This week we find out what's really going on behind the selfie with 'lord of the chance' and Loerie Awards MC of note John Vlismas, formally of Whacked Management and OGO Productions.
John Vlismas spends his time between worlds – his own and the one he shares with everyone else.
1. Where do you live, work and play?
I live in Johannesburg, in a central and undisclosed suburb. I work pretty much from wherever my laptop is.
I no longer have a bricks-and-mortar office – the teams I work with work collaboratively, but remotely. I don’t even own a car anymore.
I think owning the means of mobility is a bit dated – like a wristwatch that just tells you the time.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Fame is a by-product of being part-narcissist, part-re-inventive and part-curious. I don’t think the entertainment market in SA is really big enough for fame to mean too much.
But I suppose what most people know about me is my stand-up comedy. It was my “day job” for 25 years. I say “was,” because the ratio is shifting as I drift towards a deadline I have given myself.
After a certain age, I don’t believe I’ll be relevant in mainstream comedy. I’ll always talk to people who want to listen to my material, but I don’t think imposing myself on increasingly younger crowds is very progressive.
3. Describe your career so far.
Very lucky, privileged and varied. I started off dressing pantomime actors backstage, then I dressed up as a tree to teach small kids about pollution in dusty KZN quadrangles under a boiling sun, and I’ve played the Royal Albert Hall.
11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.
I’m against buzzwords – they give amateurs confidence. In terms of mantras – on our fridge at home are two quotes: “Never, ever, ever give up” and “People don’t remember what you did, they remember how you made them feel” – where else would you get Winston Churchill and Maya Angelou in conversation?
12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
It’s clichéd, but the shower seems to be an innovation hub of note.
13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
Technophile, for sure. Technology isn’t really a separate thing, it’s a collective human expression of our intent to move forward, so shrinking away from it is like denying that you have a limb.
This is, of course, if you’re privileged to have access to technology. That’s a discussion for another time.
15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
A very confusing mix of Google searches. Today so far – the Pound/Euro exchange; great white shark attacks; Webster dictionary’s definition of “nascent"; and the Henley Blackboard Learning portal.
Some WhatsApps to arrange a meeting with a former political leader and a law professor; a recent call to a Durban business partner about a festival we co-own; and a tweet I posted: “Gigive It Up, You’re Malosing This One, Minister.”
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