Friday, December 5, 2008

Deli Great Artists Series

Bailout Our Deli Presents
Great Artists Series

Steve Herbst

Steve "The Whistler" Herbst is a self-proclaimed whistling virtuoso based out of New York City. He is a world champion whistler. Mr Herbst tours around the country, has full-length LPs (check out "Broadway and Beyond" ), has been interviewed by a major national television network news magazine, is featured in several national ad campaigns and even does benefits, bar mitzvahs, weddings and company retreats. This guy is the real deal. Mr. Herbst does not fuck around with whistling.

The most interesting part about Steve Herbst, however, is that he has opted NOT to turn this into his full-time job. Here you have a sickly talented individual who can perfectly (and emotionally) perform Mozart Arias just by puckering his lips and blowing like he had a birthday cake stuck under his nose, and he STILL insists on holding a position as a successful vice president at a prestigious marketing firm (imagine working in HIS office. Every day. Fridays are probably the most grating and callous. He probably flies through secretaries like Stephen King flies through novels about secretaries cutting their ears off because their bosses whistle too much).

Granted, I am assuming that the guy even COULD make a living based solely on his whistling. This is mostly because his website makes it seem like this is entirely plausible. You don't get a spot on a Rockaway Bedding TV ad without having any pull in the business.

It's also probably pretty tough to land a gig at the Kennedy Center without making the big bucks.

Additionally, nobody gets positive reviews from Dino Anagnost, the Musical Director of the Little Orchestra Society, without paying him off. This is a fact known throughout the business of party-trick-professionals and casual performers (also includes people who can make their thumbs look detachable, people who can catch grapes/pretzels/other small food items in their mouths when thrown towards their faces, and generally all assholes who think they're better than you).

Even more remarkable about Mr. Herbst's achievements is the acknowledgement of the existence of world-champion whistlers. Here is a short list of his accomplishments:

  • 2002 International Grand Champion
  • 2003, 2004, 2005 International Whistling Entertainer of the Year Award
  • Inducted in 2007 into the Whistlers Hall of Fame
Yes, the Whistlers Hall of Fame

The audio samples on Mr. Herbst's Website are in the completely unusable, irritating RealPlayer format, and YouTube only provides one performance and the aforementioned TV news magazine piece. But it's a start.

No matter how mundane you are, you can always take the most normal and ubiquitious of acts and turn it into something extraordinary.

If you're a complete herb.

*UPDATED*- Here's one of the Herbst YouTube vids, enjoy:

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