A Typical Day in Brett World

by Brydon Brett

Some of the family with the crew from our most recent tour date in Oakley, KS. On tour the days are longer and harder, but they're sweetness.

A lot of people ask what a typical day is like for a family in show business. Honestly, it’s a lot of fun but it can also get pretty crazy. By and large, what you see is what you get with our family. What we are on stage isn’t too much different than what we are off stage, except dad doesn’t do pirouettes off stage. He doesn’t do pirouettes on stage either. Point made. Anyway, we do have a pretty hefty schedule. Of course our schedule changes depending on whether we’re on the road, in Branson show season, or whatever, but here’s a small peek at what a typical Branson day is like in the life of a 26 year-old Brett who lives in his parents’ basement.

6:00 a.m. –  I’m awake at this time but some people in the house are up earlier. I do personal morning devotional, book-writing, and personal study things.
7:00 a.m. – Family scripture study and prayer.
7:15 a.m. – A little piano practice, some dance practice, and a little vocal training. Some mornings I have to get up and do promotionals or other work-related things.
8:15 a.m. – Shower (yes I do) and get ready for the day (I continue vocal warm ups in the shower – everyone in the house loves it), eat breakfast, continue listening to something educational on my iPod or something like that.
9:00 a.m. – Arrive at the theater to get ready for our morning show, curl my hair, etc. I always help greet all of the groups that come to the show in buses, which is a lot of fun.
9:45 a.m. – Onstage for pre-show festivities.
10:00 a.m. – Onstage dancing and singing and stuff like that.
12:00 p.m. – Saying goodbye to friends and fans, signing autographs ($5 per letter), taking pictures, etc.
12:45 p.m. – Get backstage, clean up my dressing room, get dressed in civilian clothes or do like video shoots and stuff. A lot of times we’ll have promotionals or video shoots or rehearsal-related stuff right after the show, but most of the time I just have to clean up and get everything ready for the show the next day.
1:00 p.m. – Most of the time I take lunch, but some times I forget. I’ve got to do better on that one this year.
2:00 p.m. – I’m up in the office to help with sales and marketing activities, production stuff, or anything else that is required to run the business side of things. Music business is often a lot more about business than about music. A lot of the time there will be other promotional activities and performances to do in the afternoon. It just depends on the day.
3:00 p.m. – We try to rehearse in the afternoon a few times a week. So, if we do, this is the time we normally do it.
5:00 p.m. – Back in the office trying to take care of all the work I didn’t get to earlier. There’s always like eight hours of work to try to do in three or four hours every day.
7:30 p.m. – We’re trying not to work past 7:30 this year, but it hasn’t been working so well since we had to get ready for a big tour, we’ve been trying to launch this new website, and all the other projects we have on the plate. Once again, it just depends on the day. If we’re on the road, then this is the time of night we’re typically doing shows and we’re traveling all throughout the day. If I get to come home at this time, then I have dinner with the family. For me, pretty much every night of the week is scheduled with family night, music lessons, songwriting sessions, youth night (I’m a youth leader in our church) or other projects that I’m trying to get done. I like to keep anxiously engaged in doing good things and make stuff happen. I also like to chill out and watch a movie with the family if time allows. I’m a big fan of family time (away from the stage and the office).
10:00 p.m. – This is my ideal bed time. How many times have I been able to make it this year? Not a good question to ask. I’m working on it. Most of the time I’m saying my evening prayer and getting in bed a little after 11:00 p.m. and then I start everything all over again the next morning.

Again, depending on the day or time of year we might be doing video shoots, recording sessions, radio interviews, traveling or any number of cool things. I never imagined myself having this kind of lifestyle, but I wouldn’t trade it. No sir. The coolest thing about Branson is that it still allows you to have a great family lifestyle and be in show business at the same time. We do quite a bit of touring but it’s not like we’re on the road all of the time and we don’t get to see our family. We can’t get away from our family! 🙂 That’s actually the best part about it – that I get to do this with my family. It’s extremely rewarding. So, anyway, that’s about it on the typical day thing. Nothing glamorous, but I like it. I’m just a regular old dude, 26 years-old, living in my parents’ basement. No big deal.

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My Happily Ever After

By Briahna Brett Perkins
DSCF1084-cropped.jpgAs a little girl, I loved to play “make believe.” I would spend hours pretending to be my favorite TV or movie characters, creating my own little imaginative worlds of wonder and adventure.  Among my favorite roles to play were the daring and exuberant Anne from Anne of Green GAdd a custom formables, the prissy and fashionable Margaux from Punky Brewster, the graceful yet clumsy Maria from The Sound of Music, and the hopeful and poised Cinderella.  I had a wooden kitchen set, hand-crafted by one of my Dad’s chiropractic patients, that was the stage for many of my creative ventures.  Built around it was a miniature house made of food storage cans and buckets full of wheat, oats, rice and dehydrated food, stacked up and sectioned off by large pieces of plywood.  There were stories and rooms to my little house that I would get lost in hour after hour, as I assumed my chosen character.

There was one particular character I loved depicting the best—one that I loved mimicking and imagining myself as more than any other.  It wasn’t from a TV series or classic movie.  It wasn’t imagined up or created from some fictitious character.  It came from my everyday life.  It came from watching my Mom each day, from observing her in our home—loving, working, teaching, and nurturing.  I wanted to be my Mom.

Fast forwarding many years later, I found my Gilbert Blythe and my Prince Charming, realizing the dreams of a young, imaginative girl.  Soon to follow, my ultimate dream came true and I discovered that I was going to be a mom.  Throughout my entire pregnancy, I thought back to my years of watching and pretending to be my Mom, and wondered how I’d actually play the role myself.  Then it happened.  My sweet baby Ivan was born and I could now be a real, live mom.  That is me!  I’m a mom!

Since Ivan’s birth, over 5 months ago, I have found the role of mother to be more rewarding, heavenly, joyous, tiring, humorous and beautiful than ever imagined.  The same hours I spent pretending to be a mom are now spent actually being a mom, and I couldn’t be more blessed or happy.  As I wrote in a recent letter to my brother, Garon, who is serving a mission for our church in Bogotá, Colombia, “I LOVE being a mommy!  Being a mother to the most wonderful little son has made me happier and more purpose-filled than I’ve ever been before!  I absolutely love losing sleep, being spit up, drooled, pooped and peed on, doing endless laundry, having an achy back due to carrying Ivan all over the place, loading up tons of stuff everywhere I go, not having much if any control of my own schedule, and working harder, longer hours than I’ve ever worked before.  It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me!  I also love looking into my baby’s eyes and seeing how innocent, loving and sweet he is.  I love cuddling with him in my arms; watching him breathe softly while he sleeps; seeing his eyes light up and a big grin come across his face when he sees me; seeing him wake up in the morning with a big yawn and a stretch; spending precious “mommy/Bitty” time in the wee hours of the night when he’s hungry; holding him close to my body as he eats and holds my hand; watching him discover new things and being amazed at himself; seeing him develop and become more coordinated, aware, fascinated and strong; and the list goes on and on and on.  I love being a mom!!!”

From the stages of my imagination to the stage of real life, I am thankful for the role of mother, and am so happy to now make my “make believe” world a reality.

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I Have Holes in My Pockets!

By Brydon Brett

Actually all the Bretts have holes in our pockets. Why? Gratitude rocks. That’s right – gratitude rocks. Here’s the idea around gratitude rocks: basically you pick a rock to put in your pocket as a reminder to express gratitude. The rock represents something you’re grateful for. So until you express gratitude for something you can’t take the rock out of your pocket. Make sense? You can also put a handful of rocks in your pocket and thus motivate yourself to express gratitude more often. It’s a cool idea.

This Christmas we’ve been saving up a bunch of gratitude rocks for this final blog post of the year, so our pockets and our hearts are bursting at the seams. Here’s a little recap of The Bretts’ year 2010 wrapped in a warm blanket of gratitude rocks.

We are grateful…

  • …for a new nephew/grandson/son. Ivan is awesome. He giggles a lot and he’s learning to trust his uncle.:) I’m also grateful I haven’t changed his diaper yet.
  • …for a son/brother who loves the Lord and is serving Him for two years in Bogota, Colombia. Garon is awesome. I will say, however, that I’m grateful for this chance for mom to finally realize she loves me more than Garon while he’s away (it’s a middle child thing I think).
  • …that Brydon (me) finally graduated college. I’m smart now!
  • …for new Brett team members who are making a huge difference in our organization as we move forward.
  • …for our most successful year in Branson ever, and an even more promising 2011 on the horizon!
  • …for our most awarded season ever. If you read the news article you’ll know that The Bretts Show received 21 nominations and 7 awards this year. We are humbled and grateful for the recognition.
  • …for mom & dad’s 30th anniversary (And for my 26th anniversary of not being married. I’m accepting marriage candidate resumes e-mailed to neverbeenmarried@liveinmyparentsbasement.com).
  • …for good health, great friends, and a great family.
  • …for incredible fan support! There are so many like-minded people like you who have helped make this year successful for us and for our cause. Thank you for making a difference. More good things to come!

A few weeks ago one of our team members told us that a man had been to our show and had shared a very special story with her. He told her that he’d come to see our show a long time ago. At the time, he was a drug addict, a drug dealer, and a gang member (and maybe some other things too – I can’t remember exactly). He said that our show changed his life. He’s now actively involved in church and has abandoned all of the old, destructive things he used to do. To me, and to my family, this is the greatest gratitude rock of all – the opportunity to use our talents to help transform lives. Of course, we know it’s not us who do the transforming. We’re just instruments.

How grateful we are during this Christmas season for the Babe of Bethlehem who makes all of our blessings possible and gives purpose to our lives. He is the reason we sing and the reason we are able to make any kind of difference in the world. He is the real Rock for which we should express all our gratitude. We hope your Christmas season is full of joy and meaning and that 2011 is your best year yet. If you’ve got gratitude rocks to get rid of, then do it. It’s a great weight loss program. Merry Christmas y’all!

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Briahna’s Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

By Briahna Brett Perkins

It’s Thanksgiving time again and we all have so much to be grateful for. I, for one, am grateful for family traditions and family recipes that bring us together and cause us to spend quality time with one another during the holiday season. As usual, this Thanksgiving Day will see my mom and I in the kitchen (with our wonderful extended family and friends) whipping up some special Brett Family dishes. For this blog post I thought I’d share two of my favorite recipes. They are both extra yummy cranberry dishes that are quite easy to make. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I do! Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

P.S. We’re always looking for new Thanksgiving recipes. If you have any personal favorites you’d like to contribute just leave the recipe in the comments below. 🙂

Cranberry Salad – from Grandma Christensen
1 lb. package cranberries, washed and chopped
1 c. sugar
2 c. grated apples
1 large can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 package mini marshmallows
1 c. pecans (optional)
2 c. whipping cream

Let cranberries set in sugar for a few minutes.  Add all ingredients except cream.  Set in refrigerator until marshmallows have soaked in juices.  Add 1 c. whipping cream.  Just before serving, fold in second cup whipping cream.

Cranberry Salad

Cranberry Cake with Butter Sauce – from Andrea Brett via good friend, Renee Norton

2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

Stir in:
1 c. milk
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1 bag cranberries

Pour in greased, floured 9×9 round pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes at 350.

Serve warm with this sauce:
1 stick butter
1 c. sugar
3/4 c. cream

Cook over medium heat until melted and slightly thick.  (Beware: The butter sauce is so good, you may be tempted to drink it!)

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Get That Kid a Helmet!

By Brydon Brett

I’m an uncle. Uncle Brydon. When Ivan Thomas Perkins was born to my sister and her husband, Merrill, I had a rush of thoughts and feelings. I first wanted the doctors to check to see if Ivan had a concussion. Why? Well, Briahna didn’t miss a show during her pregnancy and Ivan was just rolling around in there like a little hamster for nine months.  So I figured the chances were high. He was fine.

My next thought was, “That kid’s going to need a helmet if I’m ever going to hold him.” I’m not the best with kids ya’ know. Parenthetically, many people wonder if I was dropped on my head as a child. No I wasn’t, but it sure would save me a lot of explanation time every day. “Brydon, why did you wear flippers and a 90-gallon foam cowboy hat during How Great Thou Art today?” “Oh, my dad dropped me on my head when I was a child.” Next topic.

My most poignant thoughts were not, however, about the helmet Ivan might need to protect him from his uncle’s clumsiness, or about dirty diapers (I had that concern as soon as I heard Briahna was getting married), or even about the wonder of new life. No, my deepest thoughts were thoughts of responsibility.

I felt a deep sense of responsibility as I looked at that little dude. I realized that he’s going to be watching me, taking his cues from me, learning from me. I realized I would need to watch even more carefully the things I say and do. I realized that he has been born into a great world, but a rough world. There are a lot of winds and turns, bumps and valleys. And I have the responsibility to help him, to impart what I know, to encourage, and to be a good example. This is a sobering thought.

We all could use a little Ivan in our lives to remind us of our duty to the rising generation. True, they are our future, but right now we represent their future. They look up to us. They will emulate us. They will build on our shoulders. What messages are you sending? What wisdom are you imparting? We all have something to contribute to a young life, and even though they may give you the glazed over stare of a teenager or a two-month old baby, they’re listening. They’re watching. They’re learning.

I recently attended a customer service training called “Give ‘Em the Pickle.” It was all about giving your customer what they want. Well, Ivan and the rest of the rising generation need (and want) strength and fortification to be protected from falling on their heads in a crazy world. We can give them this protective head gear every day by modeling, leading, and teaching. So, I say “Give ‘em the helmet.” And do it every day. They’re gonna’ need it.

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On This Memorial Day

By Andrea Brett

This morning I had the wonderful opportunity to recite my poem, “I am a Veteran” at the Memorial Day ceremonies held at the Springfield National Cemetery in Springfield, Missouri.  There were about 1000 people there, mostly veterans and their families.  It was such an honor to be in their presence and to feel the spirit of patriotism there.  I was moved as a flag from each branch of the armed forces was posted.  I got chills during the canon salute and when all in the audience stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.  I couldn’t hold back the tears when, in conclusion, an older gentleman from VFW Post 963 stood with his bugle and quietly played Taps.

It was General George S. Patton who said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”  I, for one, thank God that such men lived, and I am so grateful that I had the chance this morning to reflect on their great sacrifice. On this special day I thought it would be appropriate to share the background story behind my poem.  I have never shared this publicly, but perhaps it (along with the video) will communicate a little of why this day means so much to me.

Wishing you a happy Memorial Day,
Andrea Brett

P.S.  At 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, June 5, at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, we are offering a special performance of our full 2010 show for only $10.  The proceeds of this show will go to benefit ProNet International Gifts and Scholarships, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to raising scholarship money for veterans and their families.  Seating is general admission and tickets are available at the door.  If you would like to learn more about this wonderful cause, visit www.provets.org.

“I am a Veteran”
Poem Background Notes
By Andrea C. Brett

One of the greatest privileges our family has enjoyed since we began performing in Branson, Missouri is meeting the veterans who come to our show every single day.  As I have spoken with many of these men and women over the years, I have discovered time and time again that some of the most amazing and inspiring stories of sacrifice and service to our country come from the most common people.  Without their uniform to distinguish them from everyone else in the crowd, they look just like you and I.   They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and backgrounds, yet they share one very important bond – military service to the greatest country on earth.  Behind each of their faces and in each of their hearts is a story that most likely has gone untold or unheralded.  Most of them believe that their contribution was small – just part of their duty – but it is these individual efforts that have combined into a mighty force for freedom.  These stories, in combination, make up the bigger story of America itself – a story of courage, sacrifice, faith, honor, love, and the commitment to preserve and protect Her precious liberties.

The poem “I am a Veteran” was written to pay tribute to those who have written this story.  Each line or phrase in the poem is the voice of one of these men or women; each represents an actual person that I have met or have been told about.  The poem is not about one veteran, but each and all.  The words represent only a sampling of the diverse experiences of our veterans – it would be impossible to cover them all – therefore, it is intended  more to symbolize the sacrifice of all veterans and to honor them for the service they each performed.

The poem was also written to cause anyone who reads or hears it to become more aware of each man or woman they encounter in their everyday comings and goings.  Maybe he or she is a veteran.  Maybe he or she had a part in securing my freedoms.  Maybe this “common” person has performed uncommon service in my behalf.  If so, the ground we share in our daily walk is truly sacred ground.

I have been told by many veterans that my poem has given them a voice.  This is the highest compliment I could possibly receive.  It is an honor to speak for any of these noble men and women who have given so much.  It is with deepest gratitude and humility that I offer “I am a Veteran” as my gift to these great Americans.

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Briahna’s Having a Baby and Other Great News

THANK YOU! First of all, we want to thank all of our friends and fans who joined us last weekend in Appleton, Wisconsin.  It was such a great experience all the way around, and the fried cheese curds totally rocked!  We appreciated your support so much.  Like Lawrence Welk would say, thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, this week we just wanted to let you in on a few exciting news headlines.  Here they are:

  • BRIAHNA’S HAVING A BABY >> That’s right.  Briahna and her husband Merrill are expecting a baby some time in August.  Are they excited?  Yes.  Is Tom going to be an awesome grandfather?  Yes, if he doesn’t drop the baby on his/her head like he did Brydon.
  • TOM & ANDREA ARE FINALLY FINISHING THEIR DUET ALBUM >>  The album will be entitled, Lasting Love Songs, and should be released around May 24th in celebration of their 30th anniversary.  This has been a long time in the making, so we’re excited.
  • WE OPEN OUR BRANSON SHOW ON APRIL 13 >> It’s going to be the best Brett Family experience yet.  We’re not kidding.  You can purchase your tickets in advance right here.  Oh, and by the way, we really appreciated all of the song feedback you gave us on Facebook as we were selecting songs.  You’re gonna like what you helped us come up with!
  • BRYDON & GARON ARE RECORDING AN EP ALBUM THIS SUMMER >> In fact, they just spent two months together out at Southern Virginia University (where Brydon is finishing up his senior year) writing music and just keeping it real.  Here’s a little video (below) with all of their friends singing one of Garon’s songs at their weekly jam session.  Sorry if the quality isn’t that great.  It was recorded on a camera phone.  Just thought you’d like to see what the boys have been up to.

Have a great week!  We sincerely appreciate your love and support.  Let’s keep on working together to make this world a better place.  See you soon!

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