Unless you knew him, the inimitable John Wansbrough wouldn't lecture you with the story of his illustrious career in theatre and television.
The audio producer and photographer at the New Zealand Opera School was born and brought up in Whanganui, but left at 21 to take up a position as an audio engineer in Auckland with New Zealand's first record label, TANZA, that included radio and TV commercials.
But during a trip to London in the 1960s, he was offered the role of production and stage manager for the memorable Black and White Minstrel Show on the West End, completely changing his holiday plans. There were two shows a night, at 6.15pm and 8.45pm, not to mention rehearsals during the day.
"It was always exciting, always busy, and there I was right in the middle of London in the 60s ... Carnaby St and all that," Wansbrough said.
Even though he wasn't keen to return to New Zealand, he knew he had work in television to come back to.
From 1966, just four years after the start of television in New Zealand, Wansbrough worked for 25 years at TVNZ as a floor manager, producer, director and was head of entertainment programmes.
He remembers working with the NZ Symphony Orchestra, renowned jazz singer the great Sarah Vaughan, James Galway, Cleo Laine and Johnny Dankworth, as well as producing TVNZ's telethons and other productions including It's in the Bag and Beauty and the Beast. His directorial list goes on, including top-notch shows and classics like A Week of It and the McPhail and Gadsby programmes.
Wansbrough worked with Sir David Frost in Frost Over New Zealand, Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett), Kenny Rogers, Dudley Moore and Sir Harry Secombe.
"It's name dropping at a spectacular level," he said.
After his days in television, Wansbrough went on to become dean of arts and media at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, set up the television production unit at Southern Institute of Technology, and now has his own audio production company.
"And I was an utter failure at school because I spent most of my spare time learning stagecraft and management at the Royal Whanganui Opera House.''
He has now spent 10 years with the New Zealand Opera School.
He had read about the school and, being a family friend of the Trott family, contacted executive director Donald Trott and asked if he could help.
Wansbrough believes you should do what you have to do to achieve your ambitions (not dreams).
"Work around the obstacles ... never say no to any opportunities.''