Well, so much for feeding off a live audience that’s hootin’ and hollerin’ their approval in front of you.
But the absence of a crowd – well, a crowd that you can actually see – doesn’t deter local musician Craig Schroter. He just keeps on strumming, happily and enthusiastically, delivering old-time country and light pop songs of yesteryear – towards an open window at Caressant Care’s Mary Street location in Lindsay.
In the most recent episode of the Advocate Podcast, he humbly admits that he’s not exactly sure how his renditions are going over with the residents listening inside the long-term care centre.
So he thinks back to past performances to inspire him.
“I just try to remember the way it’s looked on previous (occasions) when I have been inside,” says Schroter, who’s been doing these solo shows – for free – at various long-term care centres in Kawartha Lakes for about 15 years.
While Schroter is loath to assume what his indoor audience’s reaction really is, Erin O’Grady knows.
The general manager of Caressant Care says “they were dancing in the dining room.”
Margaret Downing, activity director, agrees. “They’d clap after each song, which is funny because the entertainer can’t hear it.”
So, what motivates the married father of two adult daughters – (“Twenty six years with Colette!” he says proudly) – to belt out Johnny Cash, Wilf Carter and Stompin’ Tom tunes on a lawn in front of a wall, after putting in a full day’s work at a day job.
“I know it breaks up the day for them,” the very humble Schroter tells podcast host, Denis Grignon.
“And I actually look forward to it all day at work.”
Hear the entire interview with Craig Schroter – and his music – on Episode 16 of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes. All episodes are available to stream, download and subscribe for free on Spotify or Apple Podcast, courtesy of exclusive sponsor, Wards Lawyers.