Larry knows how to keep things entertaining. If you happen to be up at midnight, EST, you should listen in and join the "Hollywood Chat Pack
" in the chat room. The show airs nightly (Mon-Fri), 12:00 - 2:00 AM with an After-The-Show show that usually goes for another hour. It's always a fun, informative, lively discussion by Larry and his lovely producer, Meredith Dake
and the regular Chat Pack gang in the chat room. I'm usually up at that time working on one thing or another and it sure beats listening to reruns of the Fox News evening shows.
On Wednesday afternoon, the day before the start of the conference, I loaded up my Expedition with all of our supplies and checked into my room at the Marriott Wardman-Park Hotel. I met up that evening with Bobby Powers
to run through a couple songs we planned on singing together at the Liberty Fest on Thursday evening. Then he and his buddies, Ron and Steve, helped me set up our booth and hang our fabulous BigDawg Music Mafia banner which looked mighty fine hanging there, if I say so myself!
Booth #509 -- Just me showing off our cool banner!
Later that evening, I found Larry O'Connor and "Dake" setting up for a special early edition of "The Stage Right Show" right outside the hotel bar. I got a chance during their show to jump behind the mic and pimp our plans for CPAC. Got to meet some great folks from the Bank of Kev crew as well as Tony Katz (All Patriots Media)
and his lovely Producer, Holly Bacon
(Left to right: Meredith Dake, Holly Bacon, Tony Katz, Larry O'Connor)
(With Kevin McKeever -- Bank of Kev
-- Note to self: Never order an Appletini from the Marriott bar again...it was horrible!)...
The next morning, I was up bright and early to get down to our booth to greet conference attendees who were curious to learn what BigDawg Music Mafia was all about, exchanged business cards with some people, did an interview with a FoxNews.com reporter, and at 12:00 headed over to the "Getting Started In Hollywood" panel hosted by Kevin McKeever
(Bank of Kev Productions).
(Stage Right Show), Kevin McKeever, and John Nolte
(Editor-In-Chief, BigHollywood.com) were also on the panel and had far more to offer in the way of advice to aspiring actors, screenwriters, filmmakers, and producers. I did get a chance to talk a little bit about the music angle and our site and how it offers artists (musicians, actors, authors, bloggers, etc.) a place to showcase their craft.
Talking to some panel attendees...
After the panel, I got a chance to get on the air with Melody Scalley
(one of our members here) who hosts a radio show called "Politics On The Edge" on 103.3 WESR FM on the Eastern Shore and talk about our site and our CPAC plans.
At 6:00 PM we headed over to the Virginia Ballroom to set up for our Liberty Fest, featuring Saturday Night Live Alum, Victoria Jackson
, Chris Cassone
, Bobby Powers
, Norm Cady
, Robert Mansfield
, Hi Caliber & Sacrifice (Enemy of the State)
, Eric Golub
, Brian Futch
, Sherry Marquelle
, and yours truly
. The event was not as well-attended
as we would have liked but we had fun anyway...and Victoria was great as our emcee!
Victoria sings her song that has gone viral on YouTube:
There's a Communist Living in the White House"
I was beat by the time I made it up to my room that night...decided to Google my name and "CPAC" to see if the FoxNews interview
had posted yet and was not able to find it but did find a wonderful recap of the Hollywood panel I was on posted at BigHollywood.com
by Editor-In-Chief, John Nolte
in which he had some great comments about me and what we are doing with our site. That totally made my night!
The next morning I hit the booth at 0800 and met more great folks who seemed interested in what we were doing...and said they planned on joining. My buddy Tom Whitmore
(one of our members and booth volunteers) and I went to the hotel bar to get some lunch (thanks for buying my lunch, Tom!) and I ran into John Nolte
, so I thanked him for the kind words he wrote about me in his article. He invited me to be a contributing writer for BigHollywood and write a piece about BigDawg Music Mafia, telling the readers a bit about myself, why we started the site, and what we hope to accomplish. BAM! That just took our mission of showcasing conservative artists to a whole new level...thank you, John...and thank you GOD...for hooking us up! I just submitted my debut piece yesterday, received my official welcome to BigHollywood email, and am excited about being able to ramp up our efforts to promote conservative pop culture!
With Jason Mattera...he's awesome and gives me great hope for our future conservative leaders!
I introduced each panelist and they each gave their opening remarks...all of them were fantastic and very motivating. Folks lined up at the two mics stationed in the aisles and a great Q&A session ensued with some insightful responses from the panelists. The hour flew by and at the end, we exchanged business cards and they said they'd like to stay in touch and see how they can help us promote the artists at this site. They were great!
Having gotten both panels and the Liberty Fest behind me, the pressure was off and I was able to relax a bit the rest of the conference with my only remaining mission being to network, network, network. And network I did! I came home with a rather sizable stack of business cards from radio hosts, media service reps, producers, filmmakers, bloggers, and more...
That evening, with most of the artists homeward bound, I found myself standing in the hotel lobby trying to figure out what to do about dinner. That's when I saw Kevin McKeever pretty much doing the same thing. We decided to try to find a great steak house...and ended up eating at the McCormick & Schmick's Steak House. Thanks, Kev...I enjoyed our dinner and conversation!
Saturday brought more curious passers-by to our booth, more business cards were exchanged, and several new members joined our site (I have yet to make the rounds to personally greet them all as I am still playing catch-up both at the office and here at home).
I got in line about 45 minutes prior to Ann Coulter's book signing and we were told we would not be able to pose for a photo with Ann or give her any kind of gift (I had planned on giving her one of my CDs)...But when it was my turn to get my book signed, I introduced myself, told her I was there representing BigDawg Music Mafia to help promote conservative artists and she thought that was very cool. I then told her my very first TEA Party song, A Revolution's Brewing
mentions her name and she said she'd love to hear it...so I whipped a CD out of my purse and handed it to her...hehe....I'm such a rebel.
Conservative icon, author, and Fox News contributor, Ann Coulter
I now have a copy of "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans"...and she has my CD.
By the time that was over, it was time to pack up our booth and head home. Many people were not leaving until Sunday and I was invited to join the Bank Of Kev crew for dinner later that evening and the Smart Girl Politics gang were going out to do some karaoke...both sounded like they'd be a blast...but truthfully...I was WHOOPED! I just wanted to get home and sleep for a couple days. And that is just what I did. Thankfully I was spared and did not contract the dreaded "CPAC Plague" that so many attendees seem to be afflicted with (I think #CPACPlague
might even be a trending hashtag!).
All in all...it was a fabulous event...lots of great new contacts...many new members joining us over the past week...an opportunity to be a contributing writer at BigHollywood...some terrific new friends...great pics with some cool people...and some wonderful, lasting memories of our "maiden voyage" at CPAC. It was a resounding success.
BigDawg and I thank you all from the bottom of our hearts...all who participated...all our fabulous volunteers...and all who helped spread the word! Your efforts helped kick things up a notch...or ten for this site! Some exciting new opportunities are coming this way for us and we have plans to beef up our site to make it an even better "home" for conservative artists. Keep pressing on....keep up the good fight...and keep spreading the word....we are just getting warmed up!
With Carole and Mike Coberley (friends/coworker)
UNTIL NEXT TIME...
Keep the pressure on!