Meet Onboard Seminar Leader Richard Hatch

| Wednesday, 26 Mar. 2008

Workshop leaders like TV actor Richard Hatch can enrich the cruise experience with life-changing lessons.

"Lucky is the person who is truly happy in life," the saying goes, "and rare it is to find such a person." So I thought, until I met Richard Hatch.

 
Hatch as "Captain Apollo" on the set of "Battlestar Galactica"   Richard Hatch calls speaking his "professional hobby"

If the name sounds familiar to you, it is because he is an actor of some renown. You may know him best as Captain Apollo on the original "Battlestar Galactica" TV series, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination. He's also known for his work in the re-imagined Galactica show on the Sci-Fi Network. Earlier, he had roles in "The Streets of San Francisco" and "All my Children." He also produces, directs, and has written eight Battlestar books.

But his most interesting talent may be what he calls his "professional hobby," teaching. Today, Hatch gives seminars -- often on cruise ships -- as one of his main passions.

Richard Hatch has been presenting a series of life-changing workshops for several years, with topics like relationship-building, acting for the non-actor, and success-building. Hatch says his 30 years of life study, research, and personal experience, combined with cutting-edge communications skills help people to achieve their maximum potential.

Corporate clients he has worked with include RocketDyne, AMGEN, Windstar, Mensa and Synergy One. Hatch says these company presentations pay the bills, but he most enjoys giving reasonably priced seminars for private groups, especially members of his tremendous fan base.

Since Hatch was a trailblazer in bringing motivational seminars to sea, I asked him what special challenges he encountered giving workshops on cruise ships.

"It's actually easier to present my talks in land-based venues," he says, "because people (on ships) are in 'cruise mode.' Almost as soon as they step onboard, they want to tune out and just relax. And who can blame them? Cruise ships naturally have that effect on people, and that's a good thing. We all need to step back and relax from our normally hectic lives."

"So, how do you adjust for their mindset?" I asked.

"I purposely keep the talks short and add fun exercises like role playing. That picks up the pace and makes it more interesting. You won't find people falling asleep in my workshops," he laughs.

 
Hatch presenting one of his Workshops onboard   Richard Hatch -- actor, speaker, director, producer, and author

Hatch is quick to point out the unique benefits of the cruise audience's relaxed attitude. "On a cruise ship, people let their guards down. They are relaxed and want to have fun, bonding with other people. Lifelong friendships have been made on my cruises, business partnerships have been forged, and some people have even met their life-mates."

That synergy happens when the teacher becomes closely involved with his students. Unlike many workshop leaders, Hatch doesn't just give a talk and then run back to his stateroom.

"I get involved with the people in my workshops, and we plan to do a lot of fun things together around the ship and in port," he said. "It isn't usually a structured formal activity. More likely, a group of us will just decide to do this or that, and then we'll pass the word along to others. If they want to join us, they are more than welcome, but they certainly don't have to. It makes for a really nice time and allows people to bond, not just with me, but with each other. That's actually the key to how life-changing relationships are forged on one of my cruises. People don't necessarily bond in the formal workshops, but rather in the informal time we spend together outside of them."

I asked why he charges so much less for cruise seminars than for his corporate presentations.

"I don't want to anyone to miss what I do simply because of the price. That's why I purposely choose Carnival Cruise Lines to host my events. They offer some of the best deals around. Sure, there are more elegant cruise lines, but Carnival offers a nice middle ground. If people want more elegance, they can go to the onboard supper club for a meal, or book a suite. There's something aboard a Carnival ship to please everyone."

As for specific rates, "I charge a $100 hosting fee for the cruise, which I think is very fair," Hatch said. "I also present two to four different two-hour workshops while onboard. For these I charge $50 each. And what you get for that $50 is incalculable if you take advantage of all the opportunities to meet people and form relationships that I teach in my talks."

Richard completed one of his seminar cruises this past January. Another is planned for early 2009 (information will be up on his web site soon).

His onboard seminars include acting workshops, and I asked if he ever discovers new talent there.

"I never cease to be amazed at some of the talent for acting that everyday people have," Hatch said. "People don't realize how much they have to offer and that's particularly sad, because so often they sell themselves short. They settle for less in life than what they could have. It's funny, but a lot of people will set their creativity aside because they feel they have to do something 'practical' to make a living. They don't realize that if they just followed their heart and stuck to what they love and are good at, they would actually make more money than they ever thought possible.

That's the goal of his workshops, Hatch said -- "to help folks reconnect with their passion and discover their life's purpose. We all have something to give to the world, but first we have to learn to live our lives with courage, purpose and conviction. Hopefully, my workshops help people transform their natural fears and inhibitions into freedom, passion and aliveness. If I've managed to do that for even one person on the cruise, then I consider the event an overwhelming success."

He added that his seminar on relationships is designed to "empower folks to step outside of their safe shell and open up to others. Only by doing this can they form the relationships necessary for a happy life, whether those relationships involve love, business, creative ventures or anything else in between."

As for the acting workshop, participants shouldn't expect it to turn them into professionals overnight, Hatch said. "No two-hour workshop can do that -- but rather it will teach you the skills necessary to face your own personal issues and interact on a more basic level with others. It will help you learn how to deal with others from the heart, rather than only on the surface; and that's the key to happy and successful relationships in all areas of life. And I think I'm uniquely qualified to teach that one. I'm an actor, and no one can be a successful actor without having first dealt with his own personal demons."

Hatch's early life was not easy, and the things he dealt with probably made him into the actor he is today. "My mom had three different husbands when I was growing up," Richard told me. "We were always on the move, and because of that I had very little opportunity to form close relationships with others. I truly believe that my mom did the very best she could in raising me, but the fact is that my early years left a lot of scars. That's why I went on a 30-plus year quest to find healing and confront those early issues. That quest is still ongoing today."

In this era of highly paid motivational speakers like Tony Robbins, Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen, it's refreshing to find someone like Richard Hatch who is motivated, at least in part, by helping people. "My cruises aren't about making money," he tells me. "I have to be compensated for my time, but I'm blessed in having so many other things going that I can afford to do these seminars in large part for fun. As I said, I'm a natural born teacher and learner, and that's why I call my speaking work a 'professional hobby.'"

Richard will be presenting another of his seminars at sea, this time on a cruise to Alaska, in early 2009. For more information on his life-changing workshops at sea, just click here! (But if you're reading this at work, you might want to turn the volume down on your speakers first!)

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