NZ On The Fly ···✈

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going back to New Zealand for a week. I always look forward to going back. My family still reside Auckland, plus it was my home for seven years before moving here to Australia, so a part of me will always feel at home there…

I went back for a some pretty exciting media appearances: Good Morning show & Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park. Being able to stay with my family in the midst of all that was a real blessing, and (in hindsight) the thing that would help bring a bit of sanity & balance to the schedule (haha…).

I arrived on a Wednesday evening & by the time Thursday swung by was already in rehearsals for Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park. Early on Friday (we’re talking the ungodly hour of 4am – yikes..!), I had to be up to catch a 6am flight to Wellington to do Good Morning. Showbiz sounds real glamorous, huh (haha…)? Not complaining at all though, non-ideal schedules are kinda just part it…

As I boarded the plane & settled into my seat, I saw the Nesian Mystic boys walk onboard. Turns out they were performing on Good Morning too. It’s always good seeing them. Long story short: when I still lived in NZ, we both had the same manager for a time, so we go back a ways…

Wellington was rainy, but I welcomed it after the intense Auckland heat! The Nesian boys, Aaron Gilmore & Nerida Cortese (from Dancing With The Stars – like me, they were also performing on Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park) & I were whisked away from the airport & driven straight to the TVNZ studios for soundcheck. I arrived to find a real treat, my good friend, Bella Kololo. She’s incredible! Anyone who loves soul music should definitely look her up. Was so cool, not only being on the same TV bill for the first time, but just the chance to catching up. Sometimes we can get so busy, so you’ve kinda got to grab the moments as they come.

The Christmas extravaganza was Good Morning’s final show of the year & broadcasted live. Quite a diverse group of performers were featured, including the great John Rowles, the Carl Doy Band, Bella Kalolo, Brendon Horan, Nesian Mystic, Maisey Rika & Dancing With The Stars’ Aaron Gilmore & Nerida Cortese. Some of the hosts from the show got in on the fun too, doing performances of their own. Such a great morning…

I sang Christmas Time Again & The Christmas Song, followed by an interview. It all went so well, I was really happy with it. After wrapping our performances, Aaron, Nerida & hurried to the airport to fly back to Auckland so we could make our 2pm calltime for Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park rehearsals (which went till late). So a big day, but a great one.

Have to take a moment to give a huge shout-out to Fiona Apanui-Kapenga, Brendon Pongia, Sarah Bradley, Matai Rangi-Smith, Steve Gray, Georgia Stephens & the whole Good Morning crew. You guys were wonderful & beyond accommodating the entire time, thank you for making my first time on the show an absolute pleasure.

Saturday was show time, but good thing we got a nice big sleep-in first (haha…). It was raining & overcast that day, but by the time the evening rolled around the rain subsided & all was well. Coca-Cola Christmas In The Park is an annual outdoor event that is televised nationally. This year it had its biggest attendance ever – more than 250,000 packed out the Auckland Domain! It was an amazing experience & I feel honored to have shared the stage with such an elite bunch of people. This & Good Morning marked two firsts for me. Both way exceeded my expectations.

Want to give special thanks to Kate Ward Smythe (for giving me a shot – thank you!), Penny Dodd & the band/choir, Drew Ne’emia, Ainslie Allen, Stig, Dane Rumble, Midnight Youth, Carolyn (one of the best stage managers around!), The Lady Killers, Kids Crew, Lisa Crawley, Frankie Stevens, Phil Madsen, Roz Turnbull, Massad Barakat-Devine, Ginny Crocker (our choreographer), The Funky Monkees, Eve, Request, Petra Bagust & Mike McRoberts. I know I’ve probably left out so many names (I’m sorry..!) but a huge thank you to all involved.

On this Christmas Eve, I hope you all have the best Christmas you’ve ever had. That you can be with & enjoy the ones you love, feast on great food, create new memories, but most importantly remember that Jesus is the true meaning we all celebrate.

God bless you guys, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.



Filed under BCS Blog

3 responses to “NZ On The Fly ···✈

  1. Debbie Southgate

    An enjoyable read, informative and inclusive. Was a brief visit, but we managed to fit in some great family time.We will miss you when we unwrap our gifts at midnight. Love the pics. Have a Blessed Christmas

  2. Congrats Barry – used to go to Kura High with you (was one of the prop girls in Princess Smartypants, if you recall) and was so proud to see you on Good Morning making the most of your dreams – knew you would be a star one day 🙂

  3. Yêda Carla

    Hello B.
    really enjoyed your Blog. love reading your posts, your photos are Beautiful hahaha
    admire your ministry, God bless you mightily in everything you do. a hug. love you

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