I played a 100 year-old venue on Saturday afternoon in Boyertown, PA – in my old stomping-grounds of the 1970’s. The town is an interesting mix of classic brick PA architecture, some radical redneck (KKK) and surrounding ‘Hippies in the Hills” culture, and some new folks taking chances on local arts.
Kevin, the new (4 years) proprietor of this theater, is trying to make it work. As I told him, I’m hip with that, having dealt with Godfrey’s for years. He’s invested in this venture, connecting the old with the new, and I was honored to play there.
He asked me if I could offer anything towards this goal and I replied that the best I could do was to do my job well as an artist. To do a good show. And that’s the truth.
And I did. I had set up on the stage, perhaps three feet above the seats. I’d rather be amongst the folks, but this is what the gig required. It was going to be a small ‘crowd’ of families so I opened up my bag in the pit area before the show, engaged with the individual family groups and kids, and made the event personable from the pre-show on.
The show was good, interactive (with kids on stage, which made Kevin a little uncomfortable, especially with a precocious little girl flirting with the edge of the stage) and had many special moments for kids and adults alike.
I was especially gladdened by the attendance of a good friend and fellow artist Peter Scapegrace and his daughter. It made a big difference to have a real player and his daughter in the audience. They made me work much harder.
I returned Kevin’s check at the end of the gig and asked for a percentage of the door. Another way I could help out the cause. I hope it balances out, some how.