“This became a credo of mine: attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”
– Bette Davis
This is one of my favourite quotes from the legendary silver screen star, who to this day is one of the foremost icons of a highly sought after character trait: Confidence.
In my line of work, confidence and trust are the yin and the yang of pulling off an unforgettable event, a real showstopper, a larger-than-life moment. I’ve been selective in recruiting a solid and confident team that’s always calm and collected under pressure, with incredible connections and creative vision. Over the years, Private Drama has also curated a network of the very best, self-assured artists and suppliers in the world from all art forms and services, that always deliver and whom I pull in to projects whenever I can.
I recently wrote about the steadily increasing trend of aerial dance, which included a conversation with choreographer and aerialist Desiree Kongerod. I have commissioned Desiree and her team at An Act Above to design routines and perform for countless Private Drama productions, because I know she’ll deliver exceptional quality, huge creativity and absolute security in what often at times looks like quite precarious performances. Her confidence in her own skills are clear, and she is very frank and calm when discussing routines, highlighting the safety and security built in to the trickiest of moves, specifically designed so she and her dancers can stop a fall or avoid injury, and yet the performance will astound all those who observe from below.
Having strong and trusted partnerships such as this gives Private Drama an unmistakable edge when it comes to creating incredible event concepts that push the imagination and defy convention. As Bette Davis says, in attempting the impossible, your work improves.
I’ve spent the past several days working alongside Desiree in circus rehearsal spaces across London in preparation for a Private Drama event production later this week for our client Mace in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The international consultancy and construction company has reshaped skylines across the world, and is famous for building some of its most impressive monuments and buildings that often seemed unlikely or impossible to achieve, including The Shard, the London Eye, delivering the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and is currently constructing the tallest skyscraper in the world in Saudi Arabia.
I remember the conversation many months ago with the Mace team on the event idea Private Drama dreamed up for their 25th anniversary, which will host their clients, trusted partners and stakeholders. We proposed that they not only wow them with an exquisitely executed immersive “Spirit of Adventure” theme, but that we secure a Guinness World Record in doing so and create something that could be amplified across social media so that others could join in the celebration.
The concept is bold and memorable. It is daring and boundary pushing. A “Spirit of Adventure” requires confidence, and promises to deliver something thrilling and unforgettable. It is the perfect expression of Mace’s confident position as an industry leader, is wrapped up in its pursuit of adventure, innovation and safety, and demonstrates their knack for getting people to look up, way up in the air.
The highlight of the event will be the attempt to set a world record for “Most people performing aerial silks” which will be performed live by more than 25 of the best and most confident aerialists from around the world that Desiree and I have worked with over the years. An adjudicator from Guinness World Records will be on-site amongst the guests to determine if the attempt was a success. Every person in attendance will experience the “Spirit of Adventure” and be part of a record-setting attempt.
The story captured the imagination of London Live, who came to our rehearsal space last week and reported on the drama and skill involved in the theme and how the aerialists are preparing to do something nobody has ever achieved before. But I am confident that they will.