When did i know "live" entertainment was for me...
This Elvis story is worthy of its own space blog space. I can see the two bosses I had running up the stairs to the office. One poked his head into the door and said, “Sorry to make this fast, but you are about to learn about Elvis impersonators. Some of them think they really are Elvis. There is one like this coming up here that wants his pay from last night. we are not paying him because he only did 30 minutes at a moose lodge tribute and not his 3 set minimum. Whatever you do, “we are NOT here!” Make him go away.” (the they ran into their offices and probably locked their doors)
I wonder if I was even in college at the time. I think I was, as I had a linebacker body and not much scared me in the world. The downstairs door opened and I heard muffled voices and then set of footprints came up the top of the stairs where they stopped in front of the old wood framed door with a glass window that led to my space.
When i looked at them, there were three characters that if I hired the BEST talent scouts in Hollywood, they still could not come close to this real life casting central job. Elvis was the easiest to spot as he was still wearing his white costume, white shoes and had it hair put up with what appeared to be a quart of motor oil. I am not sure what the stains on his shirt were from. The motor oil, gravy from the diner, or jelly donut drippings?
I forgot to mention this Elvis was about 5’3” tall and about 320 lbs.
This Elvis’s entourage consisted of two guys. One I will call, “beanpole” as he was about 6’6” tall and might have weighed 130 lbs if he was wet. The other reminded me of the guy squiggie on an old US sitcom called Laverne and Shirley. He had his hair slicked back and was about 5’ tall and perhaps 85 lbs.
The funny moment was Elvis was standing there staring at the door for about 45 seconds waiting for one of his entourage to open the door. I was sitting in my desk chair wondering, “wtf is going on?” It was only when Elvis reached for the door that his entourage realized he was really important and had an aversion to doorknobs.
When the door opened, Elvis and his entourage burst in
“I want my money.” He demanded
That’s when I stood up from behind my desk and looked at the three of them. It was an interesting look in the entourages eyes that they knew I probably could take all three of them at one time and easily win. As the entourage gulped with eyes of, “oh man, what is going to happen here. Are we going to get beat up?” Elvis chortled about how he demanded his fee for the previous nights moose lodge performance
So I listened.
When he stopped, I said, “my turn. First, you have a three set minimum, the manager at the lodge said you stopped 30 minutes into the first set, were rude, abusive, and overall unprofessional and resembled nothing like Elvis or his music. you aren’t going to get paid for that job.”
He looked at me, I looked at him. Then, for the life of me, I still don’t know where this quote came from, but I said, “you know there is a donut shop down the street, they make really good jelly donuts.”
That was the end of it. Elvis took his entourage of two and left for jelly donuts.
The two owners of the business came out of their offices asking, “how on earth did you get him to leave.”
"i dunno, i just mentioned there was a donut shop down the street."
I think I now know why I enjoyed live entertainment so much. It was always a circus of sorts. Part freak show, part psych ward, enough hot air, make up, ego’s and drama to cover up the illusion and gobs of money to those who were fortunate enough to grab the brass ring. This day i knew, that entertainment was so odd that i “fit in” with the way i thought. Thus, the journey really began.