Category Archives: performance

I am officially semi-retired from performing

Greetings, readers. Although I am not discounting doing standup comedy or some other kind of light entertainment for the residents of Addison Court, my days of performing KISS tribute shows are now over. This morning I could barely get my hoodie over my aching shoulders. Rebecca made a good point when she mentioned that I was like someone who had never gone to a gym before and tried to lift every weight in the place for three solid hours. I expected to hurt today … but not quite this bad. Lol.

In my last rehearsal, in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I realized I did not know the words to “King of the Night Time World” as well as I needed to, so, yes, at the very last second the song “Watchin’ You” was added in its place. This is something I have never done before. Usually my playlist is set in stone two week’s in advance.

After fingernails were painted black and make-up was applied I was primed and ready to go. Only one problem. The pizzas had not arrived yet. So I held my position while Mike checked the lobby door again, and again, and again. I was trying to keep my face war-paint a secret, but from my perch I could tell that we had a full room. Eventually I had to tell Mike please just hit the play button. We couldn’t let the folks wait endlessly.

It was quite a surprise when I came out to my first song, “Deuce.” I was full of energy and I was raring to go. At the end of the third song, “Ladies Room,” I was most happy that I had my water bottle, with a hefty splash of grape flavored 5 Hour Energy, because I knew that my energy levels were already declining. Even though the face-paint job looked good, my lipstick application, that I did myself, did not turn out as planned, and every time I took a sip of water, more of the lipstick got stuck in the bottle’s drinking hole. After a while I began to taste grape with lipstick. Not a good combination.

I must say that Mike Weaver stole the show. Where I performed a KISS tribute show, where not many people know the words to the songs, Mike chose soft rock numbers and had the entire audience singing along. Even our friend Julie, who knew the hand signals to “YMCA,” came up front and helped the crowd follow along with the song. My friend Smith told me at the time that Mike was having the time of his life and he was so happy that I included him in the show. I think I will be turning the entertainment over to Mike the next time around while I do the half-time show. Folks, I’m gettin’ to old for this kind of thing.

Well, there is today’s blog entry. After Rebecca and I are done, I will relax the rest of the day. This morning I was up in arms thinking I had a dentist’s cleaning appointment this afternoon, where I would have been horribly uncomfortable in their chair, but I found out that appointment is not until next Thursday. Yay! Around 1:00pm will begin R & R time. I might listen to the show’s playlist one last time for pleasure before erasing it from Spotify.

Until Sunday, when I dictate a new entry, have a great couple of days, take care, and as always, happy reading.

P.S. Thanks to Rebecca, for catching the goofs that the auto reader on my speech recognition program failed to catch on Sunday.

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Showtime in three days!!!

Greetings, readers. With only three days left before my big show on Wednesday, I have been concentrating almost all my efforts on practicing. I am pleased to announce that the show is taking shape nicely, and stands to be one of the best ever! My friend, Greg Brown, will be recording it for me. That way I’ll have something to use as uploads to Facebook and YouTube.

Would you believe I was still tinkering with the playlist as of yesterday? But I know all the KISS songs which I am performing, so it’s not that big of a deal. Seeing as how this show might be my last, I am hoping for perfection. I’ve told myself though that I won’t get too upset if I make a boo-boo.

My friend, Mike, has been practicing his halftime show diligently. He’s worked so hard, and I think the audience is going to love his efforts. Where I am performing KISS songs, Mike is doing some softer material, such as tunes from Glen Campbell, Ronnie Millsap and two numbers by the Village People. Imagine going from heavy metal to soft rock and disco! What a show it’s going to be. I’ve been asked by a few people, “Is this really your final show?” My answer… “You never know.” If I do any more public performing at Addison Court Apartments, it might be some stand-up comedy or some dramatic skits. Time will tell.

On to another topic. The Mercury has finally reached the 40s F. Thank God! I was tired of going for morning coffee, and freezing my derrière off. Luckily, our destination is only a block away. Between the temperatures rising and daylight savings time now upon us, I’m going to be much happier than I was a few weeks ago. Yay, spring is coming!

That’s today’s blog entry. As most of my Facebook followers know, my performance is on Wednesday, so Rebecca and I will be back with you with a new entry on Thursday. Until then, I bid all of you a wonderful weekend, be kind to your loved ones, take care and happy reading.

 

One week to go before what could be my final musical performance

Greetings, readers. I can’t believe I only have one week to go until the big day, my KISS tribute show in the Addison Court apartment’s community room. I had two months, I blinked and sneezed and all that time went away. Seven days is not much time when you’ve only had two full-scale rehearsals, one of which was ruined by an argument with an outside party. I’m going to practice in my room this afternoon and I hope to have at least one more full-scale rehearsal down in the community room; possibly this weekend. With the aid of a lot of prayers, and some 5 Hour Energy shots, combined with lots of agua, I think I can pull it off.

I’ve had to be very careful in selecting my playlist. The song “Take Me” almost had to go, for its first two lines are, “Put your hand in my pocket and grab onto my rocket.”  Yes, I want to imitate my favorite band, but I also don’t want to embarrass any of my friends of the female gender. This is why I did not include songs such as, “Love Gun,” and “Rocket Ride.” I think I’ve selected a very good playlist, with most of KISS’s famous standards well represented. From “Strutter” to “Detroit Rock City”, from “Calling Dr. Love” to “Rock and Roll All Nite,” I think I have chosen the ultimate assortment.

After we publish today’s blog entry and have our weekly meeting, Rebecca and I are going to Amazon to find some stage props, in the form of posters. I think it will help the audience who don’t know KISS well to see an image of whom I am portraying. If I can find four posters or T-shirts for a decent price, I’m going to make the purchase. When we get on the site, I’ll have to hunt for a good deal. If not, I’ll dig out my old record albums and use those.

I’m 53 years old now, with an aching right shoulder, bad hips and feet. But hell, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are in their late 60s. If they can do it, so can I. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

There’s our blog entry for today. I shall post another new one on Sunday; on a brighter topic than last weekend. Rebecca and I will be back on Thursday. If my show turns out well and is recorded I intend to put it on either my Facebook page, YouTube, or both. Wouldn’t it be a gas if one of the members of KISS somehow saw this tribute? That would be awesome! 😉

Until Sunday, have a great week and early weekend, bundle up if you are in the cold, spread love around, and as always happy reading.

Last evening, full scale reheasals for my show did NOT go as planned

Greetings, readers. Last evening, my friend Mike and I began full-scale rehearsals for the March 13th show. It did not go as planned. Mike knew exactly what he wanted to do with his songs, and performed them quite well. As for me… well, let’s just say I have to build up my stamina. I was only two songs into my ten-song first set, and I was huffing and puffing. That’s not good. I would say my stamina meter is at 10%. Can you say, “Five Hour Energy?”

I don’t like drinking those types of products, but I might have to. If tonight’s rehearsal doesn’t go any better, I’m either going to have to cut down my playlist, or sit down to do the whole show. To me, that would be a wimp-out, but there might not be any other way if I truly want to perform as KISS would perform.

Yes, I am doing a KISS show, possibly complete with war paint in my own design. I am the mimic, and if I decide to go all out, I would have a white face, a black M, black lips and fingernails. I am 53 years old now, and I am intending for this show to be my last. If I do any other type of performing, it might be stand-up comedy or a dramatic skit. Time will tell.

Both my sets are approximately 45 minutes long, while Mike’s halftime show is roughly 30 minutes. I’m going to ask him to add a few more songs, to give me more of a break. Yes, dear readers, I am getting older. Notice I didn’t say old. 😉 I’ll never say I’m old.

I have a couple of errands to do today in the afternoon, and a friend of mine is coming to visit at 5 PM, so I really can’t rehearse the way I want to until the evening. I have to hope that the community room is free to use. If other folks are playing cards, well they got there first, and I’m out of luck.

I would greatly appreciate any good thoughts and energy you can throw my way for the next few weeks, and especially, the day of the show. I’m planning to video this show and put it up either on Facebook or YouTube. Maybe the members of KISS will somehow see it. Wouldn’t that be cool?

There is today’s blog entry. Until Wednesday, stay warm if you’re going to be in the windy part of the country; 40 to 60 mile an hour winds here today. Also, please pray for one another, take care and as always, happy reading.

Self review of my latest performance at Addison Court

Greetings, readers. On Friday, December 1st, on my late father’s birthday, I performed my latest show for all my friends at Addison Court Apartments. The Mimic (the persona I use for performances) and friend Mike Weaver rocked out to the Beatles and to some Christmas tunes. I performed the live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s my official review.

I started my show rather oddly with the song I was going to do in the middle of the show. My friend Tasha from work, who had every intention of coming but wasn’t able to, wanted me to sing Luke Bryan’s “Move”. For weeks I struggled with it and wasn’t sure rather or not I was going to be able to learn it in time. But once I put that cowboy hat on and the tape was running, I nailed it to the wall. Tasha watched the video I made of it and was deeply moved.

Then I grabbed my sport jacket and began the first segment of the Beatles show, with “Twist and Shout” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. I know these songs like the back of my hand, so not much practice was needed for those. Then came the bugaboo called “She’s a Woman”, sung by Paul McCartney. Though I’ve heard it many times, I really had to study the lyrics; if you’re not careful it can be a tongue twister. Continuing on with songs such as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, the show sped along. Before I knew it, it was time for “Roll Over Beethoven”, the last song before my break. Then Mike Weaver took over.

His segment was Christmas carols. My two favorite songs he did were “Jingle Bells” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. He used a small Christmas tree prop and literally walked around it as he performed the song. He also acted out and sang along to “Frosty the Snowman”. (It reminded me of the old 1953 “Frosty the Snowman” short cartoon video from my childhood, which was shown during commercial breaks on my local channel 6 during the Christmas season.) Well done, Mike.

My second Beatles set began with one of my favorite Ringo Starr songs, “Boys”. Not only did I nailed it, I crushed it. I think people could sense that I was really having fun. I followed that with “You Can’t Do That” and later in the set, was a Paul McCartney early classic “All My Loving”. I must admit, I did have a little difficulty with his higher pitch on this song, but I trudged through willingly. Running out of steam, I ended the show with some air drumming and back-up vocals for “Long Tall Sally”. I didn’t quite know all the words because it is a quick song, so I just did the best I could. The response from everyone was quite positive and a couple of people gave me heartfelt compliments on the job I did.

I would have to give myself a solid 8.5 out of 10 for this performance. It was way better than the last one was.

Before I close, within the last week the world lost a dear friend in actor and singer Jim Nabors. I don’t care how many times I watch the Indianapolis 500 from now on, no one will ever be able to duplicate Jim Nabors’ rendition of “(Back Home Again in) Indiana”, which he sang at the beginning of the event for many years. R.I.P to Jim (Gomer Pyle) Nabors.

Rebecca will be blogging tomorrow because I am taking a much needed day off. We’ll be back together next week on our usual Wednesday. So until next time, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe gave a personal and memorable show last Friday

Joe will remember December 2, 2016 for the rest of his life.

One of the reasons for that is the Going for Broke show, as he called it, that he performed in the community room of Addison Court for friends and a few special people. Regular readers know that David Trost, his buddy from childhood who he considers to be a brother, came to visit for a few days. Joe was happy to have Dave here for one of his shows. In attendance were also Joe’s girlfriend Traci and Traci’s sister and nephew. Joe included songs in the playlist for them and the show was one of his most personal performances. He shared with the audience that his first show was for his family when he was 10 years old, and he still enjoyed doing them for friends and loved ones. I will get into his actual show in a moment, after I talk about the special event in the middle of it, which is the main reason Joe will remember this day.

Joe finished his first set with a special song for Traci from the Rocky movie soundtrack, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. Joe sang this love song directly to Traci, and she got tears in her eyes. He finished singing, then got something from the next room. Joe approached her chair, got down on one knee, and proposed to a very surprised Traci while her family shared the moment. Traci joyfully said yes. There was a break in the show, while pictures were taken and congratulations were said. The second set, understandably, was a little difficult for him to focus on for a couple of songs.

The first set was tighter than the second set. Joe started the show with three TV show theme songs, from Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Love Boat. The first two themes are about family and the third is about finding love, which set the tone for the show. His next two songs were “Shout It Out” by B.T. Express and “Show Me the Way” by Peter Frampton. Then he performed the first of two Pat Benatar songs, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” after observing that he also does songs by female artists. He had two songs to honor family members. “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks was a request from Traci’s sister, and “East Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed from the soundtrack for Smokey and the Bandit was for Dave. He finished the set with three love songs that he sang with great feeling, obviously for Traci. “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille, “(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes” by Highway 101 proceeded the above mentioned “You Take My Heart Away.”

Joe was nervous leading up to the proposal, but he was able to focus on his performance as he cued up his playlist selections on his computer, sang, and periodically added some air guitar and air drums. The second set did not go so well, and he almost canceled it at one point.

Joe was running his playlist off a website called Spotify, and needed an internet connection to play the songs. Because of some work being done in a nearby room, the connection he was using was off at the end of his break. We waited fifteen minutes, and then the show was able to begin again. Joe still had challenges. Last October, Joe was forced to postpone this show because of a sinus infection. Even though he is over it now, he was not able to rehearse as much as usual, and he forgot the lyrics a few times. He is also still recovering his energy and endurance and sat down for most of the second set. He said he was embarrassed, but we in the audience assured him we didn’t care if he sat, we just wanted him to be okay. He was still a little rattled, and had to start one of the songs twice to get the lyrics right. And then an employee brought in a big bin that had to be stored in the closet behind Joe, so he had to stop singing. With all these issues, it was not one of Joe’s favorite performances. But he persisted and gave his audience a second set.

He began it with a song for Dave, “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins, which was the song Dave danced to with his daughter at her wedding reception. It was a touching tribute to his buddy/brother. He sang “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson, followed by the second Pat Benatar song, “Heartbreaker.” Then Joe took out a picture of his niece for a song that he first heard when he was spending time with her one summer and sang “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson. Her photo stayed up for the rest of the show. His next two songs were for the holiday season, “Silver and Gold” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” both by Burl Ives. Joe’s next song, “Clyde” by Waylon Jennings, was added just five days before, but Joe knew it so well that he sang it perfectly. He finished the show with the two songs “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra and “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.

Joe may have had problems in the second set, but he succeeded in giving us in his audience a personal show that touched the heart.

This was the first time I couldn’t pull off a show

Greetings, readers. I take pride in my shows. I try to do two per year for the folks at Addison Court Apartments, but this time around circumstances interfered, and for the first time ever, I had to cancel a performance.

My playlist was complete, my rehearsal schedules were set and then … the sinus infection set in. At first it felt like a bad cold. Once I realized I needed an antibiotic, my singing voice was gone. Though I’m feeling much better, I still can’t take a deep breath to sing. Hence, no rehearsals. With best friend, Dave, coming, I was not going to give a sub-par performance. I had to postpone the October show. It turns out that Dave also rescheduled his visit.

Did I go through all the stages of getting old? Yes. “I can’t do this anymore. I have no stamina. My voice is gone!,” I told anyone who’d listen. Some told me that it was because I was so sick, I’m not too old to perform, and that the rescheduled show is going to be awesome. They’re right, it is going to be awesome! The show’s new date is set for Friday, December 2nd [time to be announced]. Look for more details on my Facebook page. I will probably also mention it here in a few blog posts as the show gets closer.

Well, that’s my update. I bid all of you a great day and weekend. Take care, and as always, happy reading.

A happy Friday and Beatles show pictures

Greetings, readers. It is a gorgeous August … I mean May day. It is sunny, and today’s high will be 85 degrees F. Love it, love it, love it. The only thing that is a small minus in this situation is the fact that if I have my blinds open during work hours, my air conditioning unit is virtually useless. By tonight, however, I’m sure I will be comfy once again.

I’m planning to have a relaxed weekend, not worrying about any upcoming inspections. LOL. This evening I will watch some TV or listen to some music and turn in early. Tomorrow is laundry day, as I finish up the last little bit of the bedroom. Either today or tomorrow is vacuuming day. As you can see, I’m trying to get down to a clean up schedule of some kind. Back in the day of the happy homemakers, women and men wouldn’t think twice about which chore to do on what day to keep their homes clean. With me, I practically have to make a chart and tape it to the fridge. How lame is that?

Sunday afternoon’s plans are going to include a pre-Memorial Day party thrown by one of my good friends here in the apartment building. Scott and his wife Cathy always throw wonderful gatherings.

On to other news, thanks to Rebecca and her many talents, as she was able to figure out how to transfer pictures from my cell phone to the computer. She put some of them on the Performance Pictures page. Also, at the end of this blog entry you will be able to see four or five snapshots of me performing during my Beatles sing along show which took place on May 13th here in Addison Court. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them here or on my Facebook page. I did have other photographs taken and they are beautiful, but I am having problems getting them on my computer. If we are able to figure out how, I will share them with you then.

Lastly, I would like to let all my WordPress readers know that I am starting a vlog on my YouTube channel. I have seen people who have 50,000 subscribers – I have ten. Within the next week or so, I shall provide a link to my channel and anyone who wants to visit me there is more than welcome to do so. Subscribe and give those videos a like; it will help me out.

Well we are going to leave time now for Rebecca to put the pictures in, so I bid you a fantastic weekend, we will see you on Wednesday, and happy reading.

 

Poster for Joe's Beatles show May 13, 2016
Poster for Joe’s Beatles show May 13, 2016
Joe singing at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe doing air drums at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016. Please ignore the yellow mop in so many of these photos.
Joe doing air drums at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016. Please ignore the yellow mop in so many of these photos.
Joe doing air guitar at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe doing air guitar at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe's girlfriend Traci enjoying his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe’s girlfriend Traci enjoying his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Some people in the crowd, enjoying Joe's Beatles show and some afternoon snacks on May 13, 2016.
Some people in the crowd, enjoying Joe’s Beatles show and some afternoon snacks on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing and performing the Beatles at his show on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing and performing the Beatles at his show on May 13, 2016.

 

Show day is one day away

Greetings, readers. April 10th will be here tomorrow, and boy did it come quickly. I remember beginning to put this show together almost two months ago, knowing that I would have plenty of time to be ready. Well, I’ll be honest, I’m ready but not as much as I would like to be. A lot of things which were out of my control happened, including an illness and brief hospital stay. No set backs were major, but there seemed to be many minor ones.

The play list will consist of thirty early to mid Beatles songs, with three or four extra numbers which were requested by friends coming in to see the show. One of them is Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning.” OMG. I’m going to sing back up vocals and pray. It’s not a bad song, but I would have needed at least six months of prep time. The other highlight is the opening show tribute to the U.S. veterans living here in my apartment building. I’ve loaded up the “Star Spangled Banner” from the Poltergeist soundtrack album, followed by a sound effect of a jet fighter flying overhead. That’s for ambiance and chuckles. Then I shall tie in Rick Derringer’s “Real American”, also known as the Hulk Hogan theme.

Two songs which got eliminated from the playlist were “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Hopefully my local friends will be able to attend, especially high school friend Lisa, who told me she may be able to record it for me. If it turns out well, I shall put segments on YouTube and Twitter.

After Rebecca leaves work today, my afternoon and evening will be spent practicing and enjoying MLB15 The Show. Mostly practicing. Next week, we will be getting back to our usual three-day work week and expect my final report on the video game in Wednesday’s blog entry.

Until next week, have a good weekend, wish me luck with my show, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe performed a good show last Friday, and has a cold this week

Yes, Joe has a cold now, after having many busy days last week, so this will be a quick entry. Joe is probably over the contagious part, though I am still using my hand sanitizer while using his computer.

Joe performed his show of 70s and 80s music last Friday to a full room. There was disco, and singing along, and a good mix of different styles. Joe has eclectic tastes in music! To name just a few of the artists Joe sang along with during the three-hour experience: The Beatles, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and Van McCoy.

There was video taken that Joe plans to put in YouTube if he can get a couple of glitches figured out. A lot of people took pictures, and I took some with both my cell phone camera and Joe’s. With Joe still a little under the weather right now, we will wait until another day to move the pictures from his phone to the computer. When we do, we will do a blog entry with pictures from the show.

As Joe would write, until next time have a great day, take care, and happy reading.