DAILY MIRROR INTERVIEW

Get Mr Angry!

MARK KEMPNER'S ACTING-UP TO TEST FRONTLINE STAFF

Edited By Tricia Phillips - Daily Mirror Interview

Mark Kempner (DM)

Mark Kempner (DM)

The next time you see a het-up customer howling at a bank teller don't be fooled - it could be professional actor Mark Kempner putting someone through their paces.

His excuse for being downright rude is that Mark is often called in to help companies and organisations with their staff training. "I get as picky, obnoxious, pernickety and pushy as requested," says Mark. "After all, that's what I'm being paid to do."

Mark, owns corporate entertainment and training company TrueView Events. He explains: "Sometimes it doesn't matter what you say to Mr or Mrs Angry - they refuse to cool off. "Companies realise their staff have to get them to calm down and the best way to do that is to train them to handle the most angry or awkward of customers. That's where I come in."

One of his funniest experiences was the day he had to have a run-in with a hotel receptionist. "I was complaining about this, that and the other, posing as the moaning git from Room 134. "A couple was ear wigging and as I got more and more angry they started to have a go too. I just carried on. The manager stepped in eventually to explain we were training!"

Mark wasn't always a professional actor. He started out as an engineer and worked at Gatwick airport for years, fixing everything and anything - from baggage conveyor belts to aircraft loading bridges. With no formal training, he put himself forward for various acting auditions and gradually the work started to come in, as did a better and better agent. Mark is represented by Katie Threlfall associates

"I started off getting fringe theatre roles and some TV commercials including the original Opal Fruits to Starburst campaign. Featured roles in TV shows such as EastEnders,  Holby City, The Darling Buds Of May and The Bill soon followed.

"I started at TrueView Events and just fell in love with the work which also gave me some diversity and regular wages."  When the owner retired Mark bought the company and since then has been developing it, broadening the work it does. These days much of Mark's time is devoted to TrueView training.

He says: "As well as staff training we do a variety of team-building events including murder mysteries and treasure hunts, plus corporate party entertainment and film-making days. "We recently went to Qatar and I had to write and create a James Bond spoof to launch a new Toyota in front of 2,500 people.

"I employ about 20 professional actors and actresses and we travel across the country working with businesses and even local councils to help them get to grips with everything from snotty customers to staffing issues and legislation."

His expertise in customer service and corporate role play training has led Mark, who lives near Horley in Surrey, to become a bit of a stickler for the highest standards in real life.

"I don't like to see poor service, especially when its directed towards me. Some of these big shops have salespeople with no manners and little regard for their customers. "I'm not frightened to step up if I see someone being given a bad time or poor advice."

He still manages to fit in in the more traditional acting work, though. "I've just played the role of an argumentative London cab driver in a feature film alongside Dustin Hoffman" "I'm also appearing in the next series of Modern Toss on Channel 4 TV in January. It beats being an industrial engineer, that's for sure."

CONTACTS

www.trueviewevents.co.uk          www.markkempner.co.uk