We speak to Gary Nelson who is one of Tenerife’s most popular performers.
What would you like to let us know about you, your act or your performance?
I work in Tenerife as a compere, singer, resident entertainer in two classy show bars, one in Golf Del Sur and the other in Las Americas.
I host the evenings entertainment and sing customer song requests but also manage the entertainment schedules for both venues.
When did you first perform, before an audience?
I think I was about 5 when I first sang in front of anyone other than family.
When I was a kid I was terrified of the sound of the vacuum cleaner so when my Mum did the Hoovering she always played her old records to drown out the noise so I sang along to Elvis, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison and Beatles songs from a very early age indeed but the first time I sang in front of an actual audience of people who I didnt really know was in school as part of a Christmas play.
When did you realise you could do this for a living?
I was 17 when I first sang for money but I have always and still do sing for fun. I perform because I love what I do. I’m probably one of the few people in the world that actually loves going to work every day. The fact I get paid is a bonus.
When/where was your most enjoyable performance?
Id like to say I enjoy every night …
Have you ever experienced “Stage Fright” while performing and how did you overcome it?
Hmm .. nerves maybe yes but not stage fright. I would say however that I always used to find it easier singing and being on stage in front of a huge crowd compared to smaller numbers. Back in the UK years ago I did a corporate function for 3000 guests and loved every minute but the following night I sang to an intimate gathering of people at an anniversary dinner show for 12 people and was really very nervous indeed. Now I have to say I dont really worry about it too much, if its a small crowd you can have a real laugh with the people and I enjoy the banter.
What advice would you give to a new performer who’s just arrived in Tenerife?
Work hard. Don’t say you can do anything you can’t. Always do the things you say you can. Enjoy it. You are not here on holiday. Respect your employers. Respect your talent and look after it and respect the customers as they pay your wages and vote for you to keep your job with their wallets … so never give less than 100% on stage.
What else can we expect from you in the future and where can people see you perform?
For now at least my future is here. I love Tenerife. There are a few projects I’m working on for daytimes and a couple of events I’m organising for the Summer but much will be business as usual which means you will find me at Volare Cabaret and Show Bar, Golf Del Sur on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at Drop Inn, Las Americas on Wednesdays and Sundays working at both great venues with some of the finest tribute and cabaret artists on the island.
Do you have other hidden talents that you do not include in your Act/Performance?
Most of what I do at Volare and Drop Inn is based around singing and generally being charming and occasionally quite funny but I have also worked as a club and party DJ and from time to time we will do quizzes and karaoke. I can just about pick out a tune on the piano and have tried on numerous occasions to play guitar but nobody would ever pay to listen. I’m pretty good in the kitchen and make Indian curries for many of the entertainers on the island but so far I’ve stopped short of demonstrating these skills on stage …
Who is your idol and why?
I don’t really have any idols although I do have great admiration for a number of talented people in the entertainment world as singers, DJs, presenters and performers such as Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Buble, Robbie Williams, Chris Evans, Chris Tarrant, Jeremy Clarkson and Derren Brown. I admire real talent, clever music and the ability to influence and hold an audiences attention.
When I was growing up my idols were Elvis, George Best, Ian Botham, Aryton Senna and Captain Kirk but I don’t suppose all of those are really relevant to your question are they?
Would you ever consider going back to the UK, could you briefly explain why?
Not unless it was moved much closer to The Equator.