Brooklyn, MI

Greetings from Brooklyn, Michigan!  My adventures continue…

Tang Dongbai dress in blacklight
Tang Dongbai dresses in blacklight. In regular light, these dresses are white.

Wednesday, August 6th I left my grain silo in Bloomington, IL, and headed for Douglas, MI, home of comedian and comedy booker Jerry Donovan.  But on my way, I saw a billboard for the WallDog Mural Museum…and found myself turning off the highway and heading into Pontiac, IL.  I found the WallDog Mural Museum in a cute little town square, and wandered in only to discover “WallDogs” were those guys that painted the big billboards on sides of buildings and barns.  My father was a huge “Mail Pouch Tobacco” barn fan, and was always pulling over to take pictures of old Americana.  He left behind quite a collection of pictures and Mail Pouch memorabilia when he passed.  Also in this museum, were some white dresses by an artist named Tang-Dongbai, who does beautiful airbrush work.  When you turn on a black light, the plain white dresses come alive with a special ink that activates in blacklight.  I think I’d like to get a corset specially made for me, with music notes airbrushed on it.  I kicked around Pontiac for a few hours, had lunch, and then onwards to meet Jerry and Sarah for dinner.  We had a great time…and then I went back to his houseboat where I crashed for the evening.

IMG_1212Thursday, August 7th I spent some time on Butler Street in Saugatuck.  My goodness, there is some serious shopping to be done there!  In order to keep from blowing tons of cash, I spent much of my time at Uncommon Grounds, on the computer.  I had an “egg bake” there, which is “like” a “quiche” but I don’t know why the hell they don’t just call it a “quiche” instead of an “egg bake.”  Damn Hipsters!  Another cool shop I enjoyed was Swell Times.    They sold all kinds of pop culture and retro stuff.  Best of all, they played a CD from a guitar rift driven band called Man or Astroman.  THEY ROCKED!!!  I bought a few things and went on my way.

That night, my first show in the area was in Grandville, MI at a place called The Whisky River Saloon.  What a great place!   The audience came to have fun and everyone had a great time that night!  I was their third show – and I hope they’ll stick with it because it’s a room with some great potential!

Friday, August 8th I started my day having breakfast at Chequers.  They have these breakfast tacos that were to die for!  And they were $5 for 2 of them.  Then I headed out to Oval Beach for some rest and relaxation…

until…two moms and their 3 kids decided they wanted the same quiet spot I had, even though they were incapable of being quiet…grrr… so I hung out there until Noon and then headed back to the apartment I was staying at.  Jerry came by with comedian Kevin Kramis, and shared stories from the road.  Kevin is just an awesome guy and I hear he’s funny as hell.  I hope to catch his show someday!

IMG_1249Show that night was at the Black River Tavern in South Haven, MI – the FIRST FRIDAY NIGHT South Haven show ever!  They’ve been doing comedy on Saturday nights for awhile, but those were consistently packed out so they added a Friday night.  Food at The Black River Tavern is really good!  The crab cakes are about the best I’ve ever had.  The show went really well…that room was ready to party!

Saturday, August 9th was a housekeeping day.  I needed a few things at the grocery store and I needed to do laundry.  Next door to the laundromat, was a nail place so in between wash and dry cycles, I got a much needed manicure and pedicure. IMG_1259 I think I’ve only had 5 pedicures in my entire life – so what a treat that was!   Back to the room to catch up on emails and journaling, then back to the Black River Tavern for show #2.  Again – a fantastic venue and an audience that was ready for a great time!  It was also nice to meet Brian Corrion, owner of the Old Comedy Club in Naples and there to do a guest spot.  It’s a shame I had to meet someone who lives 2 hours from me in Michigan!

IMG_1258I so enjoyed working with Jerry Donovan.  He’s not only very funny, but he’s also a class act and has a great mind for the comedy business!   He does everything he can to make sure his rooms are run right, from booking the right comedians, to educating the wait staff, to making sure there are butts in seats.  I met him by chance on the Michigan leg of my January tour working for The Disgruntled Clown.

Sunday, August 10th I headed to Brooklyn, MI to go camping with friends I met while doing a New Year’s Eve gig in Livonia, MI in 2010.  It was great catching up with them, and I’ve so enjoyed the great outdoors for a few days.  Unfortunately, it rained all day yesterday, and then it dipped into the low 60s today so I had to buy a hoodie and a blankie.  It sure smells a lot like “fall” for mid August!  Tomorrow I visit friends in Sylvania, OH – then who knows where next?  All I can say, is that it sure was great catching up with all of them when I got here Sunday.  I am truly blessed to have all these wonderful people and experiences in my life.

Author: PrincessOfParodies

The self proclaimed love child of Liza Minelli and Klinger, Traci Kanaan grew up in Berea, Ohio, a quiet middle class community on Cleveland's west side. Her Italian mother loved opera, dance and theater. Her Lebanese father loved stock car racing, flea markets, and dirty jokes. Traci combined these influences to make a comedy yard sale...with music. You've seen it before...but not on display like this! Traci started taking piano lessons at the age of 4. Never one to play it the way it was written, she constantly improvised during her piano lessons by making up funny lyrics or changing the endings, ultimately burning out 8 piano teachers before she graduated from high school. Traci attended Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and graduated with a B.A. in Music and Business, and with minors in Music Composition, Electronic Music, and Piano Performance. For her senior recital, she composed all original music, performed by other students. Each piece reflected her sense of humor, including bras being pulled out of saxophones, compositions performed on children's toys, and the staged death of a performer…assassinated by a ping pong ball gun. In 2002 and 2003, Traci performed in Tony and Tina's Wedding as the 8 months pregnant maid of honor, Connie Mocogni. She had so much fun, she continued performing stand up comedy and improv with some of the comics she met in the show. Traci continues her irreverence by creatively combining stand up comedy with her piano and vocal performances. She covers numerous topics, including her life and family, pop culture, and current events. Her performances include a wide spectrum of musical styles including classical music, oldies, rock 'n roll, country and rap. Whatever the occasion, Traci Kanaan combines her love of laughter and music as The Princess of Parodies. She is a real crowd pleaser, and an unforgettable, hilariously funny novelty comedy act!

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