We all have gigs that stick out in our memory for one reason or another – whether it was a great audience, a cool venue, or a maybe a unique and totally weird situation. After performing around 12,000 shows during the last 40 years, it is safe to say that I have done my share of unusual gigs. The show I did at the International Tattoo Expo comes to mind, and it was a doozy. I’ll get back to that one later.
I once performed in a 7-11 at 7am, to the astonishment of the morning coffee and donut crowd. Then there was the time I did an outdoor show at an upscale shopping center, for their Christmas Tree lighting, and the temperature was 29 degrees. At one gig years ago, at the Infomart, I was placed on a pedestal, and lasers where projected on to my unItard-clad body. (Really!)
At various trade shows, over the years, I have been a human puppet, a robotic Sherlock homes, a mad scientist, the Statue of Liberty, Albert Einstein, and other strange characters too numerous to mention. I have performed in the window of the New York Macy’s store at Christmas time. I have ridden on a float, going up 5th Avenue, impersonating a certain, once-famous, burger company clown.
And then there was the International Tattoo Expo. My show was to take place right after the tattoo competitions, where contestants strutted their stuff to win accolades and prizes. There was some amazing ink out there on that stage, but one gentleman stole the show. The category was “best full body tattooing”. After the other contestants had come and gone, a man who was standing quietly off stage, dressed in a robe, suddenly removed the robe and walked onto the stage. He was wearing what might best be described as a “sock”. But t wasn’t on his foot. He was covered in tattoos, from head to foot. It looked like he had an easy win, but he had one more surprise for the four judges, sitting on the stage. He walked over and whispered something to the judges and they motioned him to continue. He then turned his back to the judges and, bending over, showed them his “ace in the hole”, so to speak. The look of surprise and delight on the judges faces said it all. He was declared the winner of the ‘Full Body’ category, and left the stage with a trophy and a hearty round of applause. It was a hard act to follow.
Now tell me about YOUR most interesting gigs!