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Last Monday we had the party of the year: the 11th edition of the Mussel gala. The Mussel gala started as an event on which we rewarded the real estate man or woman of the year. Last year I decided to change course, and instead of putting a fellow real estate man or women on a pedestal, we rewarded a charity with our awareness. There are already so many awards in the Netherlands: the Koi Karper Award for example, a super-exciting competition in which hundreds of international Koi compete for coveted prices, the Most Beautiful Feline Award, won by the ever well-coiffed long-haired Russian Blue Lulu, and of course the well-known ‘shame-name’ of DJ’s Coen and Sander. I am still waiting for the award for the Best Dressed Man in Checked Suit…


Last year we raised money for the Foundation Hulphond, from Rudolph Strickwold, and this year we supported Lymph&Co from Prince Bernhard van Oranje. Because if there’s someone who knows how to raise awareness for a charity, it’s Bernhard. It’s not only his personal interest in Lymph&Co, but he also changed the course: instead of the old-fashioned, somewhat boring auction galas, he organizes an annual sports event, in which participants collect money and raise awareness for the foundation both individually and as a team.


The Mussel gala was again a great success: al lot of old acquaintances and new friends came to Chateau Moeke, but we also collected a lot of money for the groundbreaking researches from Lymph&Co. The line-up was filled with amazing artists, such as Maan, Frans Bauer, Gers Pardoel, Joe Borelli, Roel van Velzen and Jeroen Nieuwenhuizen. One by one they shined on stage, and managed to get everybody dancing.


On such a day I like to attend the preparations. I’ll bring my laptop and phone and I’ll be working whilst everything is being set up. That’s my preparation, getting a taste of the atmosphere and getting ready to go on stage, to welcome the guests and kick off the evening. When I compare it to all those artists, I see that everyone has their own preparation. One of them quickly sings another couplet, another one eats and drinks something with his crew and yet another prepares himself in the car, and enters just a few minutes before he has to go on stage.


We all have our own rituals, but one thing is certain: we are all preparing for that one moment. That moment to shine and to blow the audience away. It’s something that we all do, not only the artists. Just think about how often you have to pitch for that one important prospect, or when you have to present or have to give a speech for a large audience. And on these moments you want to be mind-blowing.


Just like many other times, we can learn a lot about this subject from a nomadic tribe. In this case, it’s the Huli from Papua New Guinea. Every year, the Huli participate in a Sing-Sing, a ceremony in which tribes from the area come together to meet each other and to present their strength as a tribe. It’s preceded by days of preparation, they paint their faces red and yellow, they make special wigs and then they’re ready to take their moment on stage. Together they present their culture to other tribes, residents from the area and tourists. And thanks to those days of preparation, they have won the Sing-Sing many times!


You can learn all about it at Tribes Rotterdam Central Station, our newest location that we will open next Thursday, 7 December from 5pm. The Huli is the hero-tribe of this location, so it’s a perfect place to take your showman skills to a higher level!