corporate event Tag

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 Hosts 1st-Ever CitizenM TV Show

Greg Shapiro Hosts First-Ever CitizenM TV Show

Typical 2021: “Will the Covid lockdown end in time for our AGM Annual General Meeting?” In the case of CitizenM Hotels, nope. Every year, these guys have an off-site event for their whole, global team: Someplace exotic; someplace inspiring; something to keep them going for the rest of the year. But in 2021, it was time to face the ugly truth: they were going to have to livestream it.

Luckily, CitizenM HQ hired Dutch production company GRNDPA to make the livestream something special. And they hired me to host the ‘First-Ever CitizenM TV Show.’ Luckily, I have some history with the CitizenM folks. I was at one of their 2018 off-sites, to perform my ‘Dutch Culture Shock Therapy’ masterclass. It was a good show! I liked these guys.

PRO-TIP: Your Livestream doesn’t need to be Live! We had 3 days of production, with plenty of time for me to meet the C-level execs and reassure everyone. We pre-recorded the transitions, and I spoke in the voiceovers. The priority on-set was to keep the vibe of a normal offsite event, as much as possible. And yes, the top management were way too dry in the first take. But with a couple of retakes – and me more actively engaging them – the managers managed to loosen up and feel like they were talking to their team, in person.

I really appreciated hearing it back in the comments, like “You made us feel comfortable Greg, it was a joy. Many thanks!”

Was everyone nervous? Of course. But not me. Which is why I also appreciated hearing “Your years of experience shine through, seeing how smooth it went.”

 

HOW DID IT GO? See for yourself:

 

BACKSTORY
Do you know CitizenM? It’s a Dutch start-up, launched in 2008 with the slogan ‘Affordable luxury for the people.’ They were most notable for the things they didn’t provide, like bellhops. They provided automated check-in, so you could skip the check-in chat and just go straight to your room. They basically designed their dream hotel, based on the years they’d spent traveling for fashion brand Mexx. And by ‘they,’ I mean Mr. Rattan Cheddha and family. I’d performed for them at corporate events with Boom Chicago for years.

[In fact, I think it was 1997 when Seth Meyers and I performed a birthday show at the Cheddhas’ house. That was the time we did an improv scene, where Seth had to guess the word ‘Mallorca’ – a place he had not heard of, at that point. Have you ever seen an improv guessing game performed so brilliantly that you wonder if it’s all pre-planned? Well, this was one of those times we proved conclusively it was definitely improvised. To this day, Seth will still grind his teeth anytime someone brings up the Mediterranean Island of Mallorca.]

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: FATBOY FOR A DAY

GREG SHAPIRO: FATBOY FOR A DAY

I love Fatboy stuff! Did you know they’re based in Den Bosch, Netherlands? I found out when I got the call: they needed a host for their annual retailer event – this time via Livestream.
Well, the show went great. And the livestream only froze up twice (!)
The event was written & produced by Henk Jan van Harten at Broadcast Your Business. Highly Recommended.
Some reactions from the retailers watching from home:
– ‘Nice mix of humor with serious stuff.’
– ’What a lot of positive energy in a bizarre time.’
– ’I just wanted to keep watching!’
Have a look:
https://youtu.be/oGBR1zzWJWA