Round Two

Saturday April 13th, 2013 – Milwaukee, WI

   Ding ding. Round two of the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ experiment, and I’m still standing. It’s going to take a while before it starts to take a real shape, but for where the process is now I’m feeling a lot of positives in all directions. It’s worth my time investment, but I’ve got a lot of work to do.

   On the good side, both shows tonight were well attended once again. That alone will allow me to keep doing it, and that’s about the best I can hope for right now. This isn’t something that’s an all or nothing onetime event like a big boxing match, this is a project that will take years to build.

   I had a couple of glitches to work through tonight, and that’s going to be part of it for however long this project should happen to run. It’s a constant process of adjustment and adaptation to the circumstances at hand, and sometimes that’s not pleasant but it’s the only way to build anything.

   The first show tonight was again the best attended. It surprises me that a 7pm show would be a bigger draw on a Saturday night than a 9pm show, but that’s how it’s working out so far. Maybe it will evolve, but for now that’s how it is. I definitely sensed a different energy from both shows both weeks so far. The later shows had more people that wanted to participate and be a part of it.

   The glitch in the first show tonight was that there was a group of about 25 who weren’t born in Milwaukee and lost some of my references. They were transplants who moved here years ago for work purposes, but they weren’t able to hang with me on the material that went back any farther.

   I talked to quite a few of them after the show, and they said they had a good time even though I was not hitting them on all cylinders. That’s an issue, and I have to be prepared because this isn’t the only time that will happen. I have to be prepared with a ‘Plan B’, but I’m still working on my ‘Plan A’ for those the show is intended to target. I wasn’t expecting this, and it did throw me off.

   What threw me off in the late show was a crowd much younger than I was expecting. That put me in a different trick bag, and again I wasn’t prepared. I knew early that this wasn’t going to be my crowd so I fell back on my standup bits and luckily I was able to do that as it bailed me out.

   That’s another situation I need to be prepared for in the future. I will make a note of it and have a plan for when it happens again – and it will. Situations always repeat themselves, and that’s the one thing any performer can count on. If one is in the business long enough, it all happens again.

   Another situation I dealt with tonight was incorporating audio into the mix. I had nothing at all last week and it went fine, but I knew I wanted to add sound to take it to a higher level. I did get a fantastic pre and post show montage done with Mark Heleniak, and that blew the room away as the people sat and listened to their life in Milwaukee unfold before their ears. That was a big hit.

   What wasn’t a big hit was a closing bit I came up with that plays some audio I thought for sure would bring the house down, but it didn’t. I’m not saying it won’t in the future, but it will need a few tweaks and right now I’m not certain what those are. This is all part of starting from scratch.

   All in all, there was progress made from last week to this one. I tried several new things, some worked and some didn’t. I’m already embarrassed at how little there was last week, but that’s the way I want to feel every time because it means I’m improving by leaps and bounds. I’m not at all cocky or think ‘I’ve arrived’. I don’t ever want to think that way. I’m just barely getting started.    

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