Good entertainment is easy to recognize.
Just a couple of weeks ago I saw the Navy band play several sets and they were fantastic (although it is a little surreal to hear good, solid rock coming from a guy in Crackerjacks).
Bad entertainment is also easy to recognize.
Like, for example, an inebriated Naval Officer grabbing the microphone in a foreign port and belting out “House of the Rising Sun” on stage, or even worse, hearing karaoke being sung in a pint-sized bar in Yokosuka by a frustrated Barry Manilow wannabe.
The Lt. Dan Band playing in Afghanistan in front of the troops during a USO tour: Good entertainment.
A guy in a wig singing a Tiny Tim song in front of the crew during a crossing-the-line ceremony: Bad.
Today my 2.6 year old had me banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon to accompany her “dancing”, which consisted of her running as fast as she could around the island in the kitchen. It was entertainment, for sure. But good or bad?
She was having a blast, smiling and laughing, convinced that she was dancing with the grace of a ballerina. I enjoyed it too. She was good entertainment.
After awhile, she had me stop the percussion. She didn’t explain why, but her eyes betrayed her.
My percussion skills bothered her. I was lousy.
I was bad entertainment.
But artists can’t let a little negative feedback derail their dreams. They have to have thick skins. They have to keep trying. Keep plugging away until the opportunity to shine comes along.
So I am going to memorize the words to “House of the Rising Sun.”