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My Best Side …

Playing Story Man at Eunice Primary’s Read-a-thon, 2017

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An honour to be invited back

to the Eunice School hall, on a Friday, for the 2017 Read-a-thon, an entire day dedicated to the magic of reading.

But, how does one fill two hours with creative, switched-on Eunice ladies, without them falling asleep? Well, take a guitar and granddaddy djembe drum, for starters. With Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, the definition of ‘literature’ has been thrown wide open! Secondly, craft two, interactive, hour-long ‘episodes’, filled with story, song and ad lib yada yada.

Call the first episode …

The world is a book made of stories.

Open with a song called My True Selfie (pure literature, see?), followed by a djembe-led rhythm-and-are-you-awake? session. Initiate a discussion about what to become, one day, when we are grown-ups. Observe the hall becoming a beehive of activity. Disclose the fact that you are also wondering what to be when you grow up. Enjoy one or two laughs. Hurry onto the next part, maybe there’ll be more applause, then.
Share a djembe-supported story about a CEO and entry level worker connecting through sharing a preschool memory, and how they become coffee pals at work. Ask everyone to share a preschool painful / bad memory story, in story pairs. Start the session by telling the story of a preschooler, chased by a snake during break-time at a farm preschool. Use the djembe in dramatic fashion, especially once the chase is on … Walk through the hall and experience / discuss some of the Eunice ladies’ stories.
Look at your watch to realise that an hour has passed by in a flash. Activate a farewell-but-not-goodbye rhythm on the djembe (because you have to come back in an hours’ time).
“Farewell, but not goodbye, to you, my fellow travelers, story-tellers, dancers, singers, our feet kiss mother earth …”
Get up, collect your guitar and djembe, and leave for a quick lunch.

Call the second episode …

Reading with opened eyes … The half-girl, and other stories.

Employ the djembe to help everyone, including yourself, out of the mid-Friday-afternoon lull. Tell the story of the half-girl, who was born in a village at the edge of the world, leave out the ending and let the ladies complete the story in their groups. Walk around and enjoy the boundless freedom of creativity in story-making.
Go through the same process with the girl who witnessed a bad incident between her mother and a traffic official, after which they attended a birthday party and the Great Moscow Circus.
Conclude with the story of the erratic king, who approached the wise beggar for wisdom, and leave out the ending. Enjoy some knee-jerk, creative surprises from the ladies.

Say goodbye with a song called Tell Me, and drive off, into peak hour traffic, nourished by the everyday magic of story, expressed through many forms of literature …

Interested in some magic-of-story-and-song shenanigans at your school?

Click here to contact me,

and let’s make it happen!

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