I think I'm trying to smoulder here. That expression is certainly not because I'm bored. In fact, I'm in the middle of a great night's entertainment for the folks at Insurance Advisernet. Not content to let their Australian cousins have all the glory in the performance stakes the Kiwi crew organised their own challenge. This time they divided all their team up into smaller teams and tasked them with coming up with a lip sync to a classic song featured on the show "Soul Train"
Traumatised by this? You should be. After almost 30 years of dressing up as hundreds and hundreds of characters I have never done Frank N Furter - until now. Achieving this look is no mean feat for a man of my stature - corset and shoes had to be ordered from overseas for the occasion but it was certainly worth it. The client was Insurance AdviserNet. I've done quite a few jobs for the New Zealand part of the business, but this was my first outing for the Australians. And it
Lawyers are supposed to be able to convince people of anything, right? Well tonight Richard Falkner and I decided we would try some not-so-convincing convincing of our own. The event was a conference dinner for insurance lawyers. It's theme was James Bond. For James Bond themed gigs going with Bond as your character is never a good idea. To start with he's the easiest to costume - put on a tux. For the second, he's the hero. As entertainment you shouldn't go as the hero - tha
Those 2 pictures reflect the extremes of my role as an MC. On the left I am loud-mouthed beaver boy of English haute cuisine Heston Bloominghell and to the right it's me being pleasant, hopefully witty and wearing a suit. These pictures are both from the same gig for the IPENZ Transportation group, the smaller picture is also from the same conference where I also got to MC their Gala Dinner at Hobbiton as Gandalf. It's what keeps things interesting for me. And, I hope, the au
This picture is just the last part of another successful conference for MyFarm. During the day I was dressed much more sedately - I assure you! The character you see above is Phil Richardson, the bogus younger brother of the Bill Richardson (famous in Invercargill for Bill Richardson Transport World among other things). He was the host of the conference dinner hosted (as with the rest of the conference) at Bill Richardson Transport World. Phil was the race-driving brother of
There's me in full messianic MC mode for the NZ Certified Builders' conference this weekend. Two days of making sure the plenary sessions ran smoothly and people knew where they needed to be. It was also a lesson in how really knowing your audience let's you make the risky calls that come off. When I saw that Eve, who was organising things from NZCB's end had a rhythm based icebreaker and laughter yoga booked for the conference I had visions of rank after rank of blokey build
If I had a dollar for every time I saw "passion" as an organisational value I wouldn't be writing this crummy blog. Everyone from the smallest plumbing firm to the largest multi-national likes to talk about their company's passion. It's a word over-used past the point of cliche and since it's often delivered by clock-punchers its a downright lie. Outside the corporate world passion still means a burning desire, something that powerfully and emotionally moves you and I witness
Today I headed down to Nelson to deliver a presentation on presentations to the In House Law Association of NZ's 2016 Conference. I wrote and delivered it for Stun, a company I've done quite of bit of work for as a performer and more recently as a copywriter. And that's my first slide. Harsh but fair. The thing is that most presentations do suck. We've been captured by PowerPoint as a tool to the point that it is the default way of communicating a message. It makes us lazy, i
Another long-term client required a few tweaks to keep things fresh this year. This time we were talking about the IPENZ Transportation Group who we have helped out in 2014 and 2015. In the past I've normally MCed their conference days as myself but this time we wanted to try something different to keep things fresh. So I appeared as per usual for the first day conferencing - suit, tie, the usual business as required by this particular conference. And then we changed it up...
Another year, another trip to Australia to work with Cleverfool and one of Patrick’s big clients Ford Australia. This time we headed for the Gold Coast to help out with a gathering of their Parts Managers. Working with Cleverfool always means lots of characters, which I love. This visit was no exception. I got to be David Hasselhoff in full “Baywatch” mode, alongside a security guard and a royal aide. This year we also managed to add some improvisation training into the mix.
That's me as Dr. Colin Scopy, world reknowned trauma surgeon and member of Doctors Without Borders. And I'm helping break the ice at the 2015 Nurse Managers' Conference dinner in Tauranga. On the night I did double duty. For pre-dinner drinks Colin did the rounds of the guests regaling them with his far-fetched tales of courage under fire in tent hospitals dotted all over the Horn of Africa. He was also busily trying to recruit new managers for his hospitals in Africa because
Mac is the gift that keeps on giving! This time I teamed up with the folk at Macs Function Centre to help Battery Town open their conference. The brief from Warren at Battery Town was that they wanted an opening function that was casual and informal but that was a bit different and made all the delegates want to come even though the conference proper wasn't kicking off until the next day. So we paired Mac, once again with a beer and food matching expert and let things go from
Its great to be able to talk about jobs that already have blog posts attached to them because this means that its repeat business! The IPENZ Transportation Group is a client I've had for a while and its always a great fun job to do because it is a mixture of character work (like my MCing the Gala Dinner as the Roman centurion Felinus Occulus Medianus Strada) and traditional MCing. It is also a real luxury being with the same group of people for a while - there is a real knowl
A little while back we talked in this blog about an awesome team-building exercise that we created for Te Papa. The great thing about the place is its uniqueness. There's no other venue around that comes close to it for size, variety of spaces and inspiration. So I thought it might be cool to put a few other suggestions of things that work fantastically in one of Wellington's most fantastic venues: THE BOGUS TOUR Take a tour unlike any other you will ever have at Te Papa! Our
I can still remember when I first discovered PowerPoint as a teenager. I created a vast interactive presentation covering hundreds of slides that was basically a Pick-A-Path Adventure (remember those?). It seemed like such an awesome toy, loaded with flashy animations and the ability to embed all sorts of stuff. That would have been more than 20 years ago and the uses to which it is put are still pretty much the same as when it first started - although there probably aren't t
Tonight we treated the good folk of Sports Medicine New Zealand to a good dose of top quality improvisation when Richard Falkner and Nic Gorman attended the SMNZ Conference dinner. For forty minutes Nic and Richard entertained the physios, doctors and health professionals with a tailor-made improv scenes including a highlight for the guests which was a Shakespearean recreation of a Sports Med pros working day. #conference #entertainment #improvisation #newzealand #wellington
Unique locations always inspire unique solutions and Te Papa demands something different. When Fonterra wanted us to do something for one of their branches in Te Papa we were given a brief to create a team building exercise that looked at creativity, got people from different teams communicating and pushed them outside their comfort zones a little, but not too far. So we got them to make an exhibit of themselves. With Kenny King facilitating the exercise we sent different gro
To help launch our Love Doctors tour in October we worked with The Warehouse to introduce the characters of the Doctors beforehand. The perfect venue for this was at the company's Regional Conferences. These events, held every year before the build-up for Christmas begins, see staff from all the Warehouse stores come together in regions to celebrate the achievements of the year past, to acknowledge long service, to here about the company and to party together. They would work
NZ Law got a bunch of legal secretaries together for a conference in August and we were there. More specifically the awesome Jen O'Sullivan was there as a French quiz mistress. NZ Law had a dinner at Mac's Function Centre and they wanted a wine quiz. We decided to put our own spin on it. Rather than just have a run of the mill MC Jen turned up as a slightly crazed Frenchwoman. By putting a little twist on things like quizzes you take something expected and elevate it to the m
The NZ Veterinary Association were one of the first clients to book a job with us when we got underway last year. Francesco and Fragrifert may have been the first actual outing but it was Leanne from the NZVA who was first in the inbox to book us for their function. The NZVA has been a client that I've had a long association with in the past and it was great to be back onboard for 2014. The format for the Vets is always the same but its the characters that we work on each yea