Tag Archives: Busking

The Showman’s Shortlist of Worries and Affirmations

Backstage in the Small Time
                                               Backstage in the Small Time

Hats go up and down much as the stock markets do. I had lunch yesterday with Dan Holzman. He had nothing but good things to say about his last outing. The money stunk but audiences were good.

Wheeler Cole back from a lengthy tour of the Big Island of Hawaii has been throwing shows at Pier 39. Ten years away and on the other side of his misspent youth he dawdles for the moment.

His was a good question? “When do you do something besides what you have done?” Just because you can, just because you could, just because you know how to do that does that mean you keep doing it?

Andrew Potter off to Fresno for the fringe mounts another series of performances in his latest digital vehicle. The Road to High Street has been what he uses as an excuse to be with audiences now. He shares now by looking back when.

Karl Saliter just back from Nepal and trekking is presently in Playa del Carmen trudging his show on the boards at the resorts. This is my tribe. Karl is comic juggler, sculpture and fiction writer. He likes soul and sits around a lot. Teaches yoga and eats vegetables. Vegetables if they did worry should with Karl’s lust for greens.

Alan Sands has in the works a steampunk costumed hypnosis act. This is an extreme makeover for a guy who doesn’t own a house. Who needs a house? He spends way too much time flying to gigs. He sits in Foster City when here at home imagining what those sucked into a trance might want to see for a host.

Mike Stroud a friend since his youth, mine was already spent, makes his oyster in the South Bay. He bought early in his career and it has paid off big time. With roots deep in San Jose he gigs as he can and where he can. He sleeps in his own bed more than any person I know devoted to sleeping in their own bed and at the same time claiming a career in show business.

Me, I’m here aboard my sailboat with my wife. She is my beloved. Like me she’s inclined to sleeping upon beds that move. She’s soon like me out of town on assignment. Everything is fast here but for the freeways. They are the slowest.

In rehearsals, writing jokes, memorizing jokes, juggling, gigging now and then, counting down until I go to Playa del Carmen and grind it out 6 nights per… I am up in Napa Valley as I can, when time allows, hiking and scouting vineyards, roadways and restaurants for the next novel.

One of my bachelor friends, a magician, short by way of height, but quick by hand, is rotten that all the cute short girls have been picked over. This is what it means to be trapped in the small time. He is left to look silly with a taller one or none at all. He is worried. They don’t make enough short women and he isn’t getting any younger. He is the loneliest man in show business.

Thank your lucky stars you wanted to be a plumber or shoe salesman. Nothing is easy about this racket called show biz. I’m sorry the phone has just rung and I am due for a martini with a friend who has a new script he wants me to punch up before he submits to his agent.

Letter to the Editor  And this time in praise of  Yes.............
Letter to the Editor
And this time in praise of
Yes………….

 And Last of All Hot Spring Honeymoon

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Showgirls

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From Australia with Kate Wright Dynamite… Best Showgirl the other side of Hawaii

If you are in the juggling game you find that each phase of life is building toward the next phase. Hopefully the next phase begins before the present phase ends.

We try not to be phased by any of this. Instead we try and stay ahead of the changes and welcome the next phase while trying not to be caught clinging to the previous phase.

While you are in the thrall of your youth most of this counts for nothing. You are too into the launch phase. You hardly notice that ahead will be a labyrinth of complex choices to navigate on your journey up then down and finally out… also known as the final phase.

In one phase we go indoors. In certain venues we are dealing with cigarette smoke, scantily clad showgirls and magicians that like to drink whiskey after shows in the cheapest saloon they can find.

The showgirls and want-to-be boyfriends tag along every night. Cheap whiskey, road weary magicians and showgirls are a jugglers fringe benefits.

Jugglers pound out decades of work. By the time we are near done we are like Fuller Brush salesmen; we’ve almost knocked on every door in every town.

Showgirls are like meteors. They get a contract, tour with Ringling for a year, pick up a second season at a theme park cast as eye candy in the killer whale show, and if they are really lucky end up in Las Vegas closing in on the end of their careers in one of the cirque du soleil shows.

You get to thirty and you are top dog in the chorus. Those slender hips are looking voluptuous by now. You’ve been glueing eyelashes, blowing kisses and winking at the curtain calls so long you honestly can’t remember a month since forever that you didn’t read Vogue cover to cover backstage waiting to come on to do your tits and ass closing number.

And for what? So you can be on a diet? All so you can go have a lousy drink with some want-to-be boyfriend and a couple of jugglers lousy with misery over missing their wives?

The showgirls are tough as they come. They got trick knees, sore hips and bad backs. None of the want-to-be fellas got the guts to fight off the racking jealousy that comes with tramping with a lady dancer entertainer.

That’s show business. You get in, you get a gig, and one day all too soon you get out. Curtain closes and nothing but a ghostlight on stage and nothing left but a few pictures in a scrapbook of you with a pair of the best pair of legs any man has ever wanted.

Showgirls are nothing but rotten lust and heartbreak. Break a dads heart, break a fellas heart and break a jugglers heart watching them kill it every night and for what? So, they can retire at 37? So they can go start a family before its too late? Tough as nails these dancers.

It’s not living the dream so much as having surviving the heartbreak of starting the next one…