Master of Ceremonies, Emcee and Performing Arts Expert
Fred Keating has a long and multi-faceted career in theatre, radio, TV and film in character roles and as an awards host, master of ceremonies, corporate trainer, motivational speaker and podcast producer/host. While on contract as a Visiting Lecturer at University of Alberta (1976-1977), Fred Keating was one of the founding cast members of Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre, performing the characters he created in many of the dramatic vignettes used in various CBC Television Specials. This structured improv work came in handy when SCTV cast Fred in six episodes allowing him to work with John Candy, Eugene Levy and others in the troupe.
Fred also produced and hosted a weekly province-wide radio show on CKUA called Centre Stage interviewing local and national artists. He worked as Host/Writer/Producer for many independent production companies and broadcasters and incorporated Lindisfarne Productions Inc. with offices in Edmonton AB and Maple Ridge BC, Canada. Fred Keating also received the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 for his work within Alberta’s media and broadcasting industries.
Fred’s 170 nationwide TV segments of Superchannel’s “Mailbag” and “Movieweek” introduced Canada to Pay-TV. Fred has co-produced and co-hosted 125 audio podcasts of “Monetizing Your Creativity”. On his new podcast series, “Fred Keating & Friends”, he interviews Dr. Jane Goodall, as he has hosted several of her live presentations in Canada.
Fred has played principal roles 30 feature films and over 100 television series. Dubbed Canada’s “Massacre of Ceremonies”, he’s become a familiar “Roastmaster” at national and international conferences, corporate affairs and special events.
Fred keeps programming and speakers on track, uses appropriate and relevant humour on the fly, and reinforces the event’s themes and desired learning outcomes. He offers clients customized keynotes, “roasts”, musical pieces, and scripts to enhance the event programming. His high energy humour keeps audiences on their toes ensuring a successful event for everyone involved.
Fred Keating delivers keynote addresses at government, corporate or educational events. The presentation may take the form of a “State of the Onion” address (Peeling Back the Layers of Corporate Culture) or a “State of the Company” report. Fred introduces himself as a consultant who has worked undercover for the corporation or organization for a year and now will present his (humourous) report at the annual conference or AGM or special gathering.
Fred reveals he’s been working undercover within the organization over the previous year and now appears at the behest of the Board of Directors or CEO to share a few brutal truths.
What follows is a report that takes a satirical approach to actual events or individuals within the company with a humorous interpretation of recent “triumphs and traumas” and wraps up with a motivational call to continuing improvement in “whatever the heck it is that you’re doing right”. Or the exhortation that “If you cannot beat them or join them, then keep the competition laughing so hard their production and sales lag far behind ours”.
This presentation can be delivered in 10, 15, 20 or 30-minute packages for luncheon programs or as a warm-up for the REAL keynote speaker of the day/evening. This presentation usually works best near the opening or closing or after lunch and is a convenient “add on” when Fred is already handling the MC obligations for your event.
Outside of Fred’s outstanding ability to merely host events, Fred can also prepare presentation scripts that emphasize the themes of the event with varying levels of humour, speaker summations, Q&A sessions, panel moderation and editorial bridging between speakers as required to ensure a smoothly run event.
Fred also creates Mock Award Ceremonies and writes/hosts company roasts for annual conferences, corporate retreats and retirement events (with or without employee participation on the platform). Fred researches any past and current events between leaders, team members for each organization and then constructs a script that includes important members of the organization to "roast" a lucky individual in the organization. This presentation is often delivered when someone retires or a healthy kickback to the management team all in good fun.
Fred’s motivational speeches are usually given to young people interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts. A speech may be delivered on its own or as part of a longer workshop session with hands-on exercises and “action plan” design. The sessions are particularly helpful for those students in senior high or graduating college/university and embarking on the “business” of creating a career or the next step in defining one’s own personal and professional development.
The key messages include:
- Whatever your current favorite activity is, there’s likely a place for you in the performing arts. From business or technical skills, crafts, trades, arts, promotion or computer programming there will be a need for highly skilled and creative people in those areas.
- Get as much education as you can while it is subsidized; take the time during those school years to learn the “soft” skills of teamwork, persistence, patience and effective communication.
- Volunteer. Some of your longest lasting and most productive contacts and contracts will come out of your contributing to someone else’s success.
- Persist. Stay in the game. Keep training. Seek out internships, workshops, special programs or opportunities to work with professionals.
- Visualize yourself as a company with a product: you and your skills. Incorporate if necessary, learn about the “business” of being in the performing arts and how to benefit from tax advantages available to small business.
- Seek advice from those fellow travelers a little further up and down the trail from you. You’d be surprised how many of them will be happy to help by offering advice and counsel and, occasionally, more opportunities.
Maple Ridge, British Columbia