Near the end of last year, I participated in an event that is part of Young Storytellers, called “The Big Show”. I realize that in the world of social media, sharing this experience two months later is very not of-the-moment. BUT. It is such a cool organization, that I just had to share…
The Young Storytellers ‘Script to Stage’ program helps elementary school kids write their own story, in script form, and culminates in a performance of the pieces at “The Big Show.” Professional actors, like myself, volunteer to be cast as witches, robots, genies, moms, dads, little brothers, rocks, trees, coconuts-that-fall-from-the-sky and all kinds of endless roles that are found in these crazy creative stories! We have to audition….for nine year olds. Which is a wonderfully humbling experience and one in which you are forced to let go of any pretense of actually being a ‘good’ actor. We are simply there to give the young writers, and ourselves, the gift of believing in the truth of these stories, because they come from a purely creative place.
I got to play a Mom, a soldier, a potion-making witch, a superhero, and yes–a coconut that falls from the sky. I had a ball. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had acting. But more fun than performing, was catching glimpses of the faces of the kids as they saw their stories coming to life. The wonder, intrigue, and laughter. I know these experiences are such a big part of propelling them on to further creativity and expression (not to mention inspiring for all of us adults!), and I’m so grateful I got to be a small part of it.
Our Head Mentor (and volunteer), Susan Abramson, was in charge of organizing the whole show and is the one who got me involved. She’s pictured above with some of the young storytellers after taking their bows and reveling in the audience’s praise. It was so well-deserved and I can’t wait for the chance to do it again soon.