Jay Leno Tom Dreesen
The Dan Hayes Orchestra Nickleback
Beyonce Carrie Underwood
Dana Carvey Ray Romano
Earth, Wind & Fire The Spinners
Tim McGraw Rihanna

PRISM ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

Archive for April, 2014

On the loss of two dependable Corporate Entertainers – Mickey Rooney & John Pinette

Posted on: April 29th, 2014 by Dan Hixon

It’s strange to link two such well known performers, separated by four decades in birth but weeks in death. We had the privilege of working with both these men in the past. Certainly, they were very different Talents, but they each brought joy & entertainment to their audiences.

We worked with Mickey Rooney (www.mickeyrooney.com) when he was in his 80’s & doing his One Man Retrospective. The staging was manageable & required some sophisticated backline A/V specifics. In regards to working with him personally, he was in every way the professional you would expect. You might imagine that, given his kaleidoscopic 70+ years of Show Biz history, he might have earned the right to be a bit grumpy. On the contrary, he was bright, sharp & energetic, treating the audience to the highlights of his inimitable career & paying tribute to the other iconic performers he had worked with, most especially, a loving homage to Judy Garland. We’re so proud to have included his iconic name to our company’s rich history of Name Performers.

John Pinette (www.johnpinette.com) was a different kind of “Star” & naturally, he would be. Although a veteran of television, movies & standup, he was comfortable to stand alone on the stage & just make people laugh. Of course, if you know his act, you know that most of his humor was self-deprecating & focused on his size & weight. The very thing that brought him fame & fortune, tragically did him in. Sadly, he had to cancel the last show for which we had him contracted. Two weeks later following that cancelled performance date, he passed away.

Both these very talented & very different performers will be missed.

Do you dream about the Stars? Are the Stars right for you? Part 2

Posted on: April 15th, 2014 by Dan Hixon

Would you like to have a Star perform at your event? OF COURSE. Nothing generates more excitement, than an iconic performer at your Big Event. So, what is criteria number one? That would be budget. Establish your overall budget parameters for Entertainment & we can begin. Second of all, what is your audience demographic. It’s important to accurately target the taste of the majority of your guests. However, if you really like a Band or Comedian & you’re footing the bill, GO FOR IT!! Third, is your site. What are the strengths & limitations of the facility you’ve chosen? These are all considerations, when determining the right Attraction for your event.

What are some of the added expenses of booking a Name Star? Besides the asking price of any given Attraction, the extras can add up pretty quickly. Generally speaking, these include airfare(s), accommodation (usually premium), ground transportation, hospitality, sound, lights, staging, security & in many cases, labor. Does this all sound daunting? Well, it can be. However, when you use a reputable Production Company, all these things are negotiated & taken care of for you.

If you come to our company & express an interest in having a Name Entertainer at your upcoming event, we begin with a variety of suggestions, after determining what you like, can accommodate at your facility & what is within your budget. Comedians can be the simplest to produce with the fewest production demands. However, it’s critical that sound, staging, lighting, multimedia & other production aspects match the magnitude of your Star.

Musical acts can be much more challenging, but certainly can have a higher impact. It’s important that you have advice as to what kind of Show a given Band performs, whether they are suitable for the Corporate market & if they are a good fit for your circumstances. Many Bands bring their musicians in from multiple destinations, require specific rental instruments & travel with entourage. They may also require supplemental highly skilled local musicians. This all requires the tremendous expertise of the Producer. That’s why you use us.

Can you have Elton John, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Black Eyed Peas, Billy Joel or Maroon Five perform at your event? Yes. Do you need a reputable Production Company to make that happen? Yes again.

Do you dream about the Stars? Are the Stars right for you? What do you need to have Name Entertainment at your event. Part 1

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by Dan Hixon

Everyone knows about Jay Leno passing The Tonight Show baton this past month. http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/tv/jay-lenos-long-goodbye-ready-or-not-its-time-to-move-on/2014/02/05/62454b36-8d19-11e3-95dd-36ff657a4dae_story.html I have great affection for Jay, having seen him doing Standup in Hollywood, when I worked out there thirty years ago. It was the golden age of Comedy Clubs & I scouted out talent at the original Improv. It was there I first enjoyed Jay, along with Jerry Seinfeld, Richard Lewis, Jeff Foxworthy & countless other Comedians who would go on to great careers.

Back in Chicago in the mid 1980’s, I worked hard to convince our Corporate Clients to spend $1500.00 to bring Jerry Seinfeld in for their event. They’d never heard of him & that was a lot of money for a non-name. Later, after the first season of “Seinfeld”, one of those Clients called me & said “You know, I remember you mentioning Jerry Seinfeld. I think we’re ready to book him for our company Gala. I’m looking back on your quote…$1500.00 right?” Comedy is not the only thing that’s all about timing.

It was with great pleasure that we booked Jay Leno for a Corporate Client the first time. Over the years, I have produced Shows with a lot of Stars. Most of them are extremely professional, but a few have been tricky. I would have to say, the one common denominator would be their desire for privacy. We always provide security, to this end. Each time we’ve booked him, Jay has been accommodating to our Client in a Meet & Greet, happy to take pictures with people & to sign autographs. Not only that, but he often disconcerts his Security Guard, by making himself known wherever he goes! We have so many funny stories involving him & Italian Beef stands. Luckily, we always use off duty Chicago Policemen as Security, so they know where the best stands are. Anyway, Jay Leno has always been a delight to work with & does the perfect Corporate Show: funny, clean & fast paced.

Of course, the first element of whether you can have Name Entertainment at your event is: do you have the money! You have to have a range of budget before we can determine who you can afford. Once we know that, we can deal with the next elements. Look for that in my next Blog.