Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Introducing Tobias Kane Crews!

Greetings Everyone!
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you all the newest edition to our family - Tobias Kane Crews.  He was born on Tuesday, November 27th and weighed in at 5lbs, 12oz with a height of 19.5 inches.  He shall henceforth be known as least until my daughter gives him a nickname like she did her younger brother Grady - now known as Buddy.

Toby was born 5 weeks ahead of schedule (and caused the rescheduling of a week of school programs), and he had to have a little help breathing the first night but by the next morning he was breathing on his own and he came home Thursday afternoon!

But enough about that - here are some pics! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Great Visit to North Georgia Schools!

Greetings Everyone!
I have had the pleasure of spending two days up in the Dalton, GA area performing at two of their elementary schools.  I had a blast at both schools and have a few highlights to share here on the blog! 

Highlight #1  On the first day of the trip, I was able to have a special meet and greet during lunch with two students selected from each class.  We all ate in the media center and I think everyone had a great time - the kids asked some awesome questions and we had some fun discussions on magic, magicians, and books.  I also met one student who was a fellow magician - and he even showed me a card trick - and then he let me borrow the deck of cards for some impromptu card magic for everyone!  Fun times!  Below is a picture of the event!

Highlight #2  This photo of one of the teachers who is showing everyone her muscle.  Normally I have to show the volunteers what to do, but it was like she was reading my mind and knew exactly what to do ahead of time!  She even busted out a John Cena "You Can't See Me!" at the end.  Awesome volunteer!

Highlight #3  When I walked into the school on the second day of my visit I had a huge sign in the gym waiting for me, along with a smaller sign around the official "Autographing Station" where I signed posters for all the students who got one of my books.  I was also treated to a homemade meal by the media specialist which was scrumptious - and it even included homemade dessert!

Highlight #4  As I was getting ready to set up in front of the aforementioned sign, it was brought to my attention that a certain magical educator had made the front page of the local paper from the shows the day before.  I was given a copy of said newspaper and to say that I was excited is an understatement!  I can't wait for the article to be published that they are working on for a future addition!  Here's a brief glimpse of it! 

Highlight #5  Great audiences!  All eight shows had great groups of students and teachers in attendance.  Every show was fun and the folks who came up to volunteer all did amazing jobs.  Here's a brief clip of audience reactions and some of the student/teacher volunteers!  Enjoy!

This is a great shot of some super excited and surprised reactions!  They just saw the grand finale to the oldest magic trick in the world.  What is the oldest magic trick in the world?  Book the program for your school and find out! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Character Day!!!

Greetings All!
As I arrived at a middle school a few days back I couldn't help but notice that the students who were being dropped off look rather unique.  There was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, several black cats, Raggedy Ann, cowboys and cowgirls, Superman, Batman, Captain America, Sponge Bob, and many others getting out of vehicles and coming inside the building.  Upon further inquiry, I found out it was "Character Day."  It was also pep rally day, teacher appreciation day, and possibly some other type of day that I am forgetting.

I really knew it was a special day when I walked into the media center and, instead of finding the media specialist, I found Thor waiting on me!  I then made the mistake of telling Thor to "put the hammer down."  This is what happened after that:

It was a blast performing there all day and being able to get kids excited about seeing the classics.  Of course the best part was seeing all the awesome costumes during the shows.  I was assisted by the aforementioned characters as well as a nun, a princess, a hunter, and a ghost buster in full costume!  Here's a brief sample of a few of the cool folks who helped in the program!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Davey Crocket Hat + A Bear Book + Sprite in a Glass Bottle = Awesome Photo Opportunity!

On the tail end of a great few days of shows up in the mountains around Jasper, GA, I was able to stop by Tallulah Gorge and get a picture of some of the presents I got for the kiddos on the way back home.  As you can see, there is the coon skin hat (actually, I got two - one for Reagan and one for Grady), a book called "Every Autumn Comes the Bear" since my little girl loves bears -whether it's the Burke County Bears football team or the bears off of "Brave" - she is not picky. 

To make it perfect, the little shop was also selling Sprite in a REAL GLASS BOTTLE!!!  I could scarcely contain my excitement!  Not included in the picture was the chocolate pretzels that I got for my lovely wife - which were also a big hit considering she is 7 months pregnant. 

I also learned that a tight rope walker has actually crossed the Gorge in days gone by - and they have the pictures and articles to prove it!  That makes me dizzy just thinking about it as that is a LOOONG way to have to walk on a very small cable.  Thankfully he made it and everyone was very impressed.

A few days later and it was on to the North Georgia area for shows in Rome, Calhoun, Rockmart, and Cumming, GA.  One of my favorite parts of the tour was pulling up to the Rockmart Library and seeing the following sign:

That's right folks - Ms. Sharon, one of my favorite librarians to perform for had me a reserved parking area right in front of the library.  At least, I think it was for me as I waited and didn't see any other magicians drive up...   :)

Now, there's only one way to top your very own reserved parking space, and that is being able to set up in front of a FIREPLACE in the library!  There is nothing that says spooky and mysterious program than a fireplace for one's backdrop.  I was tempted to pull over one of the old chairs and sit down while I told the stories - maybe with some silk pj's and a robe on...and some bunny slippers. 

Here's a photo:

In the words of Poe from "The Raven" :

"And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor..."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Traveling Around...

Greetings Everyone! 
Ever wonder what an Educational Entertainer does while traveling around to schools all over the southeast?  Well here's a recap of the last few days!  After arriving in Greenville, SC this past Tuesday morning, I performed a total of 14 shows in three days at three different schools - one elementary, one middle, and one high school!  All the shows went great and the students were a blast to perform for.  Each evening it was back to the hotel room to rehearse for a new show that is going to be announced very, very soon. 

However, on Wednesday evening I did make some room in the schedule to go out to eat with some good friends from college and their two young kiddos - and I did show them a magic trick or two while waiting for our meal!  And as you can see, magic makes everyone your best friend!  Seeing these friends was definitely a highlight of the trip. 

After a lovely meal, it was time to head over to the mall and get a Coke Icee, one of my favorite treats in the whole world.  Then back to the hotel for another round guessed it...rehearsals. 

Once Thursday's shows were completed, it was back in the van for a trip over to Clayton, GA for shows at the local middle school.  What does one do when in Clayton?  I decided it was worth skipping the chain restaurants (except for a quick stop at Burger King for a, yep, Coke Icee) and hotel chains and go for a more local choice.  So, I first booked my hotel room at the historic Old Clayton Inn right on Main Street. 

After check-in it was time to go and look around for somewhere to eat, but first I couldn't resist stopping at the lovely "Goats On The Roof" attraction right off the main drag.  This was another highlight of my trip and something I shall not soon forget.  A roof built of grass and goats relaxing while getting ready to do some "star grazing."  See what I did there?!?

After having my fill of goats on the roof, it was time to stop over at "Oinkers" BBQ Family Restaurant.  Let me tell you, this was the happening place in town.  Almost every table was filled with families devouring some pork, and I can see why - that BBQ was AWESOME!!!  And you get a BBQ sandwich, two sides, a drink, and dessert (pumpkin pie for me) all for less than $10.  You can't beat those prices!  Highly recommended by yours truly. 

Now it's back to the hotel to figure out how to use Facetime on the Ipad so I can talk with the wife and kids back home whom I miss terribly while being out on the road. Finally, it's time for more...yes, even more...rehearsals followed by a good night's rest before tomorrow's middle school programs and then the long drive home to my family!  

Fun times!  

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Mural of Favorite Authors, Books, and Stories!

What does one do when asked to "do something" with the "movie" room.  If you are an educational entertainer, then you contact a mural artist to paint your favorite scenes from favorite stories all across the walls!  The idea started with a mural that was painted for me by the students at Hull Middle School a few years ago - which I was able to take home this past year after performing for them.  That is the highlight of the Edgar Allan Poe themed wall below.  The rest is from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.  Enjoy the pictures! 

The Edgar Allan Poe Wall.  Note the Hull Middle mural in the center!  The quote is from the Raven.

 A more intimate view of Fortunato!

 Below is the Balrog from Lord of the Rings. 

 A close up view of the Balrog!

 The White City of Gondor from Lord of the Rings!

 The Eye of Sauron and Mount Doom.

 The Hogwarts Express heading to the castle.

And here is Hogwarts!

The talented artist who painted these is Ashley Hartsock from Augusta, GA!  If you or your school are interested in having her do some mural work for home, media center, or anywhere else in your school, church, rooms, etc, then look below to see her contact info!  You may recognize the castle on her postcard!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Guinness Book of World Record School!

Today I had the privilege to perform for the students at the Savannah Country Day School as part of the day of celebration for completing their Reading Challenge and coming in sixth place.  Not sixth place in Savannah, not sixth place in Georgia, not sixth place in the United States, but sixth place in the WORLD!!!!!  They will now be recognized, along with the rest of the top twenty schools, in the Guinness Book of World Records put out by Scholastic!  How exciting - and I got to perform for them!  And on a real stage in a great auditorium no less!  Great way to start the fall season of school programs.

Here's a link to the article:  World Record Readers!

 I hope these students inspire everyone to READ, READ, READ!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Poe Puppet Show!

Ever wanted to experience the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe in puppet form?  Then look no further than The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta this coming February and March as they present "The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe."  Click Poe Puppets! for more info.

I will most definitely be attending this awesome show!  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Raven Performed to Music!!!!

Hello to all of my fellow Poe fans out there!  I have recently come across a GREAT way to introduce "The Raven" to students in middle and high school.  Kristen Lawrence is a classically trained organist and musician who has recently released a CD of Poe's "The Raven" done to music.  It is awesome and you can listen to it at the link below by clicking the "YouTube" button on her page!  Better yet, she also has lesson plans that you can download for FREE right off her site!  I would then encourage you to go and buy the CD on iTunes, Amazon, or through her website. 

Kristen Lawrence - Music for the Halloween season

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Here is a great article and interview about last summer's "Around the World with a Book" show that went along with the "One World, Many  Stories" theme.  This specific show was in the Bull Street Library in Savannah, GA - one of the many libraries on a two week tour of Savannah's library system that I do each summer. 

Savannah Article and Interview

And here is a video that the Savannah Library posted on their website.  They wanted a quick blurb about what I do and I was told that we could do multiple takes if we needed to.  How many takes did we need - just one - cause that's how I roll!  :)

Video Interview


Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Reading Ends and the School Year Begins...

Summer Reading has come and gone and now it's time to start the school year with shows all over the southeast.  Below are a few links to some articles about the new elementary program the "I Dream of Reading Extravaganza!" which has been performed in over 70 libraries during the summer.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Greetings Everyone!  Below you will find a link to a nice little article about my "Around the World with a Book" program for elementary schools.  This is from the North Augusta Today newspaper.  Hope you enjoy!

Magician hopes his act motivates pupils to read | North Augusta Today