From Mystery Shopping To Corporate Role Play
The knack of choosing the right actor ...
POSTED BY DAVID PIBWORTH ON 19/04/2016 @ 8:00AM
Today I am sorting out actors. This doesn't mean that we have racks of them at the office in some kind of huge filing cabinet, although it would probably be easier to get hold of some of them if we did ...
From mystery shopping to corporate role play, whatever you need, I can find you the right actor.
copyright: innovatedcaptures / 123rf stock photo
What I have is a comprehensive directory of all the actors I have worked with and I get them corporate work. Corporate work can be anything from Mystery Shopping, where they go off and pretend to buy something and we report back on how the sales team dealt with them, to specific role play where they can be anything from a doctor/patient, depression sufferer, angry customer or anything else the client requires.
"I only put forward actors I have worked with previously."
This is for the specific reason that much of it hinges on reliability and the ability to get along with the client. Also, it allows me to see what kind of actor will be better at a particular role. As a stage director, I have been involved in casting many productions, and you get an eye for what's required.
Actors - and when I say actors, I also refer to actresses of course - are a curious breed. They can come over as hugely confident, but some suffer from the most appalling insecurities in their own minds. It comes from being judged every time you do your job I think. You could argue that many jobs are like that, but in reality, most jobs don't have an audience sitting watching you critically and subjectively for most of the time, so it's understandable.
"My job is to choose the correct actor for the right role."
Some of our corporate jobs require an actor to be a normal person, and not all of them can do that easily. The need to prove themselves can be too great. So if we are working for a well-known car manufacturer, which we currently are, we don't really want a performance by King Lear, when they are buying a Ford Mondeo. The same goes for a stage director not wanting a performance of someone buying a Ford Mondeo when they are playing King Lear. Horses for courses, as they say.
I have to say that the biggest problem, and this is the same for everyone involved, is traffic. I can brief the actor on the script and synopsis, what they wear, how to handle the client etc, but I can't control the M25, or the train timetable.
"I'd be a rich man if I could."
The actors now have to leave earlier and earlier and they do earn their money, as do I, but I like actors and I like the clients, so all is well.
If you need a corporate actor, you know where to come to.
Until next time ...
More about David Pibworth ...
David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.
David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.
His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.
Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.