Comedy Show Tag

Greg Shapiro ‘How to Be Dutch’ at NBTC Netherlands Bd of Tourism & Conventions

Greg Shapiro ‘How to Be Dutch’ at NBTC Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions
3 June, 2021

I remember when the NBTC was simply called the NBOT ‘Netherlands Board of Tourism.’ (That’s when I did my first events for them back in the 2000’s.) These days, it’s the ‘Netherlands Board of Tourism AND CONVENTIONS.’ Which is handy, because – during a pandemic – tourism you can’t do easily online. But conventions, yes!

As the Corona rules loosen, it’s time to ask: What is the future of conventions and events? Back to Live and In-Person? More online? A bit of both? Will conventions and events ever be the same? The NBTC organized an online event in early June. As it happened, it was right before Step 3 of Loosening the Dutch Corona restrictions. So, if they had rescheduled by a few days, then they could have had up to 50 people in a live audience. !
The fact they did NOT reschedule perhaps proves their point: the role of online and hybrid events is here to stay.

As it happened, I was glad they went with the online setup. The stage was inspired by the TV show Even Tot Hier, with the audience projected onto an enormous back wall. So yes, I could see the audience on two big monitors under the livestream camera. And also the audience could see themselves behind me. Okay, maybe it’s not a great recipe for laughs – being able to see yourself and get self-conscious every time you laugh. But I got laughs anyway!

I was asked to give a reading from my book The American Netherlander: 25 Years of Expat Tales. It’s a module I like to call ‘Culture Shock Therapy.’ And we had a ‘bubble’ set – everyone on set had to have a negative Covid test. And between the speakers and the crew, there were just enough live bodies to be able to play to audible laughs.

Thanks to Host Sophie Hoytema for recommending me for the gig. Thanks to Producer Paul Gruijthuijsen for making us look great. Thanks to the location CitySense in Utrecht. And thanks to NBTC’s Eric Bakermans for having me – and for making the photos of my performance!


Greg Shapiro Masterclass: CULTURE SHOCK THERAPY

Greg Shapiro Masterclass: CULTURE SHOCK THERAPY

“Hi! My name is Greg Shapiro, or you can call me Gregory. Or – in Dutch – ‘Krek.’ That’s my name in Dutch: Krek Tja-piero.’ Prime example of Culture Shock: When you move to a different country and realize ‘Wow – I’ve been pronouncing my name wrong my whole life.'”
There are plenty examples of Culture Shock in the Netherlands. Like having a Dutchman introduce himself and say “Hello, my name is Freek. I am Freek, and this is my colleague Tjerk.” But if you can keep a sense of humor about it, you experience Culture Shock THERAPY: when you realize that  cultural differences can be hilarious.

“I am a bit of both: a bit LOUD AMERICAN and a bit ‘Doe Normaal‘ Nederlander. And yes I am tweetaliggggg. But I don’t like to speak Dutch, because it makes my mouth feel sad. What is it about Dutch people and their Harde G? It makes you sound like angry, choking zombie people. Like that TV show The Walking Dead. Or – since it’s the Netherlands – it’s more like The BIKING Dead.”
And here’s another example of Culture Shock Therapy. As soon as I started learning Dutch, I realized “Oh, you don’t need to yell the whole time.”

“Other cultures might say things like ‘Wow, you look good! Have you lost weight?’ Dutch people will say ‘Wow, you used to be so fat!'”
Dutch people are known for being DIRECT. Which is an indirect way of saying RUDE. If Americans have a reputation for being politely indirect, and the British have a reputation for being politely indecipherable, Dutch people pride themselves on being brutally honest – sometimes at the expense of politeness, or tact, or respect for human dignity. But at least you know where you stand. And HOW you stand – which is much shorter, once their comments cut you off at the knees.

Greg Shapiro (Zondag Met Lubach, Boom Chicago, Comedy Central) is The American Netherlander. He has performed his masterclass in Dutch Culture Shock Therapy for heads of state, the King of the Netherlands and once for the Business Class section of a KLM 747 to Chicago. 

 

Greg Shapiro on ‘Weet Ik Veel’ with ‘How to Be Orange’

Greg Shapiro on ‘Weet Ik Veel’ with ‘How to Be Orange’

Last fall, I got a call from the Dutch quiz show Weet Ik Veel. They wanted to use a clip from the ‘How to Be Orange’ standup special I made for VARA in 2013. The episode aired in 2021.
Beau van Erven Dorens was there, talking about Dutch terms that don’t translate well into English.
And that’s when they played my video.
We start off with a company called HILARIUS ASPHALT.
Then there’s a health drink that’s pronounced AIDS.
There’s the product (or service?) called BABY DUMP.
And the revenge of the dumped baby, which is a Nutricia ad featuring the phrase MAMA DIE! DIE! DIE!

But the moment they really wanted on Weet Ik Veel was the shampoo for removing tangles in your hair. It’s called ANTI-KLIT.
Watch and enjoy what I call ‘CULTURE SHOCK THERAPY.’

 

Greg Shapiro on NPO Op 1: How to Imitate Biden

Greg Shapiro on NPO Op 1: How to Imitate Biden
Broadcast date: 4 November, 2020
Hosts: Charles Groenhuijsen, Carrie ten Napel.
Language: Dutch (and ‘Bad Dutch’)

SO I was asked to appear on a Dutch talk show. In Part One I was asked to comment – as Trump – on the results of Election 2020. In Part Two, Carrie asked me if I could do a Joe Biden imitation. I told her “I’m working on it.” (in Dutch)

At that point, Joe Biden was best known as Vice President – and wacky sidekick – to Barack Obama. Biden was known as ‘Uncle Joe.’ Well, by now Biden is ‘Grandpa Joe.’ Can he stay awake for an entire speech? Stay tuned! Or more to the point: are his eyes still good? Can he see the TelePrompter clearly?

Since we were in a TV studio, where the hosts were reading their intro’s from the TelePrompter / AutoCue, I took the opportunity to ask them how big do they like their text on the screen? I’ve hosted a TV show before. I know how the size of your text can determine the entire pace and flow of your delivery. If the text is too small, you have to squint your eyes. If the text is too big, you have to speak. your. sentence. word. for. word. You stumble through your phrasing. Or – in the case of Joe Biden – it’s like you stutter. Poor Joe is pushing 80 years old. It’s a miracle he doesn’t need glasses. But I guarantee his text needs to be gigantic in the TelePrompter. Sometimes, he can even got tripped up over words with too many syllables.

Earlier in the episode, the hosts played a clip from Biden. It was meant to be inspirational. But he clearly tripped over the text.
Biden: “So let me be clear. I / we are campaigning as a Democrats.”

So that’s part one of how to do a Joe Biden imitation: BE the smartest guy in the room, but SOUND like George W. Bush.

Greg Shapiro Presents THE ZOOM IMPROV WORKSHOP

Yes, it IS possible: THE ZOOM IMPROV WORKSHOP
Team Building by Videoconference

Watch the teaser, below

Recently, I had a client ask: “Could you lead one of your classic improv workshops via Zoom?” I said YES. Or more specifically, “YES AND.”

Already, I’ve been performing my ‘HOW NOT TO ZOOM’ videoconference mini-show for over a year. And I’ve been incorporating some interaction. For example, when I’m demonstrating Worst Virtual Backgrounds, I might say, “Look at Gareth, who has chosen to be located at Hogwarts Castle. Well, let’s take a moment and ask which Hogwarts House are you?”

The Zoom Improv Workshop builds on that kind of interaction. I interact with you, partners interact with each other. It serves as a wake-up call! Even though we’re meeting remotely, we can still activate our eye contact. We can amplify our Give-and-Take. And we can make the most of non-verbal communication.

Online meetings don’t have to be boring!
So many team meetings seem like they started out with a warning from the Legal Department: “Don’t say anything that could incriminate you! If you display any honest emotion, we could be held liable.” An improv workshop is specifically designed to immediately inject Spontaneity and Vulnerability. Two things that are desperately missing from most corporate culture.

The Zoom Improv Workshop starts with:
– Introducing yourself to your team in a whole new way.
– Sharing WORST practice in video conferencing.
– Showcasing Special Skills.
And it builds up to:
– Allowing yourself to be an expert, based on virtual backgrounds, assigned to you at random.

In essence, it’s just a bunch of fun exercises with your team. But in the end, you realize your team has been practicing:
– Active Listening.
– Thinking outside the box.
– Trusting your instincts.
– Empowering your team dynamic.
Afterward, you’ll realize: “This meeting could NOT have been an email.”

WATCH:

1 Year of ‘HOW NOT TO ZOOM: a Videoconference Mini-Show

1 Year of ‘HOW NOT TO ZOOM: a Comedy Roast for Your Awful Online Meeting, April 2021

It was April, 2020 when I got a phone call: “Could you do 10 minutes of comedy about video conferencing for our weekly video conference?” I said YES. And it was such a hit, I developed a new videoconference mini-show called HOW NOT TO ZOOM, aka “Sharing WORST Practice.”

It’s been a year now, and still you haven’t learned anything about basic Framing, Lighting, Background. It’s hilarious! You need a Comedy Roast. Either to kick off your meeting, or to end it.

More often, I’m being asked to do longer sets of 30-45 minutes – including a tailored powerpoint show. No problem! By now, I’ve performed HOW NOT TO ZOOM for small Management Teams, for entire Business Units, and for AGM Annual General Meetings with thousands of online viewers. And wow, I’ve learned a lot. For example: DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. If at all possible, I try to be on location in a pop-up studio at your office. Then, when the livestream – inevitably – freezes up, instead of wondering “Is it my wifi?” I can say “call Kevin from IT!”

I did a series of HOW NOT TO ZOOM shows to ‘celebrate’ One Year of Working from Home. Here’s some feedback from Ingenico in Hoofddorp:
“Het was super leuk! We hebben erg gelachen en Greg heeft erg z’n best gedaan om het op maat voor ons te maken. In de toekomst zouden we een eventuele nieuwe show van hem graag weer boeken. Bedankt!”
“It was super fun! We laughed a lot, and Greg did his best to tailor the show to our office. In the future, we’d love to hire Greg for his new show. Thanks!”

‘NEW SHOW’ -? Well, okay then…
Coming soon: from the makers of HOW NOT TO ZOOM – it’s the ZOOM IMPROV WORKSHOP. Again, based on someone asking “Could you do that improv training you do, but for a videoconference?” And again, the answer was YES.
Or more specifically, YES AND.

WATCH: HOW NOT TO ZOOM 60-second teaser

Greg Shapiro presents HOW NOT TO ZOOM

Greg Shapiro presents HOW NOT TO ZOOM
A Video Conference Mini-Show

A couple weeks ago, I got a phone call: “Could you do 10 minutes of comedy for our weekly video conference, about video conferencing?” I said YES. And it was such a hit, I’ve now developed a 10-minute package I call HOW NOT TO ZOOM. 

HOW NOT TO ZOOM 60-second teaser

Lockdown life, 2020. Working from home means video conferencing. And – despite the tutorials – many of us are slow to adapt. Time for a new training strategy?
Comedian Greg Shapiro presents HOW NOT TO ZOOM. Kick-off your next online meeting with 5 – 10 minutes of “Sharing WORST Practice.”

Whether you use Zoom, Skype, WebEx or Teams – Shapiro’s interactive presentation will parody the Seven Deadly Sins of video conferencing. Including: Awful lighting, Unflattering angles, Embarrassing backgrounds AND Yelling at your kids when you think you’re on mute.

Do yourself a favor and start your next video conference with a guaranteed icebreaker. More than that, it’s an effective teaching method: sometimes the best example of How-to is How-NOT-to.

Stay safe, keep laughing.
For bookings please contact my other half at inezdegoede@gmail.com.

 

https://youtu.be/iIoKuh6giKM

Did I Get Infected by a Dutch Comedy Show in Brabant?

Did I Get Infected by a Dutch Comedy Show? In Brabant? 

I was part of the problem. I was part of Team #DontPanic. Now I’m on Team #StaytheFHome.

On Saturday, 7 March I was hosting a Dutch comedy show in Tilburg (epicenter of the Dutch Corona virus outbreak). In retrospect, I might have been infected with the Corona Virus and COVID19.

That morning, I knew it was a risky move. But I decided to take a risk – because my gigs were already disappearing. I even took public transport to get there. On the way to the show, Dutch health officials advised people in the province of Brabant to stay home, to avoid being infected. But it was a sold-out crowd! They were willing to get infected by the comedy show.

We made fun of the crowd for ignoring the warning. We imitated the drunken Brabanters going to ski in Italy, then celebrating Carnaval & spreading COVID19. The guy in the front row was so proud of his Party Cred I dubbed him “Patient Zero.”

And yes, I posed for a selfie with him after the show.

But in retrospect, it was a stupid risk.

SO – Did I Get Infected?
Luckily for me, I still have no symptoms, and I don’t seem to have been infected. As of this writing, it was 11 days ago.

In retrospect, the show should have been canceled. At the time, I was trying to mitigate the damage: “yes go out, but do it safely.”
Then I saw the data about #flattenthecurve. And I’m convinced: t
he shortest way through this is full lockdown.

Yes, it’s selfish for young & healthy people to keep going out, since it’s dangerous for older & at-risk people. But ALSO it’s in your OWN interest: There’s no avoiding a total shutdown at this point. But keep it limited. Look at that graph of Philadelphia vs. St. Louis during the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Right now, China is like St Louis. USA is like Philadelphia, and they’ll be feeling the effects for months. Possibly all the way until Election Day…