THE HOLIDAY DREAM OF AN ENGLISH ENTERTAINER
Darren New is an entertainer based in the south of England.
This is his story
It all happened when Darren was 25, he bumped into a Karaoke machine for the first time and picked up a microphone. It turned out to be a lot of fun. So much fun that it did not take long for Darren to decide he needed one of those machines too. After some diligent practising at home, he decided to extend his stage and started going down to the local pub where he became a regular at the Karaoke nights. Initially, Darren only wanted to sing one song, or maybe two, but shortly after he was invited to host his own Karaoke night once a week on Thursday. Apparently, he had a flair for it.
The real breakthrough came in 1998. That year Darren decided to go on a holiday to Tenerife for a couple of weeks. He quickly found out that the hotel where he was staying at had Karaoke nights in their Moonlight bar… Every single night! Darren headed to the bar, grabbed the microphone and made famous songs his. It only took the manager one week to come over and ask, “This guy is leaving, would you be prepared to stay?”
The proposal was simple, Darren had to entertain by night and live at the hotel during the day. Or in other words, Darren could pretend he was Robbie Williams every night and live in an eternal holiday whenever the sun was shining. It was a no-brainer.
“I didn’t have the balls to do it. I wasn’t confident it would progress in the UK. After all, it was a holiday thing…”
Life became a lot of fun, but fun could not keep him away from home for long. Darren missed home, he missed his country and nine months later, he hopped on a plane and said goodbye to his life as a holiday entertainer. Although Darren loved his job in Tenerife, he felt he would not succeed doing it in the UK. This new Darren not-on-an-eternal-holiday had commitments and bills to pay. His mind took over his heart and he became a truck driver. It was a more “professional” route to take.
Years went by and became a decade. Darren bought his own truck, started his own business and occasionally stopped at the Swan Inn in Southampton for a pint. One night he found out business at the pub wasn’t going so well and wondered what would happen if they organised a Karaoke night to help out. They printed some flyers and took them around town.
“It was an overnight success!”
Darren had fun, the owner had fun, the clients had fun and everyone was making money – apart from the clients of course who were having lots of fun. They decided to do it once per month, then every two weeks, then every week. Then, neighbouring pubs decided they wanted a piece of the cake and suddenly he had two venues, two party places. That’s when it hit Darren, he could be doing it all the time, the same gig he had done 11 years before in an island in the Atlantic. Darren could turn other pubs into the Moonlight bar.
Now, Darren has been doing it full time for the last six years and he loves what he does. In the beginning, he used to get nervous, but now he was the confidence he will pull it off somehow. He expanded his entertainment business to other pubs, clubs, weddings and wherever he can have some fun with people. The buzz and the thrill of entertaining others and working with a crowd fills his soul. And the best part of it all, his business is still like it was when he started. Darren never did set up a website to promote his services. Just like his karaoke machine, word merely goes around.
What does Darren say to those who dream of taking on entertainment?
“Keep the faith and believe in it, because it will work. If you have the passion and the drive, it will work. You can’t give up on it, you have to believe in yourself and believe that per every 60 flyers you hand out, you will get once response back. And that only response will make all the difference. Stay positive, stay focused and concentrate on where you want to go. It’s the only way forward.”
Name: Darren New
Inspiration: Seeing everyone having a good time.