Tag Archives: performance

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.


Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

I might have to get my left leg looked at again

Greetings, readers. I slipped and fell on September 5th and all X-rays that were taken were negative for breaks, thank goodness. However, today on November 1st, I am still hobbling around. This is really beginning to worry me. It is so bad in fact, that I have to put another chair near my recliner so that when I stand up I have something to hold on to for my first steps. The left leg just does not want to move.

I am seriously considering going back to my doctor and asking for more X-rays. Half of me wants to do this and the other half does not. If there is a slightly cracked bone that the initial X-ray missed, I would likely be casted or put into a boot. I have seen with a co-worker of mine that a boot and a greasy floor don’t go together too well. There is a possibility that I would just need physical therapy for the muscles. In that case, that will eat into my work time and my free time. There is a laugh for you.

Speaking of my free time, ha ha, when I come home, instead of writing or working on personal projects, I’m usually asleep by 8:00 on a work night. I used to stay up until 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. No more. I come home and switch off the engines. The other day at 5:30, I turned on an old football game on YouTube (an exciting one), and because I was so exhausted, I feel asleep. When I came to, I said that’s it, bedtime. The time was 8:30.

Another worry of mine is for my December 1st performance. I’m planning to sing to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album for the folks at Addison Court Apartments. Now, I love to give a good show, but I’ve just not felt up to doing full-scale rehearsals. The leg just hurts too much, and I have to go to bed so early. I am debating whether or not to post pone my show for a month or two. I will keep you up to date.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the World Series and my team is not going to win. There is not much of a chance that the L.A. Dodgers will blow a game 7 at home. I just gave away my secret; yes, I am pulling for the Houston Astros. They’ve never been to the World series and a championship would be great for that city. I am also keeping up with the NFL and was very unhappy to learn that the New England Patriots traded away their wonderful back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving us with a few more years with the cheater Tom Brady. As a matter of fact, the whole New England Patriot organization are cheaters. Sorry, Robert Kraft, I’ll be a Patriots fan again when you sell the team … which will be the 32nd of neverwherey.

Lastly, my condolences go out to families affected by the terrible terrorist attack in New York City yesterday. Why can’t we all get along?

So until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, do tell your friends about this blog, 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.

I am being a procrastinator before David’s visit

Greetings, readers. With David’s impending visit less than two days away, I am still struggling to get certain areas of the small apartment ready. I’ve already blocked off this evening and perhaps overnight to tidy up. Now I’ll tell you why I’m kicking myself. I’ve known when David is arriving for several weeks and I just sat here; reading my book and watching TV, YouTube, or Netflix. I always do this.

For future reference, I am going to talk to my therapist for suggestions and tips on how to get ready for guests in the future. Later in the year, David’s daughter Emily and her friends wish to visit, and if I don’t have them stay in a hotel, this place is going to have to be spotless. As most of my regular readers know, I am not a spotless person. I suffer from low energy and stamina. Some folks can start at 9:00 in the morning and clean all day until the work is done. Not I. I have to work in spurts, and Lord help me if I sit down and turn on any entertainment because I won’t get back to my chores for hours.

Now that I know it is crunch time, I’m confident that my adrenaline will kick in and I will be able to do the chores I need to do before David arrives tomorrow night. Rebecca and I will work tomorrow and I’ve already bracketed off the rest of that day to finish cleaning, do laundry, buy snacks, etc. It’s going to be an awesome visit.

On Friday is my musical performance along with a surprise. It is going to be a great afternoon. Saturday, Traci and I are taking David to an Indian restaurant nearby for his pre-birthday dinner. And at 8:00, the Penn State football team will play for the Big Ten Championship. Go Lions! Sunday and Monday will be our quiet days, visiting with Traci, watching movies, or playing video games. Dave will depart on Tuesday, because we both have to work on Wednesday. I’m going to need a weekend to rest from my weekend.

That’s all the news for today. Either Rebecca or I will have another blog entry for you tomorrow. I bid you a great day, take care, and happy reading.

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.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last Friday, May 13th

Joe took a chance against the curse of Friday the 13th last week, with a performance of Beatles songs in the community room of the Addison Court apartment building. Except for a few problems, one of which delayed the show for half an hour, which I’ll get into in a moment, he defied the curse with a great show.

Joe did a bit of air guitar and air drums, but mostly he sang to the sounds of the Beatles playing through his speakers. Most of the songs were ones he had performed before in shows, but some were new for him, like “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” He started the show with “Twist and Shout,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and, and a new one for him, “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” Another song from his first set that he also performed for the first time was “Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown).” It has a different tempo than the others, and Joe did a great job adjusting to the change.

By the end of the first set, people were starting to join in the singing here and there. People were coming in and out of the room, and the audience size went from small to big and back again throughout the two and half hour show. But for one song, the one Joe has in almost all of his shows, the audience was spell-bound. He started “Yesterday” and it seemed that everyone got still and focused. By the end of the third line, we started singing in a low chorus, sounding mournful and reverent. Joe connects this song with a woman who lived in the building until she passed away, and he sang it for her in a tribute concert he did for her in July of 2013. He may not have been the only one thinking of Erin as we sang it with him. Looking back in the archives, I see that the first time “Yesterday” was in one of his show, in December of 2012, it was played on the cello. I remember that and it was uplifting and special, but I was more moved last week, as we all softly sang the song with Joe. Then he finished the set with “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” a song that lifted the energy and party mood again for the break.

Joe started the second set with two special songs, one to his girlfriend Traci Harter and the other a special request from the videographer. The one for Greg Brown, “And This Bird Can Sing,” was added less than two weeks before, so Joe warned the audience ahead of time that it would be rough. He did a good job with it though. Greg worked hard on the video and Mike Weaver did an equally good job taking still photographs.

The special song for Traci as a surprise, which Joe had to spoil the night before for unforseen personal reasons, was the theme song to Traci’s favorite TV show Reba, “I’m a Survivor,” by Reba McEntire. Traci liked it very much and was touched. She had someone record it on her phone, so she can watch it again. I used to watch Reba and knew the theme song, but the version Joe did was the full song from her album, which included lyrics I had not heard before. I was a little teary-eyed too, from the touching lyrics, and the sweet gesture of Joe singing them to his girlfriend.

Songs in his second set included “Lady Madonna,” “Come Together,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and “Lovely Rita.” One song in particular impressed me. Joe sang “She’s Leaving Home” for the first time in a performance, and I was not familiar with the song before. In the chorus part, there is a section with lyrics from the parents in the story, sung a little softer and in between the main chorus lines. Most people would sing the more prominent lines, I think, and let the back up sing the softer words, but Joe did the opposite, giving voice to the confusion and hurt of the parents who don’t understand a daughter being so eager to move away from home. It was poignant and brought out the sad side of the piece. I thought it showed talent from Joe, to make that choice and to sing the section almost underneath the main part.

Joe was getting tired by the middle of the second act, and needed another short break, but he rallied. He finished the show with “Get Back” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise).

I mentioned that there were a few Friday the 13th issues, including the show being delayed at the beginning. The community room has a door to the bathrooms just behind where Joe was set up to perform. Just before start time, one of the toilets overflowed on the floor in the bathroom. The water had to be turned off at the pipe, and a maintenance man came through to fix and mop up. The mop was then left in view in a corner of the room, apparently the only place for it. Then later in the performance, a staff member had to bring back a big trash-gathering bin, go through Joe’s space, and return it to the closet. Joe understood, and stopped to let him through, then began that song again. Despite these challenges, and that he was getting tired toward the end, Joe gave it his all. It was a great show, that I enjoyed very much. We sang, we clapped, we bopped along, and we had fun. Good work, Joe.

We will get pictures of the performance up as soon as we can. It might be a week or two, but we intend to get it done.

I’m going to have a very busy week and weekend

Greetings, readers. With my Beatles show this Friday, I’ll be quite tired after 4pm. The show is going to last approximately two hours. I know that might not sound very long, but there are many songs on the playlist. Selections include “Love Me Do”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Lady Madonna”, and “Get Back”. I’ve tried to choose a good selection of songs from their early years and their later years. Some I have sung in shows before, but a few I have never performed in public before. I am excited, but everything seems to crowding into the same seven days.

I was hoping to have this weekend to chill out after the show. A minor apartment inspection is taking place on Monday, so I’ll be doing a little spring cleaning over the weekend instead. As I’ve said before, I’m working on my junior hoarding problem, and I’ll need this weekend to get a couple of places the way I want them for the inspection.

One of the two places I’m worried about is under the kitchen counters. I’ll have to check for bugs and things of that nature; my girlfriend Traci told me that other people in the building have had small issues with little critters. The second area of main concern is my bedroom/storage unit. I think ten to fifteen trips down to the dumpster will do it. I definitely see myself throwing things away this time. As hard as that will be for me to do, I’ll feel better about myself when it is done, and there will be less stuff. I guess that is the whole point of spring cleaning.

This is the time line of what goes on in order for me to sign my new lease every year. In May, the inspection. With July comes the signing of the new lease, which begins October 1st. Sometimes I really don’t understand why things have to be done five months early. But I do realize I am not the only person in the building and these inspections, whether done by our office manager, or by our housing authority, must be done for everyone in the building.

I always hate inspections, I don’t think anyone loves them, and I will certainly be happy when it is over. I always work myself up to a big tizzy for nothing. A number of years ago, the person doing the inspecting was literally in my apartment for less than 60 seconds. I got a chuckle out of that.

We will be doing a blog entry tomorrow and going to the local library to print off the show’s playlist so that folks will be able to see what song is next. If I told you I wasn’t nervous about this show I would be a liar. Motivation for practice has been very low this past week. Though I am excited to do this show, I will be very glad when it’s over.

Until tomorrow, take care, enjoy the rest of your day, and happy reading.

:-) #400! :-)

Greetings, readers. In three and a half wonderful years, we have reached entry #400. Wow! Let’s set off the fireworks. When I first began blogging, I thought I might do it for a year before running out of ideas. Not so. I am happy and proud.

In the year or two to come, I plan to write blog entries dealing a little bit more with current events and political stories. My hope is I can broaden my horizons and add a few topics to my repertoire. You probably won’t see me go into conspiracy theories, but you never know. I do have a theory about Malaysia 370.

I know I’ve had many top ten lists, posts about the weather, and entries about my day. That’s why I feel it’s time to expand. I’m still going to do the top ten lists, because they are very popular. That pleases me no end. Also, look for several more ‘From Rebecca’ in the next twelve months.

My next performance, in my apartment building, is tentatively scheduled for October or November. I’m quite certain that there will be pictures to be added to the gallery and possibly even short video clips. I still have pictures from my last show that need to be transferred to the computer before they can be added to the picture gallery.

In a couple of weeks, I’m planning to change the blog’s look. There are certain features that Rebecca and I would like the readers to have easier access to on the blog page; such as tabs, archives, and the calendar. We will have to choose a theme that is refreshing and new, but works for both of us. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

As far as my health goes, I’m feeling pretty good for a guy about to turn 50 in a few weeks time. I’m enjoying the summer, I’m trying to get a little more exercise, and of course my kitty cat Keekee keeps me on my toes. She is my new alarm clock, because she wants her breakfast well before I wake up.

Rebecca and I have some more editing to do on Four’s a Crowd. Any more big news about possible release dates for the novel will be shared with you when it’s time.

I want to take this opportunity to thank my readers for perusing the previous 399 entries. Here’s to 400 and beyond. Please leave me a comment with blog topic suggestions, if you wish.

Have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

I defeated the computer!

Greetings, readers. Welcome to this rare Thursday blog entry. I thought I would share with you what happened this morning. I started off at my usual 6:45 wake up time, which I’ve been trying to hold to. I washed up and made coffee and was planning to put four or five videos from YouTube to my Facebook page. That would consist of me singing the songs, typing in the information, up-loading the video to YouTube, and then when it was finished being processed it could be transferred to Facebook. That was the plan.

At 7:30, I turned on my computer and was going to spend the morning singing and enjoying myself, knowing that friends and family on Facebook had been waiting to see a few of these videos. They are selections of songs from my previous show, which I perform in my apartment sitting down, for people who couldn’t make my show. I have what I call morning throat. Because my allergies don’t drain very well at night my voice sounds like a scratchy old bear. With coffee and water, I got that part of the dilemma cleared up by 8:30. Then I had computer issues.

First, Spotify music would not open, and once it did, YouTube malfunctioned half-way through my first recording. Once the technical problems were solved, you would think I had it made. But no. I then became hopelessly tongue-tied and forgot the words of the song. Back to Spotify I went to activate the lyrics; thank goodness for that function.

Finally, at 11:25, I was able to put one video up on Facebook. I was actually considering calling Rebecca to change our meeting plans. But it wasn’t necessary. I won out over the computer.

On Friday, along with a possible other topic, I’ll let you readers in on a minor dilemma of mine, which is me learning how to make ends meet until next Wednesday. Mr. Silver-Spoon Kid still has a lot to learn.

Until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.