August 7, 2012


These next few days will be a lot of writing about the competition this week.

At this point, summer break for the kids is about half over. Another three weeks, and school will be beginning again. For a lot of them, I’m sure they’ll be happy to get back to class. For others, like me for instance, nothing is really different. Maybe for the teachers in elementary school, they will have felt the difference of not being in class. Some of the junior high and maybe senior high kids won’t really notice a difference either.

Tonight was also the first of a final week of practices. Elva, Nadia, and Marcus were practicing tonight. Just for refresher: Elva is telling the ‘traditional’ story of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”; Nadia is telling a story called “The Lonely Giraffe”; and Marcus is telling a version of Elva’s story called, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff – The Other Side of the Story”.

Elva and Nadia are both very good. I have no problems (for the most part) with either of their presentations. A little tweeking here and there, such as a bit of facial emotion, or making sure to look at the audience, but overall, they are both very good. I am pleased with both of them. Marcus on the other hand, is a different ball of wax.

When I asked him whether he had practiced in England, he looks at me and says that he practiced every day. Uh huh. Then he starts to laugh. I have a feeling he may have practiced a couple of times, but not as much as he says or wants me to believe. He does have the story memorized well though. Only a couple of small issues, but then his dad will straighten him out! Actually, his dad is pretty decent.

Practice went on until about 10:30pm or so. One of Marcus’s problems, is that he shows very little emotion in his face. He tells a story for about three and a half minutes, and doesn’t even move one facial muscle. Maybe he’s just getting used to the fact that his face will be painted with poster water paints. When the paints dries, it feels very stiff on his skin. Well, you can get the same feeling. Paint a bit of the back of your hand with water colours, let it dry, and then try to move your hand. It will feel like a layer of rock cracking on your hand.

I’ve been searching around town for some body paints. There must be some place in Taiwan where one can obtain paints that are specifically designed for painting on skin. And if anyone can find that ‘unusual’ item, it is his dad. He knows exactly where to find the most exotic, out of the ordinary, unique items of anyone else I know.

Marcus is dressed up as Shrek. One of the things we chatted about tonight was Marcus’s entrance on stage. We threw around the idea that once on stage, he would have his back to the audience, do something with his cart he’s pulling, and farts. Yes, farts. But how do you make a little kid fart on cue?

His dad left for a bit. Upon his return, he had this little ‘toy’ that when the button is pressed, emits farting sounds – six different sounds in all! So this has now become a great toy for the ‘big kids’. Makes me wonder who’s enjoying the farting sounds the best! A little practice, and a couple of design changes, and a decision of which fart to use, and Marcus will be ready. I’ll see how he progresses through the week. I think between my pushing and suggestions, he should be able to get his act together.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!

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