There really is no business like show business. In most businesses you have a service or product to offer. The customer takes it or not. Of course there are problems involved, but nothing like showbiz.
So I’d like to share this experience with you. My husband, Phil, as many of you know, is a ragtime piano player. I’m his agent. So I get him shows. You know what that’s like, being a performer. My first question always is, “Do you have a piano?” If the answer is “yes” I continue. So a few weeks ago we had a show at a lovely senior residence. We actually played there before, but it has been awhile. I should have seen that the signs were auspicious when we couldn’t find his music vest, which he always wears. It was my fault, of course, as I had the audacity to hang it in the closet. Silly me.
“Where’s my vest?”
“In your closet.”
” No, it’s not. Why did you touch it?”
“Because it was lying around.”
“Well, it’s not in my closet.”
I looked, and couldn’t find it either. Maybe I hung it in another closet. We checked all closets. The thought had crossed my mind that maybe he couldn’t play without his music vest, so I went through his closet again and, lo and behold, there is was. It was hidden as there are no sleeves on a vest. Go figure! But all this took time and so we left later than we normally would have. Was there traffic on the Decarie Expressway? Yes there was. So things were a little tense, but at 10 to the hour, we were there and ready.
When we came in someone was sitting and waiting for us. He said he was the emcee and to follow him. We did and went down a hall with large windows on the side which enabled us to see the large crowd seated and awaiting Phil. We go into a large auditorium and a see a large empty space where I know a piano should have been. Phil and I look at each other, puzzled. The emcee introduces Phil and Phil says, “Where’s the piano?”
The emcee looks at Phil and says, “Piano? It’s in the Church.” So I’m thinking, we’re going to take all these people to the Church.
And Phil says, “It’s really hard to play without a piano.”
So the emcee says “We have an electric piano in there,” pointing to a door. He goes to the door but it’s locked. Now he has to find someone who has a key and its Sunday and the regular staff isn’t there.
Finally, they find someone with the key and the emcee and the key person drag out a canvas duffle bag which they undo and start setting up the piano, when some gentleman cries out.
“The concert is supposed to start at 3:00 o’clock. It’s 5 past 3.
Phil says to him. It’s only 5 minutes late. I think that’s pretty good considering. By this time the piano is standing on the stand. The emcee says, “There you go.” and starts to walk away.
Phil says, “This is an electric piano. It has to be plugged in. Where are the wires and where’s the peddle and bench?”
Oh, and yes, they said they had a sound system, but they did not have a microphone stand. But Phil always brings his own sound system just in case so he had to set that up. The man who complained about the time was not happy.
At last, everything was set plugged in and set to go. Phil played and they sang and a good time was had by all, except maybe the man who complained. Only in show biz!