Check it out Cork: Witness The Quizness and Ringo Music Bingo goes online!

The challenges of social distancing has made Ronan Leonard have to adapt his career very quickly.
Check it out Cork: Witness The Quizness and Ringo Music Bingo goes online!

Ronan Leonard: Keeping busy during social distancing.

The challenges of social distancing has made Ronan Leonard have to adapt his career very quickly.

Hey there, I’m Ronan Leonard, you might know me around Cork, I’ve been writing for the Echo and Downtown about the Cork’s music and entertainment for over the last 15 years; I’ve been working doing the tickets at venue for even longer - if you’ve gone to gigs at The Lobby; The Savoy; Live At Saint Lukes and Coughlans etc I’ve probably left you in at some point. I DJ a bit as well and on top of all that I’m a performer - I’ve been running my Ringo: Music Bingo since 2004 and Table Quizzes even longer.

You’ve possibly seen me doing something at some point around the city, I reckon I’ve done well over 4000 gigs over the years… and what do they all have in common? They are all public jobs...but not the Public Service! So no pension, sick pay, option to work at home.

With the current close down of bars etc has pretty much cut off all my work and it’s hard to predict what the next ‘new normal’ will be like for entertainment freelancers after this ‘new normal’ has finished. My current career reminds me of a funny response I saw in the Echo’s Court Reports many moons ago when a defendant described himself as ‘Self-Unemployed’.

While there is so much uncertainty at the moment, the one thing I do know is that I need to immediately come up with some sort of income so I’ve moved my Ringo: Music Bingo and quizzes online via live streaming. Many of my peers have done similar, and in a way it feels like what the Gold Rush was like in the 1840s, we are all trying to work out systems that work for us before everyone is doing it, but in the big picture we aren’t rivals. In fact Colm (of Colm & Pat, who are The Quiz Guys) and I sat next to each other in 3rd class and were best friends. I wonder if our teacher back then wondered if our incessintant asking of questions would go on this long! Check out their quiz listings at www.livequiz.ie

While you don't need to be told what a quiz is, the Ringo: Music Bingo thing might need an explanation; basically it’s Bingo with bands instead of music. There you go, it’s that simple, it’s a game not a quiz. I had the idea in 2004 and started doing it every week in An Slainte (the old Oyster Tavern before it was demolished) and it’s been non-stop ever since, as the saying goes it’s been often copied but never equaled. I play the intro to the song, then give some comedy clues and then the name of the band - the important thing is it’s a game not a quiz, imagine playing Normal Bingo and they didn’t tell you the numbers! It’s what I called ‘Post Ironic Fun’ it’s just for the craic, in this case you go www.ringomusicbingo.com and you get sent you the sheets and the stream to watch it on.

Kids can play it as easily as Adults, you can’t be good or bad at it, it’s pure luck! I’ve specific rounds, an 80s music round; 90s music; Oldies and Goldies; Modern Pop; Movie & TV Themes Tunes; Britpop and loads of other themes. I promise you it is tremendous craic.

I didn’t want to just point my phone camera at myself and expect people to give me money, I want certain production values but with my limited resources I had to be creative, so I’ve become a sort of Mac-Guyver… in the sense that I’m using an old Apple laptop, my main Mac computer and my iPhone to put together a system where I am streaming live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch AND Instagram at the same time. It might sound like overkill but the numbers are showing there is an audience on all of them, and the audience is what I need as I’m essentially, what I call, ‘Internet Busking’ - people support what I’m doing via Paypal or Patreon.

I’m doing a lot of different things, every day, 7 days a week. For instance at 10am I do a quiz for 6ish to 10ish year olds (it’s more fun that school!) and I finish each day with a general knowledge quiz at 10pm for Adults - with several quizzes at different times during the day - and then there’s my Ringo: Music Bingo too. I’m essentially live streaming 5 or 6 forty minute shows per day. It sort of feels like I’m running an old cornershop with me living upstairs, never really leaving the house. This will be the new normal for the next while, so this will be my ‘job’. However I’ve always believed in ‘Rising Tides lift all boats’ and since I’ve created somewhat of a revenue stream I am doing each quiz at 8pm for a different charity every day

The best thing to do is look at my listings via @thequizness on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube or @WitnessTheQuizness on Facebook or www.thequizness.com - I will be there ‘busking’ away and mentioning as many other things and businesses that I can from around Cork and further afield. Maybe you’ll check out what I am up to which we are all social distancing and oh yeah… after this is all over I am DEFINITELY available for Bookings and Staff Parties!

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