Breaking in the new lederhosen in Queenstown
Its a terrible job that sends you off to Queenstown for 3 days but someone has to do it - so we did. A 3-day conference in Queenstown that used the character skills of Greg and Thom McGrath to help make each event over the three days ultra-unforgettable.
The whole she-bang began with a trip up the gondola which saw me playing a German Alpine guide. Thanks to the very talented Bonne Becconsall from Bonne K Designs I was able to fulfil a life-long ambition and have my own pair of lederhosen made so I was able to break them in on this gig as Gunther. The gondola trip is stunning and the views from the top are amazing but there is a bit of down-time whilst people get loaded in and its at these sorts of points a character can be great to keep people busy and make them feel like there's something going on.
The next day Thom McGrath joined me and we got a chance to play a couple of chef characters at the brand new Public Bar & Kitchen on Steamer Wharf for the conference guests. We did a comedy show for them based on a briefing that we had received from the client about 2 hours before. Sometimes really fresh information is the best and we were able to feature lots of "dirt" on lots of the attendees for a show that had them laughing so hard tourists were stopping to peer in the windows to see what all the fuss was about.
The final day was actually into business and we kicked off the proceedings in character to get the energy going and to keep the morning moving through an ambitious programme of short presentations. One of the advantages of having this type of session MCed in character is that often characters can get away with cracking down on presenters who are blowing out time in a different way to straight MCs. This means that there is a feeling of laughter and energy and not impatience and being "told off."
With the conference programme out of the way Thom and I became a couple of drunk sailors to mix and mingle as the delegates unwound at the end of the day with a boat cruise on the lake. A fantastic way to end 3 days and a fantastic place to work. Here's hoping we head back there soon.
You can catch the photos of all our characters at the Greg Ellis Creative Facebook page here
You can also check out a case study of this gig right here