What a month! There have been extreme highs and lows which I will now tell you all about.
The first week of May found us on holiday to celebrate my very special event – my 60th birthday (well there’s no point in hiding it – you can probably work it out anyway!). Luckily we were in between volcanic ash and BA strikes so we arrived in Venice for a 3 night stay safely. The weather was pretty mixed but it’s such a beautiful place,even in the rain. On the great day (May 5th) Stewart and I were taken to the railway station to board the Orient Express! I’m an old romantic I’m afraid and with my love of all things theatrical it has been on my ‘MUST DO’ list for a long time. Did it live up to expectations? – ABSOLUTELY.
There was champagne to greet us as we sat down in our private compartment; the beautiful art deco marquetry and glass panels in the restaurant cards; the glamour of the bar car complete with pianist and everyone dressed up for the occasion; the delicious food for dinner and lunch the next day; breakfast served in our compartment by our charming Australian steward and the interesting passing scenery. I don’t think I got a lot of sleep although the beds were surprisingly comfortable but that was a small price to pay for the experience.
The commiseration came when the lovely Lauren Samuels made it to the final of ‘Over The Rainbow’ on BBC1 but didn’t get ‘Dorothy’. Yes, it was a little sad but we weren’t totally surprised as the writing was on the wall several weeks before – the audience favoured the younger girls, which was understandable. Thank you for the huge support you gave her – I now that many of you thought she was terrific and your emails were great. I can tell you that she has been inundated with offers but her agent is sitting on them to choose the best way forward and we’re not forgetting that Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber REALLY liked her. Of course, the high profile nature of my connection with Lauren meant I had some great opportunities for free promotion of Loud & Clear and my Drama School. You may have heard or seen some of the following:
May 3rd – Ed Stagg’s Radio Leicester show
All through May – Mentions in the Hinckley Times & Leicester Mercury newspapers.
May 21st – BBC1 East & West Midlands regional news bulletins.
May 23rd – BBC1 East Midlands News.
I also did an interview for the Sunday Express but they didn’t use it!. So all in all a pretty successful month on the business and personal front. I was delighted to be asked back by Leicester Aids Support Services to deliver a 2 hour workshop on using the voice on the phones and when counselling.
I also managed to fit in three 4Networking breakfasts, 3 women’s business lunches and an Expo run by the Loughborough Chamber of commerce which has resulted in several applications for funded training with me. There were also three days of examining in Norfolk and a full day Performance Workshop for LAMDA in Birmingham for teachers who came from as far afield as Dublin. I thoroughly enjoyed a day course on accents delivered in London by the Voice Care Network where there was information on training actors to find specific accents and helping people soften accents for business (something which I do on a regular basis).
I had three visits to the theatre in May – ‘Crazy for You’ at the Concordia, Hinckley – ‘Morecambe‘ at the Belgrade, Coventry and ‘Barefoot in the Park’ at the Little, Leicester – all were excellent.
I mentioned last month that I was going to direct again after a gap of 4 years. Well, I have cast ‘Dick Barton – Special Agent’ by Phil Willmott and I think we’re going to have great fun during the summer at rehearsals. Show dates at the Concordia Theatre, Hinckley Will be 7th to 11th September and if any of you would like to come along I’ll tell you how to get the tickets next month.
Just a reminder of the free grant of £500 to train with us. All regions of Business Link/Train to Gain have a version of the East Midlands ‘Leaders First’ and the West Midlands ‘Director Development’ programmes where a business with between 5 and 249 employees can access funding of up to £1,500 with the first £500 FREE! but East Midlands have recently relaxed the employee condition for micro businesses. This means that a partnership with just 1 employee, an LLP partnership of just the 2 partners and any Ltd liability company (e.g. just the MD + the Company Secretary) are eligible. There is only a small proportion of the funding available for these businesses so first come, first served! Please call Stewart on 01455 230317 ASAP if interested.
Feedback from my ‘Voice Matters’ day course at Solihull on 24 May was excellent as always. Would you like to give this great training day a go? There is one more available before the Autumn – 18 June at the Marriott Hotel, Leicester. There are just a few places left (I only take 12) so give us a call for special offers!
Tip of the month:
Do you want to stand out from the crowd when networking?
Put effort into your presentation – practice it, vary it, add stories, drip feed extra detail on what you do week by week. Make sure everyone can hear you by breathing properly and opening your mouth – simple really!
Until next month:
Speak Loud & Clear!
Tel: 01455 230317