Frank Sinatra Sweats

lasvegasMany, Many, Many-Many-Many-Many-Many years ago I had a booking in Las Vegas and there was a sign in the lobby indicating that Frank Sinatra would be opening his new show the next evening. I went straight to the box office and attempted to buy a ticket. Of course the nice lady informed me that the show was sold out. I expressed my disappointment and she got more confidential and said, “Sir, they will open this ticket office tomorrow morning at 9A.M.and sometimes people return tickets because they go home early. You might get in the line very early and try it. I said to her, sounding rather exasperated, “I can’t be waiting in line tomorrow morning. I’ve got a show to do.” She suddenly looked embarrassed and apologized and said, “Oh, I am so sorry, Mr. Griffith, I didn’t realize it was you. Imagine, Andy Griffith.   Mr. Griffith, for you the tickets are complimentary. How many would you like? I said, “One” and she gave me the ticket with a big, adoring smile. Now I am not known as a wild tipper. I’ve developed a sort of inner anger about those men who seat you in casino theaters.  If you give them a twenty dollar chip or bill they will give you a seat requiring binoculars.Give them fifty and you move closer.  A hundred dollar tip gets you within viewing seats. Give them a thousand and you are really movin’ on up. Give them ten thousand and you can dance on the stage with the naked chorus girls. I generally end up in the back row. When they hold out there hands I shake it. I walked up to the usher and expected that same shabby treatment but when I gave him my ticked he grabbed my hand and shook it and said, “Yes Sir, Andy, just follow me.” Instead of heading for the rear seats this time we went marching through that casino like General Grant through Georgia. We finally reached the front and there was a half circled ringed off area they call “The Sinatra Circle.” I was seated right next to Paul Anka, the fellow who wrote the song “My Way.”  In this short space let me say that everything was magnificent. The orchestra, the songs, the arrangements, the lighting, and the hour went by like lightning. Frank did great humor, the comic who opened was really funny, Frank joked and sang and danced and did over an hour and he never quit giving this audience everything he had… and then for one brief second after a fast number I saw it. There was a tiny bit of perspiration on Frank’s forehead and I will never forget it. As rich and as famous and as old as Frank was that evening he never let up.  He gave that show everything he had.  I’ve tried to set those standards in my own presentations. I’ve always tried to prepare and to be ready and then to deliver everything I could. Frank is gone now but for me he set the bar.  Recently I saw a memorial show on TV celebrating what would have been his 100th birthday.  I can still remember those beads of sweat on his forehead.  Yeah!

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