"Year of the Adopted Family" book release

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

School Schedules: Practices with "Real" Audiences

Anytime someone listens to one of my stories, I have an audience.

Sometimes that audience is the grand total of one person such as when I meet with my story buddies every week for each story in the "Family Famine: Hunger for Love" premiere.

However, a "real" audience is usually when my performance is expected to be polished to some degree. I also tend to think of a "real" audience as being at least 10 people so I have more reactions to absorb while telling the tale.

Denae Palm, the Weber State University senior undergraduate student who is dedicating 30+hours to my program, has one of her core responsibilities to schedule practices with schools from upper elementary to high school.

At the same time, this will spread the word about the event whether or not practices are schedules.

The schools are being told upfront that these are practices, and thus a $50.00 donation is requested rather than my regular fee. There is the understanding that I will ask for feedback from the audience, students and teachers.

The 1st schools to respond have 1st choice of story:
  • The Changeling, an Irish story bookended with a personal tale that indirectly addresses verbal and physical abuse (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for feedback)
  • Forsaken Brother, an Ojibwa tale with soundscapes with guitarist Joshua Payne and upright bass player Geoffrey Rayback that focuses on abandonment (20 minutes plus 5-minute opening story, 5-minute closing story--as Ojibwa tale ends sadly--, and 10 minutes for feedback)
  • The Gardener's Wife, a Colombian tale with two original songs to be sung as duet with Holly Robison and focuses on adoption (40 minutes plus 10 minutes for feedback)
When Denae made calls, the first principal to schedule a date and time was from Bates Elementary School. He chose the Colombian story on adoption. Of the 4th, 5th, or 6th grades, the best behaved grade would hear the story on January 30th at 1:00pm.

Luckily, that date and time worked for Holly Robison since she sings duet with me for the story.

Later in the day, Denae received a call back from a high school special education teacher to discover if I would be interested to telling for her students. I let Denae know that I was open to such requests because then the story could be tested to see if it would reach all kinds of students.

We shall see what other practices will be scheduled before the premiere day on February 9th.

Until we tell again,

Rachel Hedman
Professional Storyteller
Former Co-Chair of Youth, Educators, and Storytellers Alliance (2005-2008)
Tel: (801) 870-5799
Email: info@rachelhedman.com
Performance Blog: http://familyfamine.blogspot.com
Other places to find me: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Professional Storyteller

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