Well my friends it has been a couple of hectic months to be honest. I think I will be best served by categorizing the various activities into segments, that way if something doesn’t interest you, you may scroll forward to something that grabs your attention.
Well of you don’t already know I have ben the ground announcer with the Panthers in the NRL for 19 years and as with any sporting team there are always ups and downs.
The good news for us was, well hard to find. We did avoid the dreaded wooden spoon, which is a positive. Unfortunately though, this season was one I am sure many would choose to forget, players and fans alike. So many injuries to players across the whole club but in particular, major injuries to our spine, which to you non footy heads are the key positions of Fullback, Halfback and Hooker. Losing these players for extended periods was not only unfortunate, but it proved too large a hurdle this season and the boys struggled to get consistency in their game. On a positive we look forward to those injuries healing in the off season and welcome the new boys that will be joining the club, especially my good friend Trent Merrin. I have had the pleasure of knowing Trent and his family for over 15 years, when he was this cute little kid with a big grin. I know they will be an awesome addition to the Panthers family, and look forward to calling his name for a few years to come.
The Entertainment Front
Busy, busy, busy, that about sums up the last few months.
I have been busy travelling far and wide, filming my A Taste of Travel segments for Ben’s Menu and for ATOT as well.
So far. this has seen myself and my trusty cameraman/audio operator Marty Weaver and my occasional Production Assistant Sam McFarlane explore South Africa, New Zealand and plenty of our great nation including NSW North and South Coast and a little surprise packet in Albury, so there are plenty of reasons to tune into Ben’s Menu every Friday at 4pm on Channel Ten. Well he is on everyday at 4pm so I should encourage you to check it out.
He is a great chef and a top bloke. In fact I also get in the kitchen with Ben and do a little cooking myself!
A Taste of Travel as a stand-alone show should be back in the New Year also…. fingers crossed on us getting a date from TEN soon.
Musically we have given STEVIE-THE LIFE & MUSIC a bit of a rest year this year. We have only done a couple of shows and will be bringing it back in the second half of 2016. This hiatus has however given me a chance to hang out with some old friends and make some new ones with a few other bands and have gigs coming up over he next few months around the traps in NSW.
My band Sons of Beaches will be at the Old Manly Boatshed on the Monday night of the October long weekend for those who like to have a full, longweekend break. It’s an early start (630pm) so you can be ready for school the next day. We will also be playing O’Donohues at Emu Plains on Friday the 13th of November, I thought all my Panther mates would come to this one and we can celebrate avoiding the spoon!! Maybe being Black Friday we can have a burning of the spoon ceremony or something to bury a horrible season??
I am also doing a couple of shows with some other bands, including one this Saturday night at Revesby Workers club.
Xparte are the band and they play a huge range of songs from the last few decades, it’s a party atmosphere and every track is one you will know and hopefully love to dance to.
I will also be “guest starring” with The Missing Linc, down at Kiama Leagues club on October 17th. The club are supporting live music with passion down there on the beautiful South Coast just down the road from The Gong. Maybe come down and make a weekend of it? Kiama is such a lovely place and we will rock the house down on the night!!
I have been having some fun MCing as well with a nice variety of events that I have had the pleasure of facilitating.
Legendary performer Graham Wilson has been battling illness and we had a fantastic fundraiser for him at The Lagoon in Wollongong. I didn’t MC but got up to perform, in amongst some absolute champions like Doug Parkinson, Paul Martell, Ricky Organ and Scott Radburn.
Graham is a super bloke and I was so happy to be involved in some small way…and we raised a good chunk of cash to help him out which was fantastic.
The Luke Priddis Foundation Ball was held for the 2nd year and was a great night out for all involved. I had a super time MCing this event and have been eager to assist Luke and his excellent team before and have not been able to do so.
Held at The Bandy at St Marys it was good to see a couple of NRL Panthers there as well including the coach Ivan Cleary.
Luke his lovely wife Holli and the whole team at LPF continue to achieve fantastic goals for those less fortunate than most. If you want to know more or would like to help out…. www.lukepriddisfoundation.com
I was also invited to The University of Wollongong to be part of a panel of fellow actors and industry people as part of discussion and networking event showcasing careers in Performance. This was a brilliant opportunity to share some of my own experiences, highs, lows and everything in between. I was honest and open, so I hope I didn’t scare to many away from chasing their dreams…. it is a tough business, lets face it.
Finally I must mention The Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce Loyalty Dinner. This event was held out at The Penrith Paceway (I do spend a bit of time out that way) and once again it was a really fun night. It was a Tuesday which was different but that didn’t stop people from enjoying themselves, that’s for sure. Gina Field and the board are a top bunch and have really achieved a lot for the the business community of Penrith. I met some lovely people and I hope to have more dealings with them in the future.
Well I do believe I have probably kept you away from something much more important, so I will wrap it up now and talk to you soon.
Oh don’t forget to check out the latest issue of Breezemag as well, It’s a fantastic read with stunning photos as well. I also have a nice little travel piece for those that might be interested in the beauty of Rarotonga in The Cook Islands.