For Sale: Gallows, Two Owners. Condition: USED
I'll do a Ten Things list later this week when I'm feeling funny or motivated. Until then, please read this very Halloweenish story sent to me by my mother.
As an interesting side note, the people selling this authentic gallows are the same folks who are hiring me to open for the Neil Diamond tribute act in December & January. I'm very glad they'll have sold the gallows long before seeing my act.
Gig Ups & Downs
Today I am doing something relatively pointless and stupid (an audition) before I go and do something genuinely fun (a real paying gig).
I'm heading down to Navy Pier to audition for America's Got Talent 2. I am sure you remember my previous post about that show and others like it. Therefore you know that I've really no belief that I'll get on the show nor do I feel all that this program will be "the big one" if I did get on. I'm going because I was contacted by the producers and at least two talent coordinators directly asking me to go and I figure that it can't hurt to give it a try. It can only remind me of why I tend not to go to these things in the first place. Best case scenario: I get on, have Hasselhoff ridicule me, but I'd get a good video of me on national TV.
Besides, were it not for my gig later this evening, I'd have nothing to do other than clean the apartment or work on new marketing. I do have all those cool photos to go through, ya know.
Regardless of the outcome of today's auditions (I KNOW the outcome already...I won't get on...And don't give me any crap about positive attitudes and all that...You don't know this business, mmmmkay?) I can feel great about a gig I had on Friday.
I won't go into major specifics, but I was to perform for a group of kids & their families who truly NEEDED to have a good time more often than they get to in their daily lives. These kids all had a common blood disease among them and depending upon the severity of the disease, the relative "normal" lives that we all get to enjoy is anything but normal for them. One guy at the party found out THAT WEEK that in all likelihood he wouldn't be alive to celebrate Thanksgiving this year and it was my job to get him on his feet to laugh and dance. He, along with all of the kids and families danced their asses off, laughed out loud the whole night, and had a great time. I will go into the details at a later date.
For now, I will think about that show instead of the audition and national exposure promised by the folks at America's Got Talent 2. I'll also remind myself that I've made a living in this business for longer than most people have tried to get an act together. If I focus on the damned audition and the forthcoming rejection I just may start to focus on the fact that I have all but two damned bookings this November and get very, VERY down on myself. I'd much rather think about the good things.
Keeping with that thought, I'll post a link to one of my entertainment stories that always seems to connect with people and bring me to a happier place. If you've not read "Good Show" before, please enjoy it today. If you'd like a similar piece to read, please read "Out of the Mouths of Babes".
MAYBE I'll tell you about the audition tomorrow. Somehow I doubt I'll give much more than a second thought.
Excuse Me, Mr. Timberlake
Some of us never let sexy get away.
I Sure Hope You're Not Tired of My New Promo Photos.
Because I just can't get enough of them.
They just keep on making me happier & happier!
Oh Lord, What Have I Done?
Many people are finding my blog using the following search terms.
- hasidic jew halloween costume
- black suit costume ideas
- halloween suit bullet hole
- amish costumes for halloween
- retarded halloween costume ideas
- Office Halloween Costumes
I can only imagine the shock and horror when they end up reading this.
Even scarier...I bet many of them are finding that post most helpful.
I just can't believe nobody has found this site using the term, "Retarded Monkey". Well...Not yet, they haven't.
A Problem With Having New Promo Photos
I may never finish going through all the new photos. What's strange is that there are many that I feel are not usable at all. However I know that many of them just may seen unusable to me right now. Down the road there are many photos that I just may find a perfect place for.
I still haven't started work on the new press kit. I'm just tinkering with ideas and looking for that special angle that I can use to make a complete and concise statement. These photos need to steer me away from the kid shows, and get people to start taking a better look and considering me for the opening act spots, the cruises, the casinos, and even more corporate work. I'll ALWAYS be able to work the family crowds. If you juggle at all, people will always assume you're a birthday party clown. I just need to really push for the bigger and the better events, which also have the bigger & better paychecks.
I know that these new materials will also inspire new costumes, new bits to work into the show, a new look for my main website...Everything will develop based upon the artistic slant I'm trying to achieve with these photos.
However, I find myself with a new dilemma.
Having all these new photos and finding some great ways to use them so quickly makes me absolutely HATE all of my current promotional materials (Such as this photo on the left). It is truly night and day for me, a complete love/hate relationship with the entire lineup of marketing.
Sadly, I have about 1,000 of the current brochure and a website that is in dire need of updating. I've got some videos that I think still work well, but I must retool the presentation throughout.
What's funnier is that some of the photos I took in the earliest part of the day during this past shoot are almost too similar to the exact type of photos I wanted to steer away from. As an example, check out the photo on the right. I know I'll be using this one somewhere, but for now, this untouched photo smacks of the crap I've had all these years.
I really didn't want the typical "juggler with props" poses you can see on EVERY OTHER juggler's site out there. I guess the progression from the beginning of the day to the end should follow the need to get from point A to point B.
I suppose this is a good problem to have. I know the growth and change is happening. I may not be able to keep up with it just yet, but I'm not resisting at all. In fact, I want it all ready to go much sooner than it may happen naturally. I'm just glad I got around to taking those new photos. Usable now or later, they're just what I needed.
Time for Some Links and Some Plugs
Check out the final installment of the "Weekend of Ill-Conceived Notions" podcast. There's a whole lot of funny happening there. In fact, you just may need to reread my Podcast Primer to get the full picture this time around. I know the mighty Golfwidow and I are gearing up for some new recordings soon.
You should most definitely buy a copy of her new book, "Getting My Think On." I was fortunate enough to receive an advance .pdf copy and what I've read has been outstanding. Of course it may take me years to finish reading the whole thing because I'm such a lousy reader. That's OK. She's such a great writer I know it will be worth all the effort.
Many thanks to Greg Burgas of the most excellent Delenda Est Carthago blog. He plugged my Halloween Costume list as well as my post about Evil Dead, The Musical. The traffic is always appreciated.
I didn't get to meet Pammy in Peoria the other night, which was most unfortunate. Not only did she miss a most excellent show, but she didn't get all the cool free stuff I was going to give her. Ah well. You can't plan a family emergency. Another time.
Mark Englebretson, of the Nevada Casino Ashtray Project, was kind enough to plug my El Rey section of this blog. I've had a few hundred folks clicking away via the link he put up at The Chip Board, a bulletin board for casino chip collectors and lovers of all things gaming. I'm hopeful some of these visitors will leave a comment or at least have some memorabilia to sell.
Labels: Mark Englebretson, Nevada Casino Ashtray Project
Haven't Quite Figured Out What I'll Be Doing With These Yet, But...
...I've no real ideas for a decent Monday post today so you get some "raw" new photos. They've been doctored a little bit, or at least cropped, but not much else. Enjoy.
Andy Martello: Well "Red"
Imagine what I could do with
better software and actual knowledge.
Hot Comedy. Cool Juggling.
Oh Yeah. Some Cool Photos.
I got a lot of good responses from yesterday's post so I thought I'd toss up another photo from my recent photo shoot and hint at how I hope to utilize it in some upcoming marketing.
Not all the photos from this shot were so ultra hip. There were some more "traditional"
juggling shots with some hip Andy twists as well. I can't get enough of the martini bar photo part of the shoot. Of course I'll be sharing some of those other photos down the road.
Remember My Recent Photo Shoot?
The Photos Have Arrived!
I've received two disks of photos from my recent photo shoot
I won't show you everything, or even the first six or seven shots I've started adapting to fit the future marketing schemes. I mean, with my recent Ten Things Tuesday post
still in the cue, too many photo-laden posts could bring even those with high-speed access to a halt. I shudder to think how long it would take people on dial-up to access this week's blog posts.
However, I can't resist the chance to toss up at least one, maybe two photos. I've got limited software capabilities here so some of the effects I want to achieve with the new photos will take awhile to accomplish. Thankfully, the vast majority of the photos won't need much work at all outside of cropping and captions. Either way, I think this could be the start of some great new things in Andy Land.
Ten Things Tuesday: Halloween Costume Ideas
Halloween is Coming!
What's that? You Only Have One, Maybe Two Suits in Your Closet?
Here are 10 Different Halloween Costumes
YOU CAN CREATE Using Your Old Suits.
Black Suit, Skinny Tie, Sunglasses, a Handgun& Three or Four Friends Dressed the Same =A Reservoir Dog
Same Outfit as Before, "Space Age" Handgun& Only Two Guys (One Being Black) =A Man in Black
Same Outfit, Black Hat, White Socks & No Handgun =
A Blues Brother
(This one works without a second person
but only if you have the hat.Otherwise people think you're one of the
other characters with no friends)
Same Outfit, Slightly Different Hat,Long Beard & Curls,No Tie & No Sunglasses =
(Really, don't use this one as a Halloween costume.
I've no doubt that someone will take offense.
No sense of humor regarding fashion or Pagan holidays.
In fact, I'm probably going to Hell just for
putting the idea into your head)
Same Outfit (Jacket Optional),Straw Hat (if Preferred),Blue, Gray, or White Shirt,Vest & Suspenders, NO Curls =Amish Farmer
(Go ahead and wear this one.
It's really unlikely you and some Amish farmer
will be attending the same party.
An upside to this one is that if you get
enough friends to wear the same costume,
you can build the barn where you'll have the party.)____________________Same Outfit,
Formal Coat, Vest & Bowtie,
Tall Black Top Hat (Optional) =Abe Lincoln
(If you're a real asshole, put a big red hole
on the front of your head with some blood dripping down.
It is, after all, Halloween.)____________________
Modern Suit & Tie,
Better Hair,Same Public Office =
John F. Kennedy
(Sure, you can reuse the bullet hole joke with this one.
Wear the Lincoln Costume one year and the Kennedy one the next
and people will marvel at how similar your costumes are.
You can even add a pointing gesture
to look like you're campaigning!)
Lighter hair (Same Style),
Same Public Office,
No Hole =
Bill Clinton(Well, not the SAME hole.)
Just for fun.
"You Provide the Audience,
He'll Do the Rest!"
Now I'm Excited!
The other day I met with a good friend of ours (a photographer) to take some new promo photos. I haven't taken any new pictures in at least 6 years and I'm long overdue.
Unfortunately I had a few things going against me. Hair issues, not getting the crucial first set up I wanted, not being able to fully explain the concepts I was aiming for - I feared the worst.
Things got pretty good towards the end, especially when we ended up at a very cool martini bar & restaurant, Blu Razz. By then, a little alcohol eased the tension and they are now only the second bar I've been to that serves Pyrat XO Reserve! Hell Yeah!
From what I heard from the photographer, there were many cool shots taken that day. Of course, that's what they're supposed to say. I thought we took about 150-175 photos and hoped I'd get a few decent takes.
I just got an e-mail from her and it turns out we took 291 freakin photos! I'll be surprised if there aren't at least a few good ones I can use. I'll have the disk here in a few days and some fresh photos to share soon. I'll also try to give you an idea of what I'm hoping to achieve with my new photos and the subsequent marketing creating from these pictures.
Until then, let me say a big thank you to Blu Razz for not only having killer food & mighty fine drinks, but for allowing us to shoot in their ultra-hip locale!
What Am I Selling On eBay This Time?
Here are three items that may or may not gather a bit of attention. Since today is Friday the 13th of October and I'd rather not talk about the wedding I have to attend today, I figure that my current eBay listings are much more interesting and certainly more appropriate.
From the Andy Archives of Oddities, three books dealing with magic & the occult. Two of these books are quite old and may be worth something. All I know is that they needn't be in my house any longer.
First, Herrmann's Wizards' Manual (Revised and Edited Edition). I've no idea what the actual publishing date is on this book. I do know the original printing was in 1916 and it is a very cool book. The Shrewsbury Publishing Company of Chicago put out this classic and it is a very entertaining read. Loads of magical secrets for the aspiring conjurer or just the curious spoiler.
Next, another book possibly from 1916 and ALSO from a Chicago-based publisher. Check out the beautiful block print found within the pages of...
A Course of Advanced Lessons in Clairvoyance and Occult Powers, By Swami Panchadasi
The print on the inside alone is worth the cost of the thing. This one has been revised and republished many times over the years. However the volume I'm offering up is one of the OLD ones. It may be a first edition, but I'm no book expert so I can't say for certain. Regardless, with Halloween coming up it certainly makes for big silly fun.
Last, The Amateur Magician's Handbook, By Henry Hay. This is a MUST OWN for anyone wanting to be a magician at any level. It is like the Bible for magicians, or at least that's what I was told by the magician that gave it to me years ago. It's not that rare, but this version is from 1974. It's been traveling from house to house since I was a teenager and now it is time to get this thing to someone more deserving of the secrets and powerful magic inside.
I'm hopeful these will attract some attention and find good homes. Maybe they'll even bring in a few bucks. Who knows?
Now Here's a Booking!
If this guy doesn't do "Delerious Love"
from Neil's latest album
then I can't be nearly as happy about the gig. ;)
I'll be at Donley's Wild West TownDecember 15th, January 5th, and January 12th.
Reserve your seats TODAY!
New Promo Ideas
I've been working on a one-sheet promo page for a show featuring myself and trampoline expert & comedian, Don Otto. We've worked on many different fairs and fests together and I got it into my head that we should try to book this as a featured attraction way more often.
I tried sending some jpegs to the agent that books us and for whatever reason his Mac computer can't seem to open something as relatively universal as a jpeg file. So...I'll upload them here and share with the class.
This is specifically for the agent. CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR A LARGER VIEW. You can save them to your computer and view them with your own viewer if your prefer.
Page One Test(A little cluttered in my opinion) Page One Test (revised) (Much neater, but could use a little extra something) Back Page Test(This one rocks. Could be a good front or back page)
Your comments are always welcome. Before you ask, Golfwidow
, I'm certain I can send you some of the finished products for your collection.
Do I Want to Get Smacked?
So I'm rockin' this snazzy new blog template (Thanks again, Dawn!).
I do, upon occasion, have some good content.
I could use the traffic, even if it is from people who may think I suck.
So...Do I want to submit this blog for the fervent and potentially snarky (well, always snarky) review and commentary offered up by the self-appointed blog reviewers at italk2much.com?
I mean, I am a needy entertainer and I crave the love and affection of adoring fans. However, I'm also a fragile entertainer and clearly can't stand any criticism, positive, negative, or constructive.
You see my quandary.
I mean, if Gordon is confident enough in my abilities to proclaim me to be the NEXT "King of All Media" then perhaps there's no need to worry about what a few blog readers with attitudes (much like myself) think about my blog, which I often refer to as "craptacular". Really, do I care at all what people think about my blog or do I just hope people like it and use the thing to promote my various projects?
Some of you have been smacked by the it2m team. What say you?
Ten Things Tuesday: Post Columbus Day Activities
Consider this horse to be dead and sufficiently beaten.
Sit Down! Shut Up! The Killer Has Something to Say!
Oh yeah! Do you want to hear one of the best new CDs to hit the world in several years? Might I suggest you take a listen to the latest and greatest by the legend himself, Jerry Lee Lewis.
Goddamn that's one fantastic album cover!"Last Man Standing"
, aside from being the single best title for an album I've heard in some time, is absolutely filled with some of the best rock & roll, blues, & country-influenced tunes you'll ever hear. Not a second of space is wasted and every song hits your ears, rapid-fire, one after another. Quite literally, "All Killer No Filler."
This is technically a duets album by Jerry Lee, but in reality, most all of the guest artists are there simply to record a track with the last of the great Sun Records pioneers of rock n' roll. That is to say, many of these songs are not your traditional "you sing a verse, I sing a verse" duets that so many artists have come to doing in their latter years. While you certainly do get songs that fit that description, most of these songs feature artists playing their style of music and adding harmonies and background vocals where needed. It is as if Jerry Lee Lewis called them all up to sing a duet o two and then told them the day of the recording, "That's OK, fellas. I got this one. Lemme show you how it's done."
Where there are vocals and traditional lyric-trading, the voices are matched extremely well. Where the artists are there simply to play their asses off, asses are most certainly played until they are gone. All tracks, many of which are traditional rock, blues, or country classics and covers, sound as though they were written by or for the great Jerry Lee Lewis.
Highlights on the CD for me include an amazing rendition of one of my all-time favorite blues songs, "Trouble in Mind"
, recorded with Eric Clapton
. I'm also quite fond of the opening track with Jimmy Page
, "Rock and Roll"
, as well as the great "Honky Tonk Woman"
recorded with Kid Rock
. Honestly, EVERY
track is so good, it is impossible to pick a single favorite. Check out the list of artists on the CD and you'll see what I mean.You can hear samples of the new CD
at the official Jerry Lee Lewis website
. Seriously, buy the damn CD. Don't give me any of crap about not liking rock music, thinking the blues are too depressing, or that country & spirituals are for redneck bastards. If you want to hear legitimately brilliant M-U-S-I-C
played by one of the last surviving pioneering legends of rock n' roll and many of the world's most celebrated artists, this CD will blow you away.