Born into an unconventional family, Kathy-Jo grew up among the leading lights of South African theatre royalty – where her mother, Annabel Linder, still reigns as a doyenne of the local performing arts scene. This unusual background gave Kathy-Jo a unique insight into the ups and downs of life on the stage. And yet, despite her initial discomfort with being ‘different’, Kathy-Jo decided to embrace her destiny and become an actor herself. Since graduating from Wits University with a Dramatic Arts degree, Kathy-Jo has gone on to establish herself as a leading actor, singer, director and writer – an active presence on the stage, TV, films and in the corporate sphere.
More recently, Kathy-Jo founded her own communications agency, Maverick Warehouse, where she uses her years of training and experience as a performer to help clients improve their communication strategies and presentation skills. Her speaking career followed as a natural progression from her work at Maverick, and she has now developed an entertaining and informative keynote address that combines a journey through her vivid life with practical pointers on how anyone can achieve success through the power of effective communication.
In this keynote address, entitled ‘Act As If’, Kathy-Jo speaks with great honesty, candour and humour about her life as the daughter of a well known performer, her experiences on the stage, her personal challenges, and her ultimate redemption as a business owner and communication specialist.
It’s a funny and moving story that takes audiences from the heights of fame to the depths of despair. For example, in the year 2001, Kathy-Jo found herself abandoned by her second husband, with two children to support and no idea of how she was going to survive. Totally alone and desperate, this was the point where she decided to wipe away the tears and ‘Act As If’ she was already the success she wanted to be. Over the next 15 years, Kathy-Jo kept working towards that vision until it became a reality.
Her journey is therefore one of triumph over adversity. Despite the many setbacks, Kathy-Jo found a way to turn her challenges into her unique selling point, and discovered a way to utilize her experience in the Arts to work not only to her advantage but also to the advantage of all who hear her story.
It’s a grand narrative that culminates with the sharing of trade secrets that will help audiences across the spectrum gain insights on practical communication and presentation skills usually only reserved for trained performing arts professionals. By the end of the address, audiences will have the tools they need to go out onto the stage of their lives and ‘Act As If’ – because, if you ‘Act As If’, it’s only a matter of time before you actually become the success you want to be.
‘ACT AS IF’ KEY POINTS
Kathy-Jo begins her address with a touching and entertaining account of growing up as ‘Annabel Linder’s daughter’. She continues through her years at university and early successes on stage, most notably as a lead in Athol Fugard’s iconic play, ‘My Children, My Africa’.
From here, it’s an emotional story of marriages, divorces, the challenges of single motherhood, the uncertain nature of a life in the arts, the devastating loss of hope, and the slow climb out of despair that culminates in her current status as a successful business owner and communications expert.
It’s an inspiring narrative, and it’s all thanks to the power of ‘Acting As If’ – an innovative approach to life that Kathy-Jo has used to fundamentally change her reality.
The address concludes with a practical discussion where Kathy-Jo breaks down a number of useful communication techniques that she has learned through her training and experience as a performer. These valuable insights include:
- Rehearsal: the importance of preparation and practice for all areas of endeavour, both personal and professional.
- Performance: tips and tricks to make sure the show always goes on, in spite of anything that may be going on in one’s life.
- Applause: embracing all feedback, both negative and positive, and using it to one’s ultimate advantage.
‘Act As If’ is a genuinely moving and ultimately optimistic story of a woman who fought her way back from the edge through the power of performance. Illustrated by a visually engaging Powerpoint presentation containing a wealth of personal photographs and memories, ‘Act As If’ is a colourful and empowering keynote address that will enthral and uplift audiences from all walks of life.