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Dan Abbott - It's a drummer-diver's life

Dan lives in the United Kingdom and leads a busy career as a drummer. He directs a travelling drum show called iDrum and also works as the social media manager for White Shark Africa in Mossel Bay, all while pursuing his hobby of underwater photography, cinematography and diving under the name of Shark Man Dan. While humble about his versatility, he believes that every person has a duty to make things happen for him/herself.

“I come from the UK, I live about an hour east of London. There I work as a self-employed drummer, which gives me all the free time I want to give myself, and I use that time to go to different parts of the world with my underwater camera and film various marine life.

“My main source of income is playing the drums. I direct a drum show, it’s been going on seven and a half years now. It’s called iDrum – easy to remember. Basically, it’s like a show that involves a drum kit and another guy playing buckets and pots and pans, along to music. We go all over the UK with that show.

I got into underwater cinematography here in South Africa, in Mossel Bay, by being the media and conservation manager at White Shark Africa in 2014 and 2015. Back then I was just using a GoPro, but making all kinds of videos involving sharks and people, and then stitching it all together and kind of making things work that way. Then I gradually started upgrading my gear and going to different places. I’ve done a lot of filming in the Bahamas - great hammerheads, tiger sharks and bull sharks there. I’ve also filmed things like American alligators underwater, they’re quite fascinating. I spent a fair bit of time in the Red Sea as well and lot of different parts of South Africa. I still run all of White Shark Africa’s social media from wherever I am in the world while drumming or filming. I’m back now for a couple of months to progress my dive certifications a bit further, which I should have done ages ago, but I spent money on gear instead of qualifications. So I’m here for two months, working on getting to Dive Master, just to kind of overall improve my ability in the water which is quite important when you’ve got a large camera and a large predator in front of you - you want to learn how to handle it. I’ve always been a keen person on making things happen for yourself. The drumming for example, that kind of all happened because I forced it to happen. When I landed in South Africa as an intern, I remember saying to myself when I was getting off the plane, that I needed to make sure that I left here with a job, which I managed to do. Yeah, just kind of like, pushing yourself to make things happen and not waiting for things to happen, that’s kind of been my way of doing things. Which you have to do 100% if you’re going to be self-employed in anything, no matter what it is.
Dan Abbott is also a drummer, when he's not diving or working for White Shark Africa in the Garden Route.

“I work as a self-employed drummer, which gives me all the free time I want to give myself, and I use that time to go to different parts of the world with my underwater camera and film various marine life."

“I got into underwater cinematography here in South Africa, in Mossel Bay, by being the media and conservation manager at White Shark Africa in 2014 and 2015. Back then I was just using a GoPro, but making all kinds of videos involving sharks and people, and then stitching it all together and kind of making things work that way. Then I gradually started upgrading my gear and going to different places. I’ve done a lot of filming in the Bahamas – great hammerheads, tiger sharks and bull sharks there. I’ve also filmed things like American alligators underwater, they’re quite fascinating. I spent a fair bit of time in the Red Sea as well and lot of different parts of South Africa.

“I still run all of White Shark Africa’s social media from wherever I am in the world while drumming or filming. I’m back now to progress my dive certifications a bit further, which I should have done ages ago, but I spent money on gear instead of qualifications. I’m now working on getting to Dive Master, just to kind of overall improve my ability in the water, which is quite important when you’ve got a large camera and a large predator in front of you – you want to learn how to handle it.

“I’ve always been a keen person on making things happen for yourself. The drumming for example, that kind of all happened because I forced it to happen. When I landed in South Africa as an intern, I remember saying to myself when I was getting off the plane that I needed to make sure that I left here with a job, which I managed to do. So yeah, just pushing yourself to make things happen and not waiting for things to happen, that’s kind of been my way of doing things.”

As a hobby, Dan Abbott also films underwater wildlife in the Garden Route of South Africa and elsewhere in the world.

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