This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Playing Peoria ( #AtoZChallenge )

Peoria has become the standard to represent average America home-town U.S.A.  If you're accepted in Peoria then you've got a good chance of being widely accepted throughout the country.  So they say at least...

    Playing Peoria

       "Will it play in Peoria?"  has been a frequent question of vaudevillians and other American performers over the past hundred or so years.  After all Peoria is literally located in the middle of the United States and a resident of that city has long been considered representational of the typical American.  If a Peorian liked what you had to offer then you would likely be a hit wherever you played.  That was the theorized rumor at least.

        I don't know if that theory still holds true or really ever did, but the gist of it is what many marketers look for in ascertaining whether they've got a product that will sell.  Ideally, if I wrote a book for example, I would want whatever I have to offer to have a wide appeal.  Not that I'm in anything strictly for the money, but I do like the idea that I would be fairly compensated for my creative output.

          Over the years (and many years ago) I've played Peoria with the shows with which I've traveled.  I don't recall much of anything about the town other than the immense Caterpillar plant where heavy machinery and tractors are produced.  I seem to remember a river close to that plant.  But the town?  Alas I remember it not.

          I'm sure that it's a nice town, but most likely we didn't stay there or spend much time there.  We probably played our show and moved on to the next town after we were done with our performance there.  In fact I'd like to visit again someday--maybe even "play" it in some capacity.

          It's not so much that I want to be mainstream with commercial success, but financially it would be advantageous to me  To be widely accepted and appreciated would be nice.  If I made it back to the Peoria stage, whether that be literally or metaphorically, I'd rather get applause than have rotten vegetables thrown at me.  My guess is that I'm not too alone in this thinking.

          We all want to be loved to some degree or at least appreciated for the fruits of our labors.  If Peoria accepts me then maybe that will mean wider acceptance everywhere.  First I have to get to Peoria even if my Peoria is not in Illinois, but in my own mental estimation of whatever platform I used to deliver my goods. 

           If I can make it in "Peoria" then I am emboldened to keep on moving on to the next level. 

      What is your standard of success?   How would you most like to be remembered?   Have you ever been to Peoria?



  1. Great to know about Peoria! I don't care to be remembered or not ;) Once we are dead, I guess it's not a big concern...
    P is for Pojagi

    1. Frederique, a legacy would be cool I think, but I do hope that at least my kids and grandkids remember me.


  2. To me, it's more important that Peoria has a place to come to... if they don't wanna move, it's on them. (Of course, that comes with different motivations and goals...)

    1. CW, why would Peoria want to move? Heart of America. Don't know what it'd be like to live there, but I think I'd choose it over L.A.


  3. Peoria is where the Chicago Stockyards moved, as I recall. I've never been there, but I had a friend in college who grew up there.

  4. Never heard of Peoria
    My dad use to worry he would be forgotten, he hasn't been

  5. There's a Peoria in Arizona that probably couldn't hold a candle to the one you speak of.
    To Peoria - and beyond!


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