Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Return of Slim Jim

Welcome back Ladies and Gents, I'm sure this blog has been more heavily anticipated then the 7th Harry Potter book, and with out further ado…We begin…with a recap.

Now as you all know MTA Entertainment and Events has taken me on in a placement role to help with the upcoming Melbourne Events Showcase happening on Wednesday 29th and Thursday the 30th at the Royal Exhibition Building.

During the showcase we will be putting on acts the likes of…
·        Tim Campbell (Emcee), whom you may know from Home and Away, Dancing with the Stars, or his role as Johnny O'Keefe in Shout!
·        Musical acts including Pot Pourri, Sarah Taylor Jazztet and Maske.
·        Acrobatic acts Rockie Stone performing with chairs and champagne bottles (The possibilities are scarily exciting) and Matt Hughes (the man with the trampolining family)
·        Comedy act Rusty and Another Guy, also known as the artist formally known as Prince…I mean half of the Scared Weird Little Guys.
·        Then last but most definitely not least…Make an Entrance, showing us how to arrive with style

And so we enter the pre-event stage - the majority of planning has been done, now it needs to be implemented. This means that in the coming weeks life will become a learning experience. By this I mean one can only learn so much from a book, in terms of what will work and what won’t on the day. What can be planned and what needs flexibility. How to interact with the different groups that will be there from fellow event organizers, acts and any potential clients. What can (and should) be prioritized and why. So many little details that need to be thought of and dealt with in a timely manner that most people wouldn't even have realised was an issue.

Which is where all the planning, preparation and dedicated hard work will come into play. Accounting for these sort of things is what we are taught to in Events Management, and from what I have witnessed MTA do. It is one thing to be told this, it is another thing entirely to witness it and put it into action.

To quote Shakespeare:
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
And recks not his own rede

I read this quote the other day and was thinking about it - the idea that it’s not always easy, but the best way is often the hardest. It is not an appealing idea but one that we must all learn at some point. Planning for all outcomes and variables may seem tedious, but at some stage or another I guarantee it will pay dividends.

And so we finish this week of on a sentimental note for myself. I am fast approaching graduation from my course, we have learnt lots, and most likely forgotten twice as much. However, the Event industry is a lifestyle and occupation all unto itself. So many things, without meaning to will turn into events, including markets, sports games, presentations and so so much more. My bit of advice if you’re reading this and have the slightest of inclinations to go into the industry, is to do so and you won’t regret it.

Until next week,

Slim Jim

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Premier Entertainment Showcase!

It has arrived, the most exciting news of the day.  Yes, it's all true.  MTA is proud to sponsor Melbourne's Premier Entertainment Showcase at RSVP11.

tickets are free - but you must register - don't miss out of seeing a veritable smorgasbord of talent including Tim Campbell, singers from Pot-Pourri, Matt Hughes, and more including stunning circus, music to make you move, and the world first premier of a new Australian comedy music duo!

Coming to RSVP?  Come and hi to MTA at stand B4!

More details below:

The Premier Entertainment Showcase
as part of
Melbourne Event Showcase (RSVP11)

Get your hands on the hottest ticket in town this winter and check out the Premier Entertainment Showcase at Melbourne's Event Showcase 2011. Presented by MTA Entertainment and Events, this exclusive ticketed event will give you the opportunity to witness some of Australia’s top entertainment on the one stage.

29th - 30th June 2011, Royal Exhibition Building, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Hosted by Tim Campbell (star of shows such as Home and AwayCelebrity Spelling BeeDancing with the Stars and Wicked), this one hour extravaganza will include breathtaking circus skills, sensational singers, an entertainment world-premiere and a whole lot of WOW factor. The 2011 showcase is brought to you by MTA Entertainment and Events. Come and talk to the staff at stand B4 about all of your entertainment needs for 2011 and beyond - whether you’re planning for a conference, gala dinner or getting a head start on your end of year events.
This is an exclusive opportunity for registered guests to see performances by MTA Entertainment and Events in one hour shows on each day.
Registration is now open!  Entry to The Premier Entertainment Showcase is free, but you must register online.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rants and Raves of Slim Jim

G’day All

All of you out there who don't know who this 'Slim Jim' is, this is where the story begins.

I was born into this world around 22 years ago to a family full of eclectic, passionate people who walk all aspects of life from teaching to pig hunting all the way through to some of the more boring aspects of life such as doctors and lawyers;).

My life has been an experience…there is no other way to describe it. I've lived through many a trying time…losing the 1999 preliminary final to Carlton by a point (a heartbreaking moment for any Bomber fan)… having had a benign tumour that affected a great deal of my capacity for basic functions - thankfully I have fought through this to come out with a more open and accepting outlook on life…the royal wedding…

More recently, and on topic, I have started a Diploma in Events Management. It's opened my eyes to many things including just how large and diverse the event industry is, as well as the fact that the details in planning an event can be simply astronomical with events sometimes starting the planning process years in advance.
If you don't believe me, how far in advance are the Olympics and World Cup bids compared to the actual event? That isn't even the beginning. The committees have to decide on what venues to use as well as how it will be sustainable and secure, whether it is financially viable etc.

So to try and wrap my head around everything, I've organised a work placement through MTA to help learn anything and everything I can.

And so, as they say, we join our hero in his quest at the offices of MTA Entertainment and Events …

Today has been a blast so far. I met Shari for the first time and so far she has proven to be an excellent teacher and co-worker. Mandy has me coming up with ideas on how to subtly 'kidnap' peoples attention for an expo (My choice of words not hers :P). And the last of the Thursday bunch is Russ. Now for all of you who don't believe in coincidence…you’re wrong and I can prove it.

A couple of months back I attended an expo that MTA were also a part of -  I know the shock and horror of it…that's not the coincidence - where I met Gareth, another fellow who works here but who is not in today. Being a young and eager student I instantly quizzed Gareth on everything about the event industry and how he himself got into it, as well as what he planned to do in the near and medium future to progress himself. Gareth was kind enough to spend time with me and explain many things and I distinctly remember walking away feeling I was a bit better prepared for 'life' in events. Several weeks later, whilst attempting to organise a placement for myself I stumbled across the website for MTA and, jumping a few steps in the story, here I am. Now today, whilst helping Russ with taking some equipment to a venue, we got talking about many things in life, as you do, including our taste in footy clubs and who each of us has played for in the past. It turns out that I had actually seen Russ play several times over the last several years, as he was almost automatically put head to head against none other then my very own brother.

Enough about me now it's time for a quick rant…the weather…nothing else need be said.

And it's time to rave about this opportunity. I know how important it is to have experience that is both relevant as well as challenging. In MTA, Mandy, Shari and Russ so far I have found that. I get to be included in the planning process for an exhibition, have a say (even if it isn't necessarily correct), and most importantly I'm learning multiple aspects, not just concentrating on one area. It's fantastic and anyone who gets a similar opportunity to do so…JUMP ON BOARD.

Until next week.
Salutations from Slim Jim

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recent Adventures of Dora the Explorer

Over the last week, I have been exploring more than just my own backyard and the MTA office... I went to the Dandenongs and did the 1000 steps/Kokoda trail. I do not recommend this hike for someone who is even remotely unfit. Take the advice of someone who hasn't exercised in approximately 2 years...... I experienced the kind of exhaustion you only feel after a 6am wake-up following a night of heavy drinking. However, aside from the difficulties, it was very rewarding when I reached the top and I am going to try and do it more often so as to get my fitness in order!

Also looking forward to this Saturday the 29th Jan as I will be going to Raggamuffin music festival held at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne's CBD. This year's line-up features R&B queen, Mary J. Blige and Reggae/Rap sensation, Sean Paul - Two artists that I rate very highly. Last year's Raggamuffin festival was crazyyyy good and I can't wait to chill on the lawn with a few drinks while listening to the best of modern reggae/hip hop.

Have a good weekend everyone!

- Dora

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bored and poor? Cheap things to do to get your butt off the couch

I have one main goal for my life - to not look back on it with regret.  I read the poem ‘If I Had My Life Over’ written by Belinda Emmett just before she passed away.  The line I have never forgotten is  I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life’. 

So this blog is to inspire us all (including me) to get off the couch and I know it’s so cliché but GET INTO LIFE!!  There is soooo much to do, to experience.  Understandably though sometimes we need a little creative guidance especially when there are constraints such as money or weather, etc.  So, I will endeavour to provide you with ideas for fun and exciting things to do to ensure that you are really experiencing LIFE!! I may tend to get a little over excited sometimes but hey, that’s the whole essence of this blog – enthusiasm people!!

Ok so the first ‘ideas’ list is for when we want to hold back on the outflow of cashola, moolah, pennies, dough, spondulicks – yep that also means money. 

  1. Pack your lunch. Get a daily public transport ticket.  Close your eyes and randomly point your finger at the train lines and pick one.  Then either go to the end of the line or again, randomly pick a stop to get off at.  Have no expectations and go for an adventure. 
  2. Do something creative – write a poem or song, paint a picture, take some photos.  For a little extra inspiration – do it to give to a loved one.  People always love receiving homemade gifts with a bit of heart.  My partner and I made Xmas cards out of bark last year.  We cut the softer bark into triangles and stuck them on top of each other to make stars.  Then stuck the stars on harder bark that we wrote on. They looked great on presents.
  3. Have a BYO food and drinks party/BBQ.  This can be a small intimate thing – just a few of your close friends or a big thing where you keep the door open and people just come in off the street.  All you need is good music and some plates, cups, cutlery.  You could even arrange to meet up in a park so people bring their own everything.  If anyone plays an instrument, get that happening. 
  4. You can get Frisbees at the 2 dollar shop.  Take them with you to your party in the park or just out with you and your mate – it’s also good exercise.
  5. Board games – get out the old Scrabble board or Pictionary and have some fun that is also really good for your brain.  (Can also get these out at your party).  BTW - Balderdash is also a great game!
  6. Go for a bush walk anywhere, or bike ride along the Yarra (don’t forget to check out the Collingwood Children’s farm), explore botanical gardens, climb the 1000 steps in the Dandenongs, walk into the city by a route you’ve never taken, you get the gist….get off your butt.
  7. Get cultured. Go to the art gallery NGV – lots of free stuff to see free!!
  8. Check out the papers for free events – concerts, festivals.  Beat Magazine is really good for music events. ‘Only Melbourne’ is also a great resource for all sorts of stuff to do.
  9. Cook something you’ve never cooked before and maybe invite someone around to help eat it – depends how confident you are….
  10. Send out some Love!! Think of something you can do for someone else – either someone you know or someone you don’t.  Doing volunteer work is a great experience that I really think everyone should do at some time in their life.  Always thinking about ourselves – well that’s boring in itself.
I went to a workshop with Pat Pattison (song-writer extraordinaire) last weekend.    He has an idea for a song – These are the Good Old Days.   Meaning that one day we’ll be looking back at today saying, “Those were the good old days”.  So we may as well recognise now that THESE are the good old days.  I want to make the most of them.

If you have any other ideas for fun cheap/free things to do please post a comment.  Also if you know any really fun board/games – I’m on the lookout.  I heard Bocce is good?

Live it up peep’s!!

- Yolanda

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


OK, so it’s been a couple of weeks, I’m starting to get my bearings and I still have the excitement of a 6 year old on the eve of their birthday when I head to MTA. We’re into the new year and we all had a few weeks off for the holidays. Before we were let loose (like a bunch of birds getting let out of the cage) for our holidays, there were a few things I was doing with Gareth for the website.

As I had been doing in the first few weeks of my work experience at MTA I've been doing the photos for the website. We've been pasting all the photos from the database to the Website. There are So Many acts that are with MTA, and all of them are worthy of having a larger image of themselves on the website - this means it may take a while for Gareth and I to get through the lot. It’s repetitive but rewarding; it’s great knowledge to know what goes on behind the site and the time it takes to make it all happen. It’s also amazing to know that there are some many different acts and so much variety in Australia!

My first experience calling up artists happen a couple weeks ago. Really cool experience. I needed to call a few jazz artists to see if they were available to work on a Tuesday morning. Many artists can’t work during business hours because they work other jobs to make a living, and perform or play to get a bit of extra money or just as a hobby. Anyway, I called the artists. I was nervous - although I have talked to hundreds of thousands of people in my life, my voice was playing up like I was back in 8th grade and I was asking out Susie Fisher again.

Another project, which I'm liking, is the long process of adding the MTA business and artists to as many search engine sites as possible. I was give a list of music, theatre and other types of site from Mandy, so I've been adding the MTA website and Masquerade band to every website search engine I see, hear and smell.

I’m sure that there is more and more exciting stuff ahead.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Summer Festivals! YAY

Hey hey!!

Hope everyone had a grrreat Christmas and New Year! We've just returned from the holiday break and are now hard at work once again.

So, Summer festivals are finally starting and I cannot wait to go! I'm heading to Midsumma this Sunday the 16th Jan. For those of you who don't know, it's a gay/lesbian festival held at Birrarung Marr Park which is just next to Fed square in Melbourne's CBD. There's music If it's raining on Sunday, I may just cry.

I'm also currently looking for tickets on ebay for Big Day Out. Unfortunately, tickets sold out within the hour so I missed out along with lots of others. It's quite literally breaking my heart because they have an amazing line-up this year... Angus & Julia Stone - two of my absolute FAVOURITE artists... Also M.I.A, Sia, Washington, Crystal Castles, Woflmother and lotssss more.

There are so many awesome new artists releasing killer albums and it makes me warm and fuzzy inside that a lot of my recent favourites are Australian. :) My favourite album by an Australian artist at the moment would have to be Down the Way by Angus & Julia Stone. Love their chilled sound, lots of soothing acoustic guitar and soft tones. I'm deeply in love with them.

Anyway, I will be keeping you updated on upcoming festivals. Lots happening this Summer, very exciting.

Hope the rest of your week is eventful and that you have a great weekend!

- Dora