E-views with Boomer
Interview with some friends of Mime
I ain't afraid of no Mime! Famous
last words of the intrepid reporter before he corners his prey. Boomer has
turned me loose to find this quiet elusive creature known as the Amazing
Earl. If all goes well over the next 2 weeks (and I don't get beaten completely
senseless with a rubber chicken), Boomer and I have teamed up to do a live
interview with this man of mystery and intrigue. After burning a hole in
Boomers credit card big enough to fit cBass' Wisconsin through, Lambeau
field and all, all was ready for this long awaited event. Boomer says he
told me to stay at Motel 6, but I swore I heard him say to stay at 6 motels!
. Hard to understand him sometimes!
My fearless crew and myself have tracked Earl and
company to a remote venue in northern Virginia. It's been reported that
he will appear at about 7 PM in a stone building in the middle of nowhere.
As we slowly wind the van through the hills and valleys, I think to myself,
what a perfect place for an interview ambush. We arrive around 6:15 and
begin laying our trap. The hardest part was getting the satellite uplink
dish camouflaged. The next hardest part was convincing the locals that we
were friendly and not a threat of any kind. After spending countless minutes
swearing them to secrecy, a large cavalcade roars into view. My crew blends
into the crowd waiting for the moment to strike.
As they approach I couldn't help but notice the large
red nose and giant black mustache on the front of the semi. The rest of
the vehicles were a bright blue with names painted on them. Strange, he
doesn't mind attracting attention. The caravan stops and starts to unload,
looking like some kind of bizarre circus. What a menacing looking crew too.
The roadies, looking like clowns and elves begin setting up the stage, and
two large figures resembling Vinnie and Carmine from the Broken Nose Collection
Agency, begin escorting a lone individual backstage. Taking a chance, I
sneak up behind this figure when his security is looking the other way,
and whisper in his ear that Boomer and Scoop send their best regards. He
quickly stiffens, knowing that he's about to go down in a live interview.
Quickly blending back into the crowd, I find a seat and wait for the show.
Boomer and I have decided to wait until after the performance for the interview
so the next few lines will be out-takes from the show. The lights go down
Let the show begin!
The Minister is onstage and administering the last
rites to his congregation, as they will probably die from laughter. (Remember,
Earl is wanted for causing laughter in churches). The introduction is made
and there he stands, the Master of Ministry Mirth, Merriment and Mayhem,
Dan Wolfe (aka: Amazing Earl)
Well, the show is winding down and my people
are guarding the two exits from the building. We don't want this one to get
away. It's going to be a rough interview, as my sides are still aching from
all of the laughter. Dan waves off his Security and we find a quiet table
outside for the interview. Now, without further ado, RCT2.com gives you the
|I tried to buy satellite time for a direct uplink for face
to face connect, but my wife said NO so I go into this E-View blind;
most appropriate for a interview with a Mime, don't ya think? AmazingEarl,
now that we have you trapped against the wall, what do you think about
fans that track you down just to interview you?
|Don't worry Boomer as I have the link covered from my end.
You won't miss a thing.
||(Silently stares at Boomer and mouths the words "restraining
(Dan steps out of his Mime persona) Hi guys! Great to be
meeting you two face-to-face...you could both use a shave.
Since "The Amazing EARL" is the name of a silent character
I play onstage, he wouldn't be much fun in an interview. He doesn't
talk! I, on the other hand, can't keep my mouth shut. So, I'll take
it from here.
|I understand that you actually change into the make-up and
character of the Amazing Earl who transforms from Dan the Magician to
Amazing Earl the mime
. Right in front of their eyes, all the time
telling your story. How do you do this and where did you get that idea?
|Well, I originally didn't mix the Magic and Pantomime into
one concert. When I began doing "Earl," I'd do the makeup
ahead of time and the character would simply wander onstage when introduced
and go into the routines. Then there was the night I arrived late...about
20 minutes AFTER the show was to begin. (Lousy directions, too dark
to see landmarks, whatever.) The audience applauded when I burst through
the doors and I quickly set up my equipment. I thought to myself, "I
can't make these folks wait another 20 minutes while I go do the makeup."
So, I let them watch...explaining what I was doing and spouting one-liners
as I went along. They LOVED it and it's become one of the highlights
of the show. I've done it in nearly every concert for the past twelve
years. There are three different versions of the transformation; a full
20-minute version with all the sight gags, a 6-minute quick version
(the one you saw tonight) and a REALLY fast 3-minute version done to
music when time is VERY tight. I've had women tell me that I wear more
makeup than they do, but it takes them longer to put theirs on.
|(Laughing) Yeah, I was getting a little nervous when I saw
you pull out the same shade of lipstick that my wife wears. Having seen
this amazing transformation, tell us a little about Earl and the cute
box he lives in.
||I'm assuming you're asking about the final step of the makeup.
Since "Earl" is a Mime, I needed something during the transformation
that would illustrate the final step to becoming him...the point at
which I'd shut up, basically. So, I bring out a red nose (really half
of a red ping-pong ball) which I keep in a little gray box...more to
protect it during transport than anything. When I put that on, I'm completely
in character and the audience accepts it without question. It's like
a completely different person! They relate to it! They even say "goodbye"
to the thing when I put it away at the end...it's very strange. If you're
talking about the box that I live in MYSELF, it's a 110-year old leaky
pile of boards located on the edge of a beautiful State Park in western
Pennsylvania. It's a nice area, VERY rural and the house is paid for...so
I stay. The only drawback around here is the tourists. Summer holiday
weekends can get pretty crowded around here with them chasing squirrels,
canoeing on the river and looking at the scenery. (You'd think they'd
never seen TREES before!) I usually arrange to be booked out of the
area on those weekends to avoid the tourists. But if I'm home, I just
sit on the porch and throw rocks at them.
|Besides throwing rocks at passing BMW's, (Boomer winks at
Scoop) how long have you been going out on the road doing this kind
||I've been doing Magic professionally for about 20 years, but
I was NOT a Comedian at first. (Imagine me stifling my sense of humor!)
My goal back then was to become the next David Copperfield...then I
realized that one of those was MORE than enough. So, I let my laughter
loose and got into the comedy. I mean, if you're going to saw an audience
volunteer in half, why not use a chainsaw? Do it with a little flair,
you know? That's when I started being in more demand and began touring.
Then came "Earl." I should probably explain that Earl is NOT
one of those mimes with the white makeup in a black leotard who pretends
he's trapped in a box. (Never really understood that stuff, myself.)
Earl is a silent Tramp or Hobo...closer to Red Skeleton or Charlie Chaplin
than anything. That character was created about 12 years ago. I'd started
using more physical comedy in my act and had always been something of
an actor, so I created a character specifically for it. He can be VERY
funny, but he can also be very moving. For instance, some of my biggest
laughs come during Earl's portion of my Christmas show, but by the end
of it, there isn't a dry eye in the house. That's one of the reasons
I call him "Amazing." Now, I usually do about 200 concerts
a year and cover five countries...not including Canada and Mexico. They
don't count because they're...like..."attached."
|That's quite a bit of traveling my friend! I heard somewhere
that you give your cars names. Could you shed some much needed light
on this little known fact?
||Ah, yes...the cars. I DO tend to wear them out in a hurry.
My last car was a Ford Escort station wagon named "Skippy."
He died at 208,000 miles and was only four years old. Anything I spend
THAT much time with deserves a name. I called him "Skippy"
because he was the color of peanut-butter...and "Jif" was
a dumb name for a car. May he rest in pieces... My current vehicle is
a silver Pontiac Sunfire named "Tootie." I knew she was female
because she's got much better curves than Skippy ever did. She had no
idea what she was in for. After a year and a half, her engine blew up
at 90,000 miles. I'm having a new one put in. I'm not through with her
yet. I don't suppose you could lend me $1,500 dollars for the repair
bill? I'd be FOREVER in your debt...mostly because I wouldn't pay it
|With what I pay you at RCT2.com you would HAVE to borrow the
money. On our site your wit and humor is appreciated by many and are
always happy to hear from you as you can. But being out on the road
so much does it get tiresome or do you enjoy that kind of lifestyle?
||Thank you! Having never heard any laughter or applause at
rct2.com, I can only HOPE my warped wit is appreciated. It's like when
I was doing a morning show on radio years ago...you never know if you're
"bombing" or not. As far as the travel, they say you get used
to living out of a suitcase. I don't know who "they" are,
but I've never seen it. The one thing I HATE is when I'm talking with
folks after a concert and I accidentally call the hotel "home."
(That's just depressing.) Although maid service at the hotels is something
that I could get used to. I'm SUCH a slob.
|(whispers in Dan's ear, "so is Boomer") Where, with
your busy schedule do you find the time for keeping us in stitches at
||Two words: Lap Top
|Yes, speaking of the magic of Lap Tops, can you bring us up
to speed on any future ride objects you might have hidden in your magic
||I don't really have any new Sim Rides in the pipeline right
now. A few in the modeling stages perhaps, but none I'm actively working
on. I'm excited by the work that Buggy and Doctor J are doing to make
user-created flat rides a reality. You see, the animation necessary
for a Sim Ride is completely different than for a Real Ride. I can't
see doing the things twice. (Quite often, I just got lucky the first
time...and who KNOWS if that will happen again.) In the meantime I'm
working on other scenery items and am hoping to start on a new RCT2
mega-park soon...recreating my fabled Harry Potter Park once I have
all of the custom scenery I need. I've got about 60 custom objects for
it so far, but with all the object work, I haven't actually PLAYED the
game since December!
|To switch gears for a moment, you deal a lot with children
in your travels; I know the pay must be slim at best, what is the pay-off
for you? What motivates you to go out on the road time after time?
||That's something of a misconception; only about 20% of my
audience is typically kids...and I don't play to them exclusively. Besides,
it's not the kids that sign the contracts and pay for my plane tickets.
I've always wanted to be the kind of entertainer that parents would
enjoy, bu not be afraid to bring their kids along to see. There's too
little of that brand of entertainment nowadays. Just because I work
"clean," it does keep me out of a lot of comedy clubs, but
there are PLENTY of other venues where people want to laugh. That aside,
the money's not bad...I've managed to pay off a house, three cars and
an ex-wife so far. I'm not ROLLING in dough, but I'm not eating dog
food, either. (Not this week, anyway.) Money has never truly been the
motivation for anything I do. I'm out there because I enjoy it. The
laughs, the applause...you know. Sure, I could make a lot more money
at another job, but they couldn't pay me enough to be happy doing it.
I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm living my dream. I'm a bit like a shark
in that respect. If a shark stops swimming, it dies. If I'm not onstage,
performing and making people laugh...you might as well put me in a rubber
room. (That HAS been suggested, by the way...)
|Clean works for you Dan, the way the kids interact with you
during you're performance is wonderful. This leads me to believe that
you must be a big kid at heart.
||Yep...just call me Peter Pan. (Another name I rejected for
"Skippy.") I have to grow old, but I REFUSE to grow up! And
YOU can't MAKE me...so, NYEAH!
|Can to, can to, I'm gonna tell! (winks) I think Boomer and
I can relate to that, as we're Big Kids too. What other games or sports
keep you entertained during your downtimes between shows?
||Well, a friend has diagnosed me as having Creative Attention
Deficit Disorder...I HAVE to be creating something new; pushing the
boundaries. Even if it's just writing articles on Magic and Comedy for
various magazines or heading into the workshop to build a cool new prop
or illusion, I've got to be doing something. You could say I use the
time between shows to think up new ways to be strange.
For instance, this Spring I noticed that the guy next door always mows
his grass the same direction I do...trying to make it look like one
big, seamless lot, I imagine. I changed directions...HE changed directions.
So, the next week I mowed mine diagonally...then in wavy lines...then
in circles. I'm working on plaid. He's stopped trying now. People who
are freaked out easily should be freaked out more often...and I'm just
the guy to do it. Being weird takes time and effort, you know. Computer
Game-wise, I used to play some of the old Sierra games (King's Quest
Series, Phantasmagoria, Shivers, Freddy Pharkas, etc.), so you can tell
I've never been a fan of shoot-'em-up type games. RCT is the only game
on the laptop now. I've never really been into any sports...except maybe
full-contact Chess. I've done some fencing, lift weights occasionally
and jog when I can..but that's about it. I get quite a workout on-stage,
but I still try to stay fairly active when I'm at home.
|Meanwhile back at the ranch ole Boomers stirring up more dust
than a herd of buffalo, as usual and the staff are blaming EVERYTHING
on you right now cause you're gone, everyone is missing you and asking,
"when will AE be back, so
. When will he?
|The dust isn't a bad as the droppings you're leaving everywhere
|Well if you wouldn't of spent so much of my (wife's) money
on this interview there would have been SOMETHING left over for a box
of depends! You KNEW I needed those Scoop!
||(Hands Boomer a case of adult diapers...and a dust rag) Well,
I've been busy lately with a new multi-night production...five nights
with a different show each night. That involved planning, inventing,
building and rehearsing about ten hours of brand new material. This
first two weeks on the road performing it was very hectic (as you'd
expect) so I had to drop out for a little while. Now that things are
rolling along smoothly, I expect to be back at my post at rct2.com more
often. But as I said, even when I'm on the road, I've got the laptop
with me...so you're never TRULY safe.
|When do you get to go home again and by the way and are you
married? (2 for 1 sneaker question).
||Tomorrow I get home...needed a rest after 21 shows in 14 days.
There's a local gig next week, but I get to sleep in my own bed for
a change. I'll be heading out again in mid-August and will be preparing
for a New England tour in September. It's like wiping your nose with
a hula hoop...it never ends.
No, I'm not married...but you're really not my type, Boomer. Not that
I'm not flattered, mind you...(slides chair toward the door a bit).
About a month ago I got engaged to a lovely 28 year-old college student...not
bad for an old goat of 36, eh? She looks a bit like a blonde Gillian
Anderson ("Scully" from "The X-Files"). We've been
dating for a couple of years and she's really improved my life...not
the least of which was introducing me to RCT! She's got a hundred other
wonderful attributes, but I could marry her for THAT one ALONE. At present
we've tentatively decided to get married at a classic amusement park...probably
summer 2005. (Imagine, wedding pictures on an old woodie!) If nothing
else, the reception should be a blast!
|Don't forget to invite us!
|Yeah we wouldn't want to miss a blow-out like that.
||Depends on when the restraining order is lifted.
|Do you mean you will give me more depends if I lift the restraining
order? Anyway you're going down in history in the annals of
||(interrupting) Watch your language, boy...you'll get us banned.
|of RCT2.com as being part of the first three way interview
that we've ever done. Just want to say thank you for sinking to our
level here at the site and helping us with this surprise interview.
||Sinking? I thought you two were getting taller... Personally,
I'm thrilled to have been even a small part of rct2.com. Since the day
I joined, the Staff and Members immediately made me feel just like one
of the family...you know, the weird Uncle that you hide in the basement.
A more accepting place in the RCT Community, you couldn't ask for. I'm
honored to have been honored with such an...honor. (Where's my Thesaurus?)
|Here's a shameless plug and some unsolicited advertising for
Dan. You can find him and his show schedule at http://www.dwolfe.com.
||(Slips Scoop a crumpled dollar...and winks)
|(Eye's raised in surprise) Dan that's the same dollar I put
in the collection plate. Can I also have my belt and watch back that
you lifted about 10 minutes ago. I'm old, but remember my ever-vigilant
crew is watching your every move.
||(Hands back Scoop's belt, watch AND his polka-dot boxer shorts...holding
the latter with a pair of tongs).
In a puff of smoke The Amazing Earl has left the
house! (Always was a little to dramatic) The curtain has fallen and the
motley roadie crew has packed up the last vestiges of Earl's visit to Virginia.
He has left without a trace, but the laughter he caused is still ringing
in my ears and Boomer is for once speechless. As the last red nosed, mustached
truck pulled away from the now darkened building, a very unique and funny-faced
mime stepped out of an invisible window in the brick wall and went quickly
chasing after it. Will we ever see this Mystery Man again, you bet. Just
follow the sound of laughter coming from an Amazing Earl show near you.
Boomer and Scoop
Copyright © 2003 Boomer