Entertainer, Actor, Voice Artist, Author, Tour Guide 707-762-2596

PretendingToMakeALiving.com

Pretending to Make a Living-FRONT THEN BACK

Pretending to Make a Living is the story of Christopher Linnell’s four decade career as an entertainer, broadcaster, actor, voice artist, tour guide, and writer.

Purchase your copy NOW at: https://www.CreateSpace.com/4280385

OR, purchase a signed copy from Christopher in person at the following event:

PETALUMA LIBRARY; Saturday, Nov. 2; 2-3:30pm; 100 Fairgrounds Dr. @ E. Wash.

Watch this space for info about Christopher’s speaking and book-signing schedule.

Schedule Christopher to speak to YOUR group for FREE: ChristopherLinnell@HireAStar.net.

PML-Headshot of Christopher David Linnell

PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING
Memories of my Four Decades as an Entertainer,
Improv Comic, Actor, Broadcaster, and Tour Guide

by Christopher David Linnell

PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING is a collection of memories by Christopher David Linnell about the four decades he spent working as an entertainer, improv comic, actor, broadcaster, and tour guide.

Christopher first entertained as a child in the San Francisco Bay Area, using magic, puppetry, and ventiloquism. He began doing stand-up at age 9 and moved with his family to Guam where he began entertaining professionally at 14, and, upon his return to California in 1977 he started working in local radio at age 16 as an air personality, news writer and announcer, and as a commercial writer, producer, and voice artist, as well as a live program host on remote broadcasts.

Christopher began working in Sonoma County television at age 22, doing commercials, sketch comedy, and hosting live remote broadcasts. He later joined SAG and AFTRA and worked out of San Francisco in union productions of industrial films, commercials, television programs, and feature films, and he did some modeling.

As a professional entertainer, Christopher specializes in celebrity impersonations, including more than 200 celebrity voices and 100 costumed impersonations. He has performed corporate comedy at staff meetings, OSHA safety meetings, national sales meetings, and conventions and trade shows, as well as promotions, special events, and parties throughout 14 of the United States.

In PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING Christopher recalls performances for country artists Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, U.S. Senator Richard Gebhardt, California Governor Pete Wilson, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey, U.S. Representative Don Clausen, FBI Director Louis Freh, comedian Tommy Smothers, rock drummer Steve Smith and members of the band Journey, actors Terry McGovern, Danny Glover, actors David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Lewis Arquette, Rosanna Arquette, Patricia Arquette, Nicholas Cage, Jon Lovitz, Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, and Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson.

As the title jests, it’s not always easy making a living as a professional entertainer, and Christopher discusses in detail how he managed to diversify his entertainment services and keep at least two jobs going at all times…sometimes simultaneously managing to work as a clown, puppeteer, celebrity impersonator, singing telegram performer, radio announcer, television actor, and fair performer.

He also discusses some of his more unusual pursuits, including stiltwalking, shoot-outs, and driving motorized cable cars and amphibious DUKWs, and some of the most difficult tasks he’s faced: fourteen years performing as a clown at kids’ parties, four hours of intense questioning by the U.S. Secret Service, three marriages, and kissing a girl on the silver screen…ewww.

Millions around the world have seen him perform, yet no one outside of the San Francisco Bay Area recognizes him, he’s got no health insurance, no retirement, and he’s still renting his house.

How can this be? Because Christopher is PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING.

This book is 312 pages filled with stories, songs, scripts, and snapshots, and includes the inside story of Sonoma County radio and television in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, as well as hilarious misadventures with the rich and famous.

Illustrated with hundreds of pictures of Christopher in and out of costume with his celebrity clients and colleagues, you will laugh and cry and will not want to put the book down!

Christopher Linnell will be appearing in person, selling and signing his book in his booth each week at the www.PetalumaFarmersMarket.com, beginning Wednesday, June 19, from 4:30-8pm, on 2nd Street (between B and D Streets), and Saturday, June 22, from 2-5:30pm, in Walnut Park on Petaluma Boulevard South (between D and E Streets).

Purchase your copy NOW at: https://www.CreateSpace.com/4280385

Pretending to Make a Living-FRONT THEN BACK

Here are some of the people who have purchased signed copies from Christopher in person:

 

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“I’ve spent my life making people laugh. You can’t point to that, you can’t stand on that, you can’t manipulate that, or hang that on a wall. Sure, there are pictures, and audio and video recordings, and newspaper and magazine articles; but they don’t convey the same feeling of accomplishment that an abrupt belly-laugh conveys when it’s wrenched out of a room full of people, or the soothing reciprocity of a round of sincere applause.”

1969-07-15-Walter Ego

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“While in primary school I dabbled in magic, and every guest in our home was treated to a less-than-skillful display of legerdemain delivered with a nonetheless inspired level of humor and showmanship and stage presence. My parents thought it was cute and funny, and they encouraged me with their laughter and applause. In fact, they would frequently awaken me from a sound sleep and drag me down the hall in semi-consciousness to the living room to watch Johnny Carson’s ‘Mighty Carson Arts Players’ skits on The Tonight Show on NBC. He got his start in the same way and at the same age, so I guess my parents figured I’d follow in his footsteps.”

1972-04-22-The Silly Willy Show

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“My first stand-up comedy routine consisted of myself with a ventriloquist puppet, and included my buddy, Keith, as comedic partner. It was a talent show at Tamuning Elementary School on Guam, and my first exposure to a large audience of several hundred of my peers laughing and clapping.”

1973-02-23-Talent Show-Puppet Show

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“I typed up scripts, and recorded elaborate soundtracks for my shows on tape in my bedroom using character voices, ragtime music, and home-made sound effects. There was a lava lamp sitting outside my bedroom door with a sign that said, ‘If the light is ON, I am recording…please DO NOT DISTURB!’”

1973-07-24-Lieder Show

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Back in 1976, my junior high school…staged a talent show, and I impersonated my favorite celebrities. James Cagney changed a baby’s dirty diaper (‘Yooouuu dirty brat!’), Edith Bunker got tipsy at a cocktail party, and Elvis started out singing a beautiful version of ‘Amazing Grace,’ then halfway through made a transition into a rock-n-roll beat to which he began swinging and gyrating his hips in characteristic style.”

1974-1976 - Groucho, Dracula, Cagney

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“The Linnell family made this a regular Saturday night activity, and the two Straw Hat entertainers became intrigued by their most enthusiastic fan… They invited me onto the stage one night, and were treated to a Cagney/Bunker/Laurel spiel that wowed the audience and invigorated me with enough self-confidence to make me unbearably obnoxious off-stage, and undeniably engaging on-stage for years.”

1970s-Shakey's Pizza Sing-A-Long Night

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Mother Marilyn is a very talented oil painter, and the walls of our home were covered with her paintings of landscapes, nudes, and clowns. One of the clown faces intrigued me (in addition to the nudes, of course), and I asked Mom to paint my face in that clown design, and henceforth my puppet shows were hosted by a clown. Being the only ‘Chris’ in my class at Tamuning Elementary, my Pacific Rim classmates used to call me “Crisco Oil;” so I became ‘Crisco the Clown.’”

Chrisco 1975 & 1989

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“I performed at kids’ birthday parties, and was hired by…the Julale Shopping Center to do weekend clown and puppet shows in their center court in November of 1976. I would come charging down the stairs, and would run the length of the mall, up one side and down the other, running into each store and blasting my horn. The honking and kids’ laughter echoed off the concrete floor, walls, and ceiling, and invigorated the entire mall. Like an obnoxious Piped Piper I would be followed by a line of kids who would congregate at center court in front of my marionette stage.”

1975-Julale Shopping Center

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“The task for Stan & Ollie: to change a light bulb. As rehearsed, Stanley took a pratfall off an eight-foot ladder right into the midst of the audience. The crowd loved it…Headmaster Rev. Col. John T. Moore did NOT (he missed the rehearsal)!”

1977-02-17-Christopher Linnell and Bruce Cotting as Laurel & Hardy

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“As I entered the door of the drama classroom, I was met by an absolutely adorable brunette with big, brown eyes and a big, bright smile. A shot of adrenaline raced through my body like a lightening bolt. I’ve never felt anything like it before or since. It was truly love at first sight. I said hi, and she said hi, and it was obvious that the feeling was mutual; we were both thunderstruck.”

1979-12-17-Petaluma High School Talent Show

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Sure, I had to pay for the insurance deductible on the car repairs, which probably ate up my wages for the first six months, but my dad demonstrated in the face of my little crisis a level of maturity and sensitivity that astounds me to this day. One of the best father-son bonding sessions we ever had was over that box of donuts at KTOB on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1978…with gospel music playing in the background. I still tear up thinking about it. Dave Linnell was and is just about the greatest dad ever on the face of the Earth.”

KTOB

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“One of the station’s studio lines lit up, and I answered it. ‘Hey, man, that was funny. You’re good. Listen, I’m Scott Mitchell from KSRO in Santa Rosa. Do you wanna come up here and work with us?’”

KSRO

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“The customers in line in front of Reagan tried to pretend as though they didn’t notice, and they didn’t say anything directly to our group, but they all meekly smiled and shot indirect glances toward Reagan, the agents, and the flag-adorned limousine out front. One of the ladies was heard to whisper to the other, ‘¿Por qué esta el presidente en Windsor?’”

1986-08-23-Christopher as Reagan with SS Escort and Limo

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Grandma burst from the front door just at that moment, waving her hands above her head, shouting, ‘Stop it! He didn’t do anything!’ Inside the patrol car I shouted against the rolled-up windows, ‘GRANDMA, I’m HERE, I’m OK!’ She couldn’t hear me, though. Hell, she was seventy-seven-years-old; she couldn’t normally hear me when I was standing right next to her! Grandma blurted out, ‘Who ARE you men? Where is my grandson?’ One of the agents walked up to her, flashed his badge, and said, ‘We’re federal agents, Ma’am. Your grandson is with us.’”

1988-06-USSS-Jackson

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“One night at that fair I was doing my Christopher & Co. LIVE act of celebrity voices on request, and I saw a handsome bald man standing way back in the audience. Now, shaved heads were still unusual in 1992, and so I referred to him repeatedly during my performance as Mr. Clean. Well, at the end of my show as I got off the stage, there he was, waiting for me. I thought, ‘Oh, great; an over-sensitive twit who wants to get butch with the comedian.’ I was wrong.”

1992-07-Messers Clean

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“I raised my hands over my head as if I was being robbed, I told him, ‘Ok, now point it at me and look mean!’ The Beav looked up at me with the same milquetoast expression I’ve seen in the eyes of every female authority figure in my life. ‘Oh, no,’ he pontificated, ‘we never point a gun at anything we don’t intend to shoot.’”

1992-10-04-The Gratuitous Beaver Shot

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“We found a restroom, and I bent down and put my (blue) palms on the mirror in front of me. The tech got behind me, smeared the blue paint on his hands, and then reached up and started smearing it onto my back. What a ‘team player’ this guy was, eh? So far so good…he was just putting on the finishing touches under my big red sash, when we realized the door had been opened. A man in a suit stood there, looking at us, with the kind of look on his face you’d expect if he’d have caught his grandfather abusing himself in the family bathroom.”

1993-04-10-Bill Gates and Christopher as Robin Williams' Blue Genie-caption

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“If I accepted the contract, I would have to fly to Chicago the very next day for a planning meeting, fly back the day after that, and then drive to the start of the tour in Detroit the day after that…on a trip to last the whole summer! We’d only been in our new house a few weeks, had already made four trips out of town, and now we’d have to leave in three days for twelve weeks. It would really have been nice to spend just a few days in our new house.”

1994-Fruitopia Tour-20

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Faith Hill…was…laughing her head off as her husband was tortured. Richard Simmons had Tim McGraw prancing around the room with him to the tune of the Village People classic ‘Macho Man,’ as Richard poked Tim in the belly, saying, ‘C’mon, Timmy…I’ve seen better lumps in oatmeal! Let’s start sweatin’ to the oldies!’”

1998-05-01-Tim McGraw with Christopher as Richard Simmons

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“I was to meet the promotions crew of a major motion picture completing production… It was the 2009 action movie 12 Rounds starring bodybuilder, professional wrestler, and budding movie star John Cena.”

2009-02-With John Cena

From PRETENDING TO MAKE A LIVING :

“Money is great, but fame sucks.”

0000000-Christopher & Co Montage



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