#11 Roadside Stands and Roller Shows

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was 6, my dad set me up with a little flower shop on a corner of my grandparent’s yard, which happened to be right across the street from the hospital. The shop consisted of a rickety card table, a dozen empty beer bottles which my dad had consumed and my mom had replenished with freshly picked blooms, and a cash box. Dad told me that any money I made at the stand that day was mine to keep. The sun was out, the flowers attracted passing hospital visitors, and everyone marveled at the little gal slinging flowers all by herself!  I kept up with my stand for the next few weekends, adding to my stash until I had enough money to buy a Lady Lovely Locks doll. For a first grader, this was really living! 

Now that I had a grasp on the concept of small business operation, I decided I would aim a bit bigger. I was 9 years old by this point and feeling much older and wiser. We lived on a piece of property that had an abandoned pond in the back yard, which had been laid with cement and was the perfect place for me to practice my roller-skating tricks. Which I did every day until I could do backward crossovers, spins, and flips. In my mind, I had moves resembling an Olympic figure skater and I was just dying to perform for someone. But I didn’t want to do this alone. No, I wanted to put on a show! So I set out into the depths of the neighborhood, scouting prospective performers for my upcoming, “Roller Skating Show Spectacular!”  I burned a mixed tape of all my favorite David Bowie songs, put together some fanciful costumes and began staging the performance. All the neighbor kids were really open-minded to let me choreograph their moves, dress them up in wildly colored headbands and matching stretch pants and then instruct them to glide around the cement slab to “Let’s Dance.”  But they did it, and soon we had our show perfected. Next, I went door to door to every house in the neighborhood, delivering my handmade invitations, asking everyone around to attend the roller show.  

I remember how I felt the day of the performance. It was the same as I do now when I’m about to hit the stage for any big Hot Pink Hangover event that we’ve gone to painstaking efforts to pull off. My heart was racing in anticipation. I wanted all the music cues to be right, I wanted perfection out of my skaters and I wanted a full house!  I had lined the rim of the “rink” with lawn chairs, had prepared a back-stage area to hide the performers and had even gone so far as to involve my little brothers, who stood in the wings, weighted down with refreshments to sell to the crowd.  Then low and behold… people began to arrive.  Once Bowie began blasting from my small, portable cassette player, we were on!  Everyone remembered their moves! There was clapping, laughter and then, so quickly, it was over...

After the show, I shook hands with all the audience members, congratulated the neighborhood kids on a job well done, and then slipped away to count my admission money. Granted, I was 9 and it was a backyard roller skating show, but it was a small success and one that has stuck with me.  I knew that day without a doubt, I wanted to entertain.  Nothing had ever given me a feeling like that. Later I would experiment with boys, and drugs, and yet the same holds true.  Nothing compares to the high of a thrilling audience/performer synergy.  For those of you who have been to one of our shows - or have put on a show of your own, I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about. 

I’m hoping to relive that glorious feeling on June 8th when Hot Pink Hangover releases the final CD in our “Wasted” trilogy.  The new CD's will be hot off the press and we’ll be performing our entire catalog that night. We have rented out the Phoenix Theater, orchestrated the sound and lights, created new merchandise, planned some surprises for our audience and are now hoping for a full house. I have faith, that like that day so long ago, it will happen. And you will be part of it.

2 comments

  • Patti Storm

    Patti Storm St. Paul

    Can't wait for the 8th! Ooh, I just noticed the option to play Deathgrip. I always enjoy the stories and thoughts you share.

    Can't wait for the 8th! Ooh, I just noticed the option to play Deathgrip. I always enjoy the stories and thoughts you share.

  • Mercy Danger

    Mercy Danger Saint Paul

    Patti, we are so stoked you’ll be there. Thanks for all that you do to help support our little band!!!

    Patti, we are so stoked you’ll be there. Thanks for all that you do to help support our little band!!!

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