The first time I got paid to do what I love, namely entertain, was my best job ever. I can see my first pay packet today and remember staring at it in disbelief that I was being given money to be on stage, singing and dancing all day at a UK entertainment resort. I remember hearing my first ‘5,6,7,8..’ cue to start the music and now the number in front of me was a pay check. It was fun to celebrate a show that had gone well, in the full knowledge Leichner make up would hold up my smile like industrial scaffolding during the early morning duties of the following day.
An excellent book written by a legend of the holiday camp (as they were once known post war days), helped keep my spirits high during the long hours of the job.
A long Summer season at a holiday park is a golden opportunity for acts to polish and hone their skills and the hard work definitely pays off in the end. The slow progress Jim Kennedy made through the ranks is strong encouragement for anyone wishing to follow his footsteps and he offers many pieces of advice in his book.
Kennedy, has worked as an agent, singer and impressario. He suggests his favourite role is that of mentor. Brian Conley, Shane Richie (who writes the foreword), Jimmy Cricket, Bradley Walsh and Gemma Craven are all graduates of Kennedy’s academy. His book documents how he has experienced more ups and downs than a funfair ride on the Blackpool coast that was his long time professional home and lays bare the less glamorous side of performing.
If you’re looking to break into light entertainment this book gives a good background to the industry. Each chapter is so well written you almost take the stage with Kennedy as he takes his final bow at The Princes Theatre, Blackpool. As the title of the book says, ‘One good turn deserves an encore!’
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