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 of...you 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!