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
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!
This week, on ‘United States of Europe’ –
Terror attacks in Paris, then in Brussels… is Amsterdam next? On behalf of Amsterdam, I’ll point out Luxembourg is lovely this time of year!
Is it too soon to make jokes about terror attacks? Diplomacy dictates: When in Europe, do as the Europeans do. And in Brussels they started making jokes almost immediately.
It wasn’t so much terror as it was defiance, summed up by a hashtag. Not ‘JeSuisCharlie, but #JeSuisSickofthisShit.
Or as the sign says at Zaventem Airport: ‘Stop killing people you fucking twats.’
It’s one thing to tweet that. But you’ve got to appreciate the old-school dedication. Someone must have thought: ‘Am I really painting the words You fucking twats? Yeah, I have enough paint.’
Of course it was awful. And of course we mourn the victims. And of course various EU countries attempted to light up their monuments in the colors of the Belgian flag.
…Unfortunately, one of the Belgian colors is black.
And so the Eiffel Tower showed up in what was really just red & yellow, leading many tourists to believe it was a celebration of European condiments.
Happy Ketchup & Mustard Day!
And of course online there was the usual round of grief-shaming.
“Sympathy for Brussels? Why not Ankara as well? Fuck you and your grief, you hypocrite!”
And there was the usual round of grief heightening until – again – we’re literally praying for ‘the world.’
OR – we could use humor, which is kind of the opposite of terror.
In fact, if Belgians are able to use humor at all, I think we can refer to the terror attacks as failed terror attacks. Or just ‘attacks.’
And of course there was the new round of people asking ‘Is this the new normal?’
YES, IT IS.
PS – it has been, since the Anarchists in the 1800s, the IRA in the 1970s, the Basque Separatists…
List of non-state terror attacks since 1800
And the more often this happens the less we’re – whats the word – terrified.
YET according to the statistics, W Europe is safer now than in the 1970s.
W. Europe Safer than in 1970s
OR – according to this link
Never Mind the headlines. We’ve Never Lived in Safer Times
– or this meme: you are less likely to die a violent death than at any point in human history.
Did you like that? I added the fraidy cat.
And I also made this meme misquoting Gandhi:
Making jokes about terror is not only appropriate; it’s necessary.
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.’
Gregory Shapiro. Comedian. American. Dutchman. Celebrating 25 years in comedy.
Shapiro came to the Netherlands in 1994 to help establish comedy theater Boom Chicago, after graduating from Northwestern University. In 2007 Shapiro presented ‘Comedy Central News’ and went solo. He’s since worked with BNR fm, Time Out Amsterdam and VARA HumorTV. Shapiro also has 20 years experience in Corporate Speaking / Entertainment.
Shapiro is currently the producer, writer and host of ‘United States of Europe‘ for Zoomin.tv. He is the host of the QuickestQuiz app. And he is the co-host of the Amsterdam Comedy Podcast. He tours with his 4th solo show ‘Part-Time Hypocrite.’ And his book ‘How to Be Orange: an Alternative Assimilation Course’ is available internationally.
Inez de Goede
GOED ID Producties
Jacob van Lennepstraat 375 hs
1053 JM Amsterdam
31 (0)20 618 2954
greg.shapiro ‘at’ xs4all.nl