Consultant Feature - Chris Friday
Posted: Wednesday, July 27 2016
Q&A: Getting to Know Senior Consultant Chris Friday
Senior Communication Consultant Chris Friday has been an integral part of the game on team since our days overseeing the Communication & Leadership Development programming at IMG Academy. Chris’s ability to improvise and incorporate authentic, positive humor into his daily routine makes our days delightfully refreshing.
We had the opportunity to ask Chris a few questions to learn more about his background and experiences.
Tell me how you first got involved in acting/commentating/public speaking/coaching...
It’s a long story and journey with regards to how I got into the business… I come from a very musical family, and a family where most of the people are pastors, music directors, and teachers. So performing and public speaking are in my blood. Growing up I could sing, and I wanted to be a singer, but I thought singing and speaking in public would kill me. I had the world’s worst stage fright of anyone you’d ever meet.
As I grew older, while my desire to be a singer and performer increased, so did my intense fear. I decided one day to not let the fear get the better of me, and I set out to conquer this challenge. Long story short, I worked as a professional actor for 10+ years.
I still perform, but now it’s the projects I want to do, and I’m loving it!
What do you find most challenging about your work?
The military groups we work with, and what they are dealing with and what they have dealt with. My heart goes out to all those men and women. I met a Marine in San Antonio with burns on most of his body. He came up to me after a session and told me that he thought what I had shared was really important, and that our message and unique curriculum made an impact on him. That’s so heavy, but so rewarding.
How would your best friend describe you? (or share three words you believe others would use to describe you)
I am very competitive! I want to win at everything. Even if I’m playing Candy Land with my daughter, I don’t mind if I win the candy!
I really try to take everything in before I just react to things.
I tend to be very encouraging – especially with students and clients. I know what I went through with my fears, so I can relate to what they are feeling in the moment of being in front of people.
If you weren’t in the current profession you’re in, what would you like to be doing instead?
I’d probably be doing something in law or politics, or one of the talking heads on the cable shows. I love history, and politics and enjoy a good debate.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
When I had my appendix out, and they put me under anesthesia, the doctor told be to count backwards from 100. They said most people get to 95 or 96. So I took that as a challenge. I was going to get to 1! I didn’t get to one, but I got to 74!
After my surgery, they told me they kept checking to see if I was getting the juice, because I kept counting.
What’s your most memorable client experience since you started working with game on?
I’ve had many great experiences, but one that stands out was when I was in Dallas speaking on behalf of the USO for the Marines. I was talking with the outgoing Sergeant Major prior to my session. He then looked at me and said, “I hope you don’t suck, because if you do you’ll never be back.” He was your classic encourager!
At the break, my point of contact, who overheard him say that to me, came up to me and told me, he’s wasn’t joking.
At the end of the session, he said in front of the entire group, “I guess you don’t suck, and we’d love to have you back.” I love the honesty of that situation.
What it reinforced in me is that this curriculum is amazing. If we get out of our way, allow ourselves to be present and teach the curriculum, you can reach any audience, anywhere!
Who is most influential person in your life? Why?
Probably my grandfather. He was such a good and respected man. A man of Faith and character, and you can see and feel the legacy he’s left in his kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.
If you could have any superpower, what would you have? Why?
I wish I could transport myself anywhere in the space-time continuum. It’d be pretty cool to be able to travel anywhere I wanted without getting motion sickness on a plane. It’d also be pretty amazing to time travel.
What do you do to reset and regenerate?
I love doing improv. My new passion is improvising musicals. While the idea of making up a 90-minute musical on the spot – complete with songs, melodies, harmonies, and choreography might scare the living daylights out of someone (including a younger version of myself), it really helps me reset and regenerate.