Sidebar test – Holly Foster Media

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I met my partner back in 1981. And I had met somebody on a boat. When I was coming back to Britain. I was living in Belgium at the time. And I invited to stay for some time in my tiny, tiny flat in Brussels. And she narrowly avoided being taken away by the moonies. And she was so grateful. She said, Let’s go for a trip to the carnival in Cologne. So I said, Yeah, let’s go for a trip to the carnival in Cologne. So we hitched up there. And I took my guitar with me. And I was, I had two careers then which I’ve always had, I’ve always had my performing. And I’ve always had my education of knowledge sharing. So in the day, I would be teaching English as a foreign language, to places like the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and banks, and Dell Corning, in Holland, and in the evenings, then I would go and sing in restaurants. So I took my guitar with me. And I went up to Cologne with the intention of busking. And we were staying in a youth hostel. And this woman and I soon we went out for the evening, intending to have some fun, and directly opposite the youth hostel, there was a little cafe or a pub. And there were there, these lovely to be standing outside. They said, Oh, come and have a drink with us. We said yes. Why not? I walked into the pub, and I saw my partner, or my future partner standing there, and I fell madly in love with him. So that was back in 1981 in February 1981.


How did you know that you had fallen in love with him? How did that unfurl?


Well, I suppose it’s the usual stuff, the flutter buys in your stomach, the feeling that we connected on an emotional level and an intellectual level. And just he was really dishes, and I was so suppose I, I fell in lust with him really initially. But we eventually lived together in Belgium for quite some time. Then he had to go into his military service in Belgium, because he was a Belgian national, although he met in Germany, he was he had gone to Belgium to play in a brass band. So he went and did his military service. Then he went to Algeria to work. I came back to Britain because my brother was dying of Hodgkin’s disease. And so I was here for a while he was in Nigeria, we were apart, it was very, very tough. And we sort of broke up. But we got back together again, realizing that we found it very difficult to live without each other, and came back together again in 1989. So that would have been ooh, 30 years ago, 31 years ago.


So then how what was the deciding factor to get married? And where did you Where did you want to get married? Clearly, there are multiple countries involved. How did you narrow down that decision once you had decided to get married?


Well, my mother sent me a really lovely card, when we had been together for 25 years from so that would have been a way 2006 I’m not really good with math 2006 she sent her a really beautiful card, which is obviously cost her quite a bit of money, which was beaded on the front which said 25 years. And then I thought, why didn’t I want to get married? And I couldn’t remember because I’d already said No, I wasn’t going to get married till I was at least 30. Or by this point, I was nearly 50. So I couldn’t remember why. So it was just basically By that time, I think it was just we wanted to have a party. We’ve been together for a long time. So we just thought, yeah, okay, let’s do it. And when I grew up on a Sunday, I wasn’t particularly religious. So I had to go to chapel every Sunday. And so because we lived in the chapel house, which was next to the chapel, but after chapel every Sunday, without fail, I would go down to a place called poor study, and there was a beautiful youth hostel on top of a cliff. And then I would go either I’d run over there or I would cycle over there and then I would go down right down the cliffs to the beach where there would be seals and I would sing with them or I would swim with them or whatever. So for me a Sunday was going down to push daddy and the youth hostel was Are we all sort of the local kids would sort of meet up together, we buy sweets, and Ricky Spicer would maybe make us a cup of tea or whatever. But that was, and it was literally perched on top of a cliff with the most beautiful and stunning image or a scenery all around it. And I always said to people, while I’m not never going to get married and less, I can get married and push 30 years roll on veers roll on. And there has been legislation in Britain, I think, probably about 20 years ago, which said that you could get married anywhere. So I made inquiries. And I found out that you could get married in in posterity in the use, I saw it was going to cost a lot of money. But I’d already said I’m not getting married anywhere. But push daddy. So that’s how it happened.


It sounds absolutely beautiful.


It was really beautiful.


I and so considering you had this beautiful landscape in front of you, where What did you do to sort of jump into the the outfit that you wore? How did you? Did you take that as inspiration for your outfit? Or did you have an outfit in mind before then? Obviously, you didn’t want to get married? So had you had an image of wearing something for a wedding? Or was that sort of something that came later?


Well, I love being in the seat. So whatever it was going to be it had to have some sort of a C theme. And I didn’t like wait because I’m quite a tomboy, to get white things really dirty. So weight was out of the question. And being a 50 year old virgin was absolutely out of the out of the equation really. Because by that point, we’d had a daughter. So weight was not a color that I wanted to have. And my favorite color is turquoise, like the sea. So my mother and I went looking for things. And I am also quite a dramatic person. So I wanted something that was different and stood out and was not. I Well, I don’t like the word normal, nobody’s normal, but I just wanted something that was quite glamorous, which was really me. And I found it in a little shop in a place called Newcastle, England, which is in the middle of nowhere. But it had a really beautiful shop called de de J. So that’s where we went hunting for a wedding dress. And I found this beautiful turquoise wedding dress, which showed off my cleavage, which by that point, I finally had got one at the age of 50, I’d managed to get a cleavage, which was alright, so it was beautiful. And it had a long tail like a mermaid. And it also had sort of little, little sparkly things right down the front, which accentuated my cleavage. Finally my cleavage. And it costs about $200. So I didn’t want to spend loads of money on it. I wanted also to be able to use it again, which I have done. I’ve worn it on several occasions. I don’t think I can get into it now because I’m a little bit too plump, let’s say. However I did we I did wear it on one occasion when I sang the Welsh national anthem in front of our first minister. And on some other memorable occasion. So it’s, it’s been used on a few occasions. So it’s not in the attic, gathering dust. It does get used.


That’s always a great thing I love to hear when people can raise their dresses because I think I interview so many people who say Oh, yeah, it’s somewhere it I don’t know when I last saw it. And it’s I love when people say that they wear it again, because it’s so much more useful. Have a have an object that way and you get to remember those things. At least I had the happy moments of that time. And I, I sort of you talked about the sea and the location that you got married was close to the water. And you mentioned that your dress sort of had a mermaid tail. I know I’m sort of going out on a limb here. But do you think there are comparisons we like to focus on why the dress sort of tells a story about us sometimes And do you think that there’s sort of a connection between you and mermaids because mermaids Aren’t you You are a performer you sing? And mermaids also have that sort of musical quality to them. Have you ever considered that as well?


Yes, I think that was very, very important because there are tales of mermaids where I grew up there is a beach and apparently a mermaid came to land there. She was taken by a local farmer who insisted that they get married. She put a curse on the farmer saying that no one was going to be born in that farmhouse. And that actually was the case for 150 years. And the person who was born in that had, he had learning difficulties. So, you know, that the mermaid idea, and well, Welsh mythology has is full of fairies and mermaids. And, you know, it’s a very romantic way of looking at life. But I suppose, I think that it wasn’t a mermaid tail, per se, but it had a trail. So but it looked from the back, it was just beautiful. It really was stunning, very low cut. And it made the most of my assets as it were.


Well, it sounds gorgeous. And it sounds like it’s the story you just told about, you know, the mermaid being sort of captured and cursing people. I mean, that sort of speaks to the fact that women strong women, but specifically, most women don’t really do well being told what to do and how to do it. And I think that parallel is really great with us sort of saying, I’m not gonna wear a white dress, there’s no reason for me to wear a white dress there. You know why we follow a tradition if it doesn’t fit the mold for who I am. So I had a


brilliant expression yesterday. And it’s strong women don’t do well in cages. And that really spoke to me because I thought, Yeah, and I am a strong woman. And I always have been a strong woman, strong willed, you know, I broken a horse when I was 14 years of age, you know, growing up in the area where I grew up, you have to get on with things, you know, if if I said to my mother, I’m bored, she would just say, go out and claim some trees go out and, you know, conquer some rocks, you know, the environment where I grew up was very, very, very formative in my character and my personality. So and I think it gave me the courage to be who I am. And I think that one of the great things about nowadays is that women are breaking away from that stereotypical white dress scenario. And they’re actually, they’re, they’re allowing their own personalities to come through. Because I think that one of those ideas about white weddings it was to do with virginity in the first place. And but so many weddings nowadays, they have children, the offspring who are bridesmaids, you know, so I think we can move away from that stereotype, stereotypical idea, and convention, because I think women are slowly developing and becoming stronger, because I think we now have a lot more positive role models. And also, if you consider the whole process of organizing a wedding, you know, in my sister’s time, it would have been my mother who organized my sister’s wedding, my sister had a white wedding and with all of the the trappings and everything, whereas I organized my wedding, it was in 2007. And by that time, I was, you know, I wasn’t a young, Virgin as bride. I was someone who had a life. So I had all of these skills, but I like to see young women who are actually organizing themselves. And I think one of the most important things is for them to realize that these are transferable skills. What they are doing is their project managing a huge project. They have to get the venue they have to get the timings. They have to get the caterers and they’ve got to make sure that the the wine is the right wine, they’ve got to send out invitations at all the timing is so crucial. What are they going to do about presence? Where are you going to live? Because usually Nowadays, people tie in the wedding with moving into a new house, potentially. So do you know what would be really, really helpful is if these women realized what they’re doing? And how how fantastically skilled they are to be able to do these things, and to really transfer these skills into their own careers, so that they can actually progress quicker than we did when we were growing up. When I was going to school, I was going to be a physical education teacher, I had a problem with my knees. That meant that I couldn’t become a PE teacher. However, brace girls in school, when I was in school in the 70s, either became nurses or teachers. There was one young woman in school, who became a doctor and everybody was sort of, really wow, Isn’t she amazing? She was a lovely, lovely woman, woman and very bright. But there were very little choices for the rest of us who were bright And I do feel that some goodness for that young women nowadays are able to make those decisions about their careers. They’re able to make those decisions about what sort of a wedding they’re going to have. They’re able to break the conventions, they’ve seen wonderful role model and said, I’m not going to do this. I’m gonna do this my way, which is really, really crucial. I think.


100% agree. Absolutely. And I, I could I don’t think I could agree with you more.


That’s really good. So because you’re, you’re a young woman, my daughter, now she doesn’t she’s 28. She doesn’t want to get married, because she says, Because let’s not forget, we have the wedding. And we have the marriage. Those are two entirely separate things. The marriage should be a lifelong proposition. The wedding is one day of the year when it’s a it’s called the big day. We all know what the big day is, the big day is when that woman will be the center of attention. And women are not very, very good when they’re younger have been the center of attention. I’ve written a book about female stand up comics, and so many of those women have started out being funny by being the class clown. I was a class clown. But very few girls are class cat clowns, very few girls like to have the attention on them unless they’re gone to a girl school. Boys have no problem whatsoever. boys like to have Attention all the time from the teachers and from the the people they mix with


suicidally, I feel like women have been taught to not have the attention on them. They’ve been, you know, they’ve been encouraged to be followers, whereas men have been encouraged to be leaders. And I think it’s great that that’s not being encouraged as much anymore in society, or at least slowly, it’s not being encouraged anymore.


It is. And that’s a great thing. And I think more than more, we encourage women to think of themselves as being leaders of their own lives. That’s where they, once they become leaders in their own lives, and start making really positive choices for themselves. And I do see your generation doing that. I think the the more impact they will have, when they go into the workplace when they’re playing for positions of power, they will have more self belief by them, because it’s called self belief, I believe in myself. So if you’re the leader of your own life, you will believe in yourself. And that can only be a good thing, as far as I’m concerned. Because we’re 50% of the population. In some places, we’re 51%. And if you look at leadership positions throughout the world, especially now let’s take COVID, for example, the countries where COVID has gone rampant, and out of control, or those that have been led by men, the countries that have done extremely well, during these COVID COVID. This COVID crisis are the ones where women have been leading, if you’re looking at jacinda, Arden, you’ve got Germany, you’ve got Scotland, you’ve got so many of the Scandinavian countries that are doing fantastically well. And the reason for that is we have different leadership styles. And I think nowadays women are more confident in their own abilities to develop these new styles of leadership, without having to follow what the male style of leadership, which is what we’ve only the only saw we used to see. Whereas now we can see that the wages send out and does things with humility, with compassion with kindness, that has had really extremely good outcomes. So I think it’s a great thing that women are really starting to become more confident in their own abilities.


Absolutely. And I, I would I have a question from from your perspective now as, as a coach in this sort of field? How would you help someone or encourage someone who is struggling as a as a woman or a female identifying person to take leadership in their lives, if they’re having trouble if they feel like they don’t have the maybe they’re shy, maybe they’re uncomfortable, maybe they’re surrounded by people who have encouraged them to not be leaders in their own lives? How would you help them sort of transition to a leadership role?


Well, I would personally start to work with them, I would invite them to my coaching practice, and I would, every single person I work with, every outcome is different, you know, everything is bespoke. So I would start with them to see where they are. Limitations were I don’t like using the word weaknesses, but some people are limited in what they’re able to achieve. And we would work on those issues, we also look at the strengths, strengths and limitations. And I would try and build them up in those areas, I have some fantastic methods, which worked extremely, extremely well. And some people may have different elements of of limitations, they may not be very good at delegating, or time management, or being assertive, or possibly they don’t like presenting themselves in front of a zoom camera, or they don’t like doing presentations, or they feel that they cannot apply for a post because they don’t have the qualifications that are necessary. What I would point to them in is one particular piece of research that I often use, which is, it was a piece of research carried out in the 1990s in Cardiff, which is where I’m based, but also, at that time, I was the campaign manager for opportunity 2000, which was an organization trying to develop women in leadership. And the Welsh office, which was our governance, at the time, had sent out a list of criteria for people applying for positions as councillors, county councillors, and what was the outcome of that was a found that men would look at the list of criteria and say, I can do seven of those, I’m going to apply, women would look at the same list and say, I can only do seven of those jobs, I will not apply. So I would try and shift their focus on realizing that it’s their attitude that needs to change. But also some of their skill sets, I would work with them on their skill set. And I can work now worldwide. I have been doing that for some time. But one of the things I have developed during the lockdown is a foolproof method that I can work with anybody anywhere. And within the time frames that separates us, obviously. And so I can I can coach people on public speaking, which is often a skill set that women have difficulty with. So I would say to them, come and see me.


I absolutely think that thank you for sharing Max, I think it’s so important. And I know you’re also you know, do you do you offer any to sort of veer a little bit back into weddings, but sticking still on this topic of leadership and, and confidence in yourself and sort of developing those skills. You also, as you said are a public speaking coach, brides and grooms and people who are getting married there on display there. It’s public speaking, it’s a lot of that rolled into that day, that big day as you call as we all call it. Do you have any tips for for brides and grooms like maybe a few that that help when they’re on stage for that day,


when I also do coaching for bridal speeches, and you can’t just give a couple of tips because essentially, this is the big day. This is one that’s going to be videoed, this is one that’s going to be locked up by the grandchildren years to come, you want to make sure that you do a really good job. Now I used to be in the past, I used to be a press officer for the BBC. So what I do with people is they come to me and they need about five, maybe six sessions. And what we will do in all of those sessions is we will start off with a couple of ideas that they will be throwing around and then we will bring it we will bring that into a fully fledged script of ideas of stories. There are also traditions that need to be included in the speeches such as you thank the bridegroom you son, all of those have to be included. And one of the things that you notice that the one of the traditions is that it will be the bride’s father who will make a speech on there will be the best man speech but recently I’ve also been doing sister of the bride speech s woman’s speech. So again, women are starting to say I want to do this. And when I got married what was really funny, I just made speeches all day long. If I felt I wanted to say some that I just grabbed the mic and and what was funny was the in the reception, the woman who ran the event, she said I’ve never come across a bride who has made so many speeches. And why not? You know, it’s your day, get on it. You know, it’s the center, you’re the center of attention, you want to make a speech make speech. So I’m very good at making off the off the cuff speeches, but most people are not, it really is a skill that you have to develop. I’ve been a professional performer since 1980. So that’s 14 years. But I’ve actually been performing since I was three years of age. So that is now 60 years. So I’m pretty good at what I do. But what I would do, then just to go back to what I would do, so bullet points script, then we would fill it out with a bit of humor, some good stories about the bride, or the groom, or whatever wishes for the future, thanks to everybody. And then he would, I would then teach them, Mike technique, how to use the PA system, how to engage with the audience, how to use eye contact, how to find your volume, and all of those things, which will make it an absolutely amazing experience. And I did this with a client in Los Angeles. And I met her several years ago, and I did some coaching with her when she was back in Los Angeles. We just did all of the coaching by Skype at the time. So every single thing, and you know, we practice using hairbrushes microphones. So you know, you just need to know how to switch it on, where to hold it, all of those things are crucial for making sure that the day goes really well. So I do have a finger in wedding pots as it were. So that’s something I really love to do. Because, you know, when people come back to you and say, I did it all, without the crib sheet, I did it all, I just have my, you know, my bullet points in my hand, I did it, I was so so delighted because they want to do people proud. So that’s where I come in there as well.


I think that’s fantastic. And I sort of following that line of thinking. And leadership for women as we’ve been talking about. It’s as today as, as a young woman myself, leadership in the wedding process for women, typically is is what happens, you you are forced almost into a leadership role as a woman getting married, if if you even if you’re you know, you’re marrying a man, you’re marrying a woman, typically the females take the leadership role in that, you know, process, which is so interesting considering that most of the time, men are taking leadership roles historically. So I would love to know your your take on that, because it’s it’s it’s sort of a unique turn. But it also might be for the wrong reasons, sometimes


when it could be to do with the fact that bright, relatively young, and lots of them may have gone through the university system where they do as well as men. And they haven’t gone into a work environment. I mean, people get married at different ages. But I’m of a generation that sort of got married or got partnered by the time there was 35. I’ve seen I’ve gone going back down again, so that people are getting married younger again. So I think it could be to do with the fact that one of the biggest things that knocks women’s confidence is having children, because up until that point, you don’t have to worry about balancing all of those rules, because there will be that support at home, there will be the man will probably do a little bit of his share. And I think that there is a certain level of equality in the workplace up until a certain point and that point, I believe, is motherhood because it affects you financially because you take time off, it affects you emotionally, it affects you confidence wise it affects on so many different levels. But I also think that you know, you said something which I would challenge and say women take leadership, it’s not that women take leadership, it’s that men step back because it can’t be bothered to do the work. They cannot be bothered to do the work or that’s women’s work. So again, there’s that issue, or you just get on with it I’ll turn upon the day which is very nice indeed for them, isn’t it because it’s a phenomenal amount of work. It is a phenomenal amount of work.


100% agree I thank you for the clarification because you are 100% right and as someone who is I’m getting married this coming may that is exactly what is happening and I I love my fiance but that is what it is. It’s he stepping back and saying You know, you go for it and me trying to pull him in, come help me come do this, come do that. And I feel like a lot of a lot of people face that is they’ve been almost left alone stranded, to just figure it out. And some people don’t have the resources or the tools to move forward and thankful I, I have a degree in production planning. So thankfully, I have like a sort of a qualification for it. So I’m okay. But not not everyone, does. Most people go into this process totally blind.


Can I just say something? It’s called the emotional load, you may have heard about the emotion, emotional load? Well, if you were a mother, it would be where my socks man, where did you put the keys, it’s, and then you have to remember, it’s your grandmother’s birthday. The emotional mode is all of those things that a man will shift on to the woman. And you if you want to have a better future, I’m I’m suggesting to you now that you actually start forcing him to do a bit now, otherwise, the emotional load will be all yours by the time you settle down and have a family because it becomes a habit. Don’t let it become a habit, it has always been the case in my life, it was, you know, you’re supposed to remember all of these things like where they put the car keys, where they put that file that you know, nothing it’s all about. So, you know, stop training him now.


You got to we have to train our men just as men have to have to train us it’s, you know, this weird, this weird history of of being trained ourselves as women. Unbeknownst societally, so now we’ve got to push back. And I, it can also be a time to like, encourage people to step forward and take their leadership roles and, and enhance their skills in that field. So it’s, it’s almost like a fun little test.


Wow, this will improve your delegation skills, that’s for sure. And you say this is you have to organize this, I’m doing this, you do that. And just leave it to him. You know, but the tricky bit is, and this is where I think a lot of women are accused of nagging. nagging is really repetitive behavior, because one does not get the result one once and women are often accused of nagging, whereas, you know, the language that we use is fascinating, really, because we’re demand nag? No, it’s a woman only word. You know, and a lot of the words that we use around leadership, there is a very, very definite split between men and women and the language that we use to describe our behaviors. So you know, yeah, so a woman would nag, whereas a man would just be assertive. Same thing. It’s just that, you know, one has outcomes and one doesn’t. So, you know, be aware of those things. Be aware of the language that you use around some of these issues.


100% I persistence for men is, you know, formidable and persistence with women is annoying.


And, indeed, yes, you’re right. It’s so true.


So I, I really am enjoying the line of topic that we’re on. And I want to, obviously, we want to change the perception of persistence in women. And I know that you are sort of you You also have you mentioned your book a little bit earlier. But I would love for you to talk a little bit more about it. about female stand ups, if you don’t mind.


I would love to, I always love talking about female stand ups. It started as a master’s degree. But it started before then, because I’ve had a passion for comedy since I was a kid. I there was nothing I love more than to make people laugh. And I just it was like, a magical thing. And I did it. A few school as I said, I was a class clown loved it. And I realized then what you know that I was, I was the only girl that was a class clown. There was nobody else and faffing about and having a laugh, apart from the boys. And when I went to college, I went to be a physical education teacher but then had to change my course. But I also did advanced mean drama, which I loved, and I loved doing the comedy roles and I also love doing the comedy roles in school. So it came naturally to me and then when I did my master’s degree in my mid 30s, because by that point I during my 20s And early 30s, mid 30s, I was working as a researcher to two separate professions, one of being in education and doing supply teaching, and the other one being in performance and broadcasting and writing and being creative. And when I got to my mid 30s, I realized that, that I wasn’t going to be able to continue with my creative life and as in the way that I had done, because I by that point, I had a daughter, my husband was working away, I had to find something else that I could do. So I did my master’s degree in women’s studies, because I intended to make films about women. I wanted to be a director of projects about women. And I did the master’s degree. And we had to, as a result of doing the master’s degree, we have to choose an area of society where women were not very prolific, so women working in a male dominated industry. And I decided I was going to do stand up comedy, because I didn’t know very much about it. And although I’d had loads of television roles, and one role in a film, as comedy characters, I didn’t have the guts to go out and do stand up comedy. So I wanted to find out more about it. So that’s where the book started, I interviewed five people in 1996. And it took me 20 years. So we talked about resilience, and persistence. I got that in buckets, because I thought that there was a gap in the market. And what the gap was, was an understanding of real clear understanding of what the glass ceiling is, and how these women had broken through it. So I looked at all sorts of aspects such as working at night, which is dangerous for women, they don’t like working in environments where there may be raped on the way home. All sorts of things to do with with the speech, that language that they use, which I spoke about earlier. And the way that men network, golf clubs, etc. It’s all very predominantly male, and especially here in Wales, man network in rugby matches, and that’s what, you know, incentives for business, they will say, we’ll give you a box, a debenture in the rugby Stadium, and it’ll all be men, and they’ll all be talking business. There’s no space for women there. And what I discovered was that there are two actual spaces in society where women have a lot of power. And that is one is in comedy. And the other one is in politics. So those two areas, and they don’t have a lot of power, they have more power than they do in other scenarios about verbalizing their experiences as women in society. So that ended up being I interviewed 94 people worldwide, who were involved in the comedy industry, including 65, women who are female stand up comics, and I got the oldest, the youngest, the shortest, the first Muslim, the first Indian, female stand up, I got, I got a really, really huge database of different women with disabilities with horrific experiences, there was one woman who had been grown up in South Africa. And she’d been raped and all sorts of really terrible experiences that they’d endured. But then they brought those experiences and brought them into their stand up comedy. So it was basically it was an examination of the glass ceiling through the prism of my passion, which is stand up comedy. So and I’m, I’m still passionate about comedy. And I’m actually doing a little zoom, stand up comedy event on Monday. So I’ve got to write that at some point, which was quite difficult, because I’m quite busy really.


Or the book sounds amazing. And I, I think our listeners would definitely be interested in reading it and seeing it and I personally am interested in reading it. And I think my last few questions are going to be focused on the whole journey that we’ve sort of gone through in this interview, which is not only your personal wedding, but your whole your life as as a coach in all of this leadership and focusing on women stepping forward and taking charge of their own lives. What do you think you learn from the experience in that sort of framework of getting married and the life that you live now and have been living? And what advice would you give to anyone who is going to go through this Coming soon,


I would say that the most important thing is to delegate as much as you possibly can. And also to recognize that those skills, as I said before, transferable skills. And although you may not want to write them down in on your CV, be very, very aware of them, because they are transferable skills. And those are the things that I’ve realized is that we often do not give acknowledgement or credence to those things that we have done. Because they don’t, they’re not in our professional life, which is ridiculous, really, because, you know, it is a big thing. If you’re talking about a budget of possibly anything between 10 to $35,000, I some, some weddings are even bigger than that, you know, you’re talking about a lot of money, and you are project managing all of it. So give yourself the kudos for having done that successfully. And who knows, we don’t, we don’t really know what’s ahead of us, we don’t know, we can only look at what is behind us. And I have to say that I enjoyed being married, I really did enjoy being married. But I think people have a tendency to grow apart. And if that doesn’t work, it’s not a failure on your part, not to be able to sustain that marriage. Because I am now unfortunately, going through a divorce. I didn’t particularly want to because I wanted to be married for my entire life. But those decisions have to a certain degree being taken away from me. So I will be happy for the rest of my life. I know that whatever happens, because I am determined, I’m very determined. And whether organizing a wedding was part of that process or not, I do not know. But I do know that it did give me a little bit of self confidence. I could do this. So it wasn’t a piece of cake. It was very complex, because I had to have the service was in Welsh, in Flemish and in English. So it was a huge amount of negotiation, making sure that all the people who came over from Belgium, were staying in nice places, all of that stuff. It’s those things that we don’t acknowledge as being challenges. But they’re challenges that we have overcome. So, you know, I I have no qualms at all, if I meet the right person. In the next few years, I would consider getting married, but I would have a prenuptial lined up in


reverse link.


So you don’t have to go through all that messy, messy money business. But no, I think it’s a great state to be in. I prefer being married than not being married because I think it gives you a certain sense of security. It certainly gave our daughter a sense of security of being someone she was her parents were married, there is a stigma not as much as when I was growing up. But there there is a certain stigma about longevity of relationship, although she has mentioned to me well her boyfriend’s parents are not married, but they’re still together after having been together for a very long time. So I think it’s, as you say, in French, shakin Sangu, I like to be married, I loved being married. And I would welcome getting married again, if that were the case, if the conditions were right. And if I met the right person, why not?


100% and I, and that’s, that’s you choosing to be happy, that’s you choosing to be the leader in your life. And, and in essence, choosing your future and not to be cheesy, but choosing your reflection, which is what our podcast is called. And it’s the these choices that are so important for us to make not only as people but as women to continue to make moving forward and getting a habit to doing that for the rest of our lives, and hopefully for the rest of history.


Indeed, and I think that with all these great role models, and maybe that’s something you should be looking at people who’ve had eccentric type weddings, because one of the things that I’ve got in the book is these fabulous role models. And that, you know, when I was growing up, there were I had some role models. I had some very powerful women in my family, you know, like my grandmother. No, my great grandmother had been left a widow in her 40s and she had to run a farm on her own. My grandmother was also left a widow with seven children and the other day My mother. So basically, it sounds like if you know that being in your 40s as a woman is a dangerous time if you’ve got seven kids, because your kid, but what I’m saying is that, you know, we need to have role models. And if we want to break away from this white wedding thing, which some people might want to do then if we have more and more role models of people who are having weddings that are in use ourselves with turquoise wedding dresses, and so be it be your self at any cost any other way. Your last last my lifetime motto. So there you go.


I love that motto. I absolutely love it. I thank you so much for being here today. I really loved talking to you. Is there anything that I haven’t asked yet? Because I that was everything that I had. Is there anything that you want to touch on that I haven’t talked about with you yet?


Well, where people can get a hold of me Really?


Yeah, absolutely.


Okay. Do you wanna ask a question? Or should I just say,




I’ll ask a question. So if anyone is interested in reaching out to you, how can they get in touch with you?


They can get in touch with me on LinkedIn, obviously. But I have a website which is HTTPS. two dots. two forward slashes Gwyneth That’s GWENNOD. A F for Friday. Why And if you just Google Gwen or Jarvis, you find me. There’s lots out there about me.


Wonderful. I’m so happy that you’re here. And,




do you have any other questions? We would love to do the intro, but I want to before we hop to that, I want to make sure there’s nothing else she wants to ask. Oh, she would love to know if there’s any story behind your name or any history behind your name? No. And if there’s two that was your other question, my you have anything else?


Okay, no, that is I say what what would you ask? What’s your name? mean? I will actually.




Could you just tell me a little bit about your name.


My name is Guillermo, which means pure virtuous, which is what I was when I was given a baby. But that’s a very long time ago. And my surname is David. And David was the name of my brother who died of Hodgkin’s disease at the time that I was trying to find my equity name. So I called myself Gwen or darvis. Although my name is Gwen or David Williams. And every day I use that name, I honor Him. And I miss him terribly. I do feel as if I’m living his life as well.


That’s absolutely beautiful and absolutely lovely that you have honored his memory that way. Well, I’m so happy that you were here. I would love to do the quick a quick intro.




what do you how do you think we should begin this? I think we can just I think I’ll do like a formal intro once you so that you don’t have to stick around for the formal intro, but we can do your intro your side of the intro now. So Mom, what do you think? Well, I


think you should do it doesn’t have to be perfect. We can have an it because we don’t want to hang you up. No, I’m


supposed to be picking my daughter up to quarter past two because we’re going swimming in the sea.


So you know today, we’re thrilled to have one O’Donovan with us today. She is a author she is a coach can be one of our top three things that you want to say and what would be the order you’d want to say him and reformer, stand up comedian, comic author are


things the three things really this is what the reason why I’m doing this is I wanted to broaden my horizon with a coaching. So So it’d be leadership and public speaking coach.


So today we have going damad leadership, a an extraordinary leadership and public speaking coach, who we’re happy to have here today to tell us a little bit about her wedding story and how she chose her extraordinary or unusual outfit. And unique,


maybe better and what is unique, unique


and also to share with us a little bit about how she helps people, brides and also what is a shrauta say once a bride always a bride. That’s her concept that once you’re in a big bad magical time. That should always be not just on your wedding. Yeah, but I don’t brides and grooms but everybody but also former brides and grooms walk down that path of learning about their selves and how to take leadership over their own life kind of thing. Thanks for joining us, you can respond and I think we’ve got it. Okay much Lauren today. And we can hone it after going oh goes, Yeah,


I’m gonna let’s try this and then we can always do a little adjustment.


Can I just say as well because the other thing that I’m what I’m focusing on, you could just say. So the three things are leadership and public speaking coach, author of a book about female stand up comics, and also performer of a one woman show about the French singer Edith Piaf. Hmm,


we didn’t even get to ask you about that. Because Lauren spent a year in France.


I know you did, didn’t you?


Did? You?


don’t fancy Sara? Sara? Ever don’t say,


Oh, my see is me.


It said purpose you do do be a habit.


Remember? shampoo? Ma Ma, Ma? Ma falsey? On post Fetty. You


know, see, let me know see?


What is the name of the show?


passionate, passionate about PR


performer of the one woman show passionate about pf.


That’s right. performer, but I also wrote it as well.


Okay, so I have a little something. We’ll try it and


you want me to just do a slot in for about the the path thing? Because I can do that.


Yeah, sure. That would be great to that. Okay,


so do you want to do the intro? Then I’ll say thank you very much, Lauren. And then I will do a drop in for the path.


That’s perfect. That’s perfect. So let’s, let’s do a little, I wrote something up real quick. So hopefully I don’t stumble along. But today, we have gone Oh, David. She is a leadership and public speaking coach. And I’m so happy to have her here today to talk about her unique wedding outfit her wedding story, but also to talk about how she helps brides take leadership in their lives. She’s also very importantly, the author of a female stand up comics book, and also performs a one woman show called passionate about payoff. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Glenna.


Thank you so much, Lauren, thank you very much. Well, my passion is apart. When I’ve been passionate about pf, since I was 21, when I went to Belgium, and I was an au pair, and then I was introduced to the French singer. She was a street singer. And I ended up being a street singer and busking on the street, but also in restaurants and on terraces for three years. She was my role model then. And I have worshiped her from afar since then. So we’re going back a very long time by now. And I have presented the show on numerous occasions. But two years ago, I had pulmonary embolisms and was pretty close to death. I was misdiagnosed for three weeks. And in that time, I made a realization and that was and in that time, I realized that if I had a year to live, because I’d had blood clots on the lungs, I would want to do my show about Edith Piaf. So I set about and rewrote it, got some musicians together, got a management company together, production company. And we did several shows. I did one in the West End in London, which was a total sellout. I had a standing ovation, and I had to encores. We did loads of shows at the end of last year in the beginning of this year, and then COVID struck, so no more performing for the time being.


Well, it sounds like a fantastic show, and I hope, hope COVID hope things allow for performances once more soon. Very soon. Yeah, safely. Soon.


nicely. Yeah. So Are y’all are you okay, now? Do you want anything else you want me to do drop in on anything else?


Do we need to transition if that’s our beginning from this over to the beginning, which, you know, those performance qualities, you know, taking moving from that or I think


I think we can I know exactly where we can put that. So because we you did already talk a little bit about your music and busking and I think that’ll go perfectly when in that section. So unless mom you disagree?


No, no, I think that’s good.


I also if you think if you think there’s something you’ve missed and you want something, you know, just let me know, I’ll, you know, I’ll do it again. Okay, awesome. No problem.


Awesome. Really, you


know, let’s do this right? Let’s do it properly.


Absolutely. Thank you for that. I appreciate that. There’s only one time we usually try not to do that there. There was one gentleman I had to go back. And I may have to ask you for spellings of different things. I try to look things up, but some of the places and things and then when you get a chance, some photos, I don’t know, if you have a scanner? I can


I’ve already scanned them in so you can I can send them so I’ll send you a picture of the wedding itself. I mean, we managed all the way along Not to mention the fact that I’m getting divorced so you don’t have you don’t have to you can clip that if you want it doesn’t matter. I know you do with it what you want


me to do the story together, and then I’ll send it to you. And you’ll tell me if you sounds good, but I try to make it like a package with a bow. And usually I do a pretty good job. Yours is going to be easy. bland. Let one yesterday, near too much. Summer more challenges. Yours is just full. The hard part will be cutting things out.




Joe, welcome on the show. Are there other things you want to talk about that you think of? You know, we’re totally open, if you know of anybody else who. And it doesn’t have to be a professional person, it can just be a friend or it can be man, it can be women. We’re always looking for guests, and certainly for sharing for listeners.


I’ll bear that in mind because I don’t have anybody who’s who’s getting I don’t know anybody who’s getting married at the moment. But


it can be any but like, you know it can be we have people who are newly married, we have people who are married in 30s 40s 50s. My mom is in her 80s I haven’t released her episode yet, but okay, buddy, who can think I think people enjoy bringing those memories out. And we have the the woman actually that we did last night she’s actually going through a really rough patch with her husband. And I think it kind of helped her just to remember that how lovely it was to go back to the good memories. So a bit.


Yeah, I think so. Because the thing is the that’s it now, there are no more good memories from this point onwards. So it’s it’s good to remember that it wasn’t always awful. Exactly.


And as a divorced person, you know, I still have fun memories of a lot of years being married. And certainly the best present is right there in front of me.


My best present is one I’m going to meet in 10 minutes, right?


Yeah. Thank you so much.


You’re welcome. Great to meet you both. If I can help you just, you know, get in touch. But I can share stuff on LinkedIn for you. No problem.


Okay, thank you so much. Oh, yes. No.


It’s no big deal. Okay. Thanks a lot, Toronto.


Do you know


what else do you think we have it? I think I’m might redo the opening a little one more time. Just Yeah.


I just sort of cobbled something together while you guys were talking. So if you want to rewrite it, just rewrite it already, though.


I think what you did was great.




Unless you you’re okay. It’s up to you. You. You’re okay with it.


You’re the one who heard it. I just said. So you got to tell me


a lot going on.


So why don’t I just do it one more time.


Yeah. And that’s what I’m thinking just one more time.


Okay. All right.


And then I’ll feel a little more comfortable. Yeah.


All right.


Today we have going Oh, David, she is a leadership coach and public speaking coach. She also is the author of a female stand up comic book. Look, nope, not saying comic book. Nope. A book about female stand up comics trying again. Today we have Gwen Oh, David. She is a leadership and public speaking coach. She’s also the author of a book about female stand up comics. And she also is a performer for a one woman show called passionate about payoff. I’m so happy to have her here today to talk about her unique wedding outfit and her wedding story, but also to talk about how she helps brides take leadership in their lives. Welcome guano. You want me to say the title?


Yeah, I know it’s long but okay.


Can I just say the title and not ever see?


It won’t work.


I know.


I know that.


I know.


Okay, I’m gonna Dobbin. She is we are thrilled there.


I’ll just do it again. I was doing it. I got it. I get this. Let


me do it.


Today we have Gwen Oh, David. She’s a leadership and public speaking coach. And she’s also the author of stand up and socket to him sister, funny, feisty females, a book about female stand up comics. And she also is the performer and a one woman show called passionate about payoff, are so happy to have her today to talk about her unique outfit for her wedding, her wedding story, but also to talk about how she helps brides take leadership in their lives. Welcome.


That was excellent. Except you flubbed a book about stand up stand and you just


take another part where I say that please.


Okay. Or I’ll just say it again. That would be easier. A book about stand up female comics.


A book about stand up female comics? No, it should be a book about female stand up comics.


Now say when it’s not where you don’t go down on the end, because I can’t remember where you were in the sentence a book about stand up female comics.


A book about stand up female comics? Nope. Nope, not not that crazy. Ah, a book about female stand up comics.


Okay. So cuz sometimes you go down and it needs to be up and I can’t fix that. So I think we’re terrific. That was terrific. Thank you. You did a terrific job.