I’ve been performing for 6 years as a mime artist and character actor for events. Corporate performance is so different to theatre, we get to laugh with, touch and have meaningful interactions directly with our audience.
At an 18th birthday party in Claridge’s one day, I performed around the room of attractive and socially conscious young people and came across a handicapped gentleman in a wheelchair. I know how hard it is as an entertainer to approach some people, and I made my way to him as I circled the room. I had some lovely mime exchange with him and his family. As we finished our funny little mime 'chat', his mum told me how much she appreciated me coming to them. His dad said 'thank you' to me with tears in his eyes. It made me well up too.
I first met our Bongo Man on a tube. We looked at each other and started talking. I felt the warmth he exudes as a person which filters through his musical performance.
He’s had a successful career in Brazil and has a wealth of experience performing to huge audiences as well as doing walkabout percussion, like I do walkabout entertainment.
When he improvises, he lifts the room so much. I’ve seen a V.I.P. club full of women (who might otherwise be hard to impress) really start to enjoy the night, really start talking to each other and really feel the warmth and rhythm our Bongo Man adds to the background music of the night.
Event entertainment is becoming infiltrated by the cultural desire to have the newest and flashiest things, and I wonder if we are forgetting the impact a fun, warm and genuine performance can give?