Friday, July 31, 2009

A New Script is Hatching

After directing 30 kids in Three-3-III (a script I wrote), I made a note to self for next year's play which was "KISS" = "Keep It Short & Simple" (or "Keep It Simple, Stupid" according to some, but I can't go around calling myself "stupid" all the time; I might start to believe it. Anyway...). I was thinking I had made things short and simple with Three-3-III. I need shorter and simpler (would that be KISSER?) So I started writing the new script in my head, getting some characters, figuring out a storyline--I even wrote one song, too bad I didn't record it when I had the tune in my head. I'll try to remember it later...I'm lying. I'll never remember so I'll make up a new soon as I find the piece of paper with the words on it. Maybe I should just wait until the deadline nears, then I'm sure to write and record everything that needs writing and recording.

Well, then. I guess I'll say the script is in incubation instead.

(it's July 31 for another few minutes. I thought I'd write while it was still July--so I got in two posts. Yay.)

Balloon Twisting-the Attention Getter

I taught a few clowning skills to a group of 7-10 year olds this week and one of those skills was balloon twisting. We practiced almost every day. The kids twisted swords first (something that can be very simple), followed by simple animals. They made hats. They tried making curly-cues and 2-balloon hats and animals. We twisted--and popped--a lot of balloons. Today they had a little performance for family and friends. People were so impressed that the kids were making balloon animals, swords, and hats--and these were the adults.

Balloon twisting is rather fun. Today, I took my twisting supplies and a book of more difficult twists with me to a friend's house to practice while the kids (including teens) celebrated one girl's birthday. Kids can hear the pump a mile away. I made a hat for the birthday girl, and suddenly a 10 year old boy wanted something too. He was so excited. But he wasn't the only one. A big kid (translation: teenage boy) wondered if I could make him a sword (not unusual). Another girl wanted a hat. I made a couple of fishing poles with fish attached. I didn't get a chance to practice the more difficult twists in my book. I'll have to do that in my living room with the doors locked, the curtains drawn and a "do not disturb" sign on the front door!

Monday, July 27, 2009

What an Exhausting Week!

CET (Children's Educational Theatre) where I work for 5 weeks in the summer just ended Saturday. The mornings were classes, the afternoons were rehearsals (I did a cameo in the musical) and evenings were performances of the different shows that CET produces in those five weeks. Friday night was strike of the musical, Saturday morning was evaluation and further clean up, Saturday night was the fine arts concert and strike after that. Gadzooks! That's a lot of shows and a lot of clean up. FYI: the 30 children I directed did great. They even had the presence of mind to ignore (or catch) the tri-walled pillars on wheels that started moving when the wind came up (the performance was outdoors).

Now onto this busy week of teaching clowning skills at the children's museum and theater
skills for Educational Enrichment.

There has got to be a time to collapse, I just can't find space for it on the calendar.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Letting Off Steam

(I'm directing a show with 30 children, ages 8-10. It opens in less than a week. I'm just a bit exhausted.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Picture Book Story!

I've heard for several years now the picture book market is soft. So I really haven't written a lot of PB stories, though that's my favorite. After a brief discussion with a couple of writer friends, I realized we were writing stories and articles that seemed more likely to get published, not because we were enjoying what we were writing.That seems counterproductive. Why write if you're not loving it? And if you're not loving what you're writing it will show through.

So I wrote a picture book story today, 388 words. It was so much fun!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Snowball Fight in Mime

Snowball fights can be rough, even in mime, especially if you're the instructor of 25 kids. Snowballs in mime NEVER miss their target which is usually the face. Snowballs in mime can NEVER be dodged. If you are the instructor, do not walk across the room during the snowball fight and act as if you're above the mayhem, even if you're just trying to move something off the floor so no snowballer will slip on it. You've actually become The Moving Target and most of the children will want to hit you with a snowball. Do not react by dropping them to the floor and rubbing mime snow in their faces; that's as good as a thrown gauntlet to a knight--they will now want to see if they can take you down. Do not allow your teenaged Teacher's Assistant to yell out, "Get [Your Name inserted here]!" And never, NEVER allow them to take you down--be brave, be tough, even though they outnumber you. Instead, change the approach. Yell, "Let's make snow angels," and drop to the floor. Then they will all lie down on the floor and the snow flinging stops. The one advantage to a mime snowball fight is you don't get cold...quite the opposite, so open a window and turn on the fan before you start.