The War Inside

Sunday April 14th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   My business sense has been growing remarkably stronger of late, but I think I still have a long way to go before I can get too excited about anything. There’s a big war going on with that and my inner ‘artiste’, and I can’t claim any victories just yet. This is a time I must tread very lightly.

   By all accounts, ‘Schlitz Happened!’ has the potential to be a big hit – probably the biggest and best project I’ve ever done. I don’t know how much that’s saying, as I haven’t pulled off as many big projects as I’d have liked. I attempted more than a few, but they didn’t turn out as I’d hoped.

   For various reasons, I’ve never had a major hit with anything I’ve ever done. There hasn’t been that signature piece of work I’m known for that all artistic people seek. I was close with the radio job I had in Chicago at 97.9 ‘The Loop’, but the station got sold just as we were starting to gel. It was none of our faults, but we took the hit anyway. For whatever reason, that timing was wrong.

   This project feels completely different. It feels like my timing is dead on perfect, as Milwaukee people have a desire to go back to a safer time in their past and seek refuge from the insanity of a crazy world in which we live. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but I can sense I have hit a nerve.

   That being said, I wasn’t thrilled about my performance in either show last night. I wasn’t able to knock either one out of the park like I know I can, but that’s just not realistic. I’m just starting, and nobody starts anything from zilch without at least a few growing pains. I need to be careful.

   I know what I am capable of as a live performer, and quite honestly when it’s going well few if any others can match my energy level. When I’m hot, I’m hot. Last night I was not. It wasn’t my best performance, even though I did hear plenty of sincere compliments from many who came.

   It didn’t help that Joe San Felippo and Bob Rech were there, and they watched both shows. I’m not worried about them firing me or anything, but they’re the ones who gave me this shot and my inner artiste wants to knock them both flat on their asses to prove they made the correct decision.

   This is a feeling deeply rooted in all dented cans. We’ve been mocked and ridiculed most if not all of our lives – usually by someone extremely close to us. More often than not it’s a father issue and the pain runs so deep we’d do anything to hear him say even the slightest words of approval.

   I know I’m not alone in this, but few ever talk about it out loud. Once in a while I’ll manage to get a fellow performer to ‘fess up about having daddy issues, and it’s always the reason he or she got into the business in the first place. Why so many fathers are cold hearted ogres is beyond me.

   Once in a while it’s someone else. Johnny Carson’s mother was the source of his approval need and he admitted it. No matter how big of a star he became, she never would give him the support he craved from her. All of us have that need to be loved and accepted, but in performers it’s even stronger. Look at all of the brutal sacrifices we make in our lives to get even a little. It’s amazing.

   Those deep inner scars are very slow to heal, and old habits die painfully hard. We’re so used to needing acceptance to the point of desperation, we’ll knee jerk react to situations where things don’t go as we planned in our mind’s eye. That’s something most of us fight, and I’m fighting it after two shows I wasn’t thrilled with last night. Nobody but me felt that way, and even Joe and Bob said it’s a work in progress and we’re just getting started. I need to shut up and know it’s ok.


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