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: September, 2016
Sep 27, 2016

This week’s guest is Karen Quest, a cowgirl performer born in St. Louis, Missouri, raised in Studio City, California, studied and taught in New York City, and now based in San Francisco, CA. After earning a B.A. in Theatre Arts from California State University at Northridge, she moved to New York City to join the No Elephant Circus and taught with Circus Education Specialists.  She continues to blaze a trail with her one-woman act which she calls “Cowgirl Tricks”. Karen trained at the Dell' Arte School of Physical Theater, Ringling Brothers and Barnum. She is an instructor at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts. She has performed to audiences between the size of 5 to 10,000 persons. Did you know that her grandma sent her to a modeling school?

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • Where she had trained
  • What tricks are included in her show
  • What else she does while stilts-walking
  • What she calls her 8-foot tall cowgirl (herself, on stilts)
  • Why she is the perfect choice for your events – fair, festival, corporate, private,or special events
  • Her age (yes she says how young she is)
  • Countries she had performed in
  • Movie stars she had trained
  • Historical personality whom she would have wanted to meet
  • Circus bands she had joined
  • Characters she had portrayed on stage
  • The book she recommends for reading
  • The shows she recommends for watching
  • Her tips to those interested in the same career
  • The awards she has won
  • Her secret dream



Website Cowgirl Tricks 

Facebook, Personal:

Facebook Page:

 Email: kq(at)cowgirltricks(dot)com

Sep 20, 2016

Tailgate features Alan’s best friend, John Dunnigan, a most amazing musician who is of the same caliber as the legendary musicians that generations have applauded.  He learned to play the guitar as a child because his dad played well and the guitar was always in a corner waiting for him to play it.  He writes his own fine music and keeps his albums acoustic and loose-sounding. The highly humorous album “Censored” has 12 songs of which half was written by John. He lives in Montana with his family and spends his leisure time fishing, his favorite pastime. He performs throughout Montana and the Northwest mostly at  fairs, and at corporate events, weddings, schools, and other venues.

His voice and his instrument blend in perfect music. Indeed, John Dunnigan can sing a song so beautiful he can make you cry; and he can blurt out a joke in another moment to make you laugh. His music can make you think, laugh, and sing or dance along.

John Dunnigan, musician

 John has 5 music albums and he sang excerpts from about 7 singles in this episode. You’ll love  the fine, heart-warming music of John  and more:   

  • His humorous anecdotes
  • Listen to him sing his fine songs
  • Listen to him sing his humorous songs
  • John shares his life with you
  • John sings his cover tunes
  • His hospitalization changed the way he played his guitar and music…but the quality never changed.
  • His advice to fans: 1 ) Play the game a little bit, but be true to your own soul and your music, and 2) Work hard, stay late, but have fun doing it.


Sep 13, 2016

For the first time, we have a co-host-- it’s John Dunnigan! Our guest is the only one of its kind, Eric Haines, a classic one-man-band entertainer, stand-up stilt walker, artist-illustrator, comedian, juggler, unicyclist, guitarist, and variety artist.  Eric has a bass drum slung on his back, a banjo over his shoulder, and plenty of bells and whistles everywhere else! Kids and adults have the chance to play along on maracas, spoons, and a special washboard equipped with a cowbell.


Eric began his career as a corporate entertainer in 1985.  Then he went full time as a professional comedian in 1995.  He now has over twenty-five years total experience working as an all-around entertainer, both as a comedian and in the professional fields of theater, children’s theater, school assembly programs, fairs and festival entertainment, school workshops and corporate entertainment. 

Eric Haines


Listen to Eric’s  story, music, and comedy.

Show notes 


  • How Eric became a one-man-band
  • When clients regard him as a great value,
  • How he markets his shows
  • That he becomes a multiple personality “disorder” when he transforms into multiple personalities by means of his various costumes
  • He has hurt himself many times during his comedy shows
  • His plan when he gets too old and weak to carry his 60-pound musical equipment
  • When his body parts wear out for his physically-straining stunts, he plans to evolve into something else.
  • Juggling is the most wearying
  • What makes him different from the rest of the comedians
  • He composes his own music and plays it while he’s walking on his stilts
  • He draws pictures of himself
  • He has a very strong drive to learn new things, a strong compulsion
  • His secret to being multi-skilled and multi-talented
  • His advice to young people who want to follow his footsteps
  • He has learned to package his art
  • His biggest challenge is how to market his shows

Like Eric on Facebook

and browse his Website 

More entertaining podcasts on Tailgate Entertainer 


Sep 6, 2016

Welcome! My guest today has been a friend of mine in the fair industry for over 15 years. I’ve always been intrigued at the way Matt Baker dissects and analyzes his performance after every show. He never lacks the discipline and determination to improve his craft. His comedy stunt show is funny, original, and very impressive. Join me for a great conversation with Matt!

Matt Baker


What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • From Eugene, Oregon to Western Samoa to Europe
  • Performing in schools and then on the streets
  • Matt’s challenges at being raised as a conservative Mormon in a hippie town
  • Rebellion, drugs, and living out of control
  • Matt’s terrifying experience at wilderness camp
  • Living on the streets at age 15
  • How Matt was hunted down by a bounty hunter---for REAL!!
  • How Matt became a professional hacky-sack player in Europe—(yes, there is such a thing)
  • Why Matt hates his shows and says they are horrible!
  • Matt’s struggle in the development of his show
  • Matt’s worst gig ever? A track and field meet in Midland, TX, and the death of many doves
  • Why it’s OK to say NO
  • Why Matt lives with purpose and with NO regrets
  • A big fear? “Am I making an impact?”
  • How Matt is inspired by old vaudeville comedians, Steve Martin, and the Smothers Brothers
  • Matt’s favorite books? Born Standing Up by Steve Martin and Fields for President by W.C. Fields
  • Matt’s advice for young people entering the fair industry? “Practice your craft and be a student of your craft. Study others who are successful, but don’t steal their material. Find out why they are successful. Don’t be afraid of practicing. Continually create.”
  • Find out more about Matt at

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