2 Dirty Little Secrets About Performers

IMG_4141A few weeks ago I had the chance to step back on a theatrical stage for the first time in a year. I was just playing a minuscule background role, but it was a special performance for a couple of reasons.

For one thing I got be on stage with my wife. It was also my very first – and probably very last – time performing in an opera.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to sing. My only real role in the show was to throw a punch at a guy who was trying to steal my girlfriend away (a punch I never could get the timing right on).

As I sat in the background of the show waiting for my moment to come around, I noticed a few things about my fellow performers.

Now, if you’ve ever performed on stage before as an actor or musician,  you probably already know these secrets. But if you’ve only sat in the audience, I’m going to pull back the curtain and let you in on some juicy behind-the-scenes dirt.

I’m not doing this just to stir up gossip. Instead I think these are 2 secret tricks about performers that can help you be more successful on any stage in life: Continue reading

The Long And Winding Road Of Regret

August 15, 2009. Paul McCartney played for tens of thousands at Piedmont Park in Atlanta. A blistering set of 34 songs out under the summer stars, from “Drive My Car” to “The End”. A night no one would soon forget.

I wasn’t there. 

There have been a good number of concerts I’ve missed out on in the past decade that haunt me. Maybe none more than that one.

I could have gone. I could have jumped in the car, spread my Wings and spontaneously headed to Atlanta to see Paul McCartney at Piedmont Park. I’m not even sure why I decided to stay home that day.

I’ve regretted ever since then that I didn’t.

IMG_4268-0.JPGLast night mostly made up for it. Continue reading

What Garth Brooks Taught Me In Concert

FullSizeRenderWithout a doubt the CD I’ve listened to the most in my lifetime is “Double Live” by Garth Brooks. 

There is something magical about this album to me. Garth Brooks’ songbook was the soundtrack to my childhood. Growing up in Tennessee and Georgia I was raised on 90s country music. And Garth’s music was the gold standard.

“Double Live” collected all of Garth’s greatest hits across a 2 disc live set. So to begin with every song was a winner. Add in the raucous live crowd that Garth drew to his incredible live performances and you have the makings for an amazing album.

I listened to that CD on my headphones in the backseat of so many family car trips. I blasted it on the boom box in my room. I’ve rocked out to it with the windows down in every car I’ve ever driven.

Those opening chords of “Callin’ Baton Rouge” on disc one stir up a special feeling in my soul no other album does.

So there weren’t a lot of surprises when my fiancé and I saw Garth Brooks this weekend in Atlanta as part of his first world tour in over 12 years.

I knew when all the solos would be. I knew when Garth would stop singing and let the audience sing the words to “Unanswered Prayers”. I knew to expect the mysterious 3rd verse for “Friends In Low Places”.

Yet as many times as I’ve listened to Garth Brooks live on CD, there was something so incredibly different about seeing Garth Brooks live and in person.  Continue reading

8 Reasons For You To Give U2 A Second Chance

u2If U2’s latest album popping up in your iCloud was your introduction to the band, I’m sorry. 

Not because I think it’s a bad record. In fact I thought it was a pretty amazing gift.

But even I have to admit that it does seem a little rude for even the biggest band of the world to arrive unannounced in your download folder.

So if your first impression of Bono and the boys is their drunken stumbling into your music library, I want to ask you today to give them a second chance.
Continue reading

You May Be Wrong

bruce-springsteen-born-in-the-usa-1

I got rid of my first Bruce Springsteen CD. 

When I was in high school I purchased a copy of Born In The USA. I knew the songs everybody knew – the title track, “Glory Days”, “Dancing In The Dark”. I was all into exploring classic rock artists at the time and so I gave Bruce a shot.

I gave the CD one listen. I just couldn’t get into it. For some reasons Bruce’s brand of tunes didn’t connect to me at age 17.

So I took Born In The USA to the pawn shop and got some terrible trade-in value for it. The Boss and I went our separate ways.

I used to think I simply wasn’t a Bruce Springsteen fan. Then my tune dramatically changed.  Continue reading

Live Like It’s Live

SNL-imageLive From New York, It’s Saturday Night!

For 40 years, those 7 words have been uttered from studio 8H in Rockefeller Center announcing the most exciting 90 minutes of television comedy every week.

The most important of those 7 words is the first one – Live.

“Saturday Night Live”, despite what you may think, airs LIVE. It does not air on tape delay. It does not air 3 months after it was recorded. New episodes air live at 11:30 pm Eastern Standard Time Saturday nights.

There’s no getting around this. If the sketches aren’t ready or the actors aren’t prepared the show cannot be postponed. There’s a contract with the network and with the viewers. The show must go on no matter what. Continue reading