Take Me Back

Joelene Piatt Brzezinski

Joelene Brzezinski at ArtSpace

As a child growing up I was exposed to some of the best live rock & roll in the world! The many bands my brother, Fred Bergeron (http://www.marvinandthemartians.bravehost.com/index.htm) played in practiced in the attic at our house in Taylor, Michigan. I told him that they were even better than ‘The Monkees’ and that’s a huge compliment from a 10 year old of the 1960’s. I can remember sitting on a dresser next to the drums while his music shook the whole house. Little did I know that four decades later I would find myself singing and playing in a classic rock band!

I grew up in the Theatre performing mostly in musical comedies. As a child my parents made me hand puppets to help me learn my lines and I became a Ventriloquist, going professional at the age of nine. Singing comes naturally to me (in several voices). In my teens and early twenties I lived a dual life, the first as a performer on local television and in nightclubs, and the second as a rock and roll loving hippie. I even had two completely opposite wardrobes for my two lives. Long gowns and glitter for the first, and worn jeans and haltertops for the second. My love for music ran the same. In my ventriloquist act ‘Rusty and Me’, I sang show tunes and standards that I grew up with and loved. My hippie self listened to and loved Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and many others. Whenever I was in Michigan and not traveling with my ventriloquist act, I was often found around Ann Arbor frequenting the free concerts and the night scene.

Although I have settled down, gotten married and hold a mundane job, I still get the best of both worlds! My husband Mark and I perform regularly with our ventriloquist/variety act called ‘Him and Me and Dummy Make Three’ and we both are members of the ‘Six Foot Poles’. I truly feel honored to be a ‘Five Foot Pole’ in a ‘Six Foot Pole’ world.