Out of any career I could pick, I picked the hardest one for me.
When I told my teachers that my goal was to be a homemaker someday, they shook their heads in disapproval.
“What a waste,” they said.
Little did they know how prophetic their implications would be.
It be Talk Like a Pirate Day and ye'll be walkin' the plank if ye don't talk like a pirate. Lucky for you, thare be a treasure trove o' books to celebrate.
The stage is in my blood. I was hooked from the first play I saw. The way I remember it, My Dad was the star (he played a chimney sweep) and I was wearing a brand new dress with white pantaloons underneath. I remember my dad also played a grey mouse in another play, and later directed several others.
Sometimes I lined up my stuffed animals and dolls like an audience on my daybed and tilted my bedside lamp like a spotlight. My toys must have attended thousands of my plays. (Most people don't know that... Well, I guess they do now!)
When I was in high school, I wrote The Dramatic Handbook for an assignment in English class. It had all of my best tips and tricks to put on a great show. Below is an excerpt from it, "The S.E.L.F. rule"
SELF Rule: Slow, Enunciate, Loud, and to the Front
The audience won’t get the jokes if lines are rattled off too fast. Some of the songs’ tempos may need to be slowed so that the lyrics can be heard.
Move your mouth, exaggerate your gestures, and be overly expressive. This will help the audience hear the words, see the action, and get the comedy.
Pretend there will be no microphones and project every line and lyric to the back of the house (the audience). The mics don’t pick up as much as people assume.
to the Front
It feels weird at first, but everything is done toward the audience. Even actions and dialogue normally directed toward another character are actually done toward the audience.
You Don't want the audience to see This all performance:
During my college days, I got to direct some of my plays. It was awesome watching other people enjoying the stage as much as I did. We won some awards, but what really sticks with me are the comments I got from the audience, "I could hear every line," "I could see the performers' faces," and my favorite - "I loved the humor, and I didn't miss any of the jokes!" Invariably after some such comment, I would then hear that this is not usually true at amateur performances. I think that my plays were successful in large part because the cast had been drilled on the S.E.L.F. Rule all through the rehearsals.
But enough about me, What have you've learned from the stage?
This is a recycled post from my old blog. I have added a few credits since, including an adaption of "Hot Fudge Pickles" by Marilyn D. Anderson being performed in Indiana, and a local teen group considering another of my plays. There will always be a special place in my heart for the stage, and I hope this post will help those who would like to get more involved in theater... a cause of which I highly approve.
The Children's Book Academy is hosting a free webinar September 14th 5:30pm PDT /8:30pm Eastern "Ten Things Every Picture Book Writer or Illustrator Should Know"
To Sign up: http://bit.ly/1POJs68
Most of you know how informative and fun Mira's webinars are, this one promises to be no exception! Aside from learning great tips, you'll learn more about the upcoming course "The Craft and Business of Illustrating Picture Books".
Can't wait for the webinar? Check out my post on how fun Mira's courses are and why illustrators will find her class more than worth the price.
Also test your illustrator knowledge with this fun quiz.
This was my entry in the Nerdy Chick Drawing contest during Kidlit Summer School. It didn't win any prizes, but it taught me that I truly do think in words. And that words can create a real character. Which brings me to the whole reason I'm showing off my Nerdy Chick...
One of the articles of my faith states, “We claim the privilege of worshiping the Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all the same privilege. Let them worship how where or what they may.”
Today, I would like to explain what this means to me.
Save the Date!!! September 10th is the next #PitMad twitter pitch party. All Details are on Brenda's blog,
Whether you actually pitch or not, it's a good idea to try to get your pitch down to 140 characters. That's the essence of your story.
A pitch needs to do a lot. It needs to hook, lure, and promise. It needs to make the person reading that pitch want to read more. There are many blogs and books on creating the perfect pitch, but the best test is having someone read it that hasn't read your story. Do they want to read more? Yes? You're ready to pitch.
I am sooo excited for Michelle Hauck's picture book party coming up. It's a contest where you vie for a chance to get your work in the hands of an agent or editor looking for picture books.
All the details are on this website: http://www.michelle4laughs.com/2015/09/september-picture-book-party.html
Mark your calendars for September 14th. I am!
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)