Well, we got ready for company, and did our friends and neighbors ever show up!
Garrision Keillor and “Prairie Home Companion” came to Charlotte’s Ovens Auditorium October 20th, and blew the shoes off all in attendance.
Keillor’s staff–with typical Midwestern efficiency–has the tour down to a science. There was a contract in place that spelled out in minute detail what the Prairie crew provides, and what the host station needs to do.
The tour staffers, especially Albert, the liason with WFAE, were great to work with and got props from our Renee Rallos and Paul Stribling.
Garrison displayed his awesome creativity; beyond that he was as cordial as he could be to special station guests, as well as to concertgoers who asked for autographs after the show.
It’s common to take a jab at “stars” whose whims are catered to in great detail. But put yourself in Garrison’s (red tennis) shoes. Everybody expects you to be a creative genius every moment of your visit. You’ve got 48 hours to write a two-hour show that goes out on 600 radio stations. Hundreds of thousands–millions–of dollars are at stake. And during tour season you are not even able to sleep weekends in your own home.
You can understand why touring groups expect catered meals and a bit of protection from crowds and well-wishers. Any of us need a bit of “down” time and privacy now and then. Can you imagine leading a life almost entirely in the public eye?
I would love to hear your comments if you have spent considerable time as a public figure, or if you have known someone who experiences the good/bad of public life.