Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Our "Obama" endorses Las Vegas

Our Obama lookalike dropped by "Strike Bethesda" on Tuesday, not to bowl, but to schmooze with 300 members of the PCMA. The fun party was hosted by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Association, and the "Prez" put in a good word for Las Vegas as a great place for meetings.

He reminded the event and meeting planners that Las Vegas is the #1 destination in the country for meetings and conventions. Here's why: Not just the flashy shows and casinos! Las Vegas has 6.7 million square feet of convention space, and an additional 3 million square feet at individual properties. Last year 22,454 conventions and meetings came to Las Vegas!

These meetings pumped 8.5 billion dollars into the economy. We call that some kind of stiumulus! And oh yes, lest we forget--Las Vegas is FUN!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oh, the places we go, the creatures we see!

One of the many reasons I love my job, besides working with some of the greatest octopi and jellyfish in show business, is where we get to perform.
Last year, the California Academy of Sciences opened up in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Or should I say re-opened after years of extensive renovation.

What an amazing place! Butterflies fluttering on the grassy rooftop, while all sorts of sea creatures swim in the basement aquarium...a white crocodile near the back entrance, and a four story rain forest in between.

Our company was lucky enough to perform at several of the pre-opening parties, and has returned for more special events since then. The Jellyfish and Octopus are fun stilt characters who seem to fit right in with the spirit of the place.

The Academy isn't just a great place to learn about our environment--it's also a great place for a party!

Friday, February 20, 2009

"It's a tough job, but..."

Poor Pam! She had to work last night, and couldn't be home watching "American Idol." But she didn't seem to mind the sacrifice, for some reason!

The event was a corporate gathering at The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC. Pam had a wonderful time, obviously, but it wasn't just the fabulous talent. She said that the staff at the Four Seasons was exceptionally outstanding. Kudos to a great team led by Jenelle Lombardo, who made the whole experience a total pleasure.

Our performers entertained the guests during cocktails with a cirque style ribbon dancer and stiltwalker. During dinner, and between courses, the acrobats wowed the audience, as did as our snazzy poi dancers, using led lights and hoops, and a lovely contortionist. Yes, our work does have its rewards!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thriving, not just surviving, in hard times

We've been through bad times before. After 9-11, when every event on our calendar was cancelled, we came up with the idea of entertaining the people in security lines at the airport. Baltimore Washington International Airport hired us, and soon Groucho, Marilyn, Austin Powers, jugglers, clowns, and magicians were helping relieve the tension in the long lines of travelers. Those gigs helped pay the bills from October to Christmas. The press covered it, on the front page of the Washington Post, and our performers were even featured on the BBC!

Here we go again! Events being scaled down or cancelled. Big annual events that come around each year, whittled down to almost nothing. What to do? What's going to happen?

One thing I know is that fear is just not very conducive to creativity. After 9-11, I kept reading what other people were doing, what other opportunities might be hidden in the dire circumstances confronting us.

I searched around online today and found an encouraging article by Erick Weiss, of Honeysweet Productions in L A. In the article he quoted Dennis Perkins, author "Leading at the Edge." Perkins describes the challenges faced by Ernest Shackleton in his exploration of the South Pole, and defines what it takes to be a leader during difficult times. Here are his "10 Strategies for Success:"

1. Never lose site of the ultimate goal, and focus energy on short-term objectives.

2. Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols, and behaviors.

3. Instill optimism and self-confidence, but stay grounded in reality.

4. Take care of yourself: Maintain your stamina and let go of guilt.

5. Reinforce the team message constantly: "We are one -- we live or die together."

6. Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect.

7. Master conflict--deal with anger in small doses, engage dissidents, and avoid power struggles.

8. Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about.

9. Be willing to take the Big Risk.

10. Never give up--there's always another move.

And here is a link to the full article, entitled "An Economic Forecast for the Events Industry in 2009" originally published in the MPI Southern California Chapter Intercom Newsletter:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Featured in Special Events Magazine e-newsletter!

Here it is:

President Obama Lookalike

Entertainment provider Cast of Thousands, with offices in Washington and California, now offers a President Barack Obama look-alike for events. The actor, available with "security detail," can greet guests, offer brief speeches customized to the specific audience and mingle with attendees while posing for photos. For comic appeal, the company suggests hiring a George W. Bush look-alike to appear along with "Barack." Other performers available from the company include genies, dancers, cigarette girls, Uncle Sam and many others.For more information, check the box for Reader Service Card No. 102 at

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bring back Bush! We need to laugh again!!!

Don't get me wrong! I'm so happy that Obama is our President. But things are getting awfully serious lately. We need to bring George back, just to entertain us!

To refresh your memory, watch this:

This clip is from the TV show "The Next Best Thing."

Obama can be the straight man in a great comedy duo, do you agree?

Sunday, February 15, 2009 -- it's fun!

Shepard Fairey, move over! Thanks a fun website we can all turn our photos into iconic posters! This photo of our Obama lookalike was shot at an Inaugural event by Ralph Alswang. Try it yourself on You'll like it!