Monday, yesterday, I got to see two of the nicest people I’ve met since I’ve been in California and perform at my favorite place. It’s called Bella Terra and it’s in Huntington Beach. I did one of my first shows when I moved here and it was January and it was outside. For a life-long resident of Illinois, that was surreal.
Here’s a few shots from yesterday. I forgot how to work the panorama photos, so I had to do it in three.
So those were the three sides in front of me yesterday. It was a beautiful day and a big and happy crowd. The first time I was there, the show starts at 10:30 and only a handful of people were there at 10:25. I swear the women pushing strollers came from all sides in those five minutes like vultures on a fat guy and the place was filled. Most of the kids are under 4 but with a summer program like yesterday there were a few more of the older (the seniors coming in at 8). And for us male performers, it’s a delight to see really cute moms. They’re the best because I can be really funny and charming and know that I’m not hitting on them so don’t have to be afraid of rejection. 🙂
It’s really a great setting and has always been a fun show, I think I’ve been there 2-3 times a year for the past three years which is rare for performers as they want to be offering as many different things to get people to come back and shop. But they like me there. Which is really why I’m writing this blog.
Ron Merkin with Center Ring Productions was one of the first agents I contacted when I moved here. He liked me on the phone and he tested me out at Bella Terra and when I didn’t suck he kept hiring me for the last few years at all his Kid’s Club events at malls throughout Southern California. Ron has a great way as the emcee for the shows and he’s the most organized SOB I’ve ever seen. He had this giant three-ring* binder named Kid’s Club that I commented on yesterday (how old school he was) and it turned out that was just Bella Terra’s not all of his Kid’s Club’s. Ron’s a good judge of talent and expects a lot from his performers-and you are well rewarded in the bookings if you can bring your A game. I have known too many people in the business of entertaining young children who don’t consider it the highest level and that’s where their professionalism lies. It’s refreshing to meet someone who views the business the same way.
Pat Rogers is the Marketing Director and she’s just well, cool. And that’s tops in my book. We’ve gotten along since the beginning and chat before the show and it’s just been so nice. She’s the real reason I’m there a lot because I make her people happy and that’s her job and she does it well. Plus she’s got wit and charm and style and she’s originally from Long Beach, so we’re oddly connected in some way that you should just take my word for and not ask me to explain.
Which brings me to the real reason I’m writing this blog. I am really into “heart” lately. Seeing it in the writing of certain wonderful TV shows (check out Newsroom if you haven’t when it starts its second season this month), finding great stories on the internet and seeing great gestures. And most of all seeing it in people. I think that modern technology and communication has diminished that and when I get around two people like Pat and Ron, I feel all warm inside, grateful to see them and know they’re out there. Like the Grinch’s that grew, I believe that people everywhere are wanting to see more heart. And when I see these two people, I want to do my job even better. I worked hard yesterday to make it a good show. I wanted to show them my heart. I think the more we all do it, the more we’ll all want it and not be afraid to show it for fear it may go unrecognized or unappreciated.
Let’s give it our all everywhere.
*Three ring, get it, Center Ring Productions. Guess it’s no good when you feel you have to explain it.