Monday, February 26, 2007

It Makes It All Worthwhile!

This past Saturday I was performing at a birthday party. The party went great and the kids were an awesome audience. That part is fairly normal. The party was at a church in a large room with a small stage in it and the set-up was very nice. Now, when you entertain children for a living, you get to see all kinds of things and experience all kinds of behavior - some good and some bad.

With that said, I want to congratulate and thank the birthday child for making my day! His name is Walker and he was turning 6 years old. Walker enjoyed the show and let me know, but the thing that impressed me most of all was this: After the show was over and all the children ate their cake and then went out to play, Walker came up to me before going outside and asked if I needed any help packing up my stuff! Now, most children wouldn't think about that - they would go straight out with their friends and have fun, but Walker showed that he wanted to make sure that I didn't need any help first. What a great testimony from a young child!

So, Walker, just to let you know - you most definitely made my day and reminded me why I love to entertain children! Thanks.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Authors of Mystery and Horror Show Booking Up!

Greetings everyone!

Last year's "Edgar Allan Poe Reading Show" has been expanded and is now known as "Authors of Mystery and Horror." For those of you who have not seen the show, you can find out more information on my website. The response this year has been great - I just contacted the libraries that booked the program last year, and have already filled up almost 2 full weeks in October! The show can be booked all year (expect for the summer due to the Vacation Reading Program) but October and November are by far have the most sought after dates!

This show is really fun for me to perform, as I have always loved to read spooky and mysterious novels and stories - especially Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. There is nothing like reading with the lights down low and having Poe's The Raven come to life in your imagination. And the neat thing is, it was one of Poe's characters that inspired Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes!

Besides those two authors, I also like to read the famous novels like Dracula, Frankenstein, and many other scary tales! Now I am able to share that love with teens, and do so in a way that hopefully makes them curious about the authors and stories to the point of doing some reading about them on their own!

If you are thinking this would be a good way to get teens into your library - give me a call or email and I'll share some ways that I can help you get the teens into the library - and some things that you can do to cut the cost of the show in half! I look forward to hearing from you! The dates are filling up fast, so take action NOW!

"Quoth the Magician - Nevermore!"

New Biography about Houdini

Hello everyone,

I wanted to let everyone know that there is a fairly new biography about Houdini that is now out - I just picked it up from my local library and am just starting on it. It's called The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero and it's written by William Kalush and Larry Sloman. There are some very interesting theories about Houdini that are developed from a huge amount of material that the authors were able to bring together - including lots of Houdini's personal letters. I have found that most people only know a little about Houdini's life - and most of what people know is not accurate - thanks in part to Houdini himself. He was always reinventing how he marketed himself - sometimes making up things that were not true - making himself seem larger than life.

A perfect example, most people think Houdini died performing one of his stunts - which is not the case. I won't tell you the real way that he died - go read a book about Houdini and you'll find out! That is one of the many facts I introduce to people in my "Authors of Mystery and Horror" show for library teen programs - along with some very strange and interesting facts about Houdini's relationship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlock Holmes fame. Very few people also know that Houdini himself was an author - having written several books - some that affected his relationship with Doyle...are you curious yet?!? Go read a book!

Finally, do you know what date that Houdini died on? It makes for a great story - and it doesn't end there - after his death things got even more strange...

I would tell you what I mean...but it's much more fun to go and find out yourself by digging around in a good book or two...have fun reading!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Attending the 2007 Children's Services Annual Conference!

Greetings everyone!

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Children's Services Conference in Macon a few days ago, and I had an awesome time. It is always fun seeing lots of children's librarians/friends that have had me as part of their programs over the years. The conference center in Macon is also very nice, and lunch was great (thanks to Mrs. Elaine and all the other local librarians who saved me a seat!).

It was also great meeting so many new folks. This year I was really wanting to get the word out about my "Authors of Mystery and Horror" Teen Program, and lots of youth workers stopped by to pick up a brochure and watch a demo of the floating table - that trick even amazes me! It is my desire to help libraries bring in more teens - as so many teens tend to fall by the wayside when it comes to reading and taking advantage of their public library - and any part that I can play to bring in a few and plant some seeds of curiosity I'll do!

Feel free to leave me a comment or an email anytime if you have any questions about anything you saw or got information on at the booth! Have a great day all and thanks for what you do for children, youth, and the love of reading!