By PJ Tracy
MURFREESBORO — A budding comedian is looking to make his first appearance for a good cause very soon.
Danny Eckert, a preacher, play-by-play voice of the Murfreesboro Rattlers and the office manager for Murfreesboro High School, will live out a lifelong dream and lend his comedic skills to the effort by performing a “Staying Alive” stand up routine to raise money for local Future Business Leaders of America to attend their national conference in Atlanta, Georgia later this summer.
The comedy show is set for May 23 at the MHS activity room at 6:30 p.m. and will cost $10 for admittance. A bake auction will also coincide with the event to raise funds.
Tickets can be purchased in advance by contacting the Murfreesboro High School office or can be purchased at the door the night of the event.
Eckert said entertaining has always been is his blood since a young age.
“I’ve always had a desire to act, or do the comedy, even as a kid I was trying to write jokes … it’s something that had always interested me, but I didn’t know how to go about it. Over the years I’ve written things, but didn’t know what to do with them.”
Ultimately, he said, modern technology has really helped him to realizing his life long goal.
“You have Tik Tok and all of the social media platforms that you can push content out to, it’s simply a matter of creating. I have been talking about this for the past couple of years seriously, but didn’t know how to get it done, and then we took a trip to California last summer and that really got me to thinking, and some students suggested I look at Tik Tok, and decided that was great for some of the creativity stuff. So I started that to help get my name out there, to where if I did something like this, they wouldn’t just know me as someone who works at the school, now there is some comedic stuff out there. We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing to get to this, and now we are hoping the comedy shows will feed the videos and vice-versa.”
Stopping short of calling any of his comedic videos “viral”, his uploaded comedic skits can be seen at tiktok.com/@dannye122 or at his his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/danny.eckert.395 as well as on Twitter at twitter.com/eckertdanny.
“They are picking up some steam — I don’t know if it’s 100,000 views or a million that gets you viral — but I have a Glen Campbell video that I put out that has 42,000 views, and some other things have gotten several thousand views … so, we are getting out there, we just haven’t had that one to break loose and go viral as of yet. But we just keep pushing it out there.”
Besides his comedy efforts, Eckert has also started a “Speaking with Danny” motivational speaker business (www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100088604390131), for which he has booked a pair of engagements with Kirby Schools and the Central Arkansas Development Council later this summer to “motivate their staff.”
“Speaking and entertaining is just something I have always been good at — my mother always said I would use my mouth to do something, possibly as a politician or minister. I am preaching somewhere just about every Sunday. I’ve always been comfortable in front of a crowd.”
He said it was ironic, as he tends to have a shy personality in small groups of even a couple of people.
“I’m really an introvert, pretty shy, and if I’m around one or two people I tend to clam up. But, put me on stage in front of a thousand people, and I am as at ease as on the front porch, sitting there visiting with somebody,” he admitted, confessing he doesn’t understand how it works that way. “To me, that is just when I am in my element — up there — but in a small group I am just as anxious and nervous as I can be. People might find that surprising, because I have done some outlandish stuff at ballgames, and entertaining, when I am just at ease.”
Eckert said his stand-up routine was all based on both and his family’s life experiences.
“Everything I tell is stories of things we have actually done — just a tiny sliver may be added for comedic effect, but 99% of it is stories of what has happened to us over the years, that I have put into a show — from growing up at Chidester (near Camden) to high school and trying to date, with no one to date, and then meeting [his future wife] Heather. I don’t know how we ever got together, and then naturally kids, they are a constant source of comedy.”
He also says that his wife is a “constant source of inspiration … as long as we are together, I will have material. I don’t have to worry about the well running dry.”
For his videos, he states he is inspired for some by those he sees online, though most of them are wholly original in creation.
“Most of the stuff I just get an idea. I do a lot of walking, and a lot of times while walking something will come to me, and when I get home we’ll go do it. Most of my ideas come while walking,” he states with a laugh. “That’s my therapy … I used to use that time for sermon preparation, but now that I’m not having to put three sermons together a week, so now it’s a good time to think about the other stuff.”
He said ultimately the end goal was simply more success with what he is doing now.
“I’d like to be able to support and supplement our income with both the comedy and the motivational speaking — at other local schools, just to go out and speak, I’m not really that interested in touring the country. I do hope to travel extensively throughout our area.”
He said that he knew his first show would be at MHS, as the alma mater of his children, and that it would be for free so that he could find a way to give back.
“It’s helping [the FBLA kids], but it’s also helping me because I can work through the material in front of an audience. This is the first time I’ve put it all together into a show like this, making sure each story is in the right place and flows. I knew I wanted to start here and give back to the school, in honor of my three kids and my job. I just wanted to help out.”
Eckert said he will also have merchandise available at the show, such as t-shirts featuring screenshots of his more popular online videos, as well as mousepads and “different things.” Items sold at the MHS event will see 10% of processed given to the FBLA cause.
“I’m really looking forward to it, I think it will be good. I think people will get their ten bucks worth.”