This line of work
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 12:00 AM
So how did you get into this line of work?
Let’s begin at the beginning. Where did it all begin for little Monsters.
One question I am quite often asked is “How on earth did you get into this”.
After all it’s not a normal job is it? Well, it is a normal job in as much as any kind of entertainer is a normal job. It’s just not the kind of job you see advertised very often, if ever, and besides, apparently no one can do this job. That’s what I gather anyway from all the people that say “ I couldn’t do your job”. It just makes me proud to know that I CAN do my job and judging by the work I continue to get and the feedback, I do it well.
But where did it all start for me.
Well, I am no stranger to entertainment, and entertaining in the front line.
In 1991 I was the front man / singer of a local rock band called F1-11 (great name eh)
We were performing our debut gig at the Fishguard Bay Hotel for the national Tattoo convention. We were the support act for a band from Swansea called DC Kicks.
I still have fond memories of that day although I was a bag of nerves.
That is where and when I first performed in public.
Since then I have been involved with numerous bands, duos and my own solo act.
None of this ever made enough money to live off though so a day job was needed and I found mine in landscape gardening. This I began back in the days of YTS and I spent the next 20 years in that industry.
In 2004 I set up my own landscaping firm and it did very well for a small business, I had a couple of employees and there was plenty of work.
In 2006 I married Joanne after a 6 year engagement, everything was looking bright and rosie. Then in August of that year, only a month after our wedding our 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with leukaemia. Everything stopped. We have a son as well who was only 2 and a half at the time so we had a lot of juggling ahead of us.
Joanne had not yet gone back to work after our son was born so was immediately able to stay at Cardiff hospital with our daughter on and off for two years.
During this time many perspectives changed. I found myself struggling to care about where the best place for a rockery would be or was there enough room for a washing line, but it was our only income so it had to be done.
Another thing happened during this period. While our daughter was in hospital on Sky ward, she and the other children were regularly visited by children’s entertainers.
Quite often I was there to see them and to see the difference it made to the kids who were on the ward day after day after day. The only way I can describe what happened is to say it hit me like an epiphany. This is what I wanted to do, this would make a far more worth while difference to somebody than a new pond in the back garden.
I immediately began to work on an action plan. Apart from being a performer I possessed no skills to entertain children, magic or balloon modelling. I was going to have to teach myself everything.
So I began offering disco parties with dancing and games while I learned the other necessary skills. I first tackled balloon modelling but it took a couple of years before I was good enough to offer it to the public, I had no one to teach me and I wasted a lot of time. After a couple of years it became apparent that I was turning party work down because I had landscaping commitments. So after our daughters initial first two years of treatment Joanne was able to return to work and I was able to become a full time children’s entertainer.
So there you have it, that’s how it all began for Little Monsters.
How I became competent in the arts of balloon modelling and magic are another story for another time.
Our daughter is a fighting fit teenager now, and I will always answer if asked “ who is your hero”? My daughter.