Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mitzi and me

*** A Very Special Budding Ventriloquist ***

So many years ago, I grew up on the south side of Milwaukee. The south side of Milwaukee was predominately German and Polish, and sometimes still first or second generation German or Polish. The accents were like music to me.

And, at a young age, I developed a passion for comedy recordings. Naturally, comedy recordings about the south side of Milwaukee were, in my mind, the ulitmate definition of hilarity.

I also grew up with loving classic 1950s-60s musical theater. The Broadway soundtrack of Guys and Dolls and the movie soundtrack to South Pacific were mainstays in my musical listening(and air banding) repertoire.

With this as background, I give you this "six degrees of separation" kind of thing, with a bunch of timelines converging at a very special brush with fame.

Timeline One: I decide that Budding Ventriloquist is going to cover the Winter Olympics. I wonder over time why I'm not getting any hits from Poland.

Timeline Two: I'm learning a lot about technical blogging things, like how to put my own videos on youtube.

Timeline Three: My daughter continues to take voice lessons. I sit and listen, interested in singing technique.

Timeline Four: I spend a bunch of time organizing a bunch of CDs, and find a copy of Milwaukee DJ Mad Man Michael's four recordings that spoof the Polish south side of Milwaukee in the 1950s.

Timeline One: Poland drops in on the Budding Ventriloquist Winter Olympic Coverage(TM), and as was my standard practice, I do a tribute to Polish athletes and ventriloquists.

Timeline Four: I figure out how to make a video of an audio recording so I can post Mad Man Michael's "Michael's Market," and I post it with my Poland tribute post.

Timeline Three: My daughter gets invited by a friend to go to Florida for spring break. I realize that, having paid for the lesson already, I could have a voice lesson for myself.

Timeline One (and Four – this is getting complicated, isn’t it?): Because I befriended a Polish ventriloquist, the hits to Budding Ventriloquist from Poland pour in (Thanks Wojie!). As a thank you to Wojie, I post another one of his videos, and Mad Man Michaels’ the Czarnina Kid as bonus coverage.

Timeline Three: I decide I want to sing “Younger than Springtime” from the Musical South Pacific for my lesson. I wind up listing to that song, plus the rest of the soundtrack from the movie starring Mitzi Gaynor as nurse/Lt. Nellie Forbush.

Timeline One: The Olympics end. I have received more hits from Poland than any other country other than the US.

Timeline Three: I take my singing lesson. I am declared a tenor.

Timeline Four: I receive an email from a lady named Sandy who saw the Czarnina Kid on youtube, and she thanks me. We exchange a friendly mail or two.

Timeline Five (yes, Five): On Easter, my wife and I watch the movie Easter Parade. The satellite system lists Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, and Peter Lawford. The female foil/villain is a heck of a dancer. My wife asks who it is. I say, “I want to say Mitzi Gaynor, but Mitzi Gaynor was prettier.” I looked it up. It was Ann Miller.

Timeline One, Three, Four, and Five collide: I check my email and there is another note from Sandy...

Hi Dan,
Just thought I would let you know....
I sent the Czarnina Kid to a friend of mine in Seattle. She is very good friends with THE Mitzi Gaynor, who she sent it to. MITZI LOVED IT!
And that how destiny leads to a brush with fame.
Could life be any richer? To think that at the exact same time I thought of Mitzi Gaynor, she was watching a video I put on youtube...

To think that, in this obtuse but very real way, I've been in a "Mitzi Gaynor state of mind" for weeks, and it obviously may have been part of a greater plan...
I had to create a logo for this, even though I would usually only do a logo for an ongoing series of stories. I guess it's because I want this story to continue.

What could possibly be Mitzi and Me: Part Two?
Dear Ms. Gaynor:

You have entertained me so many times. I am thrilled that I could return the favor.

My most sincere thanks,

Dan Bushman
Budding Ventriloquist
Allow me to present a reprise performance of Mad Man Michaels' classic, The Czarnina Kid.

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