I've booked Don McMillan for a long time for many successful shows. Last week, an earthquake hit while he was on stage. When I heard the story and then watched the crazy video (below), I decided to interview him to find out what it was like to have your show stopped by seismic activity.
I kept talking and no one was laughing. I wondered what I said to lose them.
I finally asked what was going on and as a group, the crowd yelled "Earthquake!"
Don McMillan: I've done improv for years and I've learned to deal truthfully with whatever is going on - and it will be funny.
I was simply honest in sharing my thoughts - and my feelings - and my "cluelessness".
Comedian is about shared experiences - and being in the middle of an earthquake together is definitely a shared experience.
Don McMillan: The seismic wave had a relatively long wavelength (i.e. it was more "rolly" than "jolting") and I knew the building was up to code, so I felt confident in terms of infrastructure that we were safe. Engineers are a type of superhero.
Don McMillan:: He thanked me for staying calm - talking the audience through it - and getting them laughing again.
Don McMillan: I had a fire break out in the lights above my head in a huge concert hall (The Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa, CA). There was a ball of flame 100 feet above my head. Only, once again. I didn't realize what was happening. People just stopped laughing. I asked what going on. One guy in the front row pointed to the ceiling and said, "Look up." I saw the fire and said, "Oh, that is not part of my act." Then I asked the control booth what to do and I directed the audience to calmly exit the building. They brought out a ladder and put out the light that was on fire. An HOUR later we resumed the show. I walked out on stage with a fire extinguisher and said, "I've only got 20 more minutes - this time I'm ready."
To book Don McMillan for your next event, visit his profile at https://premierespeakers.com/don-mcmillan.
Need books for an event? Get bulk books at non-bulky prices at Bulkbooks.com.
Dr. Don McMillan graduated from Stanford University with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. In his more than 30 years in the high tech world, he has worked at IBM, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and VLSI Technology. He's also an award-winning stand-up comedian, the star of fifteen national commercials for Budweiser- including two Super Bowl commercials, and we've booked him to great success for companies like Qorvo, NTT Data, and Kraft Foods.