Posts Tagged ‘Frank Caliendo’

Trevor Fever

February 8, 2014

Thursday February 6th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

One ingredient I’ve never been able to find in the entertainment business is logic. Things go on with no apparent rhyme or reason, and it’s been that way forever. Why are the Kardashians stars? My point exactly. People come along at the right time in the right place, and careers can explode.

I have never been able to get those two things right, but few others have either. I’ve been in the right place at the wrong time, and the wrong place at the right time. I have even managed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – lots of times. But in all my years, I’ve yet to hit that jackpot.

Frank Caliendo is an example of someone that did. He came along doing impressions of people that were in the news at that time, and there were no other impressionists of his generation doing what he was doing. He had perfect timing and a tremendous work ethic, and things fell together.

I don’t think it’s possible to plan for it, it just happens. Trying to over think things won’t make it any easier, and all one can do is keep throwing things out there. IF something should hit, it’s an indefinite science and there’s no guarantee it will happen. The fates have to be in total alignment.

Someone I see it happening for right now is the 12 year old comedian Trevor Burke. That kid’s ship is about to come in big time and it’s an ark. I’m very happy for him and his family. He’s got all kinds of things brewing in all directions, and I can tell he’s on the verge of something huge.

I’m not at liberty to say exactly what’s going on, but he’s got some big things in the hopper for 2014, and they’re happening sooner than later. I’m in contact with his dad Joe, and I’ve heard the news first hand. For whatever reason, the timing is right and Trevor is about to catch a big break.

I’ll do all I can to help in any way, as I know how rare opportunities like this are. He’s going to experience things most people never get to feel at any age, and I hope things go well and he has a dream life. I always said I’d be happy just knowing someone that made it, and this is my chance.

I could see it happening for Frank Caliendo, and I see it even bigger for Trevor. He’s totally in the right place at the right time, and the powers that be want a 12 year old comedian right now. It has nothing to do with talent, and that’s no insult to anyone. Timing and luck are the main keys.

Does Trevor have comedic talent? That doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t. He’s extremely likeable, and looks comfortable on stage. He’ll appeal to the masses, and that’s what counts. He’s unique, and that’s what sells him. I’m anything but that, as adult white males couldn’t be more common.

I don’t do impressions, I have no puppets, and I’m not particularly cute. That takes me out of a lot of categories of show business, and it’s a miracle I’ve been able to stay close to it as long as I have. Trevor has won the lottery, and he’ll surpass me by the end of the year. That’s how it goes, but I’m not angry or jealous in the least. I know how the showbiz game is played, and I accept it.

I really like Trevor, and if anything I’ll do my best to be his mentor. I want to see him keep his dignity and self esteem intact as his star rises. There will be a lot of jealous people who want him to fail, but that goes with the territory. It’s wasted energy though, as it’s in the cards for that kid.

The breaks he is about to get will set him up for life if he plays his cards right, and I’m betting he will because he has a solid family base. His dad Joe is extremely smart, and understands how business works. His brother has two sons that were in a band, and they ended up doing very well. The family has been through this before, and I met the grandfather who is also very grounded.

All the ingredients are in place for massive success, and I’m thrilled to be this close to watch it all pop. It doesn’t happen very often, and it couldn’t happen to nicer people. The whole family is behind Trevor, and that’s how it should be. It will ground him, and he won’t be a Justin Bieber.

How many stories are there of child stars that end up in the gutter? Pretty much all of them. It’s front page news when one doesn’t end up on the cover of the National Enquirer with a mug shot, but I don’t see that for Trevor at all. He’s going to be an exception, much like Ron Howard was.

Ron Howard’s father was around the business as well, and he and his brother Clint got into it at an early age. Clint was the star of a TV series called “Gentle Ben” with a bear, but then he faded away. He’s done a lot of small roles since – mostly cameos in the movies directed by his brother.

Trevor doesn’t have any brothers, or sisters either. He’s a well adjusted only child, and it’s rare to have everything fall into place like it is. He won the lottery, but he won’t end up a derelict like many of those people do. He’s being prepared properly, and if anything he’ll appreciate it more.

The real test will come with time. Will he stay with standup comedy and become a lifer like me or will he graduate into acting and never do it again at a certain point? There’s no right or wrong answer, and it will be an individual choice. Maybe he has been bitten by the bug, but maybe not.

He’s been in a ton of acting and video projects, and has an impressive resume. I saw a video he did for a band, where he played the lead singer as a kid decked out in KISS makeup. He came off really well, and it’s obvious the kid just ‘has it’. I hope he catches his break, and I think he will.

There are two rock solid opportunities on the table for him at the moment, and even one would shoot him past 99% of other comedians in America – including me. I don’t want to see him flop, and he won’t. Like I said, he is in the right place at the right time and it’s obvious that somebody else sees it or they wouldn’t be lining up to put him on TV. He’s got a bright future and it’s here.

If nothing else, I can help him avoid most of the pitfalls I see made and made myself. I’ll point them out to both him and his dad, and hopefully they’ll listen. They’re going to have all they can handle and then some of wacked out advice from strangers and hangers on, and it will be soon.

Everything is coming together at lightning speed, and there’s no use fighting it. This is not how it happens for most people, so there’s really no precedent. I wish only the best for Trevor, but it’s inevitable that some glitch will happen at some point and that’s when I can be of the most help to him and the family. If there’s anything I’ve experienced a lot of, it’s glitches. I can offer advice.

The Burke family has been unbelievably gracious throughout all of this and has said repeatedly they’d like me to “come along for the ride”. I really appreciate that, but I’m not looking to try to horn in on their territory. IF there’s a spot for me somewhere in the mix, I will be very grateful.

Watch for 12 year old comedian Trevor Burke - coming soon to a TV near you. www.trevorburke.com.

Watch for Trevor Burke – coming soon to a TV near you.

His star is rising quickly. He's got more credits at age 12 than most entertainers get in a lifetime. He's a great kid, and his whole family is behind him. I am too. GO Trevor! www.trevorburke.com.

His star is rising quickly. He’s got more credits at age 12 than most entertainers get in a lifetime. He’s a great kid, and his whole family is behind him. I am too. GO Trevor! http://www.trevorburke.com.

Justin Bieber allegedly has talent, even though most adults would like to punch him in the face for his punkish attitude. Trevor has none of that. He's a great kid.

Justin Bieber allegedly has talent, even though most adults would like to punch him in the face for his punkish attitude. Trevor has none of that. He’s a great kid.

Old Dogs And New Meat

January 25, 2014

Thursday January 23rd, 2014 – St. Charles, IL

There was a fall out tonight at Zanies Comedy Club in St. Charles, IL and once again I was the one called to fill in. I’m always grateful to get those calls, and I gladly said yes. The temperature was way on the wrong side of zero and my car barely started, but it was a pleasant ride to work.

I have always enjoyed working in St. Charles, and have been doing it with regularity since the club opened in 1989. I’ve seen several managers come and go, and like a lifer in prison I’m now part of the fabric of the walls. I’m a fixture, and there are several others in that category as well.

Vince Maranto is another. I have known Vince from the days of the first place I ever worked in the Chicago area called “The Comedy Cottage” in the mid ‘80s. That was a showcase club where an entire generation of extremely talented comedians cut their stage teeth, and I am honored that I was a part of that scene. What a blast. It was like being a musician in Liverpool in the late ‘50s.

I always liked Vince and thought he was a funny comedian, and we’ve worked together far too many times to count. He’s a headliner in his own right, but frequently works as ‘house emcee’ at Zanies to stay off the road. He was married with a son, and chose to be around. I can’t blame him for that, and in fact I commend him. Vince chose to make comedy work for him and that’s smart.

Mike Preston wasn’t a part of the Comedy Cottage scene, but he came around not all that much longer after. He’s another act everyone likes personally, and is also an excellent comedian that is able to close shows when needed. He also opted for the ‘house emcee’ gig because he helps take care of his mother in Crystal Lake, IL where he grew up. Again, who can blame a guy for that?

Vince never chose to make the move to L.A., but Mike did. He lived there for several years but decided to move back like a lot of people do. There’s no shame in doing it but it’s never pleasant to make that long trip home. I’ve done it myself, and so have countless others. It’s a cruel game.

Vince and Mike are two of my favorites to hang out with offstage, and I love their acts too. We have all seen each other’s acts so many times over so many years, we could probably recite them word for word by now. We’re three prime examples of what a working road dog comedian does.

I had no idea who I would be working with when I arrived at Zanies tonight, but was delighted to see Vince and Mike sitting around – and they were happy to see me too. We all knew we could relax and not have to worry about anything as far as the show went. That makes it a total breeze.

I happened to be the headliner tonight, and Mike was the feature. Vince always does a great job as host, but Mike or I could have easily done that role too. Any of us could have effortlessly fit in at any position, and I can’t remember the last time I was on a show like that. What a treat that is.

The audience tonight was mostly a group fundraiser event for a baseball team of some sort that is based in the western suburbs. There were a few others mixed in, but that group was the bulk of the audience. Vince, Mike and I knew exactly how to play it, and it came off without any hitches. The crowd saw a much better show than they realized, as there were decades of sweat equity put in by all three of us, and that just doesn’t happen every day. I’m proud to call those guys friends.

Right before the show started, Vince asked me if I’d heard about Pat McGann. I hadn’t, and he told me that Pat was taping his first David Letterman appearance tonight. I hadn’t heard that and was very happy for him. Pat is a wonderful guy and everyone likes him too – but he’s different.

Pat is not going to be a road dog kicking around for decades like Vince, Mike and me. Pat has big star written all over him, and I predicted that years ago. He’s got all the tools, and has put in his time the right way. There aren’t many that come along that are like him, and he’s on his way.

I’ve only seen it happen a few other times, but I was right each time I saw it. It doesn’t take all that much to see it, as it becomes quite obvious in a hurry. There are some people that show up at the right time with the right equipment, and they shoot up the ranks with little difficulty. It’s rare.

Frank Caliendo was one. He opened for me the first time he ever stepped on stage at a bowling center in Waukesha, WI. He was totally raw, but I could clearly see how that audience loved his impressions. I told him that night if he worked hard and stayed with it he’d take it to the big time.

Hannibal Burress was another. That kid has a load of natural ability, and combines it with one of the hardest work ethics I’ve seen since Frank Caliendo. Frank busted his hump and then some to get his name out, and Hannibal is the same. People with both those traits are extremely rare.

Michael Palascak is another. He’s done all kinds of TV, and is well on his way to a long career making big money doing something in the entertainment business. He might get a sitcom or have a movie career, but standup comedy has launched him to a higher level than most of us ever see.

Pat McGann is on that path as well, and tonight was his official launch date. I was told it won’t air until tomorrow, but unless there’s another 9/11 type story I’d say he’s golden. It might not be a big deal with the public, but he’s cementing his place of credibility within the business itself.

Like with pro sports, there are only a few of thousands that are considered legitimate prospects. Once in a while someone slips through the cracks and overachieves, but for the most part it boils down to a precious few at the top of the crop that are talked about and given chances to succeed.

In Pat’s case, he comes from a solid family that’s well connected on the South Side of Chicago where he’s from. I think his father is a judge, but I could be wrong. Whatever the case, he’s been groomed to be socially adept, and he totally is. Everyone likes Pat, and I see why he’ll be a star.

He’s got a razor sharp wit and is very funny naturally. He took a comedy writing seminar that I taught with Bill Gorgo years ago, and we immediately liked him then. It was obvious he was one of those rare ‘naturals’, but he also put in his time and worked at it. This is no surprise to anyone.

I’m thrilled for Pat’s success, but I also have to keep plugging on my road. I wasn’t given all of the gifts Pat was, and neither were most of the rest of us. There are a lot more Mike Prestons and Vince Marantos than there are Frank Caliendos or Pat McGanns. Dobie Maxwells are even fewer than that. My story is so out there, it stands eerily all by itself like Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. It now becomes up to me to play the hand I was dealt correctly and salvage as much happiness as is humanly possible. If I’m lucky, Pat or Frank or Hannibal or Michael will hire me as a pool boy.

Vince Maranto is one of Chicago's very best standup comics - and has been a friend for many years. He's a rock solid professional. www.vincemaranto.com.

Vince Maranto is one of Chicago’s very best standup comics – and has been a friend for many years. He’s a rock solid pro and I’m a lifelong fan. http://www.vincemaranto.com.

Ditto with Mike Preston. Mike is also the host of a very funny TV show called 'Psycho Babble'. I've been a guest several times, and it's always a blast. www.psychobabbletv.com.

Ditto with Mike Preston. Mike is also the host of an original and funny TV show called ‘Psycho Babble’. I’ve been a guest several times, and it’s always a blast. http://www.psychobabbletv.com.

Pat McGann recorded his first network TV spot tonight. He's on his way to becoming a big star. You heard it here first. I'm thrilled for Pat, he's a true talent and super nice guy. www.patmcganncomedy.com.

Pat McGann recorded his first network TV spot tonight. He’s on his way to becoming a big star. You heard it here first. I’m thrilled for Pat, he’s got talent galore and is a genuinely nice guy. http://www.patmcganncomedy.com.

Frank Caliendo opened for me his first time on stage at a bowling center in Waukesha, WI. I told him that night if he stayed with it and worked hard he could easily take it big time. He did, and it worked. Good for him. www.frankcaliendo.com.

Frank Caliendo opened for me his first time on stage at a bowling center in Waukesha, WI. I told him that night if he stayed with it and worked hard he could easily take it big time. He did, and it worked. Good for him. http://www.frankcaliendo.com.

Hannibal Burress is another rising star loaded with talent and a rock solid work ethic. I'm a big fan, and it's no surprise he's blowing doors off of everywhere he goes. He's a rare talent. www.hannibalburress.com.

Hannibal Burress is another rising star loaded with talent and a big time work ethic. I’m a huge fan, and it’s no surprise he’s blowing doors off of everywhere he goes. He is absolutely the real deal. http://www.hannibalburress.com.

Michael Palascak is another up and comer with star written all over him. He's also talented and has a super work ethic. www.michaelpalascak.com.

Michael Palascak is another up and comer with star written all over him. He’s also talented and has a super work ethic. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Success leaves clues. http://www.michaelpalascak.com.

Astronomical Odds

January 24, 2013

Tuesday January 22nd, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   This just in from our news desk– LIFE IS DIFFICULT! Oh, and in a related story – it’s not fair either. I didn’t happen to just stumble across these particular revelations today, but it’s becoming a lot clearer as I get older that anyone’s chances of hitting anything really big are extremely tiny.

I happen to know a lot of people who happen to be in the creative arts in one way or another. It doesn’t matter if it’s standup comedy, acting, radio, music, writing, professional wrestling or any other artistic pursuit – there are zero guarantees the best people in any of them will ever hit it big.

The term ‘hit it big’ can be defined differently depending on who is asked to define it, but I am referring to the biggest of the big – the ‘A’ listers. I’ve crossed paths with literally THOUSANDS of aspiring artists of all genres in my time, and only a handful have ever made it to that top level.

I’ve been doing standup comedy the longest, and the three names – wait, four that pop into my head of those who really hit it are Jeff Foxworthy, Drew Carey, Larry The Cable Guy and Frank Caliendo. I would say all those guys have household name recognition with the American public.

I have no personal issues with any of those four, and I’m not jealous of their enormous success. BUT…I would like to be able to figure out exactly why it was only them. No offense to anybody on the list, but other than Frank being able to impersonate the current celebrities of his day I have no idea why the other three have been able to climb so high while so many others are struggling.

Again, I like Jeff, Drew and ‘Larry’ (not the name I knew him as when I met him, but that’s his secret and I’ll respect it) very much as people, and I’m happy they hit pay dirt. But can’t there be at least a little pay dust left over for the thousands of others who have rolled their own life dice?

SO many examples come to mind of people in all genres who have slugged it out for years, and only had minimal success. My friend Mike Moran comes to mind. He wrestled professionally for years, and came up the ranks with numerous marquee names of that field like ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and Mankind. He had fun and made a living, but that’s about it. He’s not rich or famous.

That’s no insult to Mike either. He’s a great guy, and very good at what he does. He paid a big price to attain his skill level, and he’s one of the best in the world. But that doesn’t pay any of his bills, and he is just another name on a list. Stone Cold Steve Austin isn’t any better of a wrestler.

I had dinner tonight with my speaker friend Todd Hunt. Todd works harder than anyone I have ever met when it comes to marketing himself, and he makes a living speaking at corporate events all over North America. Todd and I knew another speaker named John Powers who passed away this week. John was a wonderful guy and very talented, and he was successful but not Zig Ziglar.

Being at the top of any field is just plain rare – and talent alone does not dictate who gets there and who doesn’t. A lot of it is luck, with a lot of other things mixed in too. The sooner one learns to accept that the less insane he or she will become trying to chase something that just isn’t to be.

Michael Palascak’s Big Night

July 8, 2010

Thursday July 8th, 2010 – Hot Springs, AR

I had to put a plug in today for a funny young comic named Michael Palascak, who will be making his national TV debut this evening on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He is absolutely deserving of this shot, and I predict not only that he’ll knock it out of the park tonight, but we’ll all see a lot more of him on TV in the near future. This kid just has it.

He’s very clean cut Midwestern, and grew up in Indiana. I think he’s originally from the Chicago area and moved back, but I doubt he’ll stay very long. He’ll be headed out to Los Angeles to stay if he already isn’t out there now, and I hope he’ll remember me someday.

Like with Frank Caliendo, my act has nothing at all in common with Michael Palascak. He’s very light and goofy, with no edge at all. He’s in his twenties, and talks about living at home and being a slacker and looking for ways to stay there forever. He really is funny, and I don’t begrudge him anything. He’s got a fantastic work ethic and he’s earned this.

There are certain comedians that just have ‘it’. It’s there even when they’re not polished yet. I saw it with Frank Caliendo, and I was right. I see it with Michael Palascak too. He’s got a natural stage presence and a pronounced rhythm and he’s about as likeable as it gets.

He’s also about as non threatening as it gets, and women like him. He’s good looking, but not in the macho heart throb bad boy way. He’s self depreciating in his act and I think he’s destined for big things. He’ll get a Comedy Central special, sitcom, movie deal or all of the above. The reason I say that is not just because of his talent, this kid WORKS at it.

I’ve hosted the Monday night Rising Star Showcase shows at Zanies in Chicago for the past couple of years, and more often than not, there was Michael Palascak showing up for a guest set, video camera in hand. He ALWAYS taped himself, and was always open to a suggestion if anyone had any. I’ve always been impressed by how he’s handled himself.

Frank Caliendo has an outstanding work ethic also, and there’s another one who I think deserves all the good things he gets. He’s out there busting his ass, and I respect him for it unconditionally. Jealousy isn’t a factor with either of these guys. They worked for it all.

I’ve worked for it too. I may have had some sidetracks and distractions, but I put in a lot of time and effort and paid a lot of dues myself. I have a different path than a Michael or a Frank because they hit it a lot younger than me. IF I hit anything, it will be late in life and that has a whole different mindset. I’ll worry about that later. Tonight I cheer for Michael.

I’m flying down to Little Rock, AR with Bert Haas from Zanies to help him retrieve his father’s belongings from a storage area. We went down last year to get a car, and it was a fun time actually. I owe Bert countless favors, so when he asked it was an easy decision.

We might miss Michael Palascak’s set, but I’m sure we’ll both see it later. I know we’ll both be cheering for him though. He’s earned it, and it’s good to see a nice guy get ahead.

Hometown Homecoming

May 21, 2010

Thursday May 20th, 2010 – Milwaukee, WI

Today it was back up to Milwaukee for a lunch with Tom Skibosh, former P.R. director for the Milwaukee Brewers. He’s a super nice guy, and I was hooked up with him through my power network of Milwaukee shaker/baker types. I’m learning it pays to be patient, as eventually good things do happen. It’s taken years to build up this quality people network.

‘Sky’ said can help me put a plan together for the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ one man show as far as things like making media contacts and getting an actual program published. He’s an expert on that kind of stuff and has years of experience doing exactly that for the Brewers.

Sky’s assistant was Jon Greenberg, now president of the Milwaukee Admirals. Greenie has always been great to me, and still continues to throw bones my way whenever he can. These are the kinds of people that I want to be around, and in return I’ve done favors for a lot of them as well. Nobody keeps score either, it’s a bunch of friends helping each other.

Some of the best on that list include Drew Olson, Steve ‘The Homer’ True, Ted Perry at Fox 6, Mark Krueger, Art Kumbalek, Gene Mueller, my friend Wade Waugus who works for the Bucks and started there when we were ball boys in high school. These are people I would do anything for, and they’ve proven it time and time again by doing things for me.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to escape Milwaukee, but that’s where I come from and nothing will ever change it. I had so many painful memories there, and all I wanted to do was get out of town and forget them. I thought that would do it, but I was wrong. I still had them rotting inside. It didn’t matter where I went, all that ugliness was still festering.

All these years later, I’m a completely different person. I’ve worked through my painful family mess, at least to the point where I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I proved it to myself by successfully chasing and catching my dream of being a full time comedian. Family and childhood are things I couldn’t control. Things I could have been successful.

I’m seeing things a lot more clearly than I ever have, and even with the heaping helping of stupid mistakes I’ve made, I’ve also managed to squeeze in a lot of positive things too. My confidence as both a performer and a person is finally growing in the healthy way it’s supposed to. Mommy and Daddy never told me I was good, but audiences always have.

I guess I’m finally starting to believe it, at least a little. I’m not cocky or arrogant, but it does feel good when people come up after a show and tell me they enjoyed it. I know all kinds of comedians who don’t know how to deal with that, and I admit I used to feel very awkward in that situation for a long time myself. Now, I really enjoy it. It makes my day.

I’m also noticing all kinds of women around me lately. I’ve always been streaky in that department, either hot or cold. The tide flows in and out, and now it’s in. I’ve been having all kinds of women I’m interested in either contact me or I’m running into them in droves. I sure wish I knew how to control it, but for whatever reason it’s been raining hot women.
One I absolutely adore is Kristi McHugh. She’s a comic from Iowa living in L.A. and is chasing the big dream. We worked together in Lake Tahoe a couple of years ago and she blew me away with her sharp funny wit. It doesn’t hurt that she’s supermodel hot, either.

Kristi called me today and said she’s doing a set in front of Tim Allen and his manager Rick Messina next week at the Laugh Factory in L.A. Yay, Kristi! I know she’ll nail that and I’ve always predicted big things for her. She was with me back stage when I taped my Craig Ferguson appearance, and I knew then she’d take it a lot farther than I ever would.

She has ‘it’, and I’m thrilled she’s getting her shot. She called out of the blue and asked if I’d help go over her audition set. Of course I will. Maybe she’ll let me be her new pool boy, or designated limo waxer. Maybe she’ll put me in charge of keeping her tofu chilled.

I think she’s a cross between a young Mary Tyler Moore and Sandra Bullock. Not in her looks, she’s blonde. I’m talking about in her attitude. She’s got the independent woman in the big city thing that Mary Tyler Moore had in her sitcom, and also the infamous big star quality of ‘guys want to do her, women want to BE her’. I think she’s going to hit it BIG.

Good for her. I had the same feeling about Frank Caliendo, and he ended up hitting it as big as anyone in recent memory. Good for him too. I can’t do one impression and I’m not a gorgeous blonde with a razor sharp wit. All I can do is plod along with whatever I have.

Maybe it’s not in the cards for me to be a big star, and that’s ok. There are a lot of nasty facets to that whole thing too, and I know it’s not all chocolate cake and limo rides. I have to believe Elvis and Michael Jackson had a lot more painful memories than positive ones, at least after the major fame set in. It seems to get so huge it consumes any one person.

My ego needs are a lot lower than that. I don’t need to be constantly stalked by a lurking  band of carnivorous paparazzi hoping to catch me picking my nose so they can snap off a whole roll of film of it and sell it to the National Enquirer. Some crave all that attention.

I want to DO something in life. I want to help others and do good and be kind to people who can’t pay me back. I want to experience whatever high spiritual level there is to find on a superficial planet filled with psychotic idiots and greedy soulless robots. Can I do it?

That’s the plan. It’s always been the plan, even when I was starting out back in the early days in Milwaukee. I always wanted to be a big deal there, only because it was my home town. Who doesn’t want to be a big deal in their home town? I never got it, and after a lot of years of trying I just gave up and moved on. Now, I‘m reconnecting in a positive way.

I feel good things about to happen in the next few months, and I’ll enjoy every second of every minute of all of it. I’ve come a long way from where I started, and I’m finally in a position to really start enjoying myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and am ready to reclaim my Milwaukee roots by being a part of my team of friends like Sky and Drew and Wade and all the rest. I learned a lot of lessons along the way, and I’m ready to rock.