Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Earth Day Everyday

Earth Day has been and gone, but we should be conscious of our environment everyday.  My family went to see a documentary called "Bag It!" which is all about plastic.  Christine Giordano who made it did not think that plastic was bad, she just thought that we could do a damn sight better job of recycling and making better products - such as getting rid of single use plastic bags.  We, at home, already recycle and use reusable bags, but we bought cotton bags to put things like produce in and investigated some more robust bags which use recycled material.  A company which make incredibly durable reusable bags from recycled plastic bottles is Chico Bags and another, who make the cotton produce bags, is EcoBags.  Christine Giordano told an amazing story and since seeing this movie we have increased our awareness more than it already was.  If you get the chance to see the story of plastic, check out where Bag It! is playing or bring it to your own community.

On another and completely different note, this weekend (29th April to the 1st May) I will be performing with a slew of other storytellers at the Connecticut Storytelling Festival in New London, CT.  There is a truly incredible collection of tellers that will be there, including the headlining Choctaw storyteller Tim Tingle.  If you have not already got your tickets, go on line now or call the Connecticut Storytelling Center.  This is an event not to be missed. Imagine - a weekend of stories!  Ahhh, bliss!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Working the Crowd

Last night I went to the Mount Washington Resort and Hotel, New Hampshire to tell stories at the travel summit they were hosting for Discover New England. If you want to visit the Mount Washington Resort and experience this event, it runs until tomorrow, the 6th April.  And the one room I was in I think is a great reason to go.

I arrived with plenty of time to set up after I found the room I was to tell tales in.  In each room there were different events and foods.  In my room the food was also the event - it was candy!  Imagine a large room with a huge table in the center of it.  Now imagine in the center of the table a tree decorated with lights to look like an inverted chandelier.  Now imagine around the tree, tier after tier, plate after plate of fine candies and chocolates, pralines, dipped strawberries, candied apples decorated in so many different ways, and nuts presented with such exotic tastes.  And there was me in a corner trying not to be distracted by the mouth watering goodies and atempting to tell stories to people.  People who were wandering in in small groups discussing the salads this room, the cheese in that room (why didn't they put me with the cheese - ah, the torture!), or the rock and band in another suit!  And don't forget the skiing!

Artwork by Rob Brookes, copyright 2010
It was impossible to tell to the room without overpowering the space with me and I did not want to spoil the ambiance of the event! So I looked around for a small friendly looking group, and with my drum, made my way over to them.  A gentleman and two ladies.  I told them the story of the Dragon and the Monkey's Heart.  Another group was watching me slyly so I drifted over there, gently playing my bodhrán as I went. I told them a story about a couple of pick-pockets.  Another group I told the story of the Song Unsung and Story Untold.  From one group to another I made my way round and round the room, shortening stories so I did not take up too much of people's time, but giving them, I hope a special and intimate tale.  I hope this added to their experience of the evening - candy to the ears and mind, to go with candy on the table!