"Things are just a little different in San Fransisco", they said to me as I left
that Wednesday morning. I couldn't believe that my business had me traveling from Florida to the west coast with me having
just gotten on board two months prior. But that's the way it is in the entertainment business. Life is fast, the women are
fast , and the cars are even faster. Opening a new club in San Fransisco was the highlight of my career. I thought I had seen
it all, and then....I stopped into a karaoke bar that night.
I found a great, circular booth with an oversized, "C"-shaped, cushioned bench.
The place was dimly lit, blues music was playing softly in the background, and it wasn't too crowded. Fine place for a business
meeting of this nature, I thought. And then it happened. The music stopped, and a spotlight shown on a small stage. A
thin man in a sparkly, dinner jacket began announcing the entertainment he had waiting in the wings. I couldn't
believe what I was hearing. (I couldn't hide the laughter welling up inside me either.) It was then that I saw my business
partners enter the building for the meeting.
Everyone was seated at my table just as the first act took the stage. Now,
this was not really the setting I had in mind for the opening of my proposal, but here we were. There was a funny kind of
uneasy slience as we all exchanged glances and shook hands. Where was that waitress? With the formalities out of
the way, it was time to get down to it. (Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for San Fransisco's very own Woody Wescott!!)
I had just gotten through the opening of my business proposal, when the applause rippled through the room at a fevered
pitch. Of course, as the performer took the stage, it was clear that this was definitely not the setting I needed for
this meeting. I was glad the drinks had found their way to our booth at last.
The man on stage started singing, or rather, the ventriloquist's dummy
began singing an old show tune and the crowd was singing along! It was more and more like a singing/comedy "act"
between puppet and puppeteer, and the people were eating it up! (My meeting was going nowhere at this point.) As I looked
around, however, I saw that the people at my table were getting into it as well! Who would have thought? It was kind of like
ventriloquist karaoke night in San Fransisco, and I just knew I had lost this account. About three acts, four rounds
and a few ventriloquists later, I was told that everything was a "go"...we had the account, and would open the club
as scheduled. (Alright!! Let's hear it for Micky and Larry Woodrow, everybody! Nicely done guys!!) At that,
the suits at my table were in stitches and loving the fact that I had chosen this spot!
Things are just a little different in San Fransisco, huh? I was beside myself with
laughter. Ventriloquist karaoke night? It had to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen, and I found it by accident.
What's more was that I landed the account to put up the new club! I mean, I thought it was going to be smooth sailing, but
with this distraction, I was kind of nervous a time or two as the evening went on. All that aside, karaoke has been a fun
way for me to wind down from time to time. I have never seen this side of it, however. It was definitely an eye-opener, a
funny/bizarre evening and the most memorable business meeting for me, to date.