West End theatre star turned butler Jody Crosier was awarded the City and Guilds' Medal for Excellence. He spoke to Janie Stamford about switching careers
Congratulations on the award. What does this recognition mean to you?
I was very surprised to have won, but proud to have done so. I was recognised for my achievement in level three City and Guilds International Professional Butlers' Diploma, and I hope it reflects well on the University of West London's excellent course.
You were previously a professional actor. Why make the switch to hospitality?
I enjoyed my entertainment career very much but I had been on tour for many years, which meant I was constantly away from friends and loved ones. I was also starting to repeat certain types of roles so felt that I had done everything I'd wanted to do. I craved a job with a little more security, as being an actor means you never know where your next pay cheque is coming from.
Has your acting career helped you in your new role as a butler?
I think acting has many parallels with the hospitality industry. It seemed natural to bring the skills I'd practised in theatre to working at the Savoy, which aims for the highest standards. Common skills include teamwork, attention to detail, improvising, playing a part and, of course, excellent inter-personal skills. All with a little bit of "showbiz". After all, we're all there to entertain and "put on a performance" for our guests to some degree.
How did your training at the University of West London prepare you for your professional butler career?
The Butler Diploma course is presented in conjunction with the Royal Household and delivered by industry veterans who really know their stuff. Thus the course has a pedigree that makes it unique. City & Guilds ensure it is delivered in a systematic and practical way, and with quality teaching. I was also a mature student as well as a career-changer, and the course equipped me to enter an industry in which I'd never before worked.
What advice would you give to future newcomers to the profession?
Be prepared to work really hard, and remember that every situation, good or bad, can be a learning opportunity.