The most common question I get asked is, “How did you come up with the name Quiet Entertainer?” The answer is pretty simple, but it deserves a not so simple explanation.
At the very beginning, Quiet Entertainer was just a screen name. Kind of an online alias. When I first went to college, I received my very first email address at MTSU where I attended. This was my introduction to the internet. I had a school email address but I wanted my OWN email. My real name is pretty common so when I signed up for a free email address I needed to come up with a name. I didn’t want to be gregfreeman12345@whatever .com .
So, the name Quiet Entertainer came to me quite easily. It most accurately reflected my personality at the time and still does today. When I was in elementary, junior high, & high school, I was the really quiet and nerdy guy. I didn’t really talk to anyone except for my one or two friends. And I usually only had just one or two friends at a time. In high school though, I started being involved in theater. Performing in front of a live audience, more than anything, made me feel very alive. So I was a very quiet dude, who suddenly had this very expressive outlet.
It not only reflected my personality then, but also what I wanted to be. I remember my high school self as being very self centered and egotistical. I really didn’t like a lot of other people. I loved to brag about how much better I was in whatever area. As I started to become more self aware about this, Quiet Entertainer as a name was a reminder to myself to practice humility, but put your best self forward. As it related to acting and theater, I wanted to stop being conceited, stop boasting, and just perform excellently. (By the way, I still am pursuing acting as a career. Take a look at my first national commercial.)
As life took its turns, I wanted my new title to spill into every area of my life instead of just acting. I think I parked quietentertainer@every-email-I-could-think-of.com at some point. I really didn’t know just how far you could take it or know anyone else who really embodied what I was trying to accomplish. As I type that, I realize I didn’t know exactly what I was trying to accomplish in the first place. That was until I discovered DJ Shadow.
I saw that video late one night in college and I was mesmerized by the music and by the DJ. Who was this guy? There wasn’t a lot of information on the internet about him at the time. Before this discovery, I was just kind of interested in DJ-ing and I thought it was cool. After seeing this video and then buying his record Endtroducing, I knew I wanted to DJ. Not just DJ, but I wanted to do what he did.
I wanted to make people feel the way DJ Shadow made me feel.
So now, I had a template. In my mind, I had found the ultimate artist. I started looking for other artists like him. As I got more and more information, I started finding my favorite artists and watching their interviews and going to see them perform. I paid attention to everything. How they carried themselves. How they answered questions. All of my favorites had a few things in common.
They were all very humble.
All were doing things artistically that no one else was really doing.
They all were great performers.
Of course, I felt the same initial feeling that I felt when I would see these types of artists.
I suppose this is all very subjective from my point of view. Artistically, I’m influenced by DJ Shadow. Also, I got a lot from Blue Man Group. I remember seeing them in New York and I was absolutely blown away by what they were doing. It seemed like they almost appealed to all five senses with their performance. As I continued to learn more about DJ-ing, I wondered what would happen if Blue Man Group decided to become DJs?
No one started calling me Quiet Entertainer in person until the Earthsuit days. I was a huge fan of Earthsuit, a band that is now broken up. I achieved superfan status for this band and was a fixture on their online forum. When I would see other Earthsuit fans, they would sometimes call me QE. The band members, even after Earthsuit was over, really inspired me to take my passion and run with it. Every time I perform, I try to pay homage to Earthsuit and all the guys that were involved in that.
So for me, it’s kind of an artistic pay-it-forward kind of thing. I want to intrigue and inspire people in the same way I was intrigued and inspired. I try to do that with the music, with my live show, with this blog, and especially through my emails.
If you have any questions about any of that, leave them in the comments below.