Storytelling is an intimate art form
It’s so important that each child feel respected, I am careful in the way that I speak with each group. For younger children I include more songs and physical activity, while for older grades the stories have relatively more mature content suited to their emotional and cognitive levels. Fortunately, folktales are inherently interesting for almost every level. I have seen so many audiences after 27 years, I know how to “read” them and have a huge repertoire to cull from. I love having all feel comfy and open and use my inherent enjoyment of people of all ages, and wish for them to feel good to guide me. It works.
What is the best audience size?
As with all educational settings, the lower the ratio between teacher and students, the better. Storytelling is an intimate art form, yet is performed well with a microphone for larger audiences. I do my best to give you the most I can for your budget. I recommend, if possible, an audience of no more than 200. (Larger than that means some children are physically far removed from the performer.)
What is your fee?
Please call to discuss fees and booking dates. Block booking discounts are available for shows in the same school, on the same day.
How far in advance should I call to book you?
Sometimes I am available on short notice, depending on the season, show and occasion, so call any time, but for meeting your preferences the sooner, the better.
Do you have a P.A. system?
Yes. I need a grounded electrical outlet. I need enough room for myself to stand
and move laterally in front of the audience
What kind of space do you need for your performance?
I need enough room for myself to stand and move laterally in front of the audience, and room for children occasionally to share the stage with me. If I am bringing a p.a. system, then I need a performance “stage” of approximately 5 feet deep by the length of the front row. I prefer to stand on the floor, with children sitting on the floor, the youngest in front and oldest in back. A center aisle allows me to get physically closer to those in the back This helps increase their feeling of contact with me, and involvement in the performance. In order to accommodate 200 children, most schools use a gym or multipurpose room; if possible, a library or smaller, acoustically more quiet room is greatly preferable as a setting it increases intimacy, connection and involvement. The best storytelling is not a spouting forth, but an implicit dialog between teller and listeners.
What do you need from us?
I need an address a GPS will love, please. A medium sized table is helpful for my props. Stopping any announcements or bells during performance will help eliminate disruptions. In school, when adults participate and sit with their kids, kids take a cue from this great modeling. Adults who truly “attend” tell me they find programs “wonderful.”
We want to make this as beneficial experience as possible for all. What’s your advice?
You work hard to raise funds. I will do everything in my power to make this an enriching as well as entertaining experience. Tell the children ahead of time that a minstrel is coming. Talk about what will happen (generally), that they will hear stories and music in a live performance. Explain that this isn’t like television or in movies-in this show, what they do contributes to the outcome! Sometimes they will need to listen politely, sometimes they will be asked to participate in different ways-singing, clapping, dancing, using masks or even acting out a story.