From the distant memory of playing ‘Wild Bill Hickok’ in the school production of ‘Calamity Jane’, to rehearsing the part of ‘Rolf’ in the Lichfield Operatic Society’s rendition of The Sound Of Music in 1995, the past 20+ years seem to have flown by! Little did I realise on succeeding auditions for both Butlins and Pontins in 1995 that my journey would bring me so far. Before the times of Pop Idol and XFactor reality show mania they were, at that time, a stepping stone and apprenticeship which gave me not only the best start-up experience I could have hoped for, but also some very happy times as a Pontin’s Bluecoat in North Wales 1995 – 1998.
Where it all began…..
In 1997, it was time to hit the road and try my luck as a solo artiste. Initially, this took me the length and breadth of North Wales to some dodgy back street boozers in outer no-mans land and it was in 1998 when I landed my first summer season as a professional vocalist with Stageworks Wordwide Productions aka. Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
Now I had realised another dream, aged just 20, I had landed a paid professional summer season contract in Blackpool, the Las Vegas of the North and entertainment capital of the UK! Relocation was easier than expected and I went at it full stock and barrell including entering all the local talent shows. The ‘Talk Of The Coast’, ‘Layton Institute’, ‘The Alabama’ and the late ‘Tangerine Club’ were the places that gave me the contacts I needed to get started on the Blackpool cabaret scene and, in no time, I was gigging 7 nights a week from hotel to hotel, 2 or 3 spots a night and enjoyed three great years at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the ‘Paradise Show’, ‘Cosmic’ and ‘Force Five’ at The Star PLUS an appearance as ‘Dandini’ in Cinderella at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool. My 20 years in Blackpool has brought a huge variety of work including hosting the famous ‘Layton Institute’ Summer Shows 2003 & 2007 and two years at the ‘Stanley Bar & Cabaret’ as resident Host/Compere and Show Producer.
20 years later…..
It’s hard to believe I have already enjoyed 20+ years as a professional entertainer and I am fortunate and grateful to still perform regularly in and out of Blackpool. Nightly I can be found entertaining the locals and holiday makers in Blackpool’s Ma Kellys venues and many hotels and, throughout the year, in nearby holiday parks, cabaret bars and social clubs.
As I’m sure my performer colleagues would agree, to those kind people who reward us regularly with happy cheers and applause, we salute you all and THANK YOU.