Week 25 – Brad Holder


Introducing Brad Holder

A note from Kerrie Phipps: I met Brad earlier this year following his nomination by Town Of Port Hedland Councillor Penny Taylor – and I was delighted to find such incredible talent matched with beautiful attitude. Brad looked after all the technical stuff for my workshop for Effective Leaders & Communicators in South Hedland, so I’ve now had first-hand experience of his attitude and flexibility at work!

Penny’s nomination reads – “Brad is a humble and talented performer. The nature of art is that it has to be seen by others. This puts the humble artist in a dilemma. To follow their passion, they have to put their art out and perform. Brad’s maturity and talent makes his work a true art form that deserves celebration and nomination.”

Brad Holder

Brad Holder

Born in the Pilbara City of Port Hedland in the early 90’s, Brad Holder has become one of the most known and respected young people in the region. At just 22, Brad is a talented singer songwriter, Nationally renowned Performing Arts Centre Venue Manager (Matt Dann Cultural Centre – MDCC), Pilbara Representative on the WA Music Regional Roundtable, Managing Director & Founder of Stage Production Business – P.C.C. Productions, the youngest committee member on both the Circuitwest & Techwest Theatre Associations and served as Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and committee member for nearly seven years of the Hedland Youth Leadership Council (HYLC).

How did you get started and when?

I originally started volunteering at my local theatre at around 11 or 12 years old.  I started helping out around the place and eventually became a casual technician. I worked my way through high school doing that, finishing my homework while the film was on the screen. I was involved in the music program and heavily into the performing arts in general. My English teachers would’ve been frustrated because I never got things in on time, but I really enjoyed the performing arts so I just kept going with that. Once high school was finished the theatre offered me a full time position as technician and I did that for 5 years. I have been managing the venue now for about 3 years.

What was your biggest sacrifice in getting your business up and running?

Audio Technician

Doing audio at the
Community Festival

First and foremost was definitely time, I spent most of my high school afternoon’s splicing films, preparing sound and lighting equipment for performances and maintaining & repairing the equipment. Thankfully I had a band at the time also, which helped me have a glimpse of a social life every so often; without that I would probably still be sitting at home, curled up in a ball from not knowing how to interact socially.

What makes Brad Holder‘s story unique?

The most interesting part about what I do is the connection between each of my interests – eg: Through HYLC we have used equipment from my small business – P.C.C. Productions, to host concerts at the Matt Dann Cultural Centre – the venue work at, for acts sourced from my position on the WA Music Regional Roundtable which has given me experience to bring to the table on the Circuitwest & Techwest Theatre Associations. I believe very strongly that collaboration between areas of one’s life is a very important key to success and when combined with passion for doing what you love, it’s unstoppable.

Brad Holder Music

Brad Holder Music

What are you currently working on?

I just recorded my first single at The Studio Couch in Perth which is really exciting.  It was a present from my girlfriend who wanted me to record something.  It was amazing. The song I recorded is actually written for her.  It was very exciting to record a song in the same studio that Birds of Tokyo, John Butler and a lot of really big acts.  I got to work with an amazing producer.  From there I’ve uploaded it to itunes and have just recorded a videoclip for it as well which will be released soon.

Did you have much opposition or support?

Brad Holder

Brad Holder

It’s an amazing community up here (in Port Hedland).  I’ve had support the whole way through the process. I’ve even been nominated for awards – things like that have kept me going. I won the (Port Hedland) Active Citizenship Award twice which is incredible.  There’s been lots of little pushes from the Hedland community to keep doing & to support me in what I’m doing.

What do you love about doing business in your location?

Being based in Port Hedland means our nearest town is Karratha – 200km away, or the other direction is Broome – 600km away. This can create some interesting barriers particularly working in a field where you are quite isolated – there is no other theatre in the Port Hedland area, and only one other professional production company which means you’ve got to get supply orders perfect, you can’t just pop over to your nearest lighting shop and buy a globe to fix your light.

This brings me to my favourite part – the challenges. I constantly work from the old sayings ‘Where there is a will, there is a way – it’s just finding it’ and ‘Improvisation is key’. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial improvisation is.

How does your business contribute to your community?

West End Markets

West End Markets

I often get asked about the benefits of arts in the community; there’s often the perception that arts is just about fun, it’s just the ‘extra’ and isn’t necessary to a community.  If budget cuts happen, it’s the often first thing to go. I beg to differ about that perception – hear me out…

Arts in general can provide an outlet for people to express themselves, whether it is visual art, musical, or simply just writing a poem. The first thing this does is encourage the artist to be creative and think outside the square – growing the brain in a healthy way which can benefit people in other areas of their life such as their work life. Secondly it enables them to express themselves through a safe medium. Thirdly in most cases, it’s social – to be a performer, you need someone to perform to; to be an exhibiting artist; you need someone to exhibit to. This alone encourages people out of their homes and into the neighbourhood where they connect with one another and engage in growing a community rather than just growing a town through markets and festivals.

NWF Battle of the Bands

NWF Battle of the Bands

My last point is probably the most important, the arts create a sense of enjoyment in your community, bringing new faces to town and retaining them. Port Hedland is a mining town with a large portion of it Fly in, Fly Out (FIFO) workers, so enjoyment of arts gives people a great reason to relocate their families to town instead of sticking with the ‘It’s just a working town’ mindset. This boosts the economy of local businesses because suddenly there are new families in town, which need to utilize the town’s local services and it ensures that money being made in the town is spent in the town creating more funding for capitol projects in the future.

To see a theatre full of smiling faces, thoroughly enjoying a magical performance unfold before their eyes is the whole reason I do what I do.

What would you recommend for people who want to live their creative dream?

“Where’s there’s a will there’s a way”. It’s just about finding the way. I think that’s the thing with any situation, just find a way to do it.  Anything’s possible; it’s just how do you make it possible?

Contact Details:

Brad Holder
Matt Dann Cultural Centre
Hamtilon Rd, South Hedland WA 6722
Website: www.mattdann.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/mattdannculturalcentre
P: (08) 9158 9368

Brad Holder
Website: www.pccproductions.com.au
Website: www.bradholder.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bradholdermusic
M: 0447632936


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