Hell, I Liked It
In my ever-growing quest to bring you insights and general crapola regarding my performing life and the work that goes into getting more work, I share with you the 6-minute promo video for the now defunct comedy/variety group, The Vegas Brothers.Until then, check out the promotional video. I think that it turned out very well and managed to convey all the things that our show offered. Considering we had limited footage to work with and relatively few shows as a group, I was very pleased to hear from so many agents and bookers when they told me the press kit & video I sent them was as good as those they'd seen from acts with years of stage time together. Made me happy. I just wish we'd have gotten at least one of those bigger shows we were hoping for. That would have shut up some of the detractors a bit. Ah well. That's show biz.
This video was meant to be the first promotional video to get us started. Something to show potential buyers and agents in order to get us even more work and better footage for future videos and so on. It actually did some good work getting some doors opened for us and all that. This, accompanied by a press kit and full performance DVD I worked on, made for a very good promotional package. It made us look good.
The Brothers are no more. Long story. Filled with details I still don't quite understand and others too painful to discuss here. In fact, I'm pretty certain that just uploading this to YouTube and mentioning it here will spark some insane crap I don't really need. Let's just say that the Brothers died in some sort of freak trailer park incident and hope they emerge like soap opera villains some day down the road.
Try to Believe One Impossible Thing Before Breakfast
Do my eyes and ears deceive me? Is that...
A NEW PODCAST???
Leaving Las Vegas
Tonight I head back to the Chicago area for one last round of gigs. I will continue to take work in the Midwest and nationwide just as I have for all these years, but after this next little stint out there I'll be a more permanent resident of Las Vegas.
I do have a trip to Chicago scheduled for August 22 though. There's a Blues Brothers gig that the client is more than willing to fly me out for so that's all good. If I gather some more work for that weekend I'll be out there for a few days.
In any event, the plan for now is that I'll be driving back to Las Vegas starting on August 5th. A good friend of mine, Kurt, will be driving with me. He's been in need of a vacation and a long road trip seems to be right up his alley.
Among the bookings I'll be working this trip is the National Mustard Day celebration, hosted by the fine folks at the Mt. Horeb Mustard Museum. I always have a fun time out there and April has already compiled a list of mustards for me to sample and mustards to reorder. See, I work this festival and I trade services for goods. I stroll for a few hours and do a show, they pay me in far too many delicious mustards and food items. Nice!
We've become great friends with Barry & Patti, who own the Museum. April even made them a cross-stitch of their sign for the holidays last year. It is proudly on display in the Museum.
I already miss this place. The place has some great features. A huge kitchen that April has decorated with lots of our "kitschy" (formerly "useless") collectibles is one of the highlights for me. We have a rather large master bedroom and bathroom which is all festooned in PENGUINS! (Heh!). We recently purchased a lovely small table and chairs for our dining area. We even use it for dining and not for tossing crap.
I'll also miss being here. Even though I have no real employment to speak of, I have a great sense of calm from the experience. I know this is the right place for us. I love the mountains and the desert. I enjoy the people and the abundance of shops and services. This is our home now and I know we'll make it work somehow.
Labels: Mount Horeb Mustard Museum, National Mustard Day, National Mustard Museum
I know it happens here. It is monsoon season after all. That being said, it was among the coolest things on earth to wake up this morning and be greeted by a simple rain. It didn't last very long, but it was slow and steady and very exciting in its own way.
We even have thunder and lighting right now. No rain to speak of yet, but the signs are there.
I just hope we don't get so much to cause any sort of flooding.
Of course, this relieves some of my sprinkler system woes. So at least I've got THAT going for me.
I recorded a podcast with Golfwidow today! Granted, it has been so damned long since we posted a new episode we've probably lost all 18 listeners we had. That being said, those that give a care will be happy to know that a new show is on the way.
Sadly, this will be the last new show for at least a few more weeks. I have to return to Chicago later this week, where I'll be fore about a week and a half. Then, another 4 days or so to drive back to Vegas. Then...settling, job-hunting, etc..
All that being said, we will be returning to a regular schedule before too long.
You can certainly catch up on what you've been missing by going to our Podcrapular Home Page and listening to the archives. Not a bad idea in my humble opinion.
We briefly chat about my appearance on Growing Your Business, among other things. It just so happens that my interview will be rebroadcast tonight at 8PM CST (5PM PST) in case you missed it (or couldn't get it due to technical difficulties) last week. Log on to All Talk Radio to listen in!
Spinning Plates with the Stars
Here's a video of me spinning plates on the WGN Morning News. You may recall that I blogged about this appearance some time ago and even made mention of it in one of my Random Celebrity Photos posts (Volume Four to be exact).
Thanks the the miracle of YouTube and a little extra time you may now watch the segment. So many folks e-mailed me to complain that the show wasn't carried on the national WGN broadcast that I figured even if it is a bit late, you should still be allowed to enjoy it.
Ringling Bros. Has My Number
This is the kind of crap that makes numerologists cream their jeans.
Many people have been telling April and me about how this move to Vegas is somehow "meant to be". Everything from the microburst destroying our apartment to the availability of a home in Las Vegas was in the cards for us. I don't doubt them for the most part.
Interesting thing about how we came to live here. In order to keep everyone I know up to date as the apartment disaster events unfolded, I tried to maintain this blog as well as make a few posts on some of the newsgroups I visit online. Among those groups is the Ringling Bros. Clown College Alumni newsgroup.
The home we are now residing in belongs to Katie and David Costello, two former Ringling clowns, like myself. Katie and I were in the same Clown College class in 1988 and haven't seen each other since then.
She read the post I made and dropped me an e-mail to make sure I was safe. After reading my blog and knowing that April and I had a trip to Vegas planned, Katie mentioned she and her hubby were selling their house in Vegas. Not knowing that April and I had ever wanted to relocate she mentioned that if we'd ever consider leaving the Chicago area we could rent the house for a short time to get established out here. This would serve a couple of purposes. Their mortgage on the place would be covered and we'd have a place to stay. NICE!
Now here's where I consider it most interesting.
- The apartment was destroyed on 3/31.
- The street number of our house is 32 (the number after 31 ya know).
- The week April and I were here to visit Vegas and check out this house was the week of April's 32nd birthday.
This home is owned by one of my Clown College classmates. During our graduation show, essentially an audition before the high and mighty Kenneth Feld for a chance to go on the road with the show, all of the clowns were made to wear a number on our wardrobe at all times. This made identifying the clowns that Mr. Feld wanted on the show much easier. After all, he didn't know any of us by name of anything like that. 10 1/2 weeks of intense training and we were all essentially reduced to a single identifying number.
I've kept many things from my Ringling days. I still have all of the makeup, the shoes and outfits, and other mementos. One most important thing I have from my time with Ringling is the little cloth disc with my I.D. number on it. I've had this in the bottom of my makeup box ever since the graduation show ended in October of 1988. The number?
You can also have fun with the fact that the news about the disaster hit the world on 4/1 (April Fools Day). I am April's husband and many would consider me to be April's Fool. It is also one of my favorite days of the year and it certainly is an appropriate day for a former circus clown.
If you add 4 & 1 you get 5. If you take the numbers 3 & 2 and add them you also get 5.
I could go on and on with stupid number coincidences. But that would be just silly.
Labels: Number 32
All the Birds Love Andy
Just for fun I decided to take a small video clip from my 2006 trip to the Newport Aquarium and upload it onto YouTube. Why? Because everyone with good footage of a lorikeet licking your face should share it with the world. DUH!I haven't forgotten about the hours of video footage taken during our initial move to Las Vegas. Be patient. It is coming eventually.
No, this really has nothing to do with me and my recent move to Vegas. Though, I did just get an inquiry for a week's worth of work at a comedy club. So there is some good news there.I couldn't be happier! He's always been one whom I truly believed had the most promise and potential for bigger things in this business. This just may be the big break he needs. Plus, I have a legitimate contact in L.A. to pester for work now.
Instead, this is about a friend of mine and a certainly a very good friend of my younger brother, Matt. I am speaking about filmmaker Francis (Frank) Stokes. I've mentioned his work here before and even plugged his online YouTube series, "God, Inc." here in the past. Well, rather than spoil the good news myself I'll allow Frank to tell you in his own words.
Congratulations, frank! You deserve this and I hope you can make the best of the opportunity. OK, I also hope you can find a slot on your big time TV show for me. I can fetch you
coffee ya know. Booger-free.
Labels: Francis Stokes, God Inc.
Let the Plants DIE!
This damned sprinkler system will be the death of me.
I am a very intelligent man. I can read and follow instructions well. I am not without resources and abilities.
That being said, this sprinkler system at our home, something that is supposed to only be on once a week, for a relatively short period of time, absolutely makes no sense to be.
When it is supposed to be on, there's no water to be seen. When I follow the instructions on the thing, water comes out but doesn't shut off when programmed. Add to the mix that one of the hoses has decided to spring a leak and I am stuck with a sprinkler that I can't quite fix and certainly can't use.
Were it not for the fact that A) this isn't technically my house, and B) there's a rather large pine tree in the front yard that would certainly fall onto our home with one good gust of desert wind if left un-watered I'd let all these damned plants die. They add nothing to the house and they use up a lot of the water.
[SIGH!] I'll figure it all out. I just wish that the damned thing would simply do the 5 minutes or so worth of watering on its own as promised. I suppose I'll just water all the things myself and look all domestic.
Missed the Show? So Did I.
I had to pick up April from work at the time my interview on Growing Your Business was set to air. Not really an issue for me. I remember what I said and all that. However, as it happens there were some technical glitches when the show went "LIVE" and the actual broadcast didn't hit the net until about 8:45 EST.
I'm quite sure a few folks missed the fun and insightful madness.
So where do we go from here? How about the Growing Your Business website's show archive page!
Yep, you can CLICK HERE and hear what you missed. Ain't that sumpin'?
Be sure to leave a comment at their MySpace page and tell them you'd love to hear more from li'l ol' me.
Last Chance to Listen
Today at 8 PM Eastern Time (5 PM Pacific) be sure to tune in to Growing Your Business on the All Talk Radio Network. Why? To hear an interview with ME, of course. Zeesh! Why else?
New Frontier Says Goodbye to the Martellos
We have never had any sentimental attachment to the New Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. April and I have been there to play upon occasion and eaten there a few times, but we never went out of our way to spend a lot of time there. We'd always intended to see the bikini (sometimes topless) bull-riding or the mud wrestling at the Gilley's inside, but it was just one of many stops on our many trips to Vegas.
The Frontier, the hotel where Wayne Newton first headlined, is closing it's doors permanently on at midnight on Monday. This happens a lot in Vegas. The older hotels and casinos go away to make room for the new ones. Such is life.
We decided to stop in on Saturday, play a little, and enjoy some time there. Since this is the first landmark to say goodbye in the time we have lived here it seemed like the right thing to do.
Now I wonder why we didn't go there more often.
April and I played a few clots and had marginal luck. I broke even and I think she won a few bucks. We wandered a bit, toured the places again, and was about to head out when April decided to play a round of video poker.
She sat at a quarter machine, popped in $20.00and within a few short moments turned it into about $125.00 by hitting 4 of a kind and then a full house. While the quarters were dispensing (they still dispense coins on this machine...this place IS old!) the hopper emptied and a slot technician needed to be called. While we were waiting I decided to put in $5.00 in the machine next to April. Within about two minutes I hit the same winning hand that April had moments ago, 4 of a kind, and won $100.00.
We happily took our money, thanked the Frontier for welcoming us to Vegas and went on our merry way. We took a few snapshots of the sign out front and decided we're glad we went there to say goodbye.
I know it is all hot and sweaty here in Las Vegas. I don't care. I'm (for now) in my new home and I love being here.
I am still filled with absolute terror about the future. After all, I have no work, few friends, and a whole lot more rent to pay along with the prospect of a massive home loan to try and secure this time next year.
I've little idea how to run our freaking sprinkler and I am quite sure all vegetation will be dead soon, if it isn't already. Of course, why anyone living in a desert would plant anything that requires water is a huge mystery to me. Desert plants are beautiful and way easier to maintain. Besides, the water costs us money and the cactus family requires much less of it overall. Maybe when I get that loan secured.
I like what April has done with the place. Even though there's still a lot of unpacking on my end to do and loads of furnishings to purchase I truly enjoy walking around these digs. I just wish I knew where everything was.
Since I can't really settle in too much (I do have one last trip to Chicago coming in two weeks) and I am too panicky to try and do much else here, I may as well remind all of you about a radio/internet program that will be featuring an interview with ME.
Aside from all that intelligent discussion about the business world, you will get to hear the mindless prattle of one Andy Martello, which I believe to be the best prattle around.
This crap has to stop. I know that gas prices suck donkey balls everywhere and surely there are places with higher prices than what we're paying in the Chicago area (and PLEASE don't bother telling me all about them nor telling me how "lucky" we are in the comments field today) but listen to this horse shit.
The last week or so, prices actually went down to about $3.05 to $3.09 in the suburbs. I found one place that actually had gas for under three bucks which, sadly, is a good price by today's standards. As recently as this afternoon gas was still about $3.05 locally. By this evening, the price mysteriously went up to $3.39 to $3.58 a gallon.
How the hell does this happen? I know that if I bought a shitload of turtleneck sweaters at wholesale, the wholesale cost may change some day, but the price I paid at the time can't change. Therefore, the price I'd charge for the turtlenecks would be roughly the same based upon supply & demand and all that. But this kind of hike, on a day where clearly no delivery trucks were dropping off new gas at new prices is fucking unbelievable.
I wish I were born rich and retarded. That way I could become President and fuck up the country. Really, past leaders were run out on a rail (or in a damned box) for much less than this in our history and gas prices aren't even scratching the surface here. What the hell?
I can't wait to see what the prices are like in Vegas when I land later today.
I Can Go Home Tomorrow!
Yup, I have a gig at noon in Schaumburg, Illinois. By 6:15 I'll be on a plane heading west to beautiful, sunny Las Vegas, Nevada! I can't wait.
Sure it is 115 degrees there. Sure I have only a few friends there. Sure I won't get to see April very much now that she has a job. I don't care! I get to go to my new home, which will look completely different now that our stuff is there.
On the agenda...lots of networking and follow-ups on the promotional materials I've sent out, setting up my office, maybe recording a podcast or two, and more. I'm sure there'll be some husband/wife things in there too, but as you know I have no say in these things.
If possible I hope to edit down some of the video footage from our initial trip to Vegas. We have about four hours of road movie just waiting to be turned into something for our family to watch.
Man, I have been needing this. I've been away from home for long periods of time before, but this one hurt the most. With all the drama involved with the storm & the move, I just didn't feel right being away from April for so long.
A Joke and A Plug
OK, I'll give the plug first. I know most of you don't actually read the whole thing (skimmers, all!).
Wanna hear me being interviewed on the radio? Well then take a listen to Growing Your Business on JULY 16, 2007 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. This is a most excellent business radio program offered online at http://www.alltalkradio.net/.
These fine folks interviewed me because...well, I'm not sure. I guess I'm a successful businessman and they want you to know all about me. :) Be sure to check out their MySpace page and tell them how much you'd like to hear more interviews with little old me!
I'll remind you later about this as I know that you are not only skimming my post, but you are terrible at remembering things, even though I give you loads of advance notice.
Next, I'm sure you were wondering how I fared on 7/7/07? I did actually buy some scratch-off lottery tickets after all. The results reminded me of a little joke.
A man had a startling dream about the number seven. In the dream he heard a loud voice repeating, "Seven...Seven...SEVEN!" When he awoke at 7:07 AM he noticed that the date was 7/7/07 and he decided the dream was a sure sign of things to come.
He went to his local race track, located on 7th street. He was very excited. The 7th horse in the 7th race was named, "Seventh Heaven". Immediately the man took out the $777.00 he'd been saving in an old Seagram's Seven bottle for the last seven years and placed it all on Seventh Heaven in the seventh race. He ordered a 7-Up and waited another seven minutes for the race to start.
Much to his surprise, the plan worked.
The horse came in seventh.
Just My Luck
I finally can say I live in Las Vegas and I'm stuck in Chicago on 7/7/07. The whole freakin' world thinks they're gonna strike it rich today and Vegas will be buzzing from this event that happens once every hundred years.
Just my luck.
Maybe I can buy a lottery ticket here today after my gig.
April Gots Herself a J-O-B
I forgot to post this earlier, but April is now gainfully employed. She'll be a supervisor on the fast track to megalomania at the Kohl's department store chain.
While it may not necessarily have been her first choice, it is a good job and she already likes the people she'll be working beside. Plus, if it completely sucks this job can be the "bait" to help her attract a better job (Always easier to find a job when you have a job...that kind of thing).
Of course I am confident she'll enjoy it very much for now. I secretly think this is the job she was "meant" to get because it is at a place that sells many things we'll need while we're starting out. So her employee discount will be put to good use. ;)
The important thing is that they WANTED her to work there. They called her IMMEDIATELY after her resume was submitted and realized her experience would be perfect for their company. It is always nice to be wanted.
Many thanks to everyone for the support and the advice. April thanks you too.
Everywhere I Look...VEGAS!
It is bad enough to be here in Illinois, missing my wife and my new home every day. I want to go home, even though I have no real prospects for work myself nor any promise of a great new life. I am thankful for the work I have here in Illinois and I'm just now realizing that I am actually supporting my family solely on the money I've made as an entertainer. Minor swelling or pride aside, I WANT TO GO HOME!
Well, none of my feelings of loneliness and sadness are eased one iota when I take a look at damn near any TV screen, listen to any radio station, watch any movie, or see any billboard. Why? Because Las Vegas is freakin' EVERYWHERE!
I've always know that Vegas is popular as a destination and it certainly does a great job of promoting itself as a filming location, but DAMN! Vegas is everywhere I look!
Commercials, TV shows, game shows, radio commercials, books, songs - Las Vegas is everywhere and it is just taunting me.
This reminds me of being a young guy who was recently dumped by a girlfriend. When you're young you have no concept of just how many people you'll actually date and care about in your lifetime so being dumped is just about the most devastating thing ever. After the awful dumping it seems that every woman everywhere has the same name as the chick that dumped you.
This just SUCKS!
According to my wife's resume, and from observing all the years we have lived together, she has...
- A STELLAR employment history
- 11 (that's ELEVEN) years in management
- As many, if not MORE years in retail
- The last four years in retail working with watches, jewelry, and other accessories, among those...FOSSIL watches and accessories
So, knowing all that, let's add in an interview she participated in with a Fossil store manager and a district manager wanting to fill no fewer than THREE positions in the Vegas area. At this interview (which went very well by anyone's standards) she was told by the DM that she (Lovely Wife) would DEFINITELY be receiving a phone call by a certain day to either fill out paperwork or, more likely, have a second interview. They did have other, lesser-qualified applicant and interviews to do after all. My wife was told not to take anything until she heard back by that specific day.
The day of the big phone call came and went without a call from the DM. Due diligence required some follow-up phone calls from my wife on the big day and again the following week. A few weeks passed by and...NOTHING.
Yesterday, she receives an e-mail (more like a form letter) stating that she (my over-qualified wife) would not be being offered a job because she was clearly NOT qualified to be an ASSISTANT MANAGER at their stores. The e-mail even went on to state the reason for her NOT being offered a job was because she wasn't qualified for the job.
I said it in the title of this post and I'll say it again.
Cat Juggling? Sick Puppy!
Yeah, I was one sick puppy back in the day. My mom was kind enough to take a scan from a newspaper article about yours truly from when I was a kid in Marengo, Illinois. This was a piece about me wanting to be a professional entertainer, how I came into juggling, my competing in various competitions, and all that.
Among the things revealed in the story was that I once juggled animal parts in biology class. Yes, that's right. I juggled the remains of a dissected animal in front of the class, simply because A) it was funny, and B) the teacher dared me to do it.
In this particular case, I juggled a cat's head, heart, and liver, much to the amusement of all participating in the dissection. OK, a few folks thought it was gross as all hell, but hey...it was much funnier than the time I juggled the dissected shark bits!