Berry & Green

Creative. Strategic. Communications.


Preconceptions are a funny old thing.  Sometimes you have expectations about someone and when you eventually meet them it turns out that they're nothing like what you anticipated.

This happened to us this week.  I won't tell you who the person in question was - in the inimitable words of Carly Simon, they'll probably think this blog is about them.  And it isn't.  But suffice it to say we were surprised.

Many years ago, I was asked to go to Milan to meet with the world-famous flamenco dancer Joaquin Cortez.  He had a tour planning to descend on the Royal Albert Hall and wanted some good PR representation in the UK.  It was important to Joaquin that he met with the PR person early to check them out and so off to northern Italy I duly trotted.

Now, any half-decent PR human will do their research and so I read all about young Cortez on the plane.  His brooding good looks, his "relationship" with Naomi Campbell and his general demeanour suggested that he was going to be a tricky customer.  And so, after watching his magnificent and breath-taking show, I was invited backstage to meet him in a heightened state of trepidation....

Reader, I could have married him (notwithstanding the fact that we are both straighter than Mr Straight McStraight from Straightsville!)  Joaquin Cortez is one of THE most delightful, humble, quietly-spoken and most generous people you will ever meet if you are ever fortunate enough to do so.  We chatted; he invited me out for aftershow drinks at a small bar in downtown Milan which he had hired and so I spent the next 5 hours chatting to him and his group of absurdly talented and equally lovely dancers about anything which the language barrier allowed.

I wanted to work with him desperately and yet it wasn't to be.  The Royal Albert Hall stage wasn't big enough for his fantastic production and so it never came to London.  But Joaquin, if you're out there, look me up if you're in town again.  I owe you some fine wine.

And as for preconceptions - let's leave them at the door, eh?