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: 2017
Mar 28, 2017

Today's episode is an opportunity to have a few questions answered about the show, take a peek behind the scenes a little, and a chance for me to give some final thoughts about the importance of our industry.  A huge THANK YOU to all of the guests and listeners that have been a part of the adventure.  

  • Reasons for producing the show.
  • How the show is doing, how has it done?
  • Is the show going to continue?
  • Did I make any money podcasting?
  • Any regrets producing the show?
  • Biggest lesson learned producing the show.
  • Most frustrating element.  
  • Biggest mistake I made producing the show. 
  • Why the fair industry is so important.  
Mar 21, 2017

 In this episode: Mat Wells - son of  Kim & Alan Barr

Nathen Smith - son of Robert & Sara Smith

Sarah Hays - daughter of  Steve & Elisa Hays

Hayden Newman - daughter of Mike & Ryann Newman

Chase Barton - son of  Tammy & Bryan Barton

Brayden Bruess - son of  Alan & Renee Bruess


Mar 14, 2017

You could operate a fair without a carnival, it might be less fun, but it is achievable. You could probably also run a fair without entertainment, but it isn’t advised. What you couldn’t host a fair without, is food vendors. Food vendors are the anchor of the fair. They are also some of the hardest working people, with a job that doesn’t guarantee a paycheck. For them, the risk is worth the reward. Tune in to today’s fast, food show to hear two of the fair’s best, Kim Barr and Daryl Whicheloe. Order’s up!

 Kim & Alan Barr (Pacific Crest Concessions)

Kim & Alan Barr (Pacific Crest Concessions)


  • Investing in the food industry
  • How has the industry changed in the last 30 years
  • The amount of off time food vendors get
  • Working and traveling
  • Being invited back to the same fairs
  • The importance of your presentation and operating
  • Connections made with fair family
  • Set up time
  • Purpose of NICA
  • Uniting concessioners and giving them a voice in their industry
  • Fair commission
  • Potential in the concession industry that people aren’t looking into
  • The types of people in this industry
Mar 7, 2017

Pain and suffering are always topics pushed under the rug, but what people have failed to inform you is, oblivion is not bliss. Today we are going to sweep it all out from under the rug and hit the topics that are, more often than not, avoided. Feelings of self-worth, effects of tragic accidents, pride, the ICU, all topics that lack a sense of hope, but your guest, Elisa Hays, will hopefully leave you with an appreciation for life and hope in the virtue of humanity. Tune in with your host, Alan Bruess, for a taste of this bitter-sweet message. 


  • Why people want to talk about their hurt 
  • Defining your worth 
  • Dehumanizing yourself in the ICU 
  • ICU psychosis 
  • Understanding and experiencing pain 
  • Acknowledging pain instead of belittling it 
  • Existing in a fundamental foundational level 
  • The way pain changes the views of everyone around you 
  • Finding reasons to laugh when bad things occur 
  • How accidents change relationships 
  • Reflecting on memories that impacted Elisa 
  • How horrific accidents change your motivation 
  • Living with a handicap 
  • The disadvantages of living in a wheelchair 
  • How accidents consume your life 
  • The ripple effect of doing good for people

Facebook: Elisa Hays 


Feb 28, 2017

Is this generation really evolving? Are we different than other generations due to technology? Or are we simply coming full circle with the advancements previous generations have put in place for us? After years of advancements, we are finally beginning to see the fruits of the internet. But, have these advancements brought us closer together? Or magnified our differences? Tune in while Kady Porterfield answers a few of these questions, and more, with your host, Alan Bruess.

 Today, Alan and Kady Porterfield also discuss:

  • How Kady became the head of the agriculture department and her history in the industry
  • How to get millennials involved, engaged, and keep them there
  • How this generation has grown up more diverse and open than any other generation
  • The extreme advertisement of everyone being entitled or capable
  • The importance of learning and asking questions
  • The positive & negative effects of phones and social media
  • Tips for older generations to relate and use to help the millennial generation
  • The viability of the fair industry
  • How to engage through social media
  • Showcasing what people want to see but keeping the traditions
  • The value and educational resources tied to the fair
  • Figuring out how to bring urban kids or schools in general involved
  • The importance of the fair
  • Showcasing the culture of the community
Feb 21, 2017

Time, money, travel, and experiences are all a few things we have in common. In the fair industry, it takes a lot of investment in all of the following. But, a few special things about our guest today is his constant great spirits, his classy behavior, enthusiasm in his work, his amazing story, and the magic he puts into his work.

Welcome balloon artist, Dennis Forel, with your tailgate entertainer, Alan Bruess.


Today, Alan and Dennis Forel also discuss:

  • The inspiration that led to his career
  • Where his career led with persistence
  • Opportunities for balloon artists
  • Putting together an original act
  • Being rotated between people you work for
  • Upholding your act and keeping your enthusiasm
  • The importance of being versatile
  • People can tell when you’re not being authentic
  • You have to be diverse and unpredictable but reliable
  • Why you should always go the extra mile
  • Being part of the outreach you work for
  • The difficulties of having a family while being in the fair
  • Being honest about your circumstances with your employers
  • Getting the courage to take the next step
  • Stumbling into your career
  • Mistakes in the business
  • The vitality of building relationships
  • Showing your commitment
  • If you don’t match the theme, you won’t be hired and look up Kevin Ridgeway

Phone number: 310-218-2629

Feb 13, 2017

Today's episode is different than our normal episodes. We have so many friends in California that are being affected by the evacuations for the Lake Oroville Dam, and the Fair Industry as a whole is stepping up to the plate to offer help. Today Alan talks with 3 different Fair Managers who have sprung into action to help anyone who has been displaced by this evacuation. 

Listen to the episode to find out where to go if you are forced to evacuate!

Feb 7, 2017

With everything that’s been going on in today’s media, it’s easy to feel bombarded by the hate and negativity. It’s hard to say whether this is a new conflict, or if we’re simply becoming more in tune to the situation. Join your tailgate entertainer, Alan Bruess, on discussing this new topic that we all deal with on a regular basis and listen for ways you can improve this situation for yourself. 

Alan also discusses:


  • A remedy for hate 
  • The importance of expressing yourself 
  • Art fuels the thirst for knowledge 
  • The ways art is supposed to make you feel and influence 
  • Will what you leave behind be remembered?
  • How creating love for yourself creates love for others 
  • Despite what is happening, you have to work for yourself 
  • Broadcast what you stand for 
  • If the situation around you is gnawing at your soul, do something about it


Jan 31, 2017

Today, we are going to take a look at a new and exciting angle of the fair industry. We’ve ventured through many different aspects of vendors, managers, and various performing artists. Today, we are going to take a walk in the shoes of the person who finds all the talent to fill those slots. Accompany Alan Bruess as he exploring the world of a highly respected talent agent and business owner, Jerry Ross. 

Listen as Alan and Jerry discuss:


  • The journey of starting a business
  • How revenues work for artists with agents 
  • The job and responsibilities of a talent agent 
  • The problems of exclusivity when shows contact artists directly 
  • The importance of having a trustworthy relationship with clients and agents 
  • Agents are somewhat there to do the dirty work 
  • What to do when clients contact acts directly and exclude the agent 
  • The importance of setting ground rules 
  • The ability to make a living decreases as inflation happens 
  • What acts are increasing and declining
  • The vitality of innovation 
  • How to nourish and maintain good relationships 
  • How to approach an agent 
  • The hard work and tenacity needed to be successful 
  • Why being yourself is important for an artist 
  • Introducing yourself to the online industry 


Connect with Jerry:


Jan 24, 2017

Just like every other industry, the fair industry is all about connections. But, the special thing about this industry is that everyone is willing to support and help one another. Now, who doesn’t want to participate in that? 


Today we are going to listen to and learn from one of the fair industry’s greatest supporters and influencers. This will give you some personal insight and show you the relationships and strong bonds created in this field. Join your Tailgate Entertainer, Alan Bruess, while he interviews his long-time friend and impactful leader, Chris Whatley 

Listen as Alan and Chris also discuss:

  • His theater career shaped the course of him going into the fair industry 
  • He built a robot that got him into the fair industry 
  • He designed a set and used his creativity to get a show booked for fairs 
  • Everything happens for a reason 
  • Due to the fluctuation in business, the rug can be pulled right out from under you
  • How to keep a group of people loyal and to go along with the journey 
  • The difficulties of using real guns for the show in different states 
  • The values and importance of the fair 
  • The product you produce doesn’t matter if you present it poorly 
  • The quality of your videos for the fair is vital for success 
  • Communication skills are lacking in the youth 
  • You have to be flexible 




Facebook: Lagniappe Productions


Jan 17, 2017

When people think of the fair, they think of all the exciting things in the spotlight. Sometimes we fail to notice all the things behind the scenes that make that excitement happen. All the hard work, planning, and orchestrating goes unnoticed. Today, take a look behind the scenes with our special guest Heather Hansen.


Today we are learning more from behind the scenes in the fair industry with lobbyist, Heather Hansen. People like Heather are vital to our industry, because without her, one of America’s favorite entertaining family events would not be possible. She currently lives in Columbia, Washington and over see’s legislation for the Washington State Fair Association. 



In this episode Alan and Heather also discuss:



  • Her experience with 4H and how she became an agent 
  • How fair funding works and it’s importance 
  • Why is funding important if the fair is already bringing in so much money?
  • Most of the time, money made by the fair goes to youth organizations
  • New Legislatures often don’t have a background in the fair industry 
  • It is important to invite legislatures to your fairs and keep them involved 
  • Get to know your legislators because if they don’t know you, they can’t help you





Heather’s email:

Jan 10, 2017

The fair industry is typically stereotyped into a finite variety of things. Ranging from clowns, to corndogs, to cotton candy, to Ferris wheels. Join your Tailgate Entertainer, Allen Bruce, in digger deeper into exploring the entrepreneurship involved in the fair industry, with people like “The Gold Standard”. 


“The Gold Standard” or Dianne Linderman, is a renowned business woman involved in fair industry. Dianne Linderman is a creative, innovative, entrepreneur, who has surrounded herself with likeminded people. This group of people team together to form “The Great American Entertainment Company”. Not only has she invested her time in this company, but she many other great accomplishments she has achieved throughout her lifetime.  She was a Counselor for troubled teens, owned a restaurant, built a million dollar company, owned a dozen businesses, started a publishing company, helped construct a school, wrote an award winning series of children’s books, married her best friend and raised two kids. She also has a podcast and radio show titled, “Everything that matters in life, parenting, and kitchen table politics”. 


  • Alexandra, Dianne’s daughter, talks about the animal shows and the events she enjoys 
  • Talks about the difficulties of moving around and the things she’s learned from it 
  • Fairs bring the family back together
  • Talks about the importance of working hard
  • The biggest lesson she learned in 2016 was not to judge people
  • Dianne Linderman talks about the problem with telling people they can only be successful with a diploma and treating everyone the same 
  • People don’t know how to answer what they’re interested in 
  • Took her love for children and animals to be involved in the fair industry 
  • She started a roadside zoo and traveling petting zoo and used the animals to help troubled teens 
  • Talks about the reasons why all of her businesses have succeeded 
  • The benefits of raising children involved in the fair industry 
  • The best place to open a business is next to a business of the same trade 
  • Don’t ever spend your money on other people’s property 
  • Your biggest lessons come from your failures, you can’t just do everything
  • If you do not fulfill your yearning for what you want, you won’t be content 




Jan 3, 2017

Would you like to be more savvy about the best type of structure for your business? Or are you unsure about whether someone doing work for you is an employee or an independent contractor? If so, listen in to today's episode of Tailgate Entertainer with Alan Bruess, as he talks business with his knowledgeable guest, Thomas Rock Lindsay.


Thomas owns a company called Humanly HR. He has more than twenty years of experience working in a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), focusing on all aspects of workers compensation, risk management, loss control, employee benefits, HR and payroll. He also hosts a podcast called SmallBiz Brainiac. Thomas is a valuable resource you can turn to if you're trying to solve problems related to your business.



On today's show, Thomas will share about three topics which come up all the time

in the fair industry:


  1. Is someone an employee or a private contractor?
  2. Is your business structured properly for your needs? (i.e. sole proprietorship or incorporated)
  3. Business Insurance.

Today, Alan and Thomas discuss:

  • The huge fines levied by the IRS for treating an employee as a private contractor and how you can avoid this happening to you.
  • How insurance and licensing play into the IRS's decision to fine or not.
  • What could happen if someone is injured on the job while working as an independent contractor, without licensing or insurance?
  • A test you can take to tell the difference between an employee and a private contractor- and where you would go to do that.
  • Your exposure to liability due to your choice of business model- whether you should incorporate or not.
  • The differences between an LLC, an S Corp and a C Corp.
  • Where you can go to learn more about business structures.
  • Partnerships in business- a good idea or not?
  • How to know where to start with business insurance.




Thomas's website:


Thomas's email:


Alan's email:




  1. Thomas's Podcasts: SmallBiz Brainiac (Note: Episodes 3 & 4 deal with the test relating to employee or private contractor)
  2. The Khan Academy: