They both happened in the same place and technically, and just one of them happened in October. The other one was on the first day of November; but close enough.
On Saturday, October 21st, my nephew, Bobby, and I drove to East Nashville to the Watkins Park section. Our destination being the Third Coast Comedy Club.
It's located inside the building that used to be the home of Marathon Motor Works; an early 20th century automobile manufacturer.
I last visited this area 5 years ago in 2012. That's when I sought out the newly opened Antique Archaeology store. Here's a link to my post about that day.
Pickin & Grinnin Part 1
The building has been repurposed as an entertainment and retail venue.
The Third Coast Comedy Club is one of many businesses there. It is the one place in Nashville that focuses mainly on improv comedy.
But on this day, improv was not the reason we were there. Rik Roberts, a comedian and podcaster and another podcaster, David Hooper were co-hosting a seminar on starting a successful podcast.
The seminar was a combination of informational lecture segments by David and improvisational games for the purposes of "brain storming" as a group, facilitated by Rik.
The event lasted from 10AM to about 4PM. At the conclusion of the day; a group picture was taken. Bobby and I are on the left.
There was a lot of information given but it was mostly for those who had already had an established podcast. There was some great tips and plans on how to take it to the next level. That applied to most of the people who were there. I met and talked with a few of them.
However, meeting with the podcasters and hearing them talk about their programs motivated me to get serious about launching one of my own. It also got my nephew thinking about starting one of his own as well.
But determining just what my podcast should be still has me conflicted. It's something I need to work out. I may write more about the specifics of that in a future post. Just to see what you, my potential listeners, think.
One of the benefits of attending the "Big Podcast" seminar the 3rd Saturday in October was I got a free pass to an event 2 weeks later.
On Wednesday, November 1st, I went back to the Third Coast Comedy Club to attend a night of stand up headlined by Rik Roberts.
Rik has become a friend over the last couple of years. His podcast has both entertained and taught me a lot about stand up comedy.
As a supporter of his podcast through Patreon, I wanted to show additional support by attending this show. It was being recorded and will be released next Spring as Rik's next CD.
I got there about half an hour before the show started. I sat and had a soft drink in the bar area.
They were still in a bit of a "Halloween" mode because they were projecting an episode of the "Twilight Zone" onto the wall.
I met a guy named "Matt" who was the show runner for the club. He asked for my ticket and then stamped the back of my hand. This allowed me go get into the showroom.
I talked with him a bit about my interest in improv and how I saw this new club as a potentially useful resource.
I mentioned my experience with the improv group at Western Kentucky University a couple of years ago. As it turned out he was a WKU alumni and used to be part of that group.
I talked to Rik and he introduced me to a couple of people who were there from Ohio to be a part of the audience.
Soon it was time to go into the showroom and find a seat.
I sat in the last chair on the 2nd row from the front.
The show was very funny. Rik had a pair of comics warm the audience up. Both of them have been guests on the School of Laughs podcast. Also I've seen them perform at Zanies before; so I was familiar with their style.
Johnny W. opened up the show; doing about 15 minutes. I like his style.
He reminds me of a little of the character of "Stewart" on the Big Bang Theory. He did about 15 minutes as well.
Rik came on stage and did about 45 minutes. His act was some new stuff and some I'd heard him do before. But it was all very funny.
At the end of his act he picked up his guitar and did his song about having a good time with a rental car.
For his closing number he asked for a volunteer from the audience to come up and help him. The crowd was being a little shy. I put my hand up and he chose me.
Once I got up on stage he asked my name and what I did. I told him "I am Ron and I am a ventriloquist."
He asked if I wanted to do a little demonstration with him playing the guitar. I said "sure". We practiced the timing of my squeezing his neck and him moving his mouth.
Having mentioned Johnny Cash in his act earlier he decided on the song "Folsom Prison Blues".
In my best ventriloquist Johnny Cash impersonation voice I sang the first verse using the correct lyrics.
When it came to the 2nd verse I decided that
I would improvise and make up something. So that's when I sang:
I'm singing bout Folsom Prison
Someone is moving my mouth
The only place you'll see this stuff
In here in the deep south
After we sang the chorus and gave a big finish. We got a lot of applause.
It had been over a year and a half since I had gotten that kind of reaction for doing ventriloquism. It felt really good.
Next, Rik had me sing a part of a song called "I'm Just A Guy". I was familiar with it because I had seen him do it at Zanies a few months earlier.
Based on what I had seen the volunteer do back then I decided that my part where I sang "guy guy I'm just a guy" needed to be done in as low a voice as possible.
So when my part came I gave it my deepest effort. It worked better than normal because I still congested from my cold issue. The crowd loved us and we got a lot of applause.
After the show I got some really good comments from a few people on my ventriloquism. It was really encouraging.
Over the last few month, I had become convinced that being a ventriloquist was never going to be more than a hobby for me going forward.
I actually haven't picked up a puppet for practice or public performance in quite a while.
Other than playing with my granddaughter, my puppets have been locked up in their case for more than a year and a half.
The satisfaction I got just from my short improvised performance in front of that relatively small crowd that night has me rethinking the idea of becoming a performing ventriloquist, once again.
If I decide to give that another try there are quite a few "path choices" I have to make. But it's something I'm going to focus on for the rest of the year.
So there you have my two recent experiences in Nashville. Both of them have served as catalysts in motivating me and steering me toward what I want to do in life over the next few years.
I'm going to take remaining few weeks of this year to decide what exactly I'm going to do and make a fresh start in 2018.
As far as the Third Coast Comedy Club is concerned, I will probably go back there for a night of entertainment in the near future.
Another reason to go back is the excellent improv classes they offer. That has always been an interest of mine.
This wraps up my series about the last days of October. Now it's on to writing about the last two months of 2017.
In my next post, I will tell you about the entire experience getting tickets to that holiday special event that I mentioned in my last post.
Thanks for coming by to read what's going on with me. Til next time, God Bless.