Entertainment Editor’s note: With the tourism industry here in Branson facing the same crises as the rest of the world, there aren’t any shows, attractions, restaurants or other tourism-based things for your ol’ Entertainment Editor to go out and experience, then write about to share with my Loyal Reader(s).
So I thought it might be fun to see just how some of our favorite entertainers are spending their “spring quarantines.” I will do my best to have one of these stories in every issue of the Branson Tri-Lakes News until this whole thing runs its course.
Also, if any of my Loyal Reader(s) have any ideas or suggestions for entertainers, business owners or personalities you’d like to see profiled, drop me a line at email@example.com.
Like all other professionals in Branson, Grand Country Music Hall producer, emcee, General Manager and personality Mike Patrick, also known as “the Golden Throat of the Ozarks,” has been juggling his ability to keep working, as well as abide by the suggestions laid out by local, state and federal government, as well as the CDC.
“I’m considered non-essential (laughs), but luckily, we’re able to get some work done,” Patrick said. “We can remotely log in to the Grand Country servers, and brochure designing doesn’t stop, billboard designing doesn’t stop, ‘Grand Country Rewind’ doesn’t stop, so we’re still working, just doing as much as we can remotely.
“The ‘New South Gospel’ show was already rehearsed up and ready to roll, and ‘Down Home Country’ was supposed to start rehearsals Monday. We’re still actually able to finish up work CDs and lyric sheets for ‘Down Home Country,’ and it’s funny because the heartbeat here never stops.”
According to Patrick, the way the Branson Board of Aldermen set the city’s ordinances during the pandemic made it possible for lots of work to get done at the resort.
“I was very thankful for the way our aldermen worded the ordinance so even if the doors were locked, we could still get some business done,” Patrick said. “Quite honestly, I’ve been here 16 years, and there hasn’t been a time my desk has been cleared, and I have a feeling once this is over, it ain’t going to be cleared, but it may be a lot cleaner.”
Even though Patrick is able to get lots of “office” work done, he said he isn’t looking to tweak anything from the shows that were already up and running before the closures,. Instead, he’s opting to look ahead.
Just not too far ahead.
“I always feel I work better under pressure,” he said. “I was the kid who got the syllabus on the first day of class and saw I had eight weeks to write a paper. Guess when Mike Patrick started (laughs)?
“You know maybe this is a time to reflect and look back, but Grand Country never sleeps, so we’re looking forward and keeping our eyes on the prize because we’ve got a lot of things coming up.”
As far as what he’s doing “non-Grand Country related” during the quarantine, Patrick just smiled and shook his head.
“I’m eating, and this is awful,” he said. “My waistline can’t take much more quarantining (laughs). I usually just eat one meal a day, lunch around 3 p.m. because I don’t like to eat before the show, so now I’m at home, I go to the pantry and look for a little snack or two. Then a midnight snack.
“So in the early days of being out of the show I was eating too much, and hopefully the rest will be filled with more running or walking.”
As far as his quarantine essentials, Patrick was quick to answer.
“It’s located in the freezer section, and it’s frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups,” he said. “If you’re going to get quarantined, do it with frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.”
Peanut butter cups aside, Patrick also said the power of positive thinking is also helping him get through.
“We have to stay strong, we’re going to get through this,” he said. “Plus, we’re all going to be a lot better.”
Patrick and Jamie Haage host “Grand Country Rewind” Saturday at 6 p.m., followed by “Branson Country USA” at 7 p.m. on 106.3 KRZK in Branson.