I began small and young and have grown larger and older. Raised by feral parents who let me watch Monty Python at far too young an age and whose record collection included Beyond the Fringe, Tom Lehrer, and Bob Newhart, most of my real education came from puppets, first through Sesame Street and, later, the Muppet Show, where I learned that humans and puppet-kind could live together in peace and harmony. And that life was better with guest stars.
Like many performers I got my first real taste of being on stage in high school. I landed a job as Eddie the Bear at the Quinte Mall where I waved a lot, gave coupons to children for food products that would slowly kill them, and got shoved from behind by my classmates—all in all a pretty realistic introduction to the Canadian entertainment business. Little did I know that I would look back at this time as my peak. After all, it was the only time I actually got paid by the hour.
Then off I went to Queen’s University where I somehow ended up in the Queen’s Players, a rag-tag band of academic underachievers who put on poorly-written, under-rehearsed comedy/cabarets in the engineering pub. The audiences were always drunk, which would have really annoyed the performers if they didn’t happen to be more drunk. I happened to know a guy who had a show on CFRC, the campus radio station, and a few of us started recording sketches and songs for his show. This was the birth of The Arrogant Worms.
Somehow the Worms started touring and making albums, and I lived a happy life of sleeping on floors, driving endlessly, and seeing more of Canada than any one man should. Slowly the Worms ascended the slippery-slope of the massive Canadian comedy music industry until we able to create afford a lifestyle that was only slightly lower than being a starving student.
As the years wore on I started up some other projects as well. I put out my first book, Get Stupid! With the Ignorance is Bliss Method, and then sometime after that I released Very Grimm Fairy Tales a collection of happy miserable stories. (You should buy some copies. I would really like a little more room in the basement.) Recently my novel, Edgar Gets Going: the rise and fall and rise and fall of a fairly decent bass player was released by Now or Never Press in Vancouver. Yes, I know it’s yet another novel about bass players and bumblebees, but I think it has a different approach that merits a look.
A few years ago I noticed there were large empty spaces in my brain so I went back to university to fill them up, getting a bachelor and master’s degree in education. I spend a lot of my time now helping students of all ages create songs, stories, and just generally make stuff up.
What now? Well, I’m putting out a song a month as well as rants, blogs, and short stories on this thing called “the internet.” And since people don’t buy things anymore I’ve decided to see if folks will just help me out. So I set up a Patreon site so they could so just that. It’s going well so far and hopefully, one day, I will be as financially secure as I was back in the heady days of Eddie the Bear.