The Tailgate Entertainer | Performers | Performance Business | Creatives | Artists | Talent Buyers

Tailgate Entertainer is a podcast about the fair industry and the exciting people involved in it. The goal of the show is to help those involved in the industry succeed by sharing years of collected wisdom. You will not find a more eclectic mix of people in the world than those that work at fairs. Their exciting journeys, lessons, and humorous anecdotes are woven together here to provide encouragement, education, and support for the industry.
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The Tailgate Entertainer | Performers | Performance Business | Creatives | Artists | Talent Buyers




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Now displaying: June, 2016
Jun 28, 2016

Welcome! My guest today is Michael Hilby, known as “Hilby, the Skinny German Juggling Boy.” He is a really great performer who was born in Germany and became a social worker. Soon he transitioned to becoming a street performer who traveled the world. He now lives in Ithaca, NY with his wife and kids. His act is in high demand and is one of the best comedy acts to ever perform. 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Hilby learned to juggle at age 23 in India.
  • He traveled with his wife to Hong Kong and Japan, but then settled in NY, where her family lived.
  • For five years, he flew back to Japan once a year for six weeks to be a street performer.
  • This was his full-time income for the entire five years!
  • He learned to speak Japanese to help with his performance.
  • He soon stayed in the US and worked at Busch Gardens in VA for six months each year and transitioned to performing in English.
  • On his one day off from Busch Gardens, he would go work as a street performer and was amazed at the money.
  • Soon he left the amusement park and began full-time as a street performer.
  • Why a tagline for your name is important
  • He learned to connect and engage with people.
  • He has no regrets for leaving his social work career. “Why? What’s the point?”
  • Hilby shares the uniqueness of this kind of performing and some of his venues.
  • The worst gig ever was a college stint that was barely promoted and scarcely attended.
  • The unexpected challenges make you a seasoned performer.
  • Hilby has performed in 68 countries!
  • Hilby loves to see performers who are committed and have a spark for what they do.
  • His biggest fear is the age and physical limitations that will inevitably come to him.
  • For young performers: practice your act, do all the work you can (NOTHING should be beneath you!), and take workshops.
  • Performing can be a GREAT income!
  • How learning to speak Japanese helped his performance there
  • Hilby speaks Spanish, German, Japanese, and English—and will become a US citizen soon!
  • Differences and surprises when he first came to the US
  • Hilby still does cruise ship shows for German passengers.
  • The hardest part of street performing is convincing them that it’s a job you are CHOOSING to do!
  • “When you are training to be a great performer, the first thousand shows don’t really count.”
  • Find him at


Jun 21, 2016

Welcome! Today we’re talking to Alyssa Daire Nelson about maximizing your strengths. The introduction to this episode was in last week’s Episode 10. Please listen if you haven’t! Alyssa is a personal strengths coach and the owner of Daire Success Coaching. She helps businesses and solo entrepreneurs maximize their innate strengths. Her greatest joy is seeing breakthroughs occur when people maximize their strengths instead of fixing their weaknesses. I met Alyssa at a podcast conference, where we were both learning about all aspects of our new journeys into podcasting. I was on her show recently and took her strengths test. She’s here today to talk about her work and to analyze the results of my test. 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Alyssa shares her “Aha” moment in her early 30’s.
  • The Strengthsfinder Profile test is the product of 40 years of research.
  • The profile test has 180 questions, mostly based on “Would you prefer _____ or ______? It takes about 30 minutes to complete.
  • The profile test helps you identify triggers about others that may “drive you crazy.”
  • Why people are not meant to be well-rounded!
  • We lean into our top 10-15 strengths ALL the time.
  • Each strength has a need, and when the needs aren’t honored, we experience frustration.
  • Alan’s top strengths are positivity, maximize, learner, individualization, and achiever. Alyssa explains each strength and the danger in its overuse.
  • “Two-thirds of our weaknesses are just strengths misapplied.”
  • In maximizing our strengths, we take care of many of our weaknesses.


Maximize Your Strengths podcast

Truth & Daire weekly email newsletter

Jun 14, 2016

Welcome to this Tailgate Talk episode! There is no guest today; it’s just you and me, and we’re talking all about YOU! We’ll focus on your relationships with others and maximizing your strengths in this two-part episode. Next week, we’ll be joined by Alyssa Dare Nelson, a strengths coach and host of the Maximize Your Strengths podcast. Visit to find out how to take the online assessment test to identify YOUR strengths.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The analogy of “the toolbox,” birthed from my own experience working in my little corner of my dad’s workshop, with child-sized tools and scraps of wood
  • How each of us is given an individual “toolbox” in life, but many people don’t know what tools they have or how to use them
  • The mark of a successful person is someone who KNOWS what’s in their toolbox and how to use it.
  • The problem with school environments is that often we are put in places with no tools, with tools we don’t understand, or with tools we don’t know how to use.
  • “Knowledge without action is useless.”
  • Success means taking your toolbox knowledge of strengths and applying it for maximum result in all areas of life.
  • We have to learn to apply strengths without OVERUSING them. (That’s our main focus for next week’s show!)
  • The more SELF-AWARE that we are, the better we become at developing relationships with others.
  • I’ll explain the self-awareness tool called the Johari Window—developed in 1955, using four “panes” to identify areas of strength and weakness.

On last week’s show, I asked for listener feedback about the future direction of the show and what you’d like to hear. I still want to hear from you, so let me know your thoughts. Thanks for listening!

Jun 7, 2016

Welcome, and thanks for joining me! We’ve made it to Episode 9, which is a milestone that most podcasters don’t achieve. Many start with a bang but quit before this point. I’m dedicated to bringing you quality content, but I want to give you what YOU want to hear. To this point, I’ve brought you  stories from performers in the fair industry, but you know there are many more people with amazing stories as well.  We call these people our “fair family,” and they are a cross-section of grass-roots Americana—wonderfully talented people with stories that need to be told.

So, here’s the question: Do you want the show to continue to highlight only performing artists? Or do I turn the spotlight on the huge variety of people that make up the many other aspects of our industry? I need to hear from you! 

Let me know what you think and what you want to hear. Email me: or ask to join our private Facebook community. Look for Tailgate Entertainer and ask me to include you so you can comment. Thanks!