#3 Glen Biderman-Pam – Cape Town's Culture Vulture, Choosing Boarding School, and Endorsing Smartick

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#3 Glen Biderman-Pam – Cape Town's Culture Vulture, Choosing Boarding School, and Endorsing Smartick

well most people would say that teachers are going to be obsolete one day people say the education system’s broken people think that you know online [Applause] what is up everybody and hello from planet earth i’m your host phillip most of you’ll know me as phil and this is the future minds podcast simply the best podcast out there covering all you need to know in edtech online learning the digital economy and what’s being done around the world to shape the minds of the future in this episode i’ll be speaking with glenn biedemann pam glenn first made his professional debut by winning the comedy central open mic competition in 2013 which earned him three more appearances on comedy central glenn has performed at the leicester square theater in the uk the perth world fringe festival and the brighton festival he’s also appeared as co-host on wtf tumi and played a key role in the hit series tully’s wedding diary more recently glenn’s the creator actor and director of the viral parody video my creepy teacher which has been viewed over 100 000 times since its release just three weeks ago in this episode we discuss glenn’s personal education journey what it takes to be a comedian and director and how glenn would advise his younger self i really enjoyed this exchange but struggled to keep a straight face as glenn went in classic fashion way of script i trust you’ll enjoy this episode and without further ado i give you glenn biedemann pam so glenn to start off tell us a little bit about your education journey i went to uh i started off at a jewish school called herzlia which is here based in the western cape in the tucked into the foothills of of table mountain in frederick and then my parents decided that i well along with me decided that i would like to play more sport because it’s not so much of a sporting school and maybe extend my um i guess my experience into other cultures and other religions so we moved over to the other side of the mountain to a school called western province prep which is in clermont and that was a change big change because a lot of most jewish folks from cape town would go to herzliya but not me i was a maverick and well not me my brother did first and then i followed him so my brother was the maverick and then followed him into western province and then into a very very very fancy school called bishops i don’t know if you know it but i’ll just say it again bishops b-i-s-h-o-p-s bishops bishops we’re the best that wasn’t a war cry i just made it up right now but i think they should use it then i went to that school and i mean you can’t complain about a school like that it was absolutely everything for me i had an incredible time in fact i loved it so much that i went into the boarding school uh that was still um notwithstanding the fact that i lived but 15 minutes away in fact the majority of the dormitory about 14 guys i’d say 10 of them lived within about a 15 kilometer radius so that’s how much um that that school and a school like that has to offer where the borders are there by choice usually you think oh my god you know is it uh boarding school you you think your parents forced you no not us no we went there by choice and it was fantastic because you could spend four days with the best mates and play touch rugby after school and i as a as a culture vulture which i like to call myself and was able to you know um to take advantage of the extra murals rehearsals musicals all the things and really just fully immerse myself in in what that school had to offer by being there 24 7 and then not seven twenty four five because we were allowed to go home on weekends and that was fantastic so it was the best of both worlds we got to experience everything at school spend full nights with your best mates and then go and um have fun on the weekends nice my brother went to bishops oh okay yes i remember him fondly yes what’s his name calvin yes exactly yeah yeah i know i think we might have been in the same uh math class how old is he close he’s um he’s he’s 21 now yes that was that’s ten years younger than me so we probably wouldn’t have seen each other but i thought i might have recognized the name no he he thoroughly enjoyed it and um he’s he’s only got good things to say about people yeah well who doesn’t you

know bloody lucky to go there oh ronda bush you rhonda bosh that’s true that is true ronda rouse has nothing good to say about bishops but that’s all part of that old bloody rivalry you know but uh honestly yeah i know i i must be honest you know i know we choke about it we joke about it and every bishop’s boy says uh they’ll say well how long does it take for a business boy to tell you that how do you tell if a guy went to bishops he’ll tell you and i’ll tell you why he’ll tell you because it’s it’s very a great bloody thing to be at it’s a proud thing to be at i mean i’m very lucky i’m one of the one in billion people who are able to go to school like that and i’m so grateful for what it did for me as a human being and as as a um like a professional now i used absolutely nothing that i learned in the classroom now but sometimes i do use it when i’m when i get paid so which which i do a lot of money then i use it to deduct my tax and i said 25 of that now now you know what tax bracket i mean the lowest one then i say it’s a million rand then 25 250 000 rand that’s going to the government that’s going to be used in for roads and bridges and schools and that’s what makes me feel happy about it and then and then i work out that’s that’s the extent that my math goes so i maybe do need smartick is this for the time when we advertise smartick for for people who don’t who fought taking jobs from teachers is that good right it’s fun smart no no better way to learn than from a a robot an ai powered robot an ai pod okay do i look into that camera or that one no no no no there’s my camera smart tech ai bots will make you better at life nice thanks just use that anytime soon did you did you enjoy master school uh what what did you i i funny enough i’m one of those weird ones who did yeah um you know i enjoyed it when uh when i was getting it right which was um zero percent of the time so it was very hard for me um and i really did try but i ended up succeeding um and i won’t tell you what it was not the higher grade but it wasn’t math lit it was standard grade that i did but at least got an a for that so on the registrar when you get your registrar i think that’s what it’s called yeah yeah get it yeah that’s it and then it said maths a and then i just picked out standard grade and no one will know it’s very far away in my study yeah well i mean to to that point uh i strongly believe that anyone with a healthy dose of curiosity and an internet connection can do pretty much anything they want yeah to what extent has the internet helped or enabled your career i mean the internet yeah well you just have to go so far as to look what i’ve done in the past 24 hours phillip i’m well aware and i’m trying to stay away from that because i think everybody’s going to ask you but the internet on that point what it’s all about man the internet is where it is going and um it’s i don’t know where i would be without the internet you know um it’s it’s just you’ve got so much more reach as a content creator um as a comedian as a performer as anyone is my am i close enough to the mic here yeah i think is this close enough is that too close do you want me to whisper from now on okay um yeah no it’s it’s it’s done amazing things for me as a content creator and i and it’s nice to know that brands are now starting to take that seriously because before they thought oh no you know if you make an internet video then it’s going to be cheaper because the internet but you’re still using the camera sound lighting you’re still getting the same frame but because they didn’t think that they had this idea that tv was more and i know this isn’t your question but it’s the only thing i know what i’m what i’m to talk about right now philip um and uh it’s nice to know that clients that brands are now starting to cotton on to the internet and seeing the potential in advertising and that helps me as a content creator for people to see that there’s opportunity to sell their products via via my content yeah which is great yeah you’ve got an audience and there’s a distribution channel for me shout outs can i shout out go for it shout out uh to myself can i shout out to myself glenn beat him and pam follow me nice glenn beatham and pam oh and we’ll reference everything in the show notes great and transcribe that into spanish i don’t know we certainly will have a transcribed page and we’ve got a nice blog post and correct

video and audio correct yeah no on a serious note the internet has has done amazing things um for my career and uh at bishops just to mention that again it was interesting because i was talking to this about this to my friends the other day that we had we were we got laptops at the age of the ripe age of grade nine which um you would think is was for for school but we weren’t quite sure what to do with them um but but we did at least you know um use them for yeah mostly for for school work i’d say yeah and it was nice to be able to i mean you know to learn on a latter and now i mean i hardly do anything without my laptop so thanks to bishops i know how to use a laptop yeah well look coronavirus has been a catalyst for a lot of things specifically tech innovation um since coronavirus started how’s that impacted your career um coronavirus the lockdown the lockdown the lockdown yeah the the are you talking about the so-called um like pandemic yeah that’s been i mean i don’t know what you’re talking about i did hear on the radio on the way here there was something that’s been going around i don’t know if it’s a mild flu or a cough or something um but uh it’s done absolutely nothing for me uh on a on a from a comedian’s perspective it’s been terrible um i haven’t been on a stage in a very long time and i miss it a lot um i miss the affirmation i miss the love i miss the appreciation but most importantly i just missed that sound of people laughing you know and that’s just you know you can do a zoom gig which is i’m sure what you’re getting to with how you know the technology has evolved but there’s definitely a and that is a a bright side but that one of the downsides is that i don’t think you can ever recreate live performance through technology and that’s been very difficult yeah for me as a as a stand-up comedian but then talking about what i referring to what i was talking about earlier was that um you know there’s so much more opportunity now for uh for for content creation for people to go um people to put money and time into making uh commercials because more people are spending time on their devices so therefore there’s an opportunity for me to rather lean away from live stand-up comedy and more into sort of sketches and and and and content creation yeah well on the content creation side you’re not only a comedian but a director as well yes i saw you looked at your notes there and referred to yeah because i was gonna say you haven’t mentioned that yet and i was getting antsy i really was i was actually starting i was going to say it i was going to do another shout out actually well on that point yeah which which side of the lens do you prefer um yuck that’s such a good question and i do get asked it quite a lot i never really know the answer to it the pros and cons to both um those of you who want to do acting it’s very hard to do just complete a career in that and make a lot of money like i have um i’m not joking um but um as a director there’s a i feel a lot more to the thing you know there’s there’s you’re doing much more as the actor arrives on set and you you have your breakfast and you get your makeup and you go and sit in your place and then you come and you do your thing and it’s fine and it’s great and it’s sometimes challenging but from a directorial perspective you’re in the process from three weeks before that and three weeks afterwards and you’re putting together presentations of how you’re going to shoot the thing and look and wardrobe and location and casting and you know everything every split second of the ad has to be thought about or the short film or whatever you’re doing or film and then you go you shoot and then you go into a long edit process afterwards so from an engagement and a substance point of view i i think i prefer directing because there’s much more to it in my opinion but there’s nothing quite like you know getting on stage and doing a play that’s there’s no one no nothing can come close to that that’s just the best feeling in the whole world yeah well i mean speaking about directing now have you um how’s the last 24 hours been uh because of the the the creepy crawly there yeah yeah it’s been crazy it’s been absolutely nuts absolutely crazy but the past five days have been crazy because we thought of the idea like on thursday this is the creepy crawly s spoof of the octopus teacher documentary for those of you who haven’t seen it at glenba and pam you can see it on my insta and it’s it there’s not much to say

about it sometimes an idea comes to you it’s like just a it’s a fleeting moment and you think this is great and then the stars aligned that it was very relevant in a south african uh context and so is creepy crawly the brand and the netflix guy craig foster the documentary is south african so that those were two great entry points um and and and so as a branded piece it just completely came together but i think even if it wasn’t i was probably gonna shoot it anyway um and but luckily we went to creepy crawly i guess luckily for them we we approached them and said hey guys would you like us to do this kind of branded content piece for you um and because i’d actually worked with them a few years maybe five to five seven years ago and so they knew who i was and yeah we went the next day i wrote the script and then the following day we were shooting and by that evening we had we had an edit and then it got leaked but i don’t know who um before it was even ready so that was a whole different story so i was so there’s a whatsapp version going around that isn’t actually the final version um which was quite uh a blessing and a curse at the same time um you know it just went absolutely crazy and viral but it wasn’t quite the one that i wanted to craft but you know i can’t complain because people love it and people have been going nuts about it and and that’s all you really want when you create these pieces of work so what advice would you give 18 year old glenn um 18 year old glenn what advice would i give him um very good question what advice would you give 18 year old phillip hmm it’s quite hard read more yeah i was going to say read more yeah that’s exactly what i was going to say and i thought you know it’s ordered your peers audit orders your peers ordered your peer group like actually physically ordered their bank statements well like go into their heart like make sure they’re not like evading you could do that why would you do that i would i would certainly i’d certainly be a little bit more critical about my friend group are you talking i honestly don’t know what to do are you saying you need to study accounting and then audit your friends and use them as clients and then make money of them if if you can do that so you’d like to order wow so study accounting is what you’re say so what i’m saying okay you said you mean evaluate them evaluate them before you get into friendships with them no no no no no honestly i don’t know this is a trick question is leon just gonna pop out of that that pot plot that’s earlier i’m trying to keep it together i don’t understand what’s happening are we even recording this is just a joke have you ever tabled plasticky have you have have you ever heard of kumon cumin humon mats cumin no tell me about it so kimono is this um this extracurricular japanese paper-based maths program that a lot of kids are doing these days it’s um sort of you know all ages at school um i’m sure peers of yours would have done kimon peers i’ve audited that’s for sure i ordered them i know but um so okay so it’s a it’s a paper-based as opposed to app-based so paper-based as opposed to app-based it’s classroom it’s learning center style so you go after school your parents have to drop you off um yeah you know there’s like school there’s a whole bunch of inefficiencies associated with it and okay you know what we try to do at smartic was to create this online ai powered improvement of kimono okay okay um so you know earlier when you’re giving smartie a little bit of a punt i think a great like one liner would be that um you know and speaking of netflix that yeah that smartick is the netflix too yeah blockbuster oh wow smartick is the netflix to quman’s blockbuster i like that yeah yeah that’s great so so kumon was the blockbuster it was expensive it was inefficient yep but it it had its perks yeah yeah and the tech at the time allowed for was right and netflix is still doing the same thing and so is smartick but smarter and at home yeah and easier

yeah and cheaper correct great nailed it ah that was so great yeah i really like that that just calmed me down i should have said that up front yeah i had no idea what we were doing here this was a waterless toilet system i thought this was about global warming oh my god jeepers i was about to prepare my speech on glaciers oh so it’s an okay yeah yeah it’s a lot of master so no it’s the netflix it’s smart technology netflix right i cannot get it on netflix anytime well you can get it the same way you can get netflix okay but not on netflix no it isn’t no not yet on netflix yes it’s coming soon do you want me to point it well but yeah let’s hold it for now okay coming soon to netflix okay so in in 10 years time what would i give advice to future glenn no in 10 years time what would you have done too much of and what would you have done too little of are you saying these are really difficult questions what what what are sorry i miss you so guitar wasn’t great at school because i wasn’t even listening to what you just said right now okay so in in 10 years time yeah okay picture myself in 10 years okay um what what would you have done too much of in the next 10 years and what would you have done too little loved are you asking me yeah do i know the answer or are you asking me i’m asking you to predict the answer so i’ve are you saying that i want to have too much have done too much of this or you’re saying i i regret having that too much would you ever regret doing too much of in a bad way can you give me an example not of yourself but say let’s say jack sure okay so in 10 years time jack has spent too much time working and too little time with his family 10 years time jack has spent too much time watching tv and too little time reading okay jack sounds like a [Laughter] okay so and can it be a good thing yeah it can be good okay whatever you want it to be um jeez that’s such and so too much of and too little love yeah that’s good um i think in 10 years time glenn has done too much of working and too little of travelling yes yes i think i’ve i will have done that yeah yes and in 10 years time glenn will have done not can i say not enough reading yeah so i’m going to give my my 30 year old glenn advice saying read more now so that in 10 years time i won’t be able to say that i’ve done too little of reading yeah yeah okay so that’s it so work less is that good sure work do less work work work no that can’t be right it works much work smarter yeah there you go smartick work smarter and then spin and then travel more when all of the so-called i don’t know what i mean i don’t know still what you’re talking about but whatever this thing you’re saying is over and number three definitely read more because i tell you what reading is just so important for everything every part of your brain i can’t tell you how important it is i can tell when i’m reading that i am i feel smarter in life when i go into a presentation when i get onto stage when i am writing a um a joke it’s it’s just it’s it’s just huge i mean if smartick had a reading app well that would just be we we’re busy adding reading comprehension to the program brilliant that’s amazing is that the direction we’re going well no no no actually not okay well do you want me to pound that you’re welcome to we’ve got a chat we’ve got a chess app coming and reading comprehension chess brilliant okay amazing they go hand in hand chess music and reading all very similar parts of the book learning musical instruments yes guitar nice yeah big time yeah okay yeah i believe i’m good yeah many people disagree okay um but i i just don’t believe them i think they’re just trying to keep my ego down and trying to prevent me from becoming a massive massive star yeah and i think if it wasn’t for them i would be huge yeah but they come along and i bring the guitar out and they’re like oh no we’re gonna do johnny cash again here we go and then i’ll sing along and no one will and then by the time i open my eyes and finish the song they’ve all left but that’s i always think that’s because they’ve gone to find a record label for me to sign yeah but actually they’ve made sense yeah they’ve left correct look good i get a smart tip jersey yeah do i yeah you do ah yes i’m really really happy about

that where do i ready no you do really oh yes i’m so glad i like it a lot um i need a jersey so uh okay coming here what um where does this confidence come from obviously being a comedian you have to either not care what people think or be extremely confident or both or neither or neither yeah confidence confidence different because a lot of us are incredibly insecure including myself and we are constantly having to work on taking our confidence and overriding that insecurity and it happens almost with practice like for example if you go on stage and you try a joke and then it dies it doesn’t do well it feels terrible it’s a really horrible feeling because it’s not like i mean even as a as a fine artist the art is is a different you know it’s separate from you so at least someone says i don’t like that artwork it’s horrible but it doesn’t feel like it’s yourself when you are on stage and people are not laughing at you and your intention is to make them laugh it’s a terrible feeling you feel like you are not good enough and so you develop this i wouldn’t call it a thick skin because a thick skin indicates that there’s a very soft center i think you develop mechanisms to um to be able to hold on to the good parts when you were doing well and when um and when things were good and the accolades that one has achieved and to try and and nurture those and and use those for when you are in a in a bad situation or if something doesn’t go well or if you don’t get a part a role in a movie or whatever it is and try and develop that confidence by like holding on to the good as opposed to the bad but it’s not as easy as as it looks and everyone has insecurities you know everyone does and it’s about acknowledging those and knowing that they’re there and being friends with them and working with the good stuff to try and and take yourself forward on that point what advice would you give a 10 year old glenn no what advice would you give the 10 year old boy or girl out there that wants to follow in your footsteps and become either comedian or director or an actor or an actor or a content creator content creator actor or a child star charles though i was a former child star um that’s why i’m so cooky too much sherbet what advice would i give them oh re read more i knew you wanted me [Laughter] i’m joking uh you know man it’s it’s it’s it’s a it’s a cliche for a reason like if if you’re going to do the damn thing then you’ve just got to you you really just have to do the work it’s it’s so cliche but it’s i can’t stress it more yeah the harder you work the better you will be like that is the only thing in life you need to know i promise you if you work hard you will beat the ones that are talented more talented than you yeah i learned that just across the road at drama school i wasn’t the most talented in the class but i bloody worked into late into the night and rehearsed and knew my lines and did my research and really really you know i just i lived it and you really do need to live it if you’re going to do this career you can’t half-heart it you know you can’t kind of pitch up yeah you re because the opportunities are so scarce and the competition is so high you just don’t have a choice but to to be obsessed and to live it and i’m learning that more and more as a director that you can’t sort of dip your toes into it and kind of like you know direct an ad here or there you have to watch hundreds and thousands of ads and short films and films and uh and and stand up it’s about going every night going to an audience of 10 people and if one line works great you know you might bomb for 15 minutes but you might get one line out of that night and that’s enough to take that one line into the next one and it’s just about commitment that’s all i can say i i can’t i can’t give any other advice um and i’m still trying to get there i’m not there yet you know there’s still so much to for me to learn and still a lot of work to do i can’t work too much because then in 10 years time then i’m gonna say i’ve worked too much so work smart but also work hard

rather work too hard then not hard enough yeah good point i would say all right so earn money yeah money is the best that’s all you got to work on exactly people say that money can’t make you happy but it’ll make you flip and happy i i must agree a couple of rapid fire questions yeah you can answer as quickly as you can um favorite subject at school history favorite sport to watch uh this is rapid fire cricket test cricket i i must agree also agree that’s two out of two fantastic great um best uh best comedian of all time jerry seinfeld yeah yeah um do you not agree with that no no i i think it’s it’s in the ballpark who’s yours i might say controversially either louis c.k yeah i’m not really controversial stand up and his goals i think robin williams is also robin williams unbelievable yeah yeah really sad but really yeah yeah great what do you believe about the education system that most people disagree with smartick be better and more blockbustery but less money is that bad is that what you want me to say [Laughter] netflix is it netflix we’re promoting netflix do it everything but from your own no which one was it well the smart thing is netflix right but not the humongous blockbusters yes exactly okay what was the question what do i believe about the south african department of education i hate all of them i hate every single person who works in the government is that good that’s perfectly fine it’s stupid you can use that stupid stupid okay no seriously um no okay and i mean to end off glenn okay no no ask the question what was it um okay so what do you believe about education that most people disagree with what do most people say well most people would say that teachers are going to be obsolete one day people say the education system is broken people think that you know online [Laughter] i thought i had much more than oh my god that’s right i hope it didn’t go i mean this one i’m so sorry what just happened is i i was listening so intently that i forgot that i was drinking water i spot all over myself and all the equipment including phillips macbook air okay well i’m glad we got that question [Laughter] out of the way i think i’ll move on glenn on that actually my split is in this just on that note on that beautiful note to wrap things up where can people find you what are you up to at the moment to anybody that’s listening that doesn’t know who you are where can they find you yeah um well we’re in very exciting times with a production called tally’s wedding diary there’s season two coming out so watch out for that on show max we’re shooting that in november december so that’ll be out i think in march april of next year winter of next year um uh you can catch me on my instagram at glenbeeman pam or twitter sorry just take your time sorry ackland biermann pam twitter instagram facebook um not any live shows coming up because there’s a so-called pandemic sure that’s pretty much it so i’m just burping i’m the least smooth shout out to myself i could give so you can get me on tully’s wedding diary season two that’s coming out in the middle of next year on show max i’ll be playing the character of rail rosen um i don’t know why i’m looking in the camera but i like it uh you can catch me on instagram i don’t know if you can catch me you won’t catch me i’m not in the air you will just find me on instagram glennbiedemannpam at glenbeedemanpam on twitter facebook glenn bietemann pam and then panther punch is a production company that i have with a friend of mine called oliver booth shout out at alibooth10 underscore don’t forget that we have a content creation company and you can find all our sketches on the panther punch website if you want to get me as a director you get sketchbook studios actor in joburg owen swanson manager actor in cape town emma rez

management comedian cape town emirates management as well comedian jober kate goliath in fact i think you spoke to her earlier today indeed that’s all my representation great glenn it’s been a pleasure it’s a pleasure and privilege and i’m sorry for spitting no no no no that’s part of the pleasure studio thanks for having me guys love you all thank you so much the future minds podcast is brought to you by smart tech smart tech is an award-winning intelligent online mathematics and coding program for kids age four to fourteen powered by sophisticated adaptive ai smart tech teaches kids math and coding from the comfort of home in as little as 15 minutes per day for more information visit smarttech.com or download the app on tablet or ipad today