John "Bertie"'s Open Road

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  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Yankee Kiwis

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Napier, Hawke's Bay NZ

  • AIRED ON:

    Public Television: Season 6

  • ON DVD:

JOHN "BERTIE" COCKING

Napier's Town Ambassador
Self-Employed

“And that's the attitude: ‘Have a go.'”

INTERESTS:

Acting & Theatre Government

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Fulfillment

FOUNDATION:

Being Creative

TAGS:

accounting, acting, attitude, finance, go for it, money, perspective, tourism

BIOGRAPHY:

  • As a child, he decided he wanted to be a “millionaire,” wanted to do something that would make him “heaps of money.”
  • Left school at 15, started working; became a certified public accountant by age 22.
  • Had a good amount of money, had a comfortable life, but he wondered if there was something he’d enjoy doing more.
  • One of his friends mentioned that he had a talent for imitating a TV character named “Manuel.”
  • He started performing as Manuel at restaurant dinner shows; the success led a woman to invite him to move to Auckland, perform full-time.
  • Thought, “why not?” and moved to Auckland, gave up on his accounting job without hesitation.
  • Later invented his own character, Bertie, who acts as a “walking tourism office” for the city of Napier.
  • For years, the town of Napier paid him to perform as Bertie, but now he does it purely for fun.

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