Hysterical, insightful travel stories from all over the world, from a storyteller, social entrepreneur, and music missionary. Since wandering off the path of a young pre-law student at the University of Toronto, I've earned a living in over 40 different capacities, in jobs worldwide as varied as busker, safari guide, bartender, mergers and acquisitions broker, teacher and actor, before "settling down" and starting Mediazoic, a music technology company based in Toronto.
I love telling my travel stories, which are chock full of hysterical but insightful cross-cultural lessons I've learned. Your group will love them too. I have enough stories that you'll hear a complete original.
Price Range: $500 and up
Gig Length: 30 - 180 minutes
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Japanese
What to Expect
Audiences will hear funny and inspirational cross-cultural stories from my experiences all over the world, both in business and personal settings.
I really try to tailor the presentation to the audience, and so whenever possible I like to have some information about the audience before I speak, so that I can choose a story that will address a particular cross-cultural or organizational target for the client.
I've conducted seminars and educational workshops for several industry organizations, and for institutions such as the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and Humber College's School of Continuing Education. See my LinkedIn profile for testimonials.
Best Job In The World
1. The job I enjoyed most in my life was as a camping safari tour guide in Kenya, sharing the wonders of nature's balance, and experiencing nature's finest, with tourists, journalists and lost souls. On one of the safaris, I witnessed an extremely rare occurrence, a double kill; we watched two cheetahs first kill a gazelle and then, while they were eating, make up their minds to go for something bigger, at which time they chased down and killed a wildebeest.
Reality Live Theatre
2. Long before Sasha Baron Cohen or Reality TV came along, some time in the early 90's, I had a fringe theatre act called the "Crazy Canuck", in which, for paying groups of tourists to London, England, I posed as a regular commuter in the London Underground but did very strange things in the presence of fellow commuters, one of which caused me to be picked up by the police and told never to perform again.
Don't Give Up Your Day Job
3. I was once told while busking in Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo that I had the "greatest white soul singing voice" the listener, who, granted, was quite drunk, had ever heard. In the next breath, I was told that my guitar playing was so bad that I should put down the guitar and never pick it up again.
Frequent Brushes With Death
4. Attempts on my life have been made over the years by two elephants, one crocodile, one black mamba snake, salmonella, malaria, two soldiers with AK-47s, a land-mined stretch of road, and cancer. As far as I can tell, each has been unsuccessful.
Japanese Beer Spokesman
5. I became quasi-famous in Japan when a tv news crew covering an event caught me on tape doing an imitation of a famous beer commercial in a rural Japanese dialect.
Useful Life Skills
6. I learned how to drink vodka and lose at chess from a pre-glasnost Soviet tank commander and his crew on the Trans-Siberian railway, a two-week train ride from Budapest to Beijing.
Friends in High Places
7. While hitch-hiking in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, I was picked up by a member of the Yakuza (the Japanese mafia). Anyone familiar with the Yakuza will be pleased to learn that he did have the punch perm and missing pinkie finger that many lower-level soldiers have. We hit it off right away, and he proceeded to take me to some of his favourite places, including a stalactite cave, in which were built many little memorial altars. We built one together to commemorate the great day we were having.
Additional Booking Notes
I can do with or without amplification (I have a voice that carries) in most rooms, and have no specific lighting or staging requirements. I can do with or without visual aids (eg. an on-screen presentation), but generally prefer without.
No required equipment.
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