been just as funny for 550-600 people as I was for 55-60. I got a nice payday today and am grateful for it, but the venue didn’t get rich. My show was hot, my business – not.

An Almost Accident

May 12, 2010

Tuesday May 11th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

I’ve had a healthy helping of spectacular car crashes in my life, and today I just missed another by a margin so close I still can‘t believe it. If that wasn‘t a miracle, I don‘t know what is. I thought for sure I was going to die and I had to pull over to let my heart recover.

My bank is located on Highway 132 in Lindenhurst, IL or maybe Lake Villa. I know it’s one of the two, but I’m not exactly sure where the border is. It’s next to a strip mall where a lot of people heading east make left turns to get to the stores there. It’s often a hassle for people who want to go straight and they dart around the turning cars. It’s very dangerous.

There are a lot of minivans and cell phone blabbers in the area and I’ve seen a lot of bad driving on that particular stretch. The speed limit is posted 35, but very few come close to obeying it, even though there’s a police station just a few blocks down the road on 132.

It isn’t an uncommon occurrence to come out of the bank and observe a fresh car wreck in the process of being cleaned up off the road. People can’t seem to handle the left turns in combination with the cell phones, texts and whatever else they’re doing while driving.

I stopped at the bank today and was thinking about a million and seven other things as I drove east on 132, trying to catch up with the flow of traffic. I’d glanced away for a half a second and looked back to see there’d been a chain reaction wreck when a minivan turned right to avoid someone turning left. It blocked the whole road and I stomped on my brake.

I had a split second to decide whether to slam into the car that slammed into the van, or opt for door number two and take my chances by swerving into the oncoming lane to miss it but possibly get hit by oncoming traffic, which I was unable to see because it was being blocked by a pickup truck that had also managed to get into the wreck. It was a big mess.

I chose to take my chances and swerved to the left, not knowing what was there. That’s similar to what I did last December on an icy road up in Wisconsin and an oncoming car hit me square in the hinder at about 60mph. That wasn’t pleasant, and I hoped it wouldn’t happen again today. It’s funny how time slows down, and I was coherent through it all.

My swerve was successful, but there was traffic coming the other way and I had to gun it past the accident and then over into my lane again. I narrowly escaped getting hit and it made my heart jump up into my throat because it all happened so fast. I just missed being a big part of the festivities and that’s the last thing I need right now. I caught a big break.

I’m not going to try and analyze anything, but this was really a close call. If there was a car coming closer in that oncoming lane, I’d have hit it head on, probably about 45 miles an hour. All kinds of unpleasant possibilities could have happened, but today I dodged it.

The funny thing is, I just had my oil changed yesterday and filled up with gas. I’d have lost that money too. It’s happened before. Often. Maybe my luck is changing for the good.

Vibe And Charisma

May 11, 2010

Monday May 10th, 2010 – Barrington, IL

I’ve really been thinking a lot about inner vibe lately. I’m only just now starting to grasp  in my head how vital it is to all of our lives. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I do know it’s real. What was that inner feeling I had yesterday to go to the casino and win money?

Where did it come from? Was it a guardian angel? A ‘spirit guide‘? Was it all just a big coincidence? I don’t feel it was that at all, but I don’t have the exact source pinpointed yet either. My guess is it’s something we can all access, but not everyone discovers the way.

We all have good days and bad days, and I know the moon and tides and that cycle have an influence on how we all feel and what kind of energy flows from us. It’s real, and I can feel it more than I ever have. People radiate energy, and I’ve always been able to sense it.

One of the reasons I’m such a major fan of George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic is that George has amazing charisma, unlike most anyone I’ve ever seen. I’ve been able to catch them live countless times, and although I love the music the true electric moment of the whole show is when George makes his entrance. It’s an experience I never get sick of.

The band is playing, and there are lots of musicians on stage. They get the crowd going for maybe 30-45 minutes or longer, and then they hit their opening song that indicates it’s time for George to come out. It’s called ‘Cosmic Slop’ and all the fans know it, but when he finally shows up it takes the audience to outer space and the whole joint pops a cork.

I don’t think just anyone could do that. If the band was playing and the crowd was in an unbelievable groove and everything was firing on all cylinders, and my grandma came out there instead of George Clinton, the whole thing would be ruined. George has a look with his distinctive hairstyle and clothing choices, but it’s more than that. It’s his inner energy.

My question is, can it be developed like a physical muscle? I’ve felt my own inner vibe evolve, and it’s been in a good way. I don’t know if that comes with age or if I’ve made a conscious effort, which in my mind I think I have. I want to learn to control this energy.

I’ve been doing little tests lately to see what works. For example, I made a list of twelve women I’ve known in the past that I really found attractive. I looked at the list, and put in my head a conscious vibe to re-attract them into my life again and see if I still found them attractive, and if there’d be a possibility of connecting. Sure enough, they’re coming back.

I had dinner with one of them tonight. I hadn’t seen her in several years, and she teaches developmentally disabled children. She’s sharp and funny and still looks great. She’s still all the things I remember, and we had a fantastic time catching up. Time flew like a bird.

The only downer…she was divorced and is now remarried. Ugh. Very disappointing in one way, but in another very encouraging. The point was to reconnect, and we totally did. I hadn’t seen her in years, but I put the vibe out there and we reconnected. It’s like magic.

A Psychic Nibble

May 11, 2010

Sunday May 9th, 2010 – Battle Creek, MI

Supposedly everyone has psychic ability of some sort. The only one I’ll lay claim to is a tiny inner voice that speaks to me once in a while. It’s not audible, but I do feel it inside at various times. I don’t claim it to be anything other than an inner urge, but I really feel it.

Many times it’s come to me when I’m watching sports, which I’ve been known to do on a regular basis my whole life. I’ll be watching a game or match, and feel when a big event is about to occur, then blurt it out. I’ve called knockouts in fights two seconds before they happen, to the surprise of everyone – including myself. I have no clue why this happens.

I’ve called home runs in baseball and touchdowns or interceptions in football, and I just get this feeling inside. I know when it’s there, and I immediately say it out loud. I’ve been able to nail it on several occasions, and it’s stunned a room more than once. It stuns me as well, as I have no idea where this comes from or how I can control it. It’s all very random.

I had another example of it today. Last night I had a gig in Coldwater, MI. It was farther than I thought or I probably would’ve driven back, so I stayed the night. On the way home I passed a new casino in Battle Creek that was built just recently, and the voice told me to stop and win some money. I’m not a big gambler at all, but I’ve never had the voice fail.

The place was jammed to the rafters, and I had a hard time even finding a parking space in the lot. I did get one, then I went inside and had a hard time finding a machine. I like to play slots, even though there’s no real skill involved. I found ONE machine open, so I sat down and pulled out a $20 bill. At first the machine wouldn’t take it. Eventually it did.

I played the $20 down to zero, and was going to leave. I saw an ATM and withdrew $40 and went back to my machine, which was now being played by someone else. I saw a new one open up, so I sat down and started playing that one. My $40 was just about gone but I still had the feeling I was going to win something. I wish I knew how I could sense this.

Two or three pulls later, I won a small jackpot to give me a few more pulls. That started it, and I just kept hitting. I again made the dumb mistake of playing less than full capacity of coins and that cost me about three times. Still, I ended up walking out with a nice little jackpot total of $170 for my troubles. I couldn’t believe I’d gotten such a strong message.

That’s not a million dollars and I’m not going to retire on it, but for a non gambler it’s a pleasant surprise gift from the cosmos. I’m not taking any special meaning into it but I am grateful for it. It helped make the trip worthwhile, and at this point I’ll take what I can get.

I have to believe all of us has a version of that little inner voice inside, but how or what can we do to get control of it? I can’t control mine at all, but when it’s there I know it and this was an example of it. I didn’t know the universe dealt in increments of $170, but I’m not complaining. I’m hoping to find the way to lure the big catch. I got the appetizer, now it’s time for the main course. Are you listening, inner voice? Keep these vibes coming!