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The 5 Most Difficult Challenges of Life on the Road and How to Overcome Them!

Today’s guest is Washboard Willy, also known as Larry Hiskett. He is the person who changed the direction of my life and taught me some valuable lessons. Back in the mid-90’s, when I was learning to be a performer and run my business, I would run into him everywhere I went. He was a “Musical Mountain Man” and a wonderful entertainer. Join us!

Washboard Willy shares the following about his amazing
life and work:Washboard Willy

  • Larry began working as a drummer in bars and clubs all over
    Kansas at age 15.
  • In 1985, he worked as a landscape architect and a park planner
    in Colorado.
  • He played in a band that specialized in German polka
  • He had a motorcycle crash that paralyzed his girlfriend and
    sent him into therapy.
  • He gave a 90-day notice and quit his job, and then discovered
    the washboard.
  • He became obsessed with the instrument and modified it with all
    kinds of percussion instruments.
  • Larry developed the Whiskett Rhythm Board, created his own musical tracks and formed a band.
  • Soon, he was invited to visit Japan in a Sister City program.
  • A couple of years later, he was invited to go back to Japan for a 6-month visit and did a one-man show at a restaurant.
  • The biggest challenge was figuring out how to connect with the children when he couldn’t speak their language.
  • Find out how a few rhythm toys helped him bridge the gap and connect with children and their parents.
  • When he returned to the US, he knew he wanted to give up his work in bars and clubs to become a children’s entertainer.
  • He performed in preschools, schools, and ski schools around Colorado while still working as a landscape architect to supplement his income.
  • Washboard Willy has been a musician for 50 years! He feels blessed and full of gratitude at what he gets to do.
  • 80-90% of his revenue comes from the fair industry, even though younger entertainers have a negative view of the industry.
  • Willy’s wife of 13 years has performed with him in the past but now serves as his manager.
  • He has teamed up with Lloyd Mabry to create “Lloyd and Willy,” which plays all kinds of music and musical comedy.
  • Willy’s advice: “Stick to it. Don’t ever give up. Always look for opportunities.”
  • Willy shares the story of moving his wagon around the Oregon State Fair and how he adapted and evolved his creative, fun, atmosphere at the fairgrounds.
  • Whatever you do, make it YOU. Don’t copy someone else.”
  • Find Willy at http://www.washboardwilly.com or on Facebook at Willy’s Washboard Jamboree and at Lloyd and Willy.