Well it was hard to sleep last night as the nightmare that was Stu Francis (please note I’m calling him by his name … why couldn’t he use mine?) kept me awake most of the evening. I was a bit embarrassed returning the next day to the convention but so many people were kind with their praise of my performance and joined me in making light of the fact I was called anything but my own name. I think what bothered me even more than being introduced by the wrong name was that this ass never even took me off as he was once again changing his shirt. I had walked completely off stage when I saw him once again at the piano off stage left so I walked over tapped him on the shoulder and told him I was done. He looked quite surprised and ran past me to share himself some more with his adoring fans!
I had a couple of hours at the booth and business was incredible. Simon and Lori were almost completely sold out of everything I had brought! I think the only thing I can say it we were “simonized”. If I ever get a booth again I would hope my friend Simon would come.
It was now time for me to present 12 shows of close up. Each set would consist of four performance of about 10 minutes and there would be three sets. The whole affair was organized by Alan Mylecraine, who was brilliant. His staff of host were all great and they made me feel super comfortable. The only issue I had with the whole thing was their choice of venue. It was very intimate for the close up but I think I would prefer less intimate for the ability to actually hear the performance. The performers all performed at the same time in a horseshoe shaped, high vaulted ceiling hallway with a mere partition dividing us all. I had the thrill of being the neighbor to David Stone who is quite loud. I thought I was loud! David is an outstanding performer and his routine is filled with dozens of applause cues which would drown my voice out each time. By the third performance I was actually listening to David’s act and timing my jokes to be between his applause cues. I’m sure there must have been somewhere else to do this session. If it can’t be moved, even if they had four performers spread out more doing their acts followed by the other four directly appear and presenting it would have spread out the “neighbors” more and less noise would have been generated making for a better show all around.
I did the best I could and the response was great but I know I could have done a much better job if there had been better performing conditions. I do this for a living and can only think of one place where the conditions are worse … Abbotts. They hold it in a gymnasium with four acts presenting simultaneously to an audience seated in bleachers! Maybe that’s where the organizers of Blackpool got their idea?
Well I was done and there was just a few minutes left before the vendors room were shutting down. I returned to my booth to find I had not completely sold out … I still had three items! Ha… On my way out of the hall a magician stopped me a bought one which attracted another vendor who bought the other two items. Wow … sold out … how cool.
I took a short nap, found the internet in Blackpool (a task in itself) and got ready to watch the final gala show. Yes, I got tickets. Lori had asked Derek Lever, the convention chairman, if it was possible to get tickets as ours were apparently on route to Canada. He radio to the kind ladies at the reception desk and we were given outstanding tickets to see a really good show. The show had it’s highs and lows but I will leave that to someone else to review. All I will say is that Adrian Walsh was a great MC/Compere and I wish I had been on a show with him instead of what’s his name… Stevie Franklin (or something like that)
In the morning I am packing my bags and getting out of Blackpool. I had a blast meeting the other people attending the convention and made some really great friends. I hope one day to return to Blackpool but next time I’m coming as a guest and will wear a big badge with my name on it …
I would especially like to thank my friend Guy Barrett for looking after me the whole time we were in Blackpool. He’s a busy professional and he found the time to wine, dine and just hang out with Lori and me. He took me to electronic shops, fabric stores, printing shops and more. I would never have made it through the weekend without his help.