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: August, 2016
Aug 30, 2016

My guest today is a super busy person from the management side of the fair industry---for her entire career! Judy Carrico knows the importance of developing business relationships and developing trust. She is the fair operations manager at the Alameda County Fair in California. Judy is also the author of How to Plan, Pay For and Put on a Wildly Successful Fair Without Losing Your Mind, Your Family or Your Friends. From her 30+ years of fair management, Judy has lots of wisdom and LOTS of great stories. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Judy stepped out of college and into the full-time fair life
  • Why Judy followed a friend into the fair industry, leaving her dream of becoming a veterinarian behind
  • The best ways to learn the fair industry
  • Judy’s job and duties: “I plan a party for 450,000 people and spend other people’s money to put it on!”
  • The biggest problem facing fairs? Funding for infrastructure for small and medium-sized fairs
  • Why fairs are so important as a gathering place for communities and a way to preserve local history
  • Competitive exhibits: they are what sets fairs apart from other entertainment industries
  • Judy shares about the commitment to education and youth competitions at most fairs today
  • In addition to the normal agricultural exhibits at fairs, engineering and robotics exhibits are skyrocketing in popularity.
  • The NEW target audience for fairs
  • “Alameda County’s largest classroom”
  • Commitment to funding
  • The importance of collaborative projects
  • Why fair managers need expertise in figuring out WHAT WORKS and what doesn’t
  • Why networking is the KEY!
  • Judy shares some stories and experiences from her unusual career and with a unique perspective on fair life.
  • Find Judy on Facebook!
Aug 23, 2016

My guest today is a 22-year old Cale Moon, a Nashville recording artist, singer, and songwriter. In 2013, his parents sold their home and hit the road to promote Cale’s music. Cale’s terrific support team went to over 300 shows last year. He has an inspiring story of perseverance and determination. Join us!

Cale Moon


What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Cale is inspired by Roy Rogers
  • Cale’s team and the story of his music career
  • At age 15, began playing guitar, along with singing and acting
  • How guitar made him more of a people-person
  • Learning to tell others’ stories
  • Hitting the road/lessons learned
  • Cale’s biggest surprise? “How much life on the road in a bus costs-just to keep going!”
  • Satisfying life
  • One of Cale’s most important mentors? Marty Davis
  • What Cale truly desires
  • Sleepy Little Town—one of Cale’s first songs
  • Learning to market yourself at a young age
  • Cale’s advice to young performers: “Be humble, be approachable, and always be willing to learn.”
  • How young performers undervalue themselves and sell out for too cheap
  • Cale’s brand new song about a rare day off (Hear it here!)
  • Why time management is Cale’s biggest struggle
  • Not allowing himself to get distracted and waste time
  • Self-evaluating: Why it’s important
  • Find Cale on most social media or at You can email Cale: cale(at)calemoon(dot)com.
Aug 16, 2016

Welcome to an episode I’m calling “Mid-Season Madness,” because we in the fair industry are at the midway point of our season. Most of us have been out on the road, away from home, for a LONG time now. I’m currently in Missoula, Montana, after recent stays in Great Falls, Bozeman----and the list goes on and on. What makes it different for me right now is that I’m traveling with my son, which is terrific for me. Today’s episode is a Tailgate Talk, which means it’s just you and me, talking about some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the fair life. Let’s talk about some important refreshers---some things for all of us to remember at this point in the season.

Alan Bruess

Here are Five Tips to help you get through the rest of the season:

  • What we’re creating for fairgoers are EXPERIENCES
    • They are paying for wonderful, impressive experiences
  • Give of YOURSELF
    • Magical things happen!
    • Do something out of the ordinary for someone else
    • Shhh! This is one of life's  secrets! (but it shouldn’t be a SECRET!)
  • Get a different perspective
    • Sit in a “different chair” and look around
  • Have a little compassion
    • Help those who are a MESS
    • Don’t make people feel STUPID
  • Let life HAPPEN
    • Don’t get frustrated with what you can’t CONTROL
    • Your ATTITUDE is all that you CAN control
    • Attitude determines ALTITUDE
    • My personal story: Why I believe some things happen for a REASON

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Aug 9, 2016

Welcome! I’m excited to introduce you to my friend, Mike Parsons. Mike has an authentic “rags to riches to rags to riches” story to share about his life and his work. I have a hilarious story to share about how Mike and I first became friends; it involves a joke I played on him that made him mad, but I soon gained a friend for life. Mike owns and operates Black Tie Extreme, a full-service professional DJ and Entertainment company. Join us as Mike shares his amazing story!

Mike Parsons

 What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Mike’s early life:
    • “The ONLY child of 11 children”
    • Working in construction at age 13, but laid off repeatedly
  • The ups and downs of employment
    • How Mike became a medical assistant ($1200/month)
    • Becoming a DJ: making more in a weekend than in two weeks as a medical assistant.
    • Starting a custom closet company
    • Becoming a mortgage broker and financial success ($30,000/month!)
    • An upgraded lifestyle of unnecessary things
    • Losing it all when the banking industry tanked
    • A downsized life, washing cars for money
    • Back to working as a professional DJ
  • Finding the fair industry
    • Working street carnivals with a gyroscope
    • Working fairs, sleeping in his car
    • Working as a fair vendor: What does that mean?
  • What has kept Mike going through the ups and downs? “My wife and kids. I know there are many people less fortunate than me. I never wanted to be a burden.”
  • Mike’s biggest mistake in the fair industry? “Picking the gyroscope to begin with.”
  • Mike’s worst fair gig ever? “When a drunk gyroscope passenger fell out and got hurt!”
  • Mike’s biggest surprise? “The closeness of the fair industry”
  • Mike’s skill set in making money? “My drive. I want to be THE BEST.”
  • What does Mike do for self-improvement? “I go to church.”
  • The future for Mike? “Another 5 years or so in the fair industry, then building a house (with NO credit), and serving in missions.”
  • Mike’s #1 takeaway from the fair industry? Honesty
  • Words of wisdom from Mike: “Be honest, be nice, help others out, and you’ll be taken care of.”
  • Find Mike at
Aug 2, 2016

Welcome! Picture in your mind a little boy in the 1930’s growing up in rural Arkansas. With his horse, Midnight, this boy never aspired to anything other than the cowboy life. At six years old, he would ride the train alone to Wyoming to live and work on a ranch for the summer---year after year after year. Bunky Boger grew up to be a rodeo competitor, bullfighter, and circus performer.


 Bunky Boger and Connie Boger

At age 64, his journey took a new path when he entered the fair industry as a promoter of hands-on, interactive agricultural activities for kids of all ages. Along the way, he met his girl, Connie, with whom he built his life, family, and business. It’s a beautiful partnership that has endured the test of time and the ups and downs of life. Today, they travel to fairs with 225 animals housed in 4 tractor trailers. They’ve appeared in several TV shows, commercials, magazines, and newspapers. Listen in as Bunky and Connie share their favorite stories about their unusual life’s work. Join us!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Bunky’s story: The theft of three chickens trained to play tic-tac-toe
  • How they secured a 3-year stint at an Atlantic City casino with people paying to “beat the chicken”
  • How Bunky started out in the rodeo business and was introduced to bullfighting
  • What it was like working on a ranch as a 6-year old boy
  • Catching gophers for a penny each!
  • How Bunky ended up in the circus—for $3000/week
  • Buffaloes, horses, and circus stories
  • Transition to the fair industry
  • How they handle finances in their unique business
  • How he knew in three days that he should marry Connie---43 years ago!
  • The multi-talented cowboy, Connie
  • Financial hardships, bankruptcy, and losing it all—except ONE buffalo!
  • Why their kids rode horses at one day old!
  • The story of one bothersome employee
  • Connie’s advice for younger people in the fair industry? “Have a passion for what you do.”
  • Find out more about Bunky and Connie at and