Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Impressive but useless talents

There’s a guy who imitates baseball players’ batting stances. I saw him at Dodger Stadium last night. He’s uncanny at it but it got me thinking – how the hell do you make a living imitating Nomar Garciaparra’s batting stance?

And then I starting wondering – how many other gifted people are blessed with a talent that ultimately does them no good?

There’s a guy in San Francisco I once saw who did amazing reproductions of great works of art in chalk on sidewalks. Very impressive but THAT’S his calling? Of all mediums why select chalk?

A few years ago at the Hollywood Bowl an incredible mimic did the Danny Kaye Dodger song and you could swear it was Danny Kaye. How do you support your family as a Danny Kaye impersonator?

Here are a few other artists that only Broadway Danny Rose would consider representing:

There’s a guy who can snap his fingers the fastest. I guess he's the world's fastest hipster. Another can hold the most eggs in his hand. Who’s going to pay good money in Vegas to see that?

Someone claims to be the fastest texter (besides my daughter). Another is the fastest clapper. I feel sorry for the second fastest clapper because the first fastest has to be starving.

There’s a gentleman who can draw a perfect circle. Other than getting chicks I don’t see the point.

I’m sure there are others. What do baton champions do? What kind of legacy can gingerbread house makers have?

Meanwhile, Gallagher makes a handsome living smashing watermelons and Vanna White is rich from turning over vowels.

My heart goes out to these talented individuals. Oh, I just thought of another talent that yields no discernable profit.

Blogging.

18 comments:

Sebastian said...

I bet John Gruber would beg to differ about the blogging thing...

Newton said...

You forgot one:

"Writing movies for adults."

DL said...

And what about writers. Who's going to pay good money to them when "reality" is so much more compelling?

Michael said...

One of the many classic "Barney Miller" episodes involved a guy arrested for disturbing the peace by playing his hands--Harris said the "1812 Overture" was really something.

If I may, I have a talent for doing impressions. In college, I imitated my professors, which got me into a lot of trouble. Today, I'm a professor and I hear some students imitate me. I deserve that. But my wife says my Vinnie is better than Jon Miller's, so there.

danrydell said...

I'd say it's impressive to become a TV exec, but worthless if you're going to cancel "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and keep "Rules of Engagement" while greenlighting a show based on A TWITTER POST about stupid stuff your dad says.

iain said...

Another can hold the most eggs in his hand. Who’s going to pay good money in Vegas to see that?

Lots of people, as long as they surrounded him with half naked French Canadian acrobats & set it to the music of some legendary
60's band.

Tom Quigley said...

Whatever happened to the guy whose dog caught Frisbees in the outfield at Dodger Stadium between innings?... Did he ever get rich doing that?... Oops, just found out... The dog's now living in a mansion in Bel Air and his owner's living in the pool house....

TomH said...

I have an odd talent myself. Tell me what day your birthday is, and I'll tell you what day of the week it's on without having to look at a calendar.

As you may have guessed, this skill has hardly made me a powerful tycoon.

tb said...

Michael, if your Vinnie is better than Jon Miller's, I gotta hear it, cuz that's some good Vinnie there!

Gary said...

Another highly non-profitable venture: reading blogs.

Kirk Jusko said...

Some guy named Charles Schulz could draw the perfect circle, but I don't know if he made a living at it or not.

Michael said...

TB, I also do Grand Ole Opry members, but for some reason that talent gets less appreciation from my wife.

In this realm, I should add Mark Grant, the former pitcher who is so much more pleasant to hear on Padres telecasts now that Dick Enberg is doing the play-by-play. Grant used to do umpire impressions--he had their motions down well--and he did a terrific Ross Porter impression.

Malachy Walsh said...

Is that supposed to be the point of all talents? To make a living?

Or maybe it isn't a real talent if it doesn't earn real income?

Whatever the answer, I'm glad there are many talents out there too zany and specialized for anything but David Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I've made a living imitating a civil servant. I'm really not all that civil.

Vermonter17032 said...

Ken,

The profit in your blogging accrues to the READERS of your blog. So thank you!

Abie the Fish Peddler said...

For no very compelling reason, this reminded me of the Legion of Super-Heroes, a comic book team that began with just three characters, but eventually came to include about two dozen. The early members had obviously useful powers (one could read minds, one shot lightning out of his hands, etc.), but at some point the writers must have become short of ideas, because then you started getting characters such as Chlorophyll Kid, who could make plants grow fast; Bouncing Boy, who could, uh, bounce; Infectious Lass, who could make people sick; and Matter-Eater Lad, who had the ability to eat anything. The writers never seemed to figure out what to do with that last character; mostly, he just stood behind the rest, and once in awhile disarmed a bad guy by eating his gun.

Jeff Parker said...

Getting chicks, Ken, is always the point, whether you earn $50 or $50 billion.

Liam said...
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