800 Shows in 3 years
Over the past three years I have had the honor of performing at Walt Disney World's Boardwalk. With four shows a night, three to four nights a week....you learn a lot. You learn how to find new life in jokes or bits you have been doing for years. You learn how to adjust to the high energy audiences and low energy audiences. You learn to trust your skills. You what makes people laugh, and what falls flat on its face. And most importantly you learn why you are a performer.
It was always a dream of mine to perform at Walt Disney World. I had been coming there with my family since I was four. The tag line "Where Dreams Come True" is not that far off. Sure there are many limitations to a utopia...but I feel the good out ways the bad most of the time. For anyone who has had the chance to visit, it truly is a magical place void of cynicism and judgement.
I will miss the performers I worked with the most. All had solid backgrounds in various types of performance, and gave me a great education in creating solid entertainment without age limitations.
All good things must come to an end, and I am happy to try new adventures and opportunities. But I will never forget my time at the Boardwalk. I can't think of a better training ground for a variety performer.
I would journal after most nights, and note anything interesting that caught my attention during a show. Here are a few of my favorites over the past three years.
Lady telling me about being traumatized by accidentally killing her bunny as a kid.
20 something's sarcastically saying "Come on Nick" over and over after I didn't pick them.
Realized I forgot the orange and paper bag as I was setting up and already had a huge crowd. Told them to stay put and ran to the dressing room. Everyone stayed put.
Drunk moms talking during the top of the show. I walk right up to them and give them a deep stare. One goes, "Does that mean shut up?" I nod yes.
Old Guy: You were good. We saw you last time and you weren't as good.
Me: Where are you from? Kid: Chicago Me: What part? Kid: Illinois
Semi drunk corporate guy: "Your talent is waisted here"
Dropped a guy's card as I was palming it to the top. He ended up choosing the same card again at random.
Drunk/bros started chanting my name at the end of the show
Old man asked me how he could get booked at Disney, then proceeded to insult my close up table.
Paused music and made "shush" motion to loud talking parents. It worked
When I step on the balloon dog a kid exclaimed, "You just stepped on your wiener..."
Adults standing behind me. Not noticing there is a show. I end the show and say, "Give a round of applause for the most oblivious people in the world." Audience laughs, people behind me just walk away
Small child: “You STINK!"
New York Guy: “God bless you man. The true performers perform live. I went and grabbed a beer, but my family loved your show.”
Kids phone rings while on stage and he answers it. I take it from him, tell the person goodbye and put it in my case. It rings again, I let him answer and stop the music.
Obnoxious kid in front row raising hand, I walk up to him and put it down.
Guys debating about how the trick was done, front row during show. I walk up to them and say, “Its ok, I will tell you how its done after.”
Lady screamed "Are you serious- this is DISNEY!" after I stepped on the balloon. When I brought it back I shoved it in her face.
Guy was talking on phone. I walked over and grabbed it from him then started telling the person on the other line he was at a show and would call him back.
"I would pay to watch your stuff for an hour and half" -old biker guy
Kid didn't know who Mickey Mouse was.
Helped a guy propose to his girlfriend after I used her on stage. Followed it up with “And you can see someone propose after every one of my shows
“Sir do you have a $10 or $20 bill i could borrow?” Man: “Not for you”
Slipped and fell in front of everyone when the boards were wet.
Baby dropped pacifier from balcony above. Threw it back. Audience clapped