Stifyn Parri lives in St Fagans, on the cusp of Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan. He is an entertainer and entrepreneur at Mr Producer. Here he shares his thoughts about lockdown and his hopes for the future.
Can you work? Are you having to work right now?
Everybody has had to make major adjustments in their working life because of the lockdown. For me, some parts of my work totally disappeared, and some stayed exactly the same. My weekly radio show on Radio Cardiff- ‘Stifyn’s Stuff’ is taking a break. I had a succession of One-Man Show’s that have obviously been postponed, some Self-confidence workshops around the country that have were cancelled and also some promotional events celebrating my Autobiography ‘Out With It!’ (available on Amazon) put back for later in the year.
However, my One-to-One on-line mentoring sessions “Be the BEST version of YOU!” have gone full throttle. I am so impressed with my brand-new clients who are using this ‘down time’ to strengthen their weaknesses, working on self-confidence issues, presentation skills and interview techniques etc. I teach a breathing technique that really helps with anxiety too, so many have found this to be a great help during the lockdown.
If you are staying at home, what are you doing to keep yourself occupied? How are you coping?
I’m coping really well to be perfectly honest. As I have been self-employed all my life, unless I am on stage, in a television or radio station, I am otherwise working from my office at home. So in between coaching and mentoring online, I am in the garden with my chickens. I love to potter.
The lockdown has made me realise that I don’t need the outside world as much I had thought. I’ve been quite quiet and solitary, which will be a shock to some! The garden backs onto Plymouth Wood where I can escape to walk our dog Bill. I’ve also been reading more, really enjoying podcasts and spending far more time than usual on facetime with friends and family.
Do you find the situation stressful?
The only stressful moment I have had was when I couldn’t find any bread, when everyone seemed to become manically buying certain items at the start of the lockdown. Apart from that, I think this lockdown has given me time to think, reflect and feed my soul with things that really matter to me. I have also amazed myself by making a spreadsheet called Lockdown Workout, to which I’ve kept to. I have managed to do at least one form of exercise every day, with the added help of my Gym’s (Iechyd Da -Canton) on line sessions. If you happened to pass the house during your daily walk, you could find me panting and sweating in a corner. Then of course, you could also catch me enjoying a bottle of wine under a tree.
What are your overall thoughts about the pandemic?
These last few months have been like a dramatization of a modern bible between the floods and Covid 19. I really feel for the people who unfortunately were affected by both. However, I am optimistic that the majority of society will come out of this pandemic with some stronger and healthier values. This very unfortunate situation really has finally shone the spotlight on the heroes, and prompted such goodness in others, and there has been the most beautiful display of kindness and charity on TV and social media.
The creatives have, yet again, also come to the forefront, with phenomenal musical and artistic collaborations. It really has been a delight catching up with so many of these stories of positivity, distracting us from the ignorant, the selfish and the stupid. Things will never be the same again, but I truly hope that despite the horrendous loss and despair, that society will learn from this experience and help the world to be a kinder and more caring planet.
Do you have older family members? Are they reliant on you for anything?
The first thing on my list to do when the lockdown ends is see my mother. I cannot wait to travel all the way home to Rhosllannerchrugog, near Wrexham, North Wales to take her out for dinner. She lives over three and a half hours away, and lives on her own and is in her eighties. I have family and friends who are running errands for her but she is unbelievably buoyant to think she has had no visitors of proper human interaction for so long, and so grateful for everyone’s kindness. She hasn’t complained once and is really appreciating all the phone calls, face-times and messages, and communal spirit. She’s recently discovers facetime, so being able to see my brother and I when we call her has been an absolute God-send for her. We love going out for dinner and were very good at eating, drinking, talking and laughing.
Stay home, stay safe, stay happy and I hope to see you all the other side of this, unless I see you online first, of course!
For more information about how to ‘Be the BEST version of YOU! go to www.mrproducer.co.uk
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