Sweet Home Milwaukee

Saturday November 12th, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI

Sweet home Milwaukee. Like it or not, it’s my home town – warts and all. I’m learning to like it a lot more as I get older, as I’m able to see a much bigger picture these days than just the angst riddled dysfunctional mess that was such a big part of my early years there.

People are basically people, and dysfunction exists everywhere. I’m not the first to have to deal with it and mine wasn’t the worst. Knowing that, it doesn’t make everything in the past ‘all better’ like a mommy kissing a boo-boo, but it puts it into perspective. Life is not fair, easy and never will be perfect. For anyone. We’ve all got humps we have to get over.

I’m doing the best I can with the cards I’ve been dealt, and actually life and all that goes with it is looking quite bright these days. It took a lot longer than I thought for it to arrive at this point, but I’m here and I want to enjoy every last second. It was a long rough trip.

Tonight’s shows were at The Northern Lights Theatre at the Potawatomi Casino. I love everything about that place from the actual venue to the people running it to the audiences to the security staff. If every gig was like this, I’d have been a major star many years ago.

Working at a place like that makes a performer want to give the absolute best show one can give. There’s a huge stage with a killer sound and lighting system, and the laughs just ricochet through the room. I always have a blast working there, and tonight was the same.

They have a special parking spot for us, and the security staff walks us back stage to the dressing room which has a plasma TV with full cable, and a big fridge stocked with sodas and waters and any number of other perks we might enjoy. They give us food coupons for either the sumptuous buffet or the delicious food in the sports bar area. It’s all first class.

The guy I report to is named Steve, and he’s been there for years. He’s laid back and as easy to work with as anyone I can think of. He’s always friendly and upbeat, and asks me how much time I’d like to do rather than just bark it out orders like most stage managers.

The security guards have been there for a while and they are always glad to see me or at least they fake it well if they’re not. They quote lines I used last time, and said they love it when I’m there because I’m easy to deal with. That makes me feel great to hear it, as my goal has always been to not bother anyone and just do what I do. This is a wonderful gig.

I had a bunch of people come down to see me, as I usually do. I never know who knows I’m in town or not, but it always surprises and amazes me whenever I play here just how many nice people I’ve crossed paths with in my home town. It’s not that horrible after all.

I can’t list all the friends that came to one or stayed for both shows, and I’m fresh out of superlatives to express how highly I think of them all for taking time to do it. I gave them my best, and I hope they enjoyed it at least half as much as I did. All the driving I did this last two weeks made it a special treat to be back here. Milwaukee is home, and I like it.


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