I was going to write posts in a chronological order but this week I thought I would write about Showman Kev and this spans most of Kev’s life. I’ve already mentioned Kev’s love of getting up to dance. He still does this frequently and with enthusiasm. As a teacher there is always an element of performance to your day job and Kev has perfected his performance skills over the years and turned it into an art form. Luc, our youngest son, often says, “don’t give Dad the microphone, you’ll never get it back I learnt that the hard way.”
Now it is my understanding that Kev’s public performance skills began at Wollongong Skateway. I did not know Kev then but if you went roller skating in Wollongong or Dapto in the mid to late 80’s chances are Kev provided those sweet 80’s ‘classic’ tunes and was the voice behind such classics as, “Clear the floor for the speed skate”, “resume skating in the regular direction” and “clear the floor for the couples skate” as well as organising the classic roller skating games. This was the beginning of Showman Kev’s split personality, affectionately called DJ Kev. The photo is from the Advertiser, 4 December, 1985.
The next public manifestation of Showman Kev came during his time at Uni. In 2nd year Kev scored a job at the uni bar and part of his many duties included beer bingo during Friday lunch times. This of course required lots of personality, a quick wit, many inappropriate jokes and lots of beer. And so began Showman Kev’s 2nd split personality, Game Show Host Kev.
During this time, a third Showman Kev emerged, Karaoke Kev. Karaoke was the latest craze, fresh from the bars of Japan and Kev did not miss any opportunity to belt out a tune. In fact, there were several winning stints of Karaoke competitions with classic renditions of New York, New York and an offer of a job as Karaoke host at The Harp (which he did not take up). Karaoke Kev still exists and with only a few sips of Dutch courage and little encouragement he jumps on stage (usually accompanied by Sam Baldock, pictured).
The best and longest running Showman Kev was Teacher Kev, on a daily basis he would get to perform for a captive audience. Showman Kev was never far from the surface in a classroom, assembly or playground. And it would be remorse of me to leave out the famous talent quest performances fronting the teacher band, the Educators – check them out, Kev’s the one with the microphone, let’s just call this version of Showman Kev, Rock n Roll Kev ;p
And there are the years that Kev has done the Harley Santa run for the Canteen ladies. Santa Kev also made an appearance every Christmas, whether in the Santa suit or not.
Our children have provided ample opportunities for Showman Kev to strut his stuff. Many parents from our kid’s primary school have enjoyed the antics of Game Show Host Kev at P & C trivia nights. I have fond memories of watching the teacher’s table belt out “…am I ever going to see your face again ….” for their bonus points. It was full audience participation on these nights whether you wanted it or not.
The boy’s primary school, has also provided plenty of opportunities for DJ Kev to have access to a microphone. DJ Kev has done several primary school discos. He overcame initial teacher concerns about not having structured dances to provide kids with a fun and social night of music, dancing & games. The best discos were those where Kev teamed up with our neighbour Lee Oyston who provided her creative decorative flair and unlimited energy to ensure all kids, teachers and parents had a great time. He was so good at it that they still ring him to try and resurrect DJ Kev. There may be one last opportunity to perform at Luc’s Year 6 farewell, as Kev is determined to make this DJ Kev’s final performance.
Kev’s ability to put himself out there without feeling self-conscious is a precious quality. His ability to engage an audience seems to be an innate skill. It is natural and easy for him and his sense of fun is contagious. Although as Luc points out if you want the microphone back, don’t hand it to Showman Kev.
PS: Looking for photos of Showman Kev. I tend to be in fits of laughter when he ‘performs’ and forget to take photos. Send me any you have and I will add them to this post.