I have worked in project management and live events for coming up to 20 years. I’ve done this in a broad range of settings and contexts, from community and celebratory arts, carnivals, intimate site-specific theatre to all-night performances, outdoor music festivals and large-scale spectaculars with fire and fireworks for thousands of people a time.
The thing I’ve always found exciting is delivering experiences for people. Particularly shared experiences; people gathering together to witness or participate in something out of the ordinary.
But what I’ve come to realise more recently, perhaps with the advent of getting married myself and the arrival of my two children, is that these occasions do not need to be on a massive scale or be experienced by thousands of people to feel worthwhile.
In fact, the more personal occasions and rites of passage can be just as profoundly important. It’s these events which become the chapter breaks and locate us in our own life’s story. They elevate us out of our day-to-day and provide us with a moment – a space – to acknowledge and absorb the things we find important in life. They are also often an opportunity to acknowledge the network of friends and family with whom we are sharing this existence, and in doing so, of our interconnectedness as human beings.
I believe that these occasions are vitally important to us all, that they can be serious without excess solemnity, and that (freed from the script provided by religion) we can find ritual and authenticity for them without becoming excessively new age or alternative.
Helping people to shape ceremonies which express these things, and drawing on my experience of celebration, participation and a passion for shaping the tone and form of such occasions, is what has lead me to celebrancy.
Alongside this, I still work in live events (mainly the big complicated variety) and I also like making things out of wood.
I live in Hassocks in West Sussex, which is just north of Brighton (which I still consider my home town), and a mile from the South Downs, which we love hiking around on.
“Tom is patient, kind, fun and emotionally intelligent as well as organised, meticulous and diligent. All the things I want when I’m looking for someone to take care of an important occasion.”Louise Ash. MD – Meaningful Events