The true story of my adventures as a Dutch political candidate. And my painfully half-assed attempts to save the planet. First I take on our collective ideas of idealism, then I challenge us all to make a difference right now… maybe even during the show.
Warning: show includes manufactured outrage, disruptive corporate behavior, and a tacked-on, feel-good ending.
‘Greg is full of confidence and charisma. His English – peppered with Dutch – is easy to follow. He involves the audience with targeted questions to his story… Ingredients are in perfect working order.’
– Arnhem Direct
Hi folks, I’m celebrating 25 years in comedy with an afternoon showcase for some of my favourite acts. After organizing tours with the likes of Brendon Burns, Glenn Wool, Desiree Burch, etc, now I’m providing a platform for comedy as well as storytelling, spoken word and performance art. And – as host of ‘United States of Europe’ & co-host of ‘The Amsterdam Comedy Podcast,’ I’ll be adding some of my favorite new talent from The Continent.
I’m quite proud to help inaugurate Edinburgh’s newest, hottest venue: The New Waverley Arches, just off the Royal Mile. 4 venues, and a terrace with music & wood-oven pizza til 3am. Even if I wasn’t performing there, I’d want to check it out…
+ Pay attention: there will be a quiz! Winners will receive free Scotch whisky, sponsored by Shapiro’s quiz app The Quickest Quiz.
August 7, 8, 9 – 3pm. New Waverley Arches (Venue 462), East Market St. & Cranston St.
August 7: Daniel-Ryan Spaulding (CAN), MF David Deery (US), Edo Berger (HOLLAND)
August 8: JoJo Bellini (UK), Christian Schulte-Loh (GER), Valdemar Pustelnik (DEN)
August 9: Anil Desai (UK), Claus Reiss (DEN), Hilary Fox (UK), Hjalmar Tjan (HOLLAND)
Fri Aug. 7
– Spaulding is known for going viral with ‘If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say.’ His solo show is ‘Red Lights and Rainbows.’ https://www.facebook.com/events/427359000781335/
– Deery is an American in Berlin & a success in LA. His solo show is at PBH Free Fringe http://freefringe.org.uk/?s=deery
– Berger is known for his caustic political comedy on ‘United States of Europe’ and for supporting Spaulding in ‘If Gay Guys Said the Shit Straight People Say.’ http://edoberger.nl/
Sat Aug. 8
– JoJo Bellini is cooking up cabaret brilliance at The Stand, in the Top Ten Weird shows Not to Miss:
– Christian Schulte Loh is back at the Fringe, hosting Comedy World War and bringing his solo show ‘Attack of the 50 Foot German’
– Valdemar Pustelnik is hilarious, and his solo show is ‘Wanna Be Lonely with Me?’
Sun Aug. 9
– Anil Desai has 2 shows at the Fringe, including ‘Impressions of a Hindude.’ http://www.chortle.co.uk/shows/edinburgh_fringe_2015/a/24506/anil_desai_%E2%80%93_impressions_of_a_hindude
– Claus Reiss brings ‘Return of the Danish Bagpipe Comedian’ http://www.comedy.co.uk/fringe/2015/claus_reiss/
– Hilary Fox brings her ukelele with her for a Freestival show
– Hjalmar Tjan hosts his own comedy show at the Fringe: ‘Welcome to Clown Town’ http://www.comedy.co.uk/fringe/2015/hjalmar_tjan_benji_waterstones/
In his show ‘How to Be Orange,’ Greg Shapiro shared the hilariously awkward truth of becoming a Dutch citizen. Now he finds himself integrating further, into something truly strange: Friesland.
In ‘How to be Frisian’ Greg Shapiro discovers that – among the Dutch – the Frisians are loud, proud and fiercely independent… almost like those damn Americans. Watch and learn as Greg crashes and burns trying the Frisian classics:
– Fierjleppen – pole vaulting across canals
– Aaisykje – hunting for eggs with some strange birds
– Reedriden – pretending to be fascinated by skating in circles for hours.
But maybe Friesland is more. The Dairy Campus, the Water Campus, the Circular Economy.
And they have a proud history no one knows about: C&A is from there. Gaastra is from there. And Friesland is where they’ve pioneered heating their homes with fermented turds.
Shapiro ends the show by making the audience take a Frisian Assimilation Exam. It doesn’t exist yet, but it should.
While many comedians do corporate standup, Greg actually enjoys it. He has 15 years of experience in B2B, B2C & internal events. And he looks good in a suit.
Tailored ‘How to Be Orange’ – Shapiro offers Culture Shock Therapy as a loud American doing business in a tiny Dutch country.
Tailored Comedy Roast – for your company, your boss, or a special colleague. 3 parts sour; 1 part sweet.
Tailored Game Show – interactive Quiz Show with audience contestants.
‘We asked Greg to speak at our international managers meeting. He poked fun at all the Dutch stereotypes – and at himself as an American – but in the end his message was positive.’
– John Carter, Philips
‘Thanks so much Greg for speaking at the Diversity conference. You are truly a great ambassador for our country.’
– Julie R. Moyes, US Embassy
‘Powerful, intelligent and always funny product. Greg can see the flaws in your plans and turn them around to your benefit. Companies remember Greg. Audiences remember Greg. Greg makes an impact.’
– Rob Andristplourde, Boom Chicago
Greg has hosted private and public events since 1999. Using his background in improvisation, Shapiro has been known to bring out the human side of CEO’s, professors, and government ministers.
Event Host – Plenary Sessions, Auctions, Award and Diploma Ceremonies
Interview / Debate – Based on Shapiro’s TV show ‘United States of Europe’
Late Night Talk Show – from the ‘Graham Norton’ format to the ‘DWDD’ roundtable
‘Greg made the difference between a pretty-good event and an excellent event. His total understanding of the content, his humour, and his optimistic persona gave the event depth and made it sparkle.’
– Sylvester Lindemulder, Event Garage
‘Greg’s show was sharp, tactful and very, very funny. We did not make things easy for him! He dealt brilliantly with the many details and made the show very much tailored to EPO sizes.’
– Bert Lockhart, European Patent Office
‘The opening and closing ceremonies of the Delta Lloyd Cadet World Championships were more than successfully hosted by Greg Shapiro. He really made the difference and proved to be the icing on the cake!’
– Jan Martin Wilschut, Amsterdam Hotsprings
Greg has provided the voice for hundreds of Dutch commercials, films and live events.
Sales (Coca-Cola, McDonalds)
Character voices (Tele-2)
Narration (Philips News Network)
Explain-imation (FairWear Foundation, WakaWaka Power)
“Greg is a very energetic and inspiring colleague. And the best Obama-impersonator in the Netherlands.”
– Rens de Jong, BNR
‘He’s a delight to work with: professional, personable, and willing to pitch in to get the job done.’
– Becky Nelson, Rhythm New Media
‘We were all enthusiastic about Greg’s professionality and the fact that he mastered so much text so quickly. Onstage and off, he helped enormously to make our event a success.’
– Mark Bakker, Int’l Students
Greg offers workshops in improvisation, standup and storytelling. He uses his 15 years of experience as a speaker to provide practical, hands-on training. Having studied Theater & Communication at Northwestern University in Chicago, Shapiro re-acquaints you with the good habits you forgot you knew.
Groups of 200 (Bol.com)
Groups of 20 (KLM)
Trainings are for 2-hour or 4-hour blocks.
‘Shapiro gave us a workshop in Standup Comedy. He started with Storytelling and then coached us on presentation. I’m happy to say our team won the tournament.’
– Joep Driessens, Vodafone
‘For Bol.com he led 120 participants in a workshop on Strategic Use of Emotions. His 2 hours were well-structured, and his comedy style makes learning easier because it’s so fun.’
– Maureen Kamphuis, Maureen and Me
‘Gregory coached me on Ethos, Logos and Pathos, which really helped my presentations. He is an enthusiastic person, which gives you energy. You feel you can do no wrong.’
– Nafize Sener, The NetworKing
For universities with international students, or for high schools with a CKV requirement and a shrinking budget, Greg Shapiro is portable. From his years of performing with Boom Chicago comedy theater, Shapiro has no problem tailoring his shows to any age – or any location.
Orientation, graduation, convocation
Universities, Colleges, TTO programs
‘His jokes aren’t rude. Funny for the teenagers, and parents had a good laugh as well.’
– Belle de Knegt, Johan de Witt College Dordrecht
‘How can he be so sharp and critical, but still so charming? I’m still smiling about it.’
– Edyta Czarniecka, NUFFIC Int’l Students Den Haag
‘Greg makes the little things stand out and lets you see them like you’ve never seen them before. And that’s what makes you laugh.’
– Dennis Drop, Sancta Maria Lyceum Haarlem
Greg studied Theater at Northwestern University in Chicago and has appeared in films such as ‘Down’ with Naomi Watts. He’s been on Dutch TV (‘De Deal,’ ‘Bluf,’ ‘GTST’). And he’s had his own show on Comedy Central Netherlands (‘Comedy Central News’).
Character work (‘Radeloos,’ ‘MTV Behind the Speedo’)
Commercial (Chevrolet, Holland Casino)
Presenting (ING, Philips)
‘Greg is hilarious! He’s an exceptionally enthusiastic media professional. He’s hard working, intelligent, flexible, modest and truly funny.’
– Geert-Martin vd Jagt, Comedy Central
‘Greg did a series of very funny and sharp video news columns about the US Elections. Excellent work, very original.’
– Annette Posthumus, de Volkskrant
‘Greg seamlessly merges smart with funny. He has the remarkable ability to reduce all your information to a quick and hilarious nugget of truth with an offbeat point-of-view.’
– Becky Nelson, Rhythm New Media
In 2004 – before there was a YouTube - 'Florida Voting Machine' reached 1 million views. By now Greg has his own channel. Subscribe!
7 Fringe Things I Will Never Do Again
28 August, 2015
Some of the following experiences make me never want to do another Fringe festival. Some make it so I can’t wait to do it again. Which side will win?
1) Performing for babies.
It was a standup show, for grownups. But it was called ‘Welcome to Clown Town,’ and it was at 2:30pm – right after a kids show. Of course, all the kids stuck around. 5 minutes before
the show began, the MC came on and said the show was 18+. The place emptied out quick. Except for this mama with her infant in the front row. (She waited to leave until I was done.)
But to be honest, I’d do it again.
2) Canceling my show to perform on a bus.
When the New Waverley Arches weren’t ready on Opening Day, I remembered Bob Slayer and his mad plan to turn a double decker bus into a venue. I’ve performed in a moving train and a Boeing 747, so why not a bus? And the nice thing was the location: right outside the Big Four’s legerdemain. The canceling: Never Again. The bus: I’d do it again.
3) Flyering in the rain.
The last time I went flyering for a Fringe show was for Boom Chicago 15 years ago. But I remembered my strategy: don’t try to hand out 5 flyers per minute; rather 1 flyer every 5 minutes, and make it count. I’d find people with a Fringe guide and ask ‘what are you seeing?’ They mostly reply ‘What’s good?’ I’d give my honest appraisal – and my show would come up as well. Of course it was a drag to do it in the rain. But I’d rather have good chats in the drizzle than be swept away by the tide of prams in the sun.
4) Doing an improv show where the other comedian didn’t show up.
I was a guest on ‘My First Laugh,’ where comedians act out their earliest comedy routines. Since my first gigs were improvisation, I was comforted to know that another comedian would be on the lineup and we could do some short-form together. But he never showed up. So I grabbed this guy Faisal out of the audience and made him improvise with me. We told a great story together, one word at a time. I’d do it again.
5) Winning LOLypmics.
I represented Holland and won. That was great, actually. I’d do it again.
6) Being called onstage to play a racist clown.
Desiree Burch’s ‘Tarbaby’ has a carnival theme, and she volunteered me to be the clown – including face paint. She then instructed me to yell racist insults at her. Even though I had a symbolic mask on – and explicit permission – I couldn’t do it. She needed to feed me the lines. I loved the show, but I don’t know if I’d do that again. Meanwhile, I see the show won a Fringe First award for outstanding comic play! So I’m glad I could help…
7) Hosting my own Fringe standup show.
I didn’t know if we’d get anyone to come to Fingers Piano Bar, down the hill from the Assembly Rooms (which are already down the hill). But it was full! I got some friends and some of my favorite acts to play. Yes it was a piano bar, with one too many mirrors. But the fact that it was an existing venue with a year-round sound system was like a warm bath. I’d do it again. And since the manager specifically invited me back, I might. Will I be back with my own show next year? Folks, I don’t yet know. It’s all in the timing, and it’s hard to justify spending £2000 in Edinburgh, when there are paid gigs in your own country. But I’ll be back no matter what, even if it’s just for a few days. I can’t stay away.
If you’re looking for an official guide to Dutch culture, this is not it. If you’re looking for one man’s completely biased and utterly subjective impression of Dutch culture, you’ve come to the right place. Greg Shapiro is a loud American trying to fit into a tiny Dutch country. Join him as he shares his hilariously clumsy 20-year assimilation into Dutch culture and blasts some well-known stereotypes along the way. The book includes the questions from the real Dutch Assimilation Exam, whose logic Shapiro delightfully dissects to reveal the Dutch identity they’d rather you didn’t know.
‘Humorous columns, funny illustrations, hilarious photos and observations. Very nice book.’
– Netherlands Library Council
‘Difficult topics are tackled with facts, sharp insights and often hilarious, personal anecdotes.’
‘Many better-known books about the Dutch are just a collection of superficial observations… But Greg has come up with something that the Dutch can really laugh about … and he goes Dutch like a boss.’
‘Shapiro storms through the polder culture at 130km per hour. He lands his blows with precision, but all the while you can tell he’s proud to be Dutch.’
‘What’s impressive is that he’s lived in Europe long enough to be well-informed of local politics.’
‘Greg is full of confidence, charisma and English – peppered with Dutch. Ingredients are in perfect working order.’
From Northwestern University, Gregory Shapiro came to the Netherlands in 1994 to help establish comedy theater Boom Chicago. In 2007 Shapiro went solo presenting ‘Comedy Central News.’ He now works regularly with VARA HumorTV. Shapiro also has 20 years experience in Corporate Speaking / Entertainment.
In 2014-15, Shapiro tours with his 4th solo show ‘Part-Time Hypocrite.’ In addition, Shapiro brings over his favorite US / UK comedians to tour with him for ‘Greg Shapiro Presents.’ Shapiro’s book ‘How to Be Orange: an Alternative Assimilation Course’ is available internationally. Currently, Shapiro also writes and presents the weekly series ‘United States of Europe’ for Broadcast Amsterdam and Expatica.com.
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