Friday, April 28, 2006

More busyness

This has been a great month so far. I know, it's the 28th, so there are only a couple of days left. I expect them to be great as well.

In the middle of the month, I had a couple of performances for kindergarten, first and second graders at Sunset Hill Elementary School here in Lawrence, recorded for posterity by Bad Haircut Productions. The goal was to make a demo DVD, but of course I start thinking bigger--can I get a DVD good enough to sell AND a CD out of the deal? I'll let you know. The guys at Bad Haircut (really, they're perfectly fine!) are mostly done, but I won't be able to look at the final product until mid-May.

What else has been happening? I've been to some excellent schools, including a full day in Chetopa, KS, where the kids were wonderfully ready to hear stories. Last week I was in Missouri, first doing a puppet workshop in Columbia, then at the Mid-Missouri Storytelling Festival. The main goal of that festival is to take storytelling out into Jefferson City and environs. I got to tell in Frankenstein, MO. It's probably good that I didn't do the Frankenstein song I know.

This week I went back to Sunset Hill for Asian Day preparation, telling stories to the entire school. Big group, but I think it worked. Then I was part of the Kansas City Storytelling Celebration, performing in a few venues around KC. That's still going on--if you're reading this before Saturday, April 29 and are within range, you might consider going to the big concert at Unity Temple on the Plaza in KC. I won't be there, but I'm sure it will be good.

Why won't I be there? Why won't I be able to see the demo until mid-May? Tomorrow I'm off on an adventure. I'm leaving for two weeks to Turkey and Bulgaria, with a couple of friends. It's not even a work trip, either. Not to say that there won't be any work, but it's not the purpose. We're just going to have a good time. I haven't been back in Bulgaria since 1993, and I've never been to Turkey. Can't wait!

Speaking of the trip, I'm not packed yet, so I'd better go do that. I might be able to send reports from the road, but no promises. It's all too possible I'll be busy drinking Turkish coffee and eating real yoghurt (among other things). One of my friends just sent me the schedule for the central puppet theater in Sofia. He knows one of the puppeteers. Hee hee!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Busy April

The month has begun well. This week I told stories at the Lawrence Community Nursery School (many small groupies there), at the library of the McConnell Air Force Base, at Oak Grove (MO) Elementary School, at the Village Presbyterian Church Child Care Center in KC and at two schools in Eudora, KS. Tomorrow I'll drive over to Columbia, MO for a performance at the public library, always a great venue.

I had a good time at all of these gigs. Some audiences were mostly little tinies, some were older kids.

The longest day was Tuesday. I left home at about 6:15 a.m. to drive to Wichita (around two and a half hours), did a 10:00 a.m. show at McConnell, then got in the car and drove to Oak Grove, MO for a 7:00 p.m. performance. I considered coming home in between, but I realized that I'd have only about an hour or two and I was unsure about rush hour traffic around Kansas City. I had a chunk of time anyway, even with having a nap in the car (yes, I do lock the doors, Mom), so I went to Cargo Largo. That's a gigantic odd-lots store, where you can find the weirdest stuff for low prices. Last year my friend Joyce and I found some Frankenstein boots with rubber spikes and two-inch platforms there. I still regret not buying them.

I had no such luck on this foray to Cargo Largo, though I did find Airborne for pretty cheap. I stocked up, as I'll be traveling a lot in the next few months.

Anyway, I went on from Cargo Largo in Independence, MO to Oak Grove, where I performed at a Family Reading Night. The gym was packed with kids and their parents, all lounging around on blankets and pillows. Very fun. It reminded me of how nice it is to let kids listen in whatever posture they find most comfortable, as long as they're not bugging anybody else. I do understand (and appreciate) teaching kids to be a good audience, but it's nice to let them relax sometimes.

They were all quite relaxed at the end, when I told The Gunniwolf--that story often calms listeners down after some of the wilder stories. I suspect many of the younger kids fell asleep in the car on the way home. I didn't, fortunately, though I had an hour and a half to drive home.

I was away from home for about 15 hours, so when I finally did get home, I fell right into bed. Zzzz.