Contacts And Persistence

Thursday June 14th, 2012 – Milwaukee, WI

   If there’s an actual ‘secret’ to success in the entertainment business or life in general, I think it can be boiled down to just two words – contacts and persistence. And, it’s not only who a person knows but how interactive synergy can be developed to benefit both parties over the long haul.

Sometimes contacts drift in and out of one’s immediate radar over the years, but all it takes for the connection to be restarted as strongly as ever is a simple reach out phone call or email. That’s exactly what I need to do right now, and fortunately I have a vast number of good people in tow.

If nothing else, I’ve been around the block a few times and have crossed paths with some really outstanding individuals in a number of fields. Those are the people I’m looking to reconnect with now as I’m reinventing myself to compare notes and see where they are in their own life journey.

Maybe we weren’t an exact fit to work closely together in the past for whatever reason, but our circumstances have significantly changed so now may be the ideal time for us to team up. It’s not only smart to go back and rattle the cages of these people, its good business. We could both be in a position to do a lot of good for the other, even if it means pointing that person to someone else.

An example of someone I reconnected with recently is Lenny Sisselman in Nashville. Lenny is the former manager of the Zanies there, but moved on to other things and is now doing quite well handling the careers of several acts like Jeff Allen and James Gregory. Jeff is now a top Christian comedian and James is an institution in the Southeast. Keith Alberstadt is also on his client list.

I’ve always had a good relationship with Lenny, and like him personally. One thing that he’s as good at as anyone I know is being logical and objective when it comes to the entertainment game as a whole. He doesn’t take anything personally, and offers his opinions strictly from a viewpoint of what he thinks are workable ideas or not. I tend to think with my emotions, as most comics do.

In the radio game, Kipper McGee has always been a big time supporter of mine. He has been a program director at several top stations in big markets like San Diego, Orlando and most recently WLS in Chicago. It was Kipper who nurtured us as ‘Jerry’s Kidders’, and we clicked as a team.

As the meat grinder all too often works, Kipper was unceremoniously bounced from WLS even though the ratings were solid and things were going well. He now makes his home in Milwaukee where he is working on his own reinvention process. This was the perfect time to compare notes.

I drove up to Milwaukee to meet Kipper at Ted’s Diner on 62nd and North Avenue. If you’re in the area, that’s a great little joint that’s been there forever. Prices are low and quality is high, and we spent a couple of hours catching up and going over possibilities of what our options may be.

Eventually, a Lenny or a Kipper or someone else or a combination of people will fall into place at the right time and that’s what it takes. It’s a constant process, and winners hang in there and go through it knowing that’s what it takes. Is it easy? No, but what is? I’ve come too far to quit now.


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