Duncan Tuck

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Duncan Tuck

What Is Duncan Tuck?

"Wasn't it a 1920's Olympic diving Technique?"
- Mrs DePointe

"I like his donuts--as a hole."
- Doug Onfule

"That's what they taught us kids in the 50's in case 'The Big One' ever hit"
- Mort Le Woonded


Biography

More information about me than you ever wanted to know…….Duncan

My other car is a cruise ship“Trading in the Road for the Sea”……after 30 years of playing clubs, colleges, and corporate venues on the road, Duncan Tuck has found a new stage on the high seas. “It’s great and I don’t miss driving 1000 miles a week.”

Duncan is a guitarist, vocalist, comedian and song writer and now spends most of the year performing on cruise ships.

“In this business, like in so many other careers, you need to continually adapt.” Duncan started his professional career in 1968, with music and comedy, playing bars and music rooms. When the music rooms started closing in the 80’s, he was able to focus on the humorous parts of his show. “George McKelvey, who had a prominent comedy club in Denver, gave me my first chance headlining. Using song parodies, funny voices and a lot of one-liners, for the next decade I was a road comic. I’ve reinvented myself a few times from folk, comedy, and now cruise ship entertainer”.

Detroit“I’ve traveled all over the country, but Denver is home. I grew up here. After college at Mesa in Grand Junction, Colorado, I lived in about a dozen cities around the country including Detroit, El Paso, Dallas, Aspen, and even gave California a try when I moved to LA in the mid-seventies. I played rooms all over Southern California and even worked the Ice House in Pasadena with David Letterman, Robin Williams and Lily Tomlin.” He even appeared on the Gong Show. “I did not get gang gonged. I won receiving 30 points $516.32, a Gong Trophy and the $49.26 of Stridex Medicated Pads, which I’m still using up as coffee filters. Actually it was something fun to put on my resume.”

“In 1999, Ralph Achilles, who I had known for years and who had been part of the FAB Company, was working as a stand-up comic on ships and suggested I check it out. Ralph referred me to Don Casino Productions. They liked what I did and wanted to represent me to the cruise lines and I performed for the first time on a cruise ship in May 1999.”

Detroit“I’m considered a Guest Entertainer on the ships. Guest Entertainers are comedians, ventriloquists, magicians, cabaret singers, instrumentalists, etc. Country to Classical via Comedy best describes my show. It gives me the opportunity to play “baby boomer” and “classics,” and mix it up with humor and funny character voices. I have a full orchestra backing me up, but continue to keep my flamenco numbers solo”.

 

 

In addition to the production shows with the singers and dancers, the Guest Entertainers usually do their own show one night a cruiseDetroit and may split a show with another entertainer later in the cruise. On special itineraries Duncan has done as many as three different hour long shows. He has worked with Princess, Holland America, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Crystal Cruises.   “Most of the year I’m on Princess or Holland America ships.  They give me the longer contracts”.

“Since 2004, I’ve been mainly on Princess and have been on most of their ships and itineraries. Working on the ships is a little like living in a hotel, except your backyard changes everyday. I’ve been asked if I get tired of working on ships. What could be better than working one night a week, entertaining people and making them laugh, and seeing the world.”

Many times the most challenging part of what I do is getting to the ship with my luggage and guitars. Flying anywhere just isn’t what it used to be, but there is humor everywhere. “Once when flying into Grand Cayman, the Immigration officer asked me what I was doing there. I’m meeting the Royal Princess tomorrow, which then he asked, “Oh…and how do you know her?” Traveling is always an experience, but it is what you make it”.

My venue“The theatres and showrooms are beautiful. All state of the art sound systems and the cruise show bands are great work with. They are all professionals and sight read. I give them my charts (arrangements) and usually once through they’re ready for the show. It took some getting used to at first since I had been a solo act for so long.”

“My repertoire on the ships is a variety of songs, but I’ve learned to stick with those that are familiar’. I call it “candy for your brain.” People are on vacation, so upbeat familiar songs, a ballad, and one or two flamenco instrumentals per show works best for me”.

My venueDuncan is a self taught guitarist. “My parents gave me a guitar for my 14th birthday. I used to slow down the records down to 16 RPM—remember those days?”

“Being an entertainer is all I ever wanted to do. I’ve never had a real job, except as a caddy and working the golf pro shop at a local country club when I was in High School”.



Duncan and TerryDuncan and his wife, Terry, got married in 1996, and she joins him on the ships whenever possible. “Terry takes care of scheduling and the business end of things. This really is a two person job and I couldn’t do it without her. She used to do musical theatre, was a singer and dancer, so she has an entertainment background and experience in business to keep everything organized.

“Taking care of the business end of things is where I feel most comfortable now,” Terry says. “I’m Duncan’s biggest fan and harshest critic.

“It’s hard to be away from my family as much as I am, but I’ve been on the road my entire adult life. My mother, Reba, and sisters Freya and Heidi, still live in the Denver area as well as most of Terry’s family. I have one brother, Cameron, who is an artist in California.”

Mid-SeventiesIn the mid-seventies three studio albums on Friendamine Records were produced asMore Mid-Seventies expensive calling cards. Kaleidoscope in 1993 and You Know My Name made way for his latest double CD.

In the Key of Sea he released in 2003 and added another disc, Seaquel in 2005, making it a 2 CD set. It’s mainly all the songs he does on the ships with the same arrangements, as well as a few old favorites. Duncan released This, That and The Other in 2011.

“Thank goodness for people who support live entertainment. I started singing and playing guitar in bars in 1968 when I was in college, and believe me, it’s a whole lot easier when you have an audience. I feel very fortunate to be able to make a good living doing what I love”

 
 
 

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