well hello there, can i straight away apologise for the lack of blog last week, i have no excuse, just a reason, which is quite different.
last saturday team bigmoose held a black tie, mountain art fundraiser for teenage cancer trust, and i underestimated the work that this kind of event would take, and as such, had my first scratch on the old blogwriting front, and as i weighed things up, i hoped you'd forgive me, under the circumstances so to speak.
last week's gig consisted of 160 friends, family, and friends of friends attending the hilton in cardiff for a night of fun and revelry and hopefully donating enough money to push our everest at fifty target of £50k over the monumental sum of £60k, my ocd truly is unbearable sometimes.
now the event is over, and the dust has settled, if you ever contemplate holding such an event, and you seek me out for advice from the experience i have gained in holding such an event, my first item on the agenda would be "don't do it"
i will not bore you with detail, but this was way more scary than any attempt on any mountain for me, and luckily i had an amazing support team around me who helped orchestrate a fun evening.
my big goals for the night were make enough money to break 60 large, have an evening that people walk away from talking about for the right reasons, and have a dance floor at the end of the night full of people having a great time.
well i think we cracked all three, but man it was tough.
when i say we, i mean a huge amount of people who contributed in a variety of ways that would fill this blog, so if you helped, thank you, you know i appreciate your contribution.
i do however have to thank my three girls, tania, tiffany and chloe, without whom the gig would have crashed and burned, and when on saturday morning our 30 easels to put all the artwork on didn't arrive, they kicked into emergency mode sourcing said 30 easels from a variety of sources, and allowing our guests to arrive to a very well presented atrium full of beautifully presented artwork, on very calm and serene easels, who a matter of double digit minutes prior had been boxed and on shelves pondering what their future's held.
within the atrium at the hilton, to accompany our mountain art was a very cool three piece band, who were in attendance due to a quirk of fate.
eight days prior to the gig i headed to town to sign the contract and pay for the evening, and on my return to my car, i decided to take 90 degree turn to take me past a high street client of mine, to look at their shop window on the busiest street in cardiff, and after checking out my companies handywork in their shop window, i headed back to my car, becoming aware of a band busking, and producing a beautifully sweet rendition of the zuton's 'valerie'.
i stopped to listen to the lead singers honey like voice, and loved their look and sound, and my mind raced forward to our formal function, where i envisaged these guys playing for our guests in a very cool scene from a black and white movie, i tend to dream a lot!
as i returned from the set of casablanca, my eyes gravitated towards the name of the band, written on cardboard in felt pen in an open guitar case, 'life in cold climates'.
now come on, there are signs, and there are signs!
i then did what i do, i approached them, told my story, and on saturday 4th october they played beautifully for our guests in the atrium of the hilton, in a scene that looked like, well, casablanca.
check them out, they deserve to be successful, and in my world they already are.
as the throng of 160 diners entered the hilton ballroom, my nerves twitched, and i found it quite difficult to eat my meal, worrying inside about the success of the evening, but i needn't haven't worried at any time, our m.c. my friend from his capital radio dj days, kam kelly, mc'd the evening in a faultless manner, humour, pathos, and post event donating his expenses to the fundraising target, truly a friend, a lovely human, and a big reason for the night's success.
we heard a very moving speech by 16 year old emily clarke who we met on our journey, who had cancer, and is now in remission, and i think the whole room was moved by her story.
on a lighter note, my new best artist friend philip gray gave a display of entertainment i would imagine never seen by the diners in the room ever.
ok, you tell me the last time you witnessed an artist get a room of 160 people at 16 tables of ten to get up and walk to an easel at the front of the stage, and individually put their own mark or symbol, that meant something to them on the canvas in pastels, before then creating a beautiful mountain landscape before their very eyes?
the ballroom was full of energy, and when we ran the vt confirming we had hit the £60k mark, the room roared with life, and when pharrell started to sing 'happy' the dance floor was engulfed with revellers, who didn't leave until an hour after cinders had got a black and white.
dj stevey jingles was mercurial with his control of the decks, and the quality of dance was truly first rate, with such classics as the running man, the worm, and the lift scene from dirty dancing, old school yes, but if you weren't there, i bet you wish you were now?
i sat watching the dance floor, in a dream like state, feeling very proud of how our inaugural event of this nature had panned out better than i could have dreamed, but to reiterate, if you ever contemplate to emulate, 'don't do it'.
so that was my main focus of last week, but as well as that going on i also had a meeting with a ceo of a charity, and two local businessmen in cardiff, who joined me to discuss the possibility of holding our own charity cycle event, and as a consequence of this meeting we may be on the path to getting this off the ground earlier than i anticipated, dream big my friends, and as my mentor darren hardy says give yourself bhag's! (big hairy audacious goals!)
in other business, two quick pieces of news, one is that friend of mine who used to work with me, suffers from vertigo, but is overcoming his fear to do a skydive to raise awareness and funds for a friend of his, and he has been keeping a video diary of his weeks running up to this brave adventure, and tomorrow, weather permitting, i will be going to film him jump, and hopefully we can share this with you over the coming weeks to show how anybody can overcome their fears and do something great. if you wanna check him out, or even just to post some words of encouragement, you can find him here.
the other thing i'm pretty proud of is a friend of mine saw my recent blog, talking about feeding the homeless in cardiff, and was telling one of her friends who also does the same thing, so fast forward, my friend went last night to help the team feed the guys and girls on the street, and she is going to e-mail me how it went, but i am really glad i blogged about it, as the direct result is that another human is helping other humans, what's not to like?
talking of the feed the homeless programme, i have had an idea.
i follow a guy called mark bustos on instagram, and mark is a hairdresser in the u.s. who goes around cutting homeless people's hair, and making them feel wanted, loved, and in general better about themselves, and by talking to them, he finds out their story, and shares it with his instagram followers.
it shows how easy it is to fall out of society, and how difficult it is to get back up when you fall down.
my idea is to copy mark's template, and i have now got a barber and a hairdresser who are volunteering to come to our feed the homeless evening at the end of this month, and my dream is help get one of them off the street, into a job, and back into society, if they want to of course.
this is kinda scary as i'm sure there will be haters who comment on what we are trying to do, but i want to make a difference to some of these people who over the last year i have seen every month, and i truly think we can help them, so watch this space, and if you have any experience of this kind of thing, or any suggestions that might help us please get in touch.
in conclusion, i have just received an e-mail from my friend who went to feed the homeless last night, and this is it.
Well, I'm back and really glad I did it. It was exactly as you described- I felt nervous beforehand and a little cautious when I got out of my car to meet my friend who has helped for about 10 years. She introduced me to her friend and another lady, it took me 5 mins to realise the other lady was a regular homeless lady who had been waiting to see what food we were carrying out of the car. It felt a bit like the only time I did a car boot sale, with everyone trying to look what you had before you could put it out! The other volunteers were all really nice and made me feel welcome and I didn't realise we would only be there an hour and like you said had a warm fuzzy feeling while I drove home. I will definitely be there 4 weeks from today.
how cool is that?
one last thing, here is a picture of my inspiration, mark bustos
have an awesome week, dream big, chase you own bhag's and don't forget to feed your #monthlymoose's back to us,
i'll be seeing ya,