Friday, July 3, 2009

Character of the Week: Ricky!

This week's Character of the Week is Maelstrom's band manager, Ricky. Ricky, tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in this line of work.

Hi. I'm Ricky Landon, owner of Landon Talent Management, a music promotion agency. Okay, let's be clear. I am the agency, since I'm still trying to get this business off the ground.

I was really into music as a kid and my dad always encouraged me to follow my dreams. He died of a heart attack when I was in high school and that's when I decided I'd have a career in music, no matter what. Unfortunately, I wasn't all that good. I thought I was, but once I got to college I met a lot of people with really amazing talent. I knew then that I'd never be a performer.

That was about the time some frat buddies of mine put together a garage band. I offered to be their promoter and actually got them some gigs. Since my mom was pestering me to get a degree in something practical, I changed my major from music performance to just regular music and added marketing as a second major. I graduated from Penn State, missing cum laude by a tenth of a grade point.

When I graduated, I came into my trust fund. My dad had been well off, but not what I'd call rich. I used my trust money to start a talent management agency. I got some bands and session artists, but none of them were very good, which made it hard to promote them.

I'm embarrassed to say I was part of the problem. My focus wasn't on business in those days. I wasted my trust money on sound systems and cars, going to clubs (supposedly to see new acts, but really for the party) and taking girls out. My bands weren't doing well and it all caught up with me. Bands terminated their contracts, the bills piled up, and I knew it was time to get serious.

I was down to my last twenty dollars when I met Kalila. At first I thought her band was my worst nightmare, but now I'd have to say that they're the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm out of debt, my business is back on track, and I'm working hard to get Maelstrom to the next level. They're capable of being major stars and when that happens, I'll be a success with them because we all win in this game. It started with just one lucky break.

So how many of you have had a lucky break? If you haven't, please tell me you haven't lost faith. It can happen for anyone, usually when you least expect it.

(Character of the Week is an "everybody" post.)

105 comments:

Vic said...

Why did they pick you, Ricky? Humans are boring.

Kalila said...

I agree. They should've picked me again. Look what you chose to talk about: work, school, and money. Boring.

If anyone would rather ask me questions, that's okay!

Ricky said...

Thanks for being so supportive, you two.

Candy said...

I'm glad you're here, Ricky! I have to rush off now but will be back to talk later.

Vic said...

See, Ricky. Even your human friends like Candy think you're boring. I told you so.

Now go get us some proper bookings, would you?

Kalila said...

And interviews, Ricky! You said you might be able to get us on that "Entertainment This Week" feature on the local news. What ever happened to that? I didn't hire you to hang around here trying to be a star.

Ricky said...

Why are you to harassing me like this?

Vic, I'm sure Candy will be back and I have other friends, too.

Kalila, I'm waiting on a call back, okay? If I pester them, they'll think we're weird and won't want to interview you at all.

Now both you you go rehearse or something if you can't be nice. I was invited to be here.

Nevin said...

Ricky, I think it's lovely that you're here. You're a very nice person and I'm glad we have you working for us.

Ricky said...

Thank you, Nevin. I knew I could count on you.

Nevin said...

I'll be very disappointed if Kalila's ex-boyfriend succeeds in killing you. You're a good manager.

Ricky said...

Looks like there's nothing but cheer and warm fuzzies around here today.

Anonymous said...

Woa, is right.
Everyone who owes me any money left town thinking, hey it's a holiday.
See, this happens to me every fourth of July.
They know I live paycheck to paycheck.
Now my wife is sitting there crying.
Those people don't realize how when everyone does this, we don't eat or pay the bills.
Man.
So, Ricky, you talk about your lucky break.
Good for you.
I'm not so lucky.
Just broke.
I mean, what would you do if the band plays a gig and you're due the paycheck at the end of the night and then they don't and you need it to pay for the hotel? I suppose in your case, the band can have at them.
THATS what I need, a couple of ghouls or vampires or...

Hey Kalila,
Cool name, btw.
What do you suggest?You seem to have a pretty good handle on this sort of dilemma.

(I think my author is building a case for an exploding character.)

Ricky said...

Anonymous 8:27, if a a venue didn't pay according to the contract terms, I'd have to initiate legal proceedings. It was tough to do that sort of thing before I had Maelstrom for a client because I'd have to find someone who would do it pro bono. Kalila has a pretty big nest egg from previous investments, though, so I keep an attorney on retainer now. With these guys, I need it.

Kalila said...

Well, Ricky, if you humans didn't have so many silly laws, we wouldn't need a lawyer.

Anon, we're not above doling out appropriate punishment if we're not treated right, but Ricky says that's what got us so much bad publicity in the past, so he doesn't let us do that sort of thing any more.

You shouldn't worry so much about money, though. It's really just numbers in a computer. There's nothing real about it at all.

Anonymous said...

Cool.
Glad to hear someone gets paid or else.

Kalila, could you manifest some hamburgers and beer for our fourth of July picnic?
Otherwise it's crackers and ketchup.

The grocery store tells me these California IOUs won't work with them.

The only one who will take them is the liquor guy.

Kalila said...

(See, Ricky? They'd really rather talk to me than you.)

Anon, if you can't afford to bring food to the picnic, there will be plenty on hand. I don't like to eat human food--it disagrees with me, but Ricky has told me what kinds of things you humans like for events like this and I've promised to help.

Ricky said...

Well, I need to go return a few phone calls and run a few errands now, anyway. I'll be back in an hour or two.

Kalila said...

I'll answer any questions that come up while you're gone!

Ricky said...

I don't think so, Kalila. Why don't you come with me?

Kalila said...

Is this what you humans call a date?

Ricky said...

Not exactly. Just come on. We'll come back here in a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Kalila!

DESTINY said...

Ricky,

Your Destiny is larger than you know.

Do you know what it is? For what reason is there a Djinn in your life? I shall enjoy watching you find out.

It is your Destiny.

Ginger said...

Just dropped in to say "Hello!" I'm sorry I can't stay, Ricky, but I hope you have a great day as our Guest of Honor. You deserve it!

Anonymous said...

Hi

Ricky do you like being Kalila's boyfriend?

She seems bossy.

Shadow

Anonymous said...

Hi Ricky, I'm back - but now you're gone. Why is Kalila so mean to you? After all, her success depends on you and it must be hard enough getting gigs without the people who are supposed to be on your side haranguing you.
Wish i'd sounded this tough when my boyfriend yelled at me all the time! Actually you'd think everyone would want to book such an interesting group as yours. I loved your concert.

And Vic, human's are not boring -(except for my parents and most relatives) lots of us are pretty interesting if you get to know us. And Ricky is a poppitt so be nice.

Candy said...

that was me, Ricky!

Kalila said...

Candy, I am not mean to Ricky.

Ricky said...

Candy, thanks for stopping by. I don't think Kalila is mean on purpose. She's just a djinn.

Shadow, she can be a little bossy, like you say, but there are certain...advantages I get from being with her. There's something else, too, but if I say it she'll get mad. Let's just leave it at "advantages."

Anonymous said...

Hi Ricky,

What advantages?

You can tell me.

Shadow

Ricky said...

Sorry, Shadow. She left me last time I said it. I'm not going there again.

Nevin said...

I'll tell you, Shadow, but don't tell anyone else.

(He loves her. A lot.)

Kalila said...

I heard that, Nevin! He does not, either. I made him promise!

Bo said...

Actually, he's just in it for the sex.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nevin

I believe you.

Thanks.

Shadow

Hi Kalila

Don't hurt me, ok?

Shadow

Anonymous said...

Hi Bo

Really?

Shadow

Anonymous said...

Ricky,

what instrument do you play?

Ricky said...

I am not!

Well, okay, I am. But that's not the only reason.

Can we change the topic? Weather sure is hot this time of year, isn't it?

Maxwell said...

Ricky,

You need security for concerts? Make bombs for you.

Cheap. You let me know.

Ricky said...

Oh, good. A real question.

I can play keyboard, guitar, and trumpet, but I don't play any of them professionally. I'm competent, but not really talented. That's why I manage bands instead of playing in one.

Ricky said...

Maxwell, thanks for your interesting offer, but it's hard enough to keep this band out of legal trouble as it is. I'll keep you in mind, though, if I ever book us in Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

That's a good amount of instruments. Bet you play better than you think.

Scruffy said...

Woof! Woof!

Maxwell said...

I book you.

I get you tickets cheap. Then I give you bombs. Cheap.

Where you want to go in Afganistan?

shy said...

"To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart."

~Thomas Watson

Anonymous said...

Did your father play an instrument?

Ricky said...

Anon 12:35, my father played saxophone in high school but never played any music after that. I think he really missed it, but his parents told him to get a practical education and quit dreaming, so he did. I've always thought that was why he wanted me to follow my own dreams, even if they weren't always very sensible.

Mira said...

Hi Ricky,

I'm sorry I wasn't here this morning. Please thank your author for setting things up!

I've been having terrible trouble with my home internet.

I have a question for you, though. Why do you think music calls to you?

Also, are you sure you don't have the talent? Have you tried arranging music? Or writing it? If it's in your blood, maybe it's just not as a instrument...

Just wondering....

Jessie said...

How do you feel working with so many non-humans?

Ricky said...

Mira, I don't know why music calls to me. It's just always been that way and I've never given it much thought. I can compose a little. It was part of my college coursework.

I guess I just set high standards for myself. Some people really have a gift and I think I can do more for fellow music-lovers by bringing getting talented musicians the attention they deserve rather than trying to get my own mediocrity noticed.

Ricky said...

Jessie, it was a real struggle at first just acknowledging that I was under contract to non-humans. Once I worked through that, there was still the problem of getting them to conform to human standards of behavior. They want human fame by human means, but they don't always understand what that entails. It's an uphill battle, but once I realized they weren't likely to kill me or anything, it got easier to work with them. They really seem to appreciate it when a human is honest with them and doesn't act scared. They disagree and fight with each other a lot and you kind of have to meet them on their own turf in that regard if you want their respect.

Bo said...

You mean like the time you attacked me in the parking lot, Ricky? That was really unnecessary. Very demon-like.

Ricky said...

Bo, you seem to have forgotten that I caught you having sex with my then-girlfriend. Any human would've tried to beat you up.

Bo said...

But you were already tired of her. You were already planning to dump her for the djinn, and don't deny it.

Ricky said...

Yeah. Uh...does no one want to talk about the weather? Or tomorrow's picnic, maybe? I hear there's going to be fireworks.

Jessie said...

Ricky, why do you think they want fame on human terms?

And don't you ever get scared? A vampire?

Nevin said...

Mira, while Ricky tries to recover from his embarrassment, let me tell you that he's really more talented than he realizes. He's not as good as we are, but he's still quite young. He hasn't even been around thirty years yet!

He helped me and Kalila compose a song once. It was a lovely experience, and he shows great musical promise, for a human.

Still, I'm glad he's happy to manage our band. He's done a lot for us and we're very grateful.

Goran Njiric said...

Seems like you've had some tough times, Ricky. It's good to hear that you've got a way around the troubles. Glad to hear that.

Though, to be honest, there needs to be more good bands around. While I've grown too old for much of the louder, angrier stuff, musical quality feels like it's declined as of late.

Of course, my grandfather used to write to me about the same thing. I suppose its just another sign that I'm getting old.

Ricky said...

Jessie, Kalila is competing with her ex-boyfriend to achieve rock stardom without resorting to magic. That's why they hired me. They're perfectly capable of making people love them, hate them, or whatever they want, so the "no magic" rule makes it more of a challenge. It's sort of like a game for them. I understand immortals get bored easily.

As for Vic, I'm his least-favorite blood type, so as long as he's got other options around, I'm safe.

Vic said...

Ricky is AB Negative. Do any of you here realize how disgusting that is? I'd have to be starving to think of him as food.

Ginger said...

I wish I was AB-negative. I'm O-positive. But don't tell Vic.

I'm afraid to go to one of your concerts for that reason, Ricky! But I bet they're great!

What do you like to do in your spare time, to relax?

Ricky said...

Hi, Ginger. When I'm not working, I like to go to different clubs and see what new acts they've got. I follow several print and online music industry sources so I can keep up with the trends, and I listen to a lot of new music.

Kalila said...

In other words, Ginger, Ricky works all the time.

Bo said...

If it wasn't for you, Kalila, he'd probably have no fun at all.

Kalila said...

Quit insinuating, Bo.

But, yeah, there are days I have my work cut out for me, trying to get his attention.

Ricky said...

You hired me to manage your band, Kalila. The...other aspects...of our relationship are extra.

Kalila said...

You mean I'm just an afterthought? I don't like this, Ricky. We need to talk.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh.

The dreaded words. Need to talk.

You're in for it, Ricky.

Ginger said...

Don't you ever spend time with humans, Ricky? Play poker with the boys? Hang out at the beach? Do you have any friends, siblings, cousins?

wv: pundies - underwear with jokes printed on them.

Ginger said...

Anonymous, I kind of get the impression that "need to talk" means something else!

Why would Kalila be mad if you used the L-word, Ricky? Females usually LOVE to hear the L-word!

Anonymous said...

BANG!

(damn it, my author just decided to kill my character.)

(or was that the economy?)

(maybe it's from hanging around with all you guys? Who knows, maybe I'll come back from the dead??)

Ricky said...

Ginger, I don't hang out with my friends like I used to. Part of the reason is my work hours, which are more often noon - midnight, while my friends are working 8-5.

The other problem is that my friends don't really understand my line of work. Some of my friends just want to party, but I'm not into that any more. I'm not settled in the way my other friends are, though. I spend a lot of time in bars and nightclubs, but I'm not there to have fun. It's business.

It's hard to really be friends with clients or with club managers, reporters, and the like. There's always that business aspect that gets in the way.

As for the word you mention, Kalila isn't like most females. She thinks there are certain human emotions that are ridiculous and not worthy of her, and it's best to go along with her on that. I've found this out the hard way.

Ricky said...

Anon 2:14, you have my sympathy. I had to take economics as part of my coursework. That sort of thing will make anyone explode.

Ginger said...

Well, Ricky, if you ever need a human to hang out with and a sympathetic ear, drop on over. I'm usually here. And when I'm closed - work is over. Mostly.

Okay, well, yeah, I do spend quite a few late nights doing the books, but I refuse to be a workaholic like my husband. It's just not worth it to me. Look where it got him. Six feet under.

We aren't immortal, Ricky, even though the band are. Don't forget that, okay?

Kalila, remember... he's only human. Go easy on him, okay? And say the "L" word once in a while, even if you feel uncomfortable. Humans have learned to bend in that respect. We do things to make the other person happy if we want to keep them around. I hope I'm not butting in, it's just a suggestion, woman-to-woman, about human relationships that I thought you should know.

Anonymous said...

(checking self)

(hey, maybe this is the afterlife.
Maybe just my head exploded. Now I could be the Headless Husband??)

(will someone plead my case to my author.please...
and my wife?)

(wow, this is so much less stressful than paying the bills or eating.)

Anonymous said...

ps.
can I sit in with the band now that I've lost my head?

Ricky said...

Anon, the band would have to put your request to a vote, I think.

Ginger, thanks for your offer. Next time we're in the area, I'll definitely drop in for some tea and a snack.

Ginger said...

Good, I'll look forward to seeing you!

Anon, perhaps you're not "all dead," just "mostly dead" like Wesley in The Princess Bride, and your author can bring you back to life.

I love that movie!

Anonymous said...

thanks, Ginger, but this is kind of groovy.

I mean, I'm starting to get my twang on.

Oh come on guys, let me sit in on a set. Headless base.

You won't believe how out there I can get to now!

Kalila said...

We already have a bass player, Anon. But if you come to the picnic tomorrow, maybe we can all jam a little.

Anonymous said...

Has someone seen my dead character around here?

I mean what, WHAT does an author have to do to kill a character anyway?

Always complaining. His wife wasn't even happy.

Now he wants to be in a rock n' roll band?

He has lost his head!

Okay, maybe I'm not a great shot.

BTW, has anyone out here seen my ghost cowboy character? He wandered off the set awhile back too.

Damn characters. Since this blog, they think they have a life of their own.

Anonymous said...

sneaking back onto the blog.

(pssst... isn't my author a character!)

Hey Kalila, can I kiss you?

(It's all right,I'm not married anymore... that "death til we part" part and all.)

Whoops, no kisser left. Well, waving at you then.

I can't wait to jam!

Mira said...

Dead characters wandering around the blog.

Lol.

Hey Ricky, who is your favorite band member, other than Kalila?

Anonymous said...

Ricky,

what do you look like?

Anonymous said...

Stomp Stomp Stomp Stomp

(me in my red high heels meaning business)

Have any of you-all here seen my renegade husband?

He left me with crackers and ketchup for the 4th and his darn freakin' head here!!!

(holding up what's left of one exploded head, eyes rolled back, lips in a severely twisted happy grin.)

If I can get a chance to screw it back onto his body and bring him back to life, he needs to know something and it's BIG!

He and our author can't just go around killing characters–or in his case,running nilly willy away, right?– when they hit a wall. Right?

Okay, here's the deal. I'm offering a reward. Something to the tune of a sixteen concert contract for you Ricky if you can get him back into the right story line.And I know, I know, this is supposed to be a place where characters can have some independence.

But if he so much as writes you a song, Kalila, you're gonna have to deal with the likes of me.

Now, flush him out for me, would ya.

By the way, Ricky, nice abs. You know, I'm recently single...

FLOWER said...

Ricky
You got to be the centre of attention big syle.
Even written it seemed like shouting.

Do you miss your Dad?
I got money in the bank after the thing and Mum. When I'm 18 I'm getting rid of it - Will says I'll regret doing that but ... well, you didn't get much out of the having money thing.

Ricky said...

Mira, that's a loaded question you've asked. I'd have to say that Nevin has been the most helpful, though, no question about that.

Anon, I look pretty average. Brown hair, brown eyes, not really tall compared to other guys, but tall enough that most girls don't have to look down at me.

Flower, I miss my dad a lot, but I think he would be proud of me. That's great you have a trust fund. Use it wisely on an education or a house. It's good you're thinking of giving some of it away, but remember that it's no good to give charity to everyone else and then have to be bailed out, yourself.

Mira said...

Rickey. I know. I just wanted to hear what you'd say. :-) It must be so challenging to be the lone human in your band.

Do you have a dream? I've heard your girlfriend can grant wishes. If she granted yours, what would it be?

FLOWER said...

I won't need bailing out - I'd be too good bailing for that.
There is so much I don't want and nothing that I need and the money is growing like the mushrooms in the dark at Sam, Jam and Egg's. (That's what they farm - odd eh?!)

Ricky said...

Mira, I'd like to see my business really take off. I'd like to bring on other agents and business staff to handle the day-to-day matters while I seek out new and unique talent that deserves recognition. The music business is getting too safe and cookie-cutter. I'd like to be known as the guy you can go to if you've got real talent, artistic vision, and a desire to work hard to bring that vision to fruition. I want to be the one who opens doors and finds opportunities for gifted artists who would otherwise go unnoticed.

Kalila said I could only have one wish. I asked for a really great band to manage, and she gave me hers. We're on our way, and if I can help them to stardom, I'll have the contacts and standing to do it for others.

And, uh...I hope Kalila sticks around. She's made the world a more magical place for me, and I don't think I could go back to human girls.

Anonymous said...

(red high heels) stomping back into this:

"What do you mean:"Death til we part?"

Is that typo?

It's supposed to read: "Til death" not "death til!!!!"

(when I find that man, I'm a gonna kill him!)

Ricky said...

Well, Flower, that's all good to hear. Be smart, and the rest will take care of itself. The only reason my money did me no good was because I didn't use it wisely.

Anonymous said...

Ricky, what was your favorite gig?

FLOWER said...

Ricky
I don't miss Mum - that's wrong right? Of the many things I think that ain't one of them. Feelings change don't they?

Ricky said...

Anon, I don't know that I have an all-around favorite, but the first time Bo and Kalila took my advice to get a little...uh, raunchy, during Hot Night, Cold Heart was pretty memorable. The first show after Nevin's miracle healing was pretty great, too. We really drew a crowd that night! I enjoyed the show you guys all came to, too. That was fun and we need to do it again.

Well, I've got to go for now. The band has a show tonight and it's a new venue they haven't played at before so I want to go along and make sure they get set up okay and don't do anything crazy. If it looks like everyone's going to behave themselves, I'll be back in a couple hours.

Ricky said...

Flower, you've never said why you don't miss your mother, but don't beat yourself up over it. You feel what you feel, and you can't go around living the way others want you to. That's not much of a life, is it?

ghost cowboy said...

yippee cy ooo cy aaaye

(please don't tell my author I've been lurking too.)

Icky, could the band use a country vein???

flower said...

Ricky
I've never ever said that I don't miss her - I do blank staring when everyone says about missing her I've out stared two non-psychic phychiatrists and never said that cos I can't start to say stuff.
(I feel like HUGE amounts and all the words that seem to fit are just so bad I can't say them - I can say angry - but the rest is way worse).
They should do long-distance do it your self psycho stuff.

Anonymous said...

Vic,
I think Ricky's abs are very nice.

Anonymous said...

And I don't get why you're always being so negative.

Ginger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ginger said...

Ricky, I know you just left, but I just wanted to say in case you get back...

If you could plan a "dream tour" for Maelstrom, what would the top ten venues be? Anywhere in the world.

Ricky said...

Hi, Ginger. I've never given a lot of thought to a real "dream tour" with this band, since any tour where they stay out of trouble suits me.

I'd love to take these guys to Japan, though. If you can win them over, the Japanese are very loyal and forgiving fans.

Maelstrom is nowhere near that level of popularity, though. Not yet.

Anonymous said...

Ricky, how come there's only one woman in your band?

Mira said...

Ricky, thank you for a wonderful character of the week! A great start to a holiday weekend.

Next week's character of the week will be announced soon.

Thanks Ricky!