Posts Tagged ‘Lynn Miner’

Milwaukee Mingling

July 19, 2014

Wednesday July 15th, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI

I took a trip home to Milwaukee today, and it turned into a mini whirlwind tour. With the price of gas where it is I think we all have to plan our trips these days. I squeezed as much into a single day as I could, and it was productive. I challenge anyone to pack as much into one day as I did.

My first stop was Miss Katie’s Diner to see my friend Lynn Miner. Lynn is one of my biggest supporters, and an outstanding human being. He’s a magician among many other things, and he’s looking to do that full time after a hugely successful career as a grant seeker all over the world.

I can help Lynn with adding jokes to his act, but he helps me even more. He’s got a lifetime of experience in making business plans, and is mentoring me in what I’m doing. It’s a win/win for all parties, and I always look forward to meeting up with him. We complement each other well.

After lunch I stopped at the Milwaukee County Courthouse and then City Hall to check out the job openings of all things. I always said I’d never move back to Milwaukee, but if I had a reason to – like a decent job – I totally would. The former demons that used to haunt me are now dead.

I hated going back to Milwaukee because of so many bad memories. Now that I’ve gotten back in touch with my siblings, it has healed a lot of those wounds. None of them happen to live there anymore, but that’s where we were born and raised. Milwaukee will always be part of our DNA.

I don’t know if I’ll get a job or not, but it won’t hurt to sniff around and see what’s available. If I could land a nice gig with benefits, I can still do my “Schlitz Happened!” show around the state and continue performing and teaching comedy classes for Zanies in Chicago so life would be ok.

Since I was downtown already, I decided to take a lap through the Milwaukee Public Museum. It had been years since I did that, but I had some time so I decided to make the investment. I had no idea ticket prices have skyrocketed to $15, but by the time I got to the window it was too late.

I hadn’t planned on spending $15, but it really is an outstanding museum so I bit the bullet and I’m glad I did. There were a lot of exhibits I still remember from my childhood along with many new things I had never seen before. I enjoyed every minute of it, and it was interesting to observe all the kids that were there on class field trips just like I went on when I was that age. It was fun.

After that I was able to squeeze in a couple of thrift stores, but didn’t find any ancient artifacts I could resell for huge profits. If VHS tapes ever come back, I know where to load up. Other than that, it was a bunch of junk I wouldn’t take for free. Still, it’s fun to hunt and I enjoyed the stops.

I was listening to my friend Steve ‘The Homer’ True on AM 540 ESPN Radio and he was on a live remote broadcast at a Pick n’ Save grocery store. He was trying to get donations for the local Hunger Task Force and was flipping coins to donate $100. If a listener won, Homer had to donate.

If Homer won, the listener donated. Homer has always supported anything I ever did, and I was glad to stop and flip the coin. I lost of course, but that’s the legend of Mr. Lucky. I received a big plug on the air, and donated to a worthy cause. Milwaukee will always be home, so why fight it?

Milwaukee will always be my hometown, so I might as well embrace it.

Milwaukee will always be my hometown – warts and all, so I might as well embrace it.

Fantastic Friends

April 9, 2014

Tuesday April 8th, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI

It was back home to Milwaukee today to attend a seminar held especially for me by my friend Lynn Miner. Lynn is a magician among many other things, and we met when he was a student in one of my first comedy classes back in the mid ‘90s. Since then I’ve learned a lot more from him than he ever did from me, and it’s people like him that make me continue to teach to this day.

Among Lynn’s “other things” is holding successful workshops for universities along with his son Jeremy on how to procure funds through grants. They’ve done it all over the world, and are on the road more than I am. They are great at what they do, and are at the very top of their field.

Once in a while Lynn will ask me to punch up something he’s doing with a funny line. I never mind, and gladly throw him any ideas I can. He never abuses my time, and has always been very supportive of anything I do. If I had more people like Lynn in my life, I would be a big time star.

I have always had a difficult time asking for favors from anyone, and I’m sure that goes back to my dented can childhood. I need to get over it fast, because sometimes people really want to help. I know I do, and it feels great when I can. Why am I robbing someone else of their joy?

Lynn is nothing short of amazing when it comes to simplifying complicated business concepts. He has a formula that he uses in his workshops, and he broke down a version of it for me today over lunch as he went over my King of Uranus idea. He pointed out – painfully correctly – that I have not come up with an acceptable business plan to date, and that would be an absolute must.

I don’t dispute that at all, and I sat and listened as he laid out what I needed to do. He wants me to make a list of everything I envision the business to be, and then he’s going to sort it into what needs to be done in what order. He didn’t have to do that, but he graciously offered to help and I will gratefully accept his kind offer. I know I can’t do it myself, and this is a super opportunity.

This concept is SO going to be a success. I feel it to the depths of my being. People like Lynn are in my corner, and although he’s really great he’s not the only one. I have a very deep bench, and most if not everybody on it will gladly help me however they can. I’ve cultivated them for a lifetime, and have not exploited them as resources. I am picking my time to ask, and it is now.

I have 100% confidence that Lynn will be one of many that will point me in the right direction. Even though there are still a few that think I’m the devil, a whole lot more don’t and couldn’t be any more supportive. Those few who don’t like me barely know me, if at all. It’s their loss by not giving me a chance, but that’s the situation now. Hopefully I’ll change their minds in the future.

Another great supporter of mine for decades has been Drew Olson. He’s another ace in the hole and is as well connected in Milwaukee as anyone I know. He is on AM 540 ESPN Radio with his partner Dan Needles on ‘The D List’ from 10am to 1pm weekdays, and since I was in town I had to check in with him as well. He is also a supporter of the Uranus idea, and has some connections he thinks may help as far as making products, etc. I’m thrilled to have an all star list of friends.

Lynn Miner is a man of many talents. He's a world class magician, and also one of the top in his field at grants workshops for universities. He is helping me with my business plan, and I am unbelievably grateful.

Lynn Miner is a man of many talents. He’s a world class magician, and also one of the top in his field at grants workshops for universities. He is helping me with my business plan, and I am unbelievably grateful. http://www.minerandassociates.com

Drew Olson is also one of the most generous people I have ever met - and we have been friends so long I don't even remember when we met. It was the '80s. Catch him on 'The D List' on ESPN Radio in Milwaukee. www.espnmilwaukee.com.

Drew Olson is also one of the most generous people I have ever met – and we have been friends so long I don’t even remember when that was. It was the ’80s. Catch him on ‘The D List’ on ESPN Radio in Milwaukee. http://www.espnmilwaukee.com.

A Magic Evening

May 8, 2013

Monday May 6th, 2013 – Pewaukee, WI

   Tonight I was asked to be part of a mini symposium for of all things magicians, and it was one of the most enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a very long time. My friend Lynn Miner is a magician of the highest order, and he helped put together this event along with our mutual friend Jim Peck.

   Any time I can hang with Lynn and Jim I do it, but this was a special treat. Lynn asked Jim and me to speak to a group of area magicians about our experiences in the entertainment business and maybe relate a couple of stories that might pertain to them. They were into us and made it easy to fill the two hours for which we were scheduled and then some after that. Time flew very quickly.

   Jim Peck is an amazing talent. He’s got natural charisma, a strong presence and razor sharp wit and it’s no surprise he was a network game show host for years. It may sound like an insult to be called a game show host, but far from it. It’s not an easy job, and only a few can do it correctly.

   I remember watching Jim on Channel 4 in Milwaukee growing up. He did some news reporting and interviewing and was very good at that, and then he got his network break. We crossed paths through Lynn a while back when both were simultaneously working with Marquette University.

   It’s amazing how knowing someone from TV or radio can have a lasting effect. I now consider Jim to be a friend, but I still can’t help be a little star struck every time we get together. I can still remember him from both local TV and his game show days, and there’s still an aura of celebrity.

   He shared some killer stories about interviewing Barbara Walters and all kinds of other famous people, and I sat there like everyone else and was enthralled. I have a few stories of my own, and together it made for a program that by all accounts was a huge hit. I’d love to do this more often.

   The event was held at a place called “Big Guy’s Magic Shop” in Pewaukee, WI and “Big Guy” is quite sharp and on the ball. He’s got a beautiful well stocked shop, and has more than a clue as to how to promote himself and his events. His website is www.bigguysmagic.com and one of his listed specialties is ‘fart bombs’. One should never be far from being able to obtain a fart bomb.

   I happen to enjoy magic and magicians as a fan, even though a lot of comedians I know tend to look down upon it all as being less than ‘pure’. With many standups, anything short of that is not respected and it includes magic, ventriloquism and especially juggling. They’re all ‘bastard arts’.

   I can see where comedians would think that, but to many improvisers and actors comedians are the ones looked down upon. Second City in Chicago for years has looked down on standups, but I never got into all of that. Any form of entertainment done well is difficult, and nothing is better or worse than the other in my opinion. I happen to do standup comedy, but I respect everything.

   Jim said something in his presentation with which I totally agree. He said he enjoyed watching magicians work, and didn’t want to know how the tricks were done. I’m the same way. I’ll enjoy the performance thoroughly if the performer is entertaining, but I have no desire to have to know how the trick itself was done. I’m a fan of the entertainment process. The gimmick is secondary.

   This was a really fun night all around, and I made some new friends in the magic world. All of the attendees were nice people, and made Jim and I feel like big stars. Lynn did a fantastic job in hosting the event and working with Big Guy to get the word out, and it was well spent evening.