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Archive for November, 2007

December Looming

November 18th, 2007

Such is the life of The Snakeman in December that it’s hard not to dread it a bit in late November. Not only does no one to speak of have a snake problem for me to fix, but for some silly reason no one seems to want a snake show for their holiday party. Hmmm. Maybe some little red hats? Of course, there have been exceptions – mostly corporate events. I did the company holiday party for Dallas PBI affiliate KERA/KDTN and another for The Mustang Group, a very cool tech firm in Allen. Both were a big hit, in fact the exec who booked me for the latter told me he was the biggest hero in the office the next day. He hadn’t even told most of them what the entertainment was going to be in advance.

I do a good Santa voice, maybe if I did the show in red suit and beard… SSSSssanta! Hmmm. Rudolph, you dummy! I said the Schmidt house! Ho ho ho…

Last year I was booked for Dickens On the Strand, the annual festival in Galveston. The theme was the first World’s Fair, circa 1853, so I was a period performer doing a snake show from that era. Top hat, waistcoat, period specific English accent – jolly good, what? Too bad that’s not their theme every year.

Not that I hate the holidays, it’s great to see family all in one place again and random acts of kindness seem to work better this time of year, but it can be a tough month, December.

Here’s wishing everyone safe and happy holidays. Turkey is a big part of my life lately, as it’s turning to summer in Argentina right now and Capone is on the prowl for his little balls of it. It’s really like watching a dinosaur eat.

So at the holiday table, when shove comes to push, this bird in your hand… is worth two of George Bush.

Just a little seasonal humor.

Birthday Dinner

November 13th, 2007

Julie and I both have birthdays in early November, and we celebrated at the French Room. Chef Jason Weaver really outdid himself this time. I’ve had the pleasure over the years to dine there perhaps a dozen times in as many years (the last five with Julie) and we both agreed that this was the best ever. Just unbelievable. If you ever want to completely treat yourself, you’ve got to try it. We each picked an appetizer and from there I let Chef surprise us, and Sommelier Gregory Cheval paired a wine with each exquisite thing we were served. He’s really amazing, not only knowing what the best wine is but who made it and what wonderful people they are and where they live and – you get the idea. This place is so opulent it could easily be stuffy but the opposite is true. Impeccable, but utterly accessible. Four thumbs up.

Halloween in Lubbock

November 13th, 2007

The special “Scary Snakes and Magic Show” that Science Spectrum requested was quite successful. With the exception of the other character voices I do anyway, the show was narrated in a vampire accent with overtones of a Karloff monster. Despite a lack of rehearsal time in the big room (kudos to Elton for lighting and sound help) the idea was a big hit and the event was well attended, significantly more so than last year they tell me. Lubbock is fortunate to have a facility of that caliber. Great folks. I’m just full of ideas for the next time I get to perform the new Halloween version of the show.

HMNS and Science Spectrum

November 13th, 2007

The Houston Museum of Natural Science booked me for three shows, part of their annual Halloween celebration, complete with scary labs, eerie edibles, live creepy crawlies and all around great fun. The performances were warmly received and the staff were great.

It was my first visit to this museum, and let me tell you that they are a class act. I haven’t been quite that impressed since a boyhood trip to the Smithsonian. Absolutely amazing. I took in the Lucy’s Legacy exhibit (actual 3.2 million year-old bones, plus Ethiopian artifacts from all through its history – very cool) and the American Museum of Natural History in New York’s traveling “Lizards and Snakes Alive” exhibit, also very well done. Great animals, killer graphics. Well done. I also got to see the incredible entomology exhibit, which includes a four story waterfall surrounded by pathways through exotic plants and the most unbelievable collection of butterflies I’ve ever seen – fluttering all around me. I’m telling you folks, this place is a must-see.

Meanwhile, I’m off tomorrow for three shows on Halloween for the wonderful college town of Lubbock, Texas at Science Spectrum – another top notch facility. I’ve added some spooky music (and Capone – they haven’t met him yet) and will lapse at times into some of my Boris Karloff character voices.

Have a safe and happy Halloween everyone!