Competing with Food

Let me let you in on a little secret of the Performing Biz: It never calls itself the Performing Biz.  Or really any other kind of Biz. People outside of "Show Biz" say "Show Biz" but no one inside "Show Biz" says "Show Biz."  It's like "San Fran" or "Frisco" (unless you mean Frisco, TX - I wonder how everyone in Dallas would feel if we started referring to Frisco as "The City." You see my point. 

But I digress.  The wisdom that I refer to that has been handed down through generations of people who have desired the attention of other people (now THAT is a broad category!) is this: Never Compete With Food.  I mean, I guess it's one thing if you're in a hot dog eating contest, or a pie eating contest, or some other sort of eating contest, where you literally have to compete WITH food. But if you're giving people a choice between food and you, you're going to lose.

Case In Point #1. Rosalind.  Who is Rosalind?  My point exactly: you have no idea, but you know exactly what you had for dinner last night. Turns out this dude named Romeo showed up at a big masquerade dinner party ball intent on gaining some attention from said Rosalind, but she was too busy eating dinner, and in the mean time, Romeo fell into conversation with another, less hungry party guest named Juliet.  I think it's pretty clear that food was the clear winner.

Case In Point #2. In June of 1790, the United States was but a wee toddler once you convert human years to country years.  The Assumption Bill had just failed a second time, because we all know what happens when we assume. Thomas Jefferson invited James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Robert Pattinson to dinner, and over the scrumptious meal, they forgot their differences, passed the bill that was the foundation of our current credit-based economy, threw on some glitter, and tromped around in the moonlight. Food: 2, Maintaining deeply grounded political and social differences: 0.

Case In Point #3. A festival we performed at in Antioch in 2002. Long story short, we were scheduled to go on right after a cheerleading competition. We thought, that's great, our demographic (whatever that was in 2002) will already be at the stage when we get up there! But then, someone decided that they needed to announce the awards for the county's best hot dog, or some such thing, so, to our disappointment, everyone cleared out before we went on stage.  We fought the food, and the food won.

So, having said all of this, we think we've figured out the secret to competing with food: Angelica's.  That's right, Angelica's, where the food and the show actually go together.  At Angelica's, we don't have to compete with the food, because we work with the food, and the food works with us. It's a paragon of symbiosis! If only the Capulets had held their party at Angelica's; Romeo and Rosalind would've watched a Hookslide show together over dinner, and lived a full and happy life.  If Jefferson had invited the others to Angelica's, well, they might have forgotten their differences over their great dinners, but Hookslide would have reminded them, by bringing up the downfalls of credit-based economies about 600 times until it started getting funny. And, if only - IF ONLY - the Antioch River Festival were held at Angelica's, .... that wouldn't have made any sense at all.

Thank you to everyone who came out to our show last weekend; we were thrilled to see you there, and we had a great time. Hope to see you back there on July 18!

Hookslide at 15

Can you believe we've been around for 15 years?  That's longer than many marriages last, and considering that there are FOUR of us, that's really saying something.  Of course, we don't live together, and we've agreed upon having what you might call an open relationship: Bud sings with another group, Jon arranges music for other groups, Mayank occasionally dresses up as a Venetian gondolier and serenades people, and George - well, George really just can't be owned.

We've had so many really cool experiences over the last decade and a half. We've joked around with Joan Rivers, compared notes with a cappella mainstays like Rockapella, M-Pact, The Bobs, and The House Jacks, and been summarily ignored by Kool, AND the Gang.

One of the most fulfilling things we've done in Hookslide is that over the last few years, we've developed a School Fundraising Program. We make it a no-brainer for the school - all they have to do is give us some time during the day with their choir, a place to perform in the evening, and an audience. We do a workshop with the choir during the day, and have the choir open for us in the evening, so their friends and parents show up, get on our mailing list and buy...no, take...our CDs.

We did one of these a couple of weeks ago at Willow Glen High School in San Jose, and their Jazz Choir. What a talented group of kids! We came in with our standard workshop plan, but quickly realized they already knew a lot of what we had to say. So we turned it around and made it a master class instead. And wouldn't you know it, they had actually incorporated many of our suggestions when they performed the song just a few hours later in the evening show! 

We also debuted THREE songs that night! I'd say it was unprecedented, but I'm pretty sure we debuted at least that many, for example, in our first show ever, where we sang five songs. Debuted. Debut. That's a weird word. Almost makes one think of Spike Lee and crazy '80s dance moves. Doin' debut.

That, ironically, is not one of the songs we debuted (or .. debutted?).  The three songs really capture the essence of Hookslide - a Broadway song, a Pink Floyd song, and a crazy funk song by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. 

So come do debut with us on February 22 at Angelica's! Tickets are at this link, and you have to make dinner reservations when you buy your tickets, so plan accordingly.