Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Magic storytelling ring and piggy gastronomics

Two show day today and one of the good things about it was that they were both in the same centre - a Creche and Kindergarten Association centre on Brisbane's inner northside. I really do like performing in C&K Centres. The staff are very professional and very human.

I always feel well supported as well. At one stage I 'caught my throat'. One of the staff noticed and immediately signaled another staff member to get me a glass of water. A nice big glass quickly and quietly arrived. Ahh relief.

Looking after my voice is one of my personal challenges as a storyteller. I enjoy going out on vocal edges and sometimes my throat pays for it. For example I was doing my crazy version of the Three Little Pigs for some preschoolers. My little pigs jumped into the bowl of pig breakfast food and were extremely messy and vocal in expressing their gastronomic piggyness. Somewhere in the middle of that improvisation it felt like the big bad wolf had gone for my throat and that there would be no sound left if I wasn't careful. I was immediately more careful. Actually I notice, I am getting better at providing good muscular support for my vocal athletics.

Had fun today with one of my favourite storytelling creations - 'Aidan and the Murray Cod'. I created the story with a group of kids in the Rochester Library near Echuca in Victoria. It's a great fishing tall story set in the local Campaspe River. It gives me a chance to introduce the kids to some of the local fish species including that dreadful pest species the European Carp.

I used to think when I first started telling stories to children that you couldn't tell 'tall stories' to preschool children. How wrong I was and today's telling of 'Aidan and the Murray Cod' certainly proved it. These four and five year olds were rolling around the floor and laughing their heads off. After the story, which includes a reference to a magic ring that pops out of a Carp's mouth, one of the boys said, "I'm wearing a ring."

Well I invited him out and we created a new story about a boy on holidays with his parents in the US. They found a magic ring in a woodpecker's tree hole and the fun went on from there.

It was a good two show day.

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