Let's clear the air on why I became a Celebrant...
Me (centre) with my "Front-Rower's Appreciation Society"; Vaughan (l), President of the club, and the first to ask for my 'services', and Richard (r), the Secretary.
Taking away the fact that I love a good chat, speaking in public, or generally being a nuisance, I have had plenty of my mates wonder why I would wish to become a Celebrant. Well, first things first, I am NOT a Priest, ordained or otherwise, so I'm certain this will settle the question for many of you knowing as you do my religious preferences and views (i.e. none).
Following is the 'official' explanation I gave to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) when I applied, on the recommendation of many friends;
"The notion of becoming a Celebrant was not something I had at anytime in my illustrious life considered, but after a recent couple of weeks where my confidence, persona and ability to orate, loudly, were generally called upon, many members of the public, friends, family, and even my German Au Pair pointed out that this should be pursued.
I have always enjoyed public speaking and don't shy from any offer to get up in front of my peers and strangers to tell a story, sell a concept, or promote a dream. In most cases it is for some worthy cause or another, and at others it is to fill a void left by a public-shy or inept speaker, and whether I know the topic in question or not is irrelevant, I like to engage an audience through tone, inclination, and most of all, humor.
The trick to any speaking, and text for that matter, is to grab the attention and never let it go. So when the idea of becoming a Celebrant was mooted I took time to consider how and where I could fit into an occasion which would rate very highly amongst for most, if not all people. And I couldn't. So I asked friends, family, and some of my customers and one thing became the core for this application; I can do this for any person, any time, and manipulate it to suit the needs of the couple's wishes. The rule, which I run by in my work, is not to treat people as you wish to be treated, but to treat people the way THEY wish to be treated, and this is not an easy thing for many to consider, let alone fulfill, but for me there is nothing more natural, and their satisfaction, joy, and thanks is what drives me.
So to nail down a particular demographic in which I would like to be made available for is again not easy, so simply put, I want to be, and can be, available to anyone, anything, anywhere which also supports my application to be able to carry out Civil Unions (and maybe, one day, Same Sex Marriage). My niche will in essence be just that; niche. Whether people are after themed affairs, formal, surprise, or a 'show', I want to be a part of that.
When my wife and I were married here a few years ago we were lucky enough to strike a good Celebrant, however he was just that, good, although his analogy about the smell of potatoes (yep, potatoes) confused all and sundry but he didn't set the house alight, didn't have the spark that exists not only between me and my wife, but our respective friends and family so he missed an opportunity to shape his service to suit our situation. As an ex-RNZN Officer, there is nothing more important than planning and gathering Intel otherwise you are just reciting a monologue and I believe I can offer more than that, at no extra cost of course!
I assist the public when I can, for no reward other than self-satisfaction, but in this role I can continue to do so for those who NEED more, for those that WANT more, and definitely for those who EXPECT more. With a feet-first attitude to life and enjoyment, a verbal assault that is second to none, and a character that can make children giggle, grandmothers blush, and men roar, I am tailor-made for this kind of position."
With Kindest Regards,
Keith Eleftheriou (the guy with that indecipherable name).
AKA "Alf" and "Aussie".
28 May, the year 2014.