Meet Your Minor League Performers: Dave the Horn Guy
"Meet Your Minor League Performers", in which touring ballpark entertainers are interviewed, will be an occasionally recurring feature on this esteemed blog. Today we speak with none other than Dave the Horn Guy. Dave is a relative newcomer on the Minor League scene, but already boasts a long and impressive performance resume. Visit his website at www.davethehornguy.com, and make sure to send out a few "Horn-O-Grams" while you’re there.
How would you describe your act, and what can people expect from it?
Bald guy…orange suit…bunch of bulb horns strapped all over the body. Arm pits, leg pits, neck pits, elbow pits, back, shines, chest…Rockin’ out different jams to energize the crowd. Family fun from Classics to Hip-Hop…Jazz to Pop Radio…Nintendo to the Big Screen…Patriotism to "The Ol’ Ball Game." Surprises, props, comedy, crowd hype, and more.
How often do you perform at Minor League Ballparks? How does it compare to performing at other types of venues?
I just dove into MiLB last summer. I didn’t know how it would go over…but it went really awesome. You ask about other venues, and I truthfully say that MiLB is a really fun venue. Picture it from a performer’s perspective…a 6 minute half-time show at a basketball or hockey game is fun, but just as you start, a very large portion of the audience gets up to find a beer or the restrooms. But because of the way the game of baseball is structured, an attentive audience is given to me every time I jump out. And I have found that the flavor of the audience is a group of people who are ready to be energized with excitement. I think that is because they are typically large family groups and/or large numbered social groups.
Your talents are unique, to say the least. What are the origins of Dave the Horn Guy, and how long have you been performing?
Origins of the Horn Guy are from my church’s Christmas show three years ago. I was copying an
online video email that I saw (the French guy), and I put out a kickin’ version of "Jingle Bells"…start simple, add harmonies, jazz it up, blindfold, big finish. I figured it might simply make a fun comic relief element in the middle of a church Christmas’ show. That went immediately to big stuff just within the local Sacramento area (I now live in Colorado). And within the first three weeks of this existence, I found this act in front of the NBA and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno". This opened up the world of variety entertainment to me and I tossed my nine Wal-Mart horns and had 25 chromatically-tuned bulb horns custom made from a top-of-the-line overseas hornmaker. So, it’s been my job for about two and a half years now. Sports, corporate, churches, television, etc.
What are some of the highlights of your career so far? Any memorable lowlights?
I immediately think of some of the big gigs that I never would’ve pictured…national TV like Leno, "America’s Got Talent", Maury, VH1, ET, Extra, BBC in London…or the circuit of NBA, NHL, their minor leagues, college ball, overseas all-star gaming. Those are just incredible highlights. The memorable fun stuff are adrenaline moments like when I was all ready for a gig. Once, I stepped out the backstage door for some cool air and saw a hard biker bar across the street. "Let’s go for it!", I told my friend. I walked in and it was legit. The biker band came to a stop, ALL conversations stopped, eyes on the hornguy. Scared now, I had to deliver. Went into hornguy mode…three minutes of "Jingle Bells"…stopped…silence…then extreme eruption of joy and bikers started shoving wads of cash into my horns, my shirt, my pockets. Relief and accomplishment.
As far as memorable lowlights, I’ve been fortunate that audience response has been favorable. I would say tough times would be learning the pattern of making ends meet (wife and four kids: 6, 5, 4, and 2) or the difficult drama of the airplane company sending the horns in a different direction. I now have a back-up hornsuit at home. Self-insurance, baby.
Do you have advice for any aspiring "honkys" who may be reading this?
Great joke. Better than the easy "horny" comment. If you’re aspiring to do something "honk-ish", then you are probably made of some kind of creativity and also an inventive drive to blaze some kind of trail. My advice is to drive and to drive hard. Laughing at something new is easy, hiring something new is easy, we even all find that thinking of something new is easy. But making it happen is the hard part. If what I’m describing is you, then you know it’s hard. Mix passion with perseverance and you will get the job done. Life-rewarding.
Dave the Horn Guy can be booked through SRO Productions. If YOU are a Minor League performer who would like to be interviewed, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here for MiLB.com’s feature article on SRO Productions, which (full disclosure) I wrote. It is an entertaining read.