Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Being A Little Crazy Could Be Your Big Success

August 27, 2014

Recently I received a call from American Express asking if I would be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting in Chicago. The man explained the purpose of the event was to unite major clients with Amex staff to collaborate and communicate.            American Express brand logo

United Airlines is one of their biggest clients and in the TV ads for United they use the theme from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It’s quite cool. Watch video HERE.

The man from American Express asked if I could create a program to include some of the Rhapsody with a relevant motivational message for his group. (I play the piano during my speeches) Errrrrr sure, said I. Just give me a couple of hours and I’ll send you an outline. (Gulp! I hadn’t played that music in 30 years)

Lady Gaga leg on piano with fireMy presentation on extraordinary performance in the workplace refers to Lady Gaga and how the wild costumes and bizarre stage acts resulted in her fame and fortune. She stands out from the crowded entertainment industry by constant creativity and innovation. George Gershwin composed amazing music using a unique combination of a classical style infused with jazz chords and irregular tempos. Unheard of at the time. 

I called the man from American Express with a program titled “From Gershwin to Gaga: Extraordinary Performance is the New Norm for Changing Times!” He loved it.

Whether it’s your resume, an office project, team work or an interview, get a little crazy. Think outside the proverbial box. Search the internet, brainstorm ideas and run with something different.

Sticking out from the crowd will get you noticed….and you don’t even have to play the piano.

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How People Are Like Penguins

June 24, 2014

As a professional piano entertainer in Houston for  20+ years it struck me how much  sense of community one can build around a piano…….Up until recently many people gathered each week wherever I was performing and caught up on each others lives and activities. Friendships formed, relationships flourished.

Now that I’m working more as a motivational speaker and not playing in a piano bar,  no one sees anyone.That is, up until last week.

Thursday’s girls night out was a huge success on many levels…connecting with fab femmes that have supported my work for so many years was a special treat since I could actually sit and visit instead of having to play it again Sam.

Everyone was so delighted to see each other there were many hugs and stories exchanged…..kinda sorta like a family reunion (except everyone likes each other).

Just like penguins.
Penguins form large groups, stay socially interactive and look after each other for life. The more I mature (ahem!) the more I realize the importance of people to connect with – not just in times of sickness but to build a network of support and fun to enjoy them while we can.

Be sure to nurture your nest of birds of a feather….you never know when you’ll need a fish for dinner.

Change your Tune, Change your Life!

May 19, 2014
Speaking in Chicago last week made me grateful
for the four seasons in Texas: Nearly summer, summer, still summer, Christmas.
Lady Gaga with her foot on piano?
No, me.
The people up there have had six months of horrific winter that left them stir crazy and ready to laugh ‘n’ learn from my program on Change. 300 ladies attended the annual Women’s Initiative Forum hosted by Itasca Bank and they were a hoot!

We talked about discovering your passion to live life on purpose; to view change as opportunity and grab it fearlessly; to learn new things,

Theresa Behenna?
 No, Lady Gaga..

to persevere and connect with other people to help realize your goals/dreams.

I demonstrated how I’ve had to keep current to stay employed as an entertainer…..learning to play music by Lady Gaga copying her style with one foot up on the piano was a bituva stretch – in more ways than one (aaaargh!)

NSA logoUpon deciding to become a professional speaker back in 1998 it was a HUGE change that I knew I couldn’t do by myself so I joined the Houston chapter of the National Speakers Association where I met people that became my mentors, coaches and teachers.     

In order to make changes in your life, ignore the negative tune in your head that says “You’re not good enough” and replace it with an “I can do that!” attitude. Surround yourself with people that can help you take one small step at a time.

What’s the song in YOUR head? Is it “Crazy” (Patsy Cline) or the theme from “Rocky?”

How To Stay Forever Young

April 22, 2014

Easter bunny with little girl Variety is the spice of life and I’m   
convinced it helps slow the aging process … if only mentally. As both a motivational speaker & piano entertainer I get to wear different hats that keeps life interesting. I hope you gain inspiration from this blog to keep trying new things to live healthier & happier…..and look good too!

Easter Sunday saw me and a large rabbit entertain 500+ people at the Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas where in between sets I lunched on lobster, oysters, smoked salmon & cheese cake (not at the same time). Think I’m born to live in luxury ‘coz it feels natural. Yeah Baby.

Sure. This is me in a bikini………………not !!!!Cartoon - frisbee throwing girl in bikini
However I did learn how to play frisbee golf last Saturday. Having never thrown a frisbee in my life this was a totally new experience and a whole new way to have fun and be frustrated. Who knew there was an actual art to tossing a flying saucer thingy?

Another first comes up this weekend when I attend a tennis boot camp at the ranch of famous Aussie champion John Newcombe in New Braunfels, Texas.We’re in for a heckuva time with tennis drills, cocktails, karaoke (no kidding!) and people from all over the USA participating. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!

Chicago city skyline

Chicago city skyline

Next month I’m off to speak in Chicago, Austin and Indiana so I’m busy customizing speeches for Itasca Bank, Texas Electric Cooperatives & yet another program for The American Heart Association in the mid west. Busy bee!

With the news of two friends  funerals in a week, the one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing and hearing of yet another acquaintance with cancer, I’m wondering how much time any of us have.

Get out your bucket list. What’s the next new thing you’re going to cross off? Tick tock.

Hmmmmm……where do I sign up for sky diving?

Trashy, Sleazy, Desperate: What Would You Do To Get Noticed?

September 6, 2013
miley
Robin Thicke & Miley Cyrus


It was the talk of Twitter,
the buzz of the moment,
a media frenzy….
Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards was nothing short of shocking. 

With her lewd gestures, tongue out, half naked, Miley showed the world she is no longer the Disney channel girl who was adored by millions of teens.

 Talk about a brand change.

 In my motivational speeches on Extraordinary Performance I talk about what it takes to reach the next level of success and how we need to keep learning and changing the way we work. In today’s competitive market we need to stand out from the crowd to get the job/client and keep the job/client.

Does this mean we have to strip off our clothes and act vulgar?     (OK, don’t answer that)

Successful people don’t need to shock anyone. They are self confident, open minded yet consistent with their brand/image.

Miley Cyrus looked like she wanted to win the sleaze award at VMA to outdo Lady Gaga and the all star line up.  

Or was she just desperate for attention?

Grab the attention of your boss/client by delivering excellence. Every time. Every interaction. Every day.  

 Now THAT’S Extraordinary Performance that won’t make the tabloids but WILL get you noticed………………..in a good way. 

Facing Your Fear Factor

March 27, 2013

What’s your biggest fear?                                man afraid                                                                        According to numerous studies the #1 fear of most people is public speaking. Is that you?

It used to be me.

Having been in the entertainment business as a pianist for many years, when I transitioned over to become a motivational speaker people said “that must have been easy for you because you’ve worked on a stage all your life”.

Not so much.

The truth is I had a fear of microphones. Since I played piano without singing, there was no need for a microphone when I worked. For 20+ years it was easy to talk to people from behind the piano. BUT………without the piano was like being without my blankie.     The piano was my crutch.

One day a friend took me to a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters is an international club that teaches people how to give speeches. For me this was big time scary stuff. How not to look like an idiot in front of a group of strangers without my blankie?

Much to my surprise I got hooked on the whole process of speaking in public and like anything else, the more I spoke the calmer my nerves. Don’t get me wrong, twelve years later I still get nervous before giving an inspirational speech on moving through fear to success, but nowadays that gives me the edge to do a great job.

Woman motivational speaker Theresa Behenna: Fail your way to Success!
Motivational speaker Theresa Behenna:
Fail your way to Success!

Whatever you’re afraid of, it’s probably not as bad as you imagine. We tend to exaggerate perceptions to the worst possible scenario. Most of our anxieties are over things that never happen.

Facing your fear is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half. Whether it’s learning new technology, tackling an exercise program or signing up for online dating. Like Nike says: Just do it.

Gimme that microphone!

Is this your idea of a whale of a good time?

March 5, 2013
                                                                  whale
No. The diver is not headless. His head is below the bubbles inside the wet suit and I wonder what he was thinking right at this moment? 
My guess is it had nothing to do with world peace, the price of gas or the latest on Jay Lenno.

During my motivational keynote speeches on being fearless and taking risks to experience more success and happiness in life, I talk about the worst day of my life when I was laid off from an office job living far away from my home town in Australia as a young woman. I was petrified. The country was in a recession and the economic outlook was as bleak as it’s been here in America for the past four years.
Go Red laughing side on
My first instinct was to call my parents 1,000 miles away.
george Halfway through dialing I realized they would just tell me to come home and I’d be right back where I started. My hopes and dreams of traveling the world, working on a professional stage and dating George Clooney would be dashed.
(OK, so one of those dreams was a fantasy)I hung up the phone and that pivotal moment changed my whole life. 

Long story short, I grabbed an opportunity to play the piano in a posh Sydney hotel with no experience, a repertoire of 50 songs (mostly Beatles) and a tummy full of nerves. And poof! A star was born (lol)

Last week on TV’s reality show The Biggest Loser, there was a man afraid of swimming because of all the unseen dangers lurking below the water. After shedding many pounds and gaining considerable confidence, the man decided to face his fear and go swimming in the ocean (with a guide in nearby boat). He emerged on shore a changed man.

LESSON: Let go fear of things you can’t control.
Whether it’s the economy, other people or big fish.

Take small steps towards things you CAN control to realize your dreams/goals:
Lose weight, change jobs, venture out, meet new people,
Take a class, join a club, learn a language,
Swim with sharks.

Have a whale of a good time.

Aha! For A Second, Change For A Lifetime

February 5, 2013
 
                                                 HADOA
I’m off to speak in Montana….
where I hear it’s a tad chilly.
OK. It’s freakin’ freezing!
Out with the faux fur.
 
February is national heart month and the American Heart Association is hosting a slew of Go Red For Women events across the country. I’m the luncheon speaker at the Billings chapter where 350 women are attending the fundraiser.
 
Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the USA? (yes, more than cancer)
 
The half day event includes workshops on healthcare, exhibitors and survivors sharing their stories. Then it’s my turn….
 montanaThey hired me to supercharge the energy in the room and close the event on a positive note.
 
For 30 minutes the audience is going to forget their problems and focus on possibilities. For 30 minutes they’re going to be uplifted, entertained, inspired and educated. After 30 minutes they’re going to leave happy they attended and hopeful for the future.
 
Thirty minutes isn’t very long to plant seeds for a lifetime – but it only takes one aha! moment to be a game changer for one person.
 
Gotta be grateful for my life, my health and my gifts that I get to share in such awesome ways.
 
Look out Montana……you’re about to get a whole lot of hot stuff!

New You for the New Year: Botox or Bacon?

January 21, 2013
gaga
Lady Gaga 

HOW FEARLESS ARE YOU?

Do you like trying new things? Meeting new people? Change?  

speaking ewiStepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new computer program, try a new hair style, give a presentation or going out solo, can be so scary it paralyzes any action.
 
 
 
 
 
No action =  No progress = Stuck.

As the after dinner speaker for Executive Women International last week, I told the story of when I was touring the world playing piano and how I had to constantly learn new music to stay employed…just like we all need to learn new ways of working to succeed in today’s economy.

The story ends with me playing Lady Gaga‘s song ‘Paparazzi’ – and yes, standing with foot up on the piano. Elegant? Not so much.
The pleg on piano
oint is we all need to emulate Lady Gaga’s FEARLESSNESS to be extraordinary to get the job/keep the job, get the client/keep the client in today’s competitive marketplace.

 
Mediocre = Unemployed.
 

Lady Gaga is constantly shocking people with outrageous costumes  (bacon dress pictured), edgy videos, new music, wild hair do’s and spectacular shows to stand out from the competition. She’s not afraid what people think.                                                                                                                     baby

What are YOU doing to rebrand, refresh & rejuvenate  this New Year?

It doesn’t need to involve botox or bacon (unless you want it to).
You don’t even ha
ve to see the whole picture (it could be overwhelming).
Just take that first baby step because after that,
I promise, it gets easier.

Bold. Courageous. FEARLESS. You were Born This Way.

Check out Theresa’s demo video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=J9DSw_AHVyI

Trick or Treat?

October 30, 2012

  group
Halloween week seems to be all about kids, candy and costumes. Tradition says if you show up on the doorstep in costume you get candy. If you don’t bother to dress up then expect to do a trick and hope to get candy.

The majority take time to don a costume. After all that’s half the fun, right?

Pictures here were taken last Saturday night at an annual Beautiful Witches Ball hosted by a  fellow speaker Kathy Davis who goes all out to decorate her home to the enth degree and beyond for this event. She gives it 110%. And the result? People wore costumes that looked like they took a year to make and came from as far as Dallas to attend (we were in Houston).

Notcha average Walgreens event.                                                   

In my presentations on extraordinary work performance I talk about giving work 110% of your energy, focus and talent to keep the job/get the customer in today’s tough economy. With unemployment at an all time high and more companies competing for the same customer, competition is also at an all time high. Employees need to do more than just what is asked of them. Businesses need to exceed customer expectations in service and value.

Failure to do so is tricking your company/client.

Success is about treating your company/client with 110% of you.

Boo.