When people ask me what I do, I often respond with, “I’m an interactive storyteller.” But most people (understandably!) have a hard time understanding what that means. Until you’ve seen what I do it can be difficult to describe. For a long time I’ve wanted to add videos to my website to give people a taste of what I do. However, since I use audience participation, I can’t post videos publicly without signed release forms.
After working with a particular school two years in a row on two different residency projects, I asked the teachers if they’d be willing to send home some release forms so that I could take videos. They agreed! Finally I had a date on the calendar for the recording of some of my stories during their last week of school.
Then we ran into a glitch. Ohio weather! The weather report was showing rain on the day of their field trip to a local mini-golf/go-kart place. The teachers asked if we could switch dates so that the students wouldn’t have to lose their field trip.
I didn’t have anything else on my schedule for the newly proposed day, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a babysitter. The teachers didn’t skip a beat. “Bring your kids. We can watch them while you perform.” After having worked closely with these teachers over the past two years, I had full confidence that my kiddos would be in good hands.
So while I performed, one of the teachers took my little ones strolling through the school hallways. Eventually they found one of my three-year old’s favorite places – the library! By the time they returned at the conclusion of my performance, Rafael had a SpiderMan book from the library in one hand and a dinosaur book that had been given to him by a teacher in the other.
Rafa warmed right up to the 4th graders who were eager to read him his books. Some of the students even had him sign their yearbooks. He also participated in his first game of Duck Duck Goose. He had the time of his life! And his mom finally had some videos of her work – thanks to some awesome teachers who made it possible!
I should add that when the teachers moved the field trip, the students were genuinely concerned. “What about Miss Lindsay? . . . If we’re going on the field trip today, does that mean she isn’t coming anymore?” After looking forward to my visit for weeks, the students weren’t willing to miss it — even if that meant giving up mini-golf! I have to say – it felt pretty good to know that my stories rate right up there with mini-golf and go-karts!
Stay tuned — very soon I’ll have some videos to share with you!