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




All Episodes
Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 29, 2016

Welcome to a conversation with my friend, Marty Davis. Marty has been in the fair industry longer than anyone I know. This is an honest interview from Marty’s heart with a little bit of crazy thrown in! If you listen all the way to the end, you’ll be treated to a yodeling lesson, a story about streaking, some great advice, and some cowboy songs, too! Don’t miss it!

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Marty started his lifelong love affair with the guitar
  • Working as a DJ and singing with a band
  • Stories from The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas
  • Why Marty felt like cowboy band costumes were important
  • How he met his wife, Kate---and got engaged after just ONE HOUR of conversation! (47 years of marriage followed!)
  • Bored and unsatisfied with not being the very best
  • Why Marty longed for the “old cowboy sound”
  • “God Bless Old Glory”
  • Yodeling 101
  • Why Marty believes in mentoring kids
  • Marty’s beginning in the fair industry—1976
  • Why Marty has mentored many in the fair industry, even offering up his home to many as a stable place to live
  • Mistakes that young people make today: not learning the basics of a solid foundation
  • “Love people enough to tell them the truth.”
  • How Marty struggled in the beginning to find someone to help with his career
  • What happens when too much ego gets in the way
  • Marty’s message to younger people: “Ask for help.”
  • Why regrets are a waste of time
  • Streaking off the stage---for $100
  • A story (and a song) from the old West—by Marty
  • Find out more at
Nov 22, 2016

Welcome to a great show with my friend, Pam Shultz. Pam and her husband of 34 years, Rob, run The Imagination Gallery, a business which provides hands-on, interactive science displays for fairgoers. You’ll be inspired by Pam’s passion for what she loves to do and what she’s learned. Join us!


What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Pam and Rob started with sand sculptures and teaching science to science shows
  • The evolution of their current fair business
  • How things got out of balance initially with their family
  • The teamwork now in their business and family
  • The agreement about “the final say”
  • Rules for employees and why they exist
  • Fairs that “took a chance” on them in the beginning
  • “How much can I charge?” vs. “How can I provide great value?”
  • Loving what you do and having an impact on people
  • Barbara Walters: Pam’s inspiration
  • Pam’s favorite thing about fair work? Engaging with others
  • Why Pam loves reading and learning
  • Pam’s book recommendations for young people starting out in the fair industry: How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill and The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
  • Why Pam will still be doing her work at fairs in 20 years
  • Who Pam looks up to-- and why
  • Email Pam:
Nov 15, 2016

How does a couple travel non-stop, perform shows all over the United States, and still manage to love each other at the end of each day? Professional magician Jeff Martin and his wife Pam share the secrets of keeping it all together."

Show Notes

  • How the relationship started
  • Their show is an organized business with Pam behind Jeff
  • Is it tough to be just behind the limelight, not among the show performers
  • We are all stronger when we become a community in show business or entertainment industry
  • What is Jeff’s biggest struggle?
  • What is Pam’s biggest struggle?
  • What is Jeff’s favorite food on the road?
  • What Jeff would buy if he won the lottery?
  • What Jeff likes about Pam
  • They’re both on the same wavelength





Nov 8, 2016

A win-win strategy for both buyers and sellers trying to find common ground at trade shows. In this discussion, Elisa Hays and Alan Bruess talk about how to communicate more effectively between the two sides and the importance of creating dialogue centered on added value.

Elisa Hays

Show Notes

  • What does “negotiating up” mean?
  • What buyers and sellers can ask each other to start negotiating
  • How can an entertainer provide more value to get higher pay?
  • Solving the problem of maximizing value with a limited budget
  • Trade shows and conventions matter to both the fair management and fair service providers
  • The trade show interaction is transactional and relational, according to Elisa
  • When fair managers decide to “negotiate down” they bring in LESS to the fair
  • When entertainers try to book their business and they look at big holes in their calendar
  • Nobody wants to step up their game when somebody keeps negotiating down
  • When entertainers say: “ I guess I’m not a good fit for you”
  • Can entertainers emphasize their main skills and prominently display more?
  • Service members can negotiate up by being problem-solvers
  • When asking more and telling less is highly appropriate



Nov 1, 2016

In this heart warming episode, Tammie Ryan shares her lifelong involvement in the fair industry.  She talks about her challenges as an entrepreneur, living on the road, and where she sees the greatest opportunities for others.  Tammie is highly respected and loved by many in the industry.  As you listen to her open up about her life in this episode, you will quickly understand why.  

  • Tammy is instrumental in getting Alan Bruess into the entertainment industry
  • Tammy invited Alan into the convention
  • The biggest takeaway in the job that she remembers
  • She knows almost everybody in the industry
  • Talking about your products to build relationships?
  • Her biggest struggle when she was starting
  • She always wanted to be a teacher
  • She believes the younger generation needs to get involved in the industry
  • Tips in building relationships  
  • Tips for success in the industry