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Hi it’s me Pirate Matty or just Matt when I’m at home and I just wanted to take the opportunity to make a video talking about my work entertaining kids, my experiences, and where there’s potential for the Pirate Matty character to develop.
So I started as a pirate working at the fairy shop where little girls could hold birthday parties in the fairy grotto when I was 19 – They were trying to meet the demand they had to do parties for boys and a friend knew I’d be perfect. So I became the mainstay of their boys parties as well as corporate events etc. I was in demand, and I got two big pay raises, but unlike in never neer land where peter pan didn’t grow up – no one plans to be a pirate all their lives, my interests turned elsewhere and I couldn’t maintain the commitment.
Fast forward a few years to the break out of my small business kurb promotions, internet marketing, entrepreneurism, I was looking for new business opportunities, something that was a service that paid well offering maximum profit margins, and yet was unable to be performed by few other competitors or made obsolete by technology. Suddenly realising I could return to doing pirate birthday parties and keep the full fee, tripling my pay, knowing that it was such an exclusive skill with a market in place – I knew it was a winner and I’ve been doing it for some 7 years now.
The reason I do it is because it is almost effortless to me, I know I have an unthreatening presence going in to a strangers home to entertain their kids and I am a natural performer, I have long since abandoned any kind of structure for my birthday parties other than a game to start and kid the kids interacting, and the treasure hunt as the finale, these two aspects book end the performance which essentially is just an amalgamation of the dozens possibly over a hundred parties I’ve improvised my way through with imaginative quests and adventures around the immediate space I’m in.
The pay is great, however it is really exhausting working with kids and I cannot quite work out why! But of course the reason I do it mainly is because of the human connection I get. Whenever I arrive I’m there to put on a show in a professional capacity, but the kids are only there to have fun, and when everybody is having a great time and the kids are happy, so the adults are happy, so I’m happy, it’s a great feeling. The kids don’t want you to leave, the parents are handing over the money with beaming smiles and praise.
As it was when I left the fairy shop, my passion in life isn’t to be a children’s entertainer, but when you’re good at something and it gives joy to people, of course you want to do it, it’s a great feeling, so as long as I am physically able to keep up with the young kids, I will likely continue to do it, but there also exists the possibly to branch out into doing more media content, creating a show for larger audiences that could be performed in schools or small theatres over summer, and touring to different parts of the country where I could also offer limited opportunities for private birthday parties also.
Bringing more women on board would create the opportunity to begin marketing parties for girls based on my brand, also giving me more performers I could use to develop more videos, which I see as a natural way to promote what we’re doing here on youtube. My experience in business is that you offer new ideas up and you see what your clients are interested in paying for, and that’s what you run with.
But of course as a performer the pirate matty character begins to share aspects of my personality and tell of a more personal story and philosophy, looking at how kids learn not just what is right and wrong but why it is right and wrong. Pirate Matty is child like – naively optimistic and self interested, making him adventurous and cunning – maybe too clever for his own good – character whose ambitions are usually challenged by basic dilemmas everybody faces in trying to get what they want and managing the competing interests within a group. Like a crew of pirates who rob and steal. Or the interactions between Pirate Matty and the fairies learning to reconcile their goals which alludes to how men and women can work together.
This to me actually reveals a lot of potential for Pirate Matty to do some interesting stuff aimed at a broader audience once you accept the premise that I am not a real pirate, I am merely an actor and that whether you’re a little kid or a grown up, a pirate or a businessman, life’s challenges have familiar aspects we can all relate too – and so there is a hidden authenticity there, in that not only do I play the role of an actor playing a children’s entertainer, but you can actually book me to perform at your kid’s birthday so narrative aspects of the story as “fiction” start to blur.
This aligns with something more personal to me – the ability to tell a story that resonates, especially when you’re able to create something that appeals to little kids but has profound meaning behind it.
So to wrap up well I’ve been doing pirate birthdays in people’s back yards for over 15 years and there’s no need for me to stop doing that any time soon, but I am excited about where things could lead. It’s about where I want to be that the audience wants me to be, I would love to develop my show, develop my content, bring more people on board, or perhaps even branch off into something with more cerebral or artistic undertones, but that’s just a matter of what opportunities come up, but one thing is for sure, Pirate Matt is me, and I’m Pirate Matty. Arrr!