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Silvertongue
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I came across this story and thought it relevent to how magical the bag o' stones can really be, I hope you enjoy...
The following vignette has been taken from a larger essay on the "Psychotherapeutic Applications of Magic" to be published in July.

The vignette has been taken from an actual case. Indirect hypnotic techniques are applied with the use of a "magic-trick" to help anchor, embed and future pace certain ideas for the client. At the end of the "trick" the client is left with a small "magical stone." This "magical stone" has been transformed into stone from a small piece of black clay, into which the client has placed (molded, formed, sculpted) new ideas, dreams, associations of the time spent with the therapist. Enjoy.

John is a 17-year old high school student. He failed out of regular high school due to drug and alcohol use and was placed in a continuation school. Over the past year, he had been sober and was very involved in a 12 Step program. John is an intelligent, insightful and introspective young man. His father lives in another state and is a recovering heroin addict who has been "clean" for many years.

John looks up to him and idealizes him (both negatively and positively). His father is remarried and John wants to move to live and work with his father. John's mother is over protective and to a great extent has projected many characteristics of John's father onto him. Their relationship is at times (figuratively) like a wife and husband. Between their respective positions in the family and their personal histories, they just don't get along. They both love each other and there is often a good deal of adult understanding and interaction between them, but it is time for John to go.

Mom predictably sees doom and problems on the horizon, John of course does not. They are both right. During my therapeutic relationship with John, he had made some significant progress. In addition to maintaining and valuing his physical sobriety, he had also come to a greater understanding of his feelings directed towards his mother and father and how they (feelings and parents) had significantly impacted his development and life.

He was able to a great extent, begin to reconcile and conjure with his inner life regarding women, intimacy, jealousy and fears of abandonment. In general he appeared to take more focused responsibility for his life. He did well in therapy. On our last meeting I asked him if I could give him a small gift for him to take with him. He said "sure." I removed a small, ornate silver pill box and said, "there is something inside of this little box and what is inside has been here long before either of us and will be here long after we are gone.

No, not a diamond, therapists proposing to their clients is frowned upon." (intimacy, giving and receiving affection was an important element in therapy so this comment was light and appropriate) John laughs and I open the box. "It is a simple lump of black clay, take it out and squeeze it between your fingers." I place the box back into my pocket and speak slowly, pacing the rolling and squeezing of the clay. "Tear the clay in two, and as you do this, consider some things. As you squeeze the clay and feel it between your fingers, you realize that you can form, shape and sculpt an image to put into this clay ball…continue squeezing the clay and mold and image.

So many of the things have changed in your life. How much has changed that you never thought would? You can take that with you. Put into that ball all of the things you would like to take with you from here. Many of the things we have talked about together, what you have felt and thought…put those things in…shape that image and know that it goes into that clay forever." John keeps thinking and rolling the clay in his fingers.

After thirty seconds or so I say. "Ok, put it here on the palm of my hand." I extend my right hand and he places the ball onto my right palm. "And place your right hand onto the ball and roll the clay into a smooth ball. As you roll the clay between our hands and feel the clay, make the images you placed in the clay real, see those things become real and solid….real and solid…taking form. You can know inside that you can take these things with you wherever you go. Like the sound of the streets and the color of the sky and waking up in the morning, these things are real, and live inside of you now.

Like this clay ball, it becomes real and solid. Something you can have with you for as long as you like. Take a look at the clay….hold it up. Whenever you see it or hold it, it will remind you of what is really important." The clay has turned into a solid black stone! Johns mouth falls open and he starts laughing nervously. "Dude, huh…what the ****!?" Johns eyes became glazed and he fought back tears. "Christ, thanks man, nobody will ever believe this ****!" I told him that I had learned a lot from him, that I will think of him often and thanked him for accepting the gift but not to believe everything he sees. He laughed and said "yeah appearances are deceiving."

We hugged briefly, patted him on the back and we parted.

I don't know what John is up to but I imagine that he is struggling, learning and living sober and somewhat sanely near his father in Arizona. He may have difficulty in relationships with women, but who doesn't.
Jay Inglee, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, APMHA Certified in Medical/Analytical Hypnosis in practice in Long Beach, California
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
fishwasher
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Love the stones Doug! Nice story Silvertounge Smile
Sayn lay narn, marli?

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David Eichler
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Yeah, great story Silvertongue!
magus
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Leslie Melville, Silvertongue, thank you for the stories and the storystones idea.
I'm thinking different colors and shapes of stones as well as carved stones, crystals, and facet cut stones for a "mixed bag"
crappy deium-



what a lousy day to be seized



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kaytracy
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I use a Rupert's Pearl in a version of Maskelyn Ye Mage Jewel's of Hawthor routine.
In mine, the story teller tells the tale of how the deserts became full of sand.
Note: the following is vastly abbreviated!
Once upon a time, these lands were fertile and green. Plentiful in crops and fig trees, dates and grains.
It seems in ancient times, a young caliph had the luck to find a Djinn bottle. Heedless of the lessons taught to him about the crafty Djinn, he released the creature thinking he could obtain great wealth for his people and kingdom.
He commanded the Djinn to bring him all manner of precious stones to cover the lands in a layer for all.
The Djinn did as he was commanded and brought rubies, jade, emeralds and diamonds to the young ruler. The Caliph, upon seeing this demanded even more wealth, in his greed, he demanded enough gems to fill his lands to the height of his tower.
But alas, that night, while the young caliph slept the sleep of a wealthy man, the Djinn crushed all the stones to sand, and buried the lands so that they became the deserts you know today. This is why one should not be so greedy in life <nor should one trust a Djinn>
Kay
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Leslie Melville
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Thanks Kay for a good moralistic tale - I would like to hear the full, unabbreviated version!

Leslie.
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Silvertongue
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Thanks Kay and thanks everyone who has helped out. Some great ideas. More, more, more...
please...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Silvertongue
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How could we have forgotten this one?


Stone Soup
Three soldiers trudged down a road in a strange country. they were on their way home from the wars. Besides being tired, they were hungry. In fact, they had eaten nothing for two days.

"How I would like a good dinner tonight," said the first. "And a bed to sleep in," added the second. "But that is impossible," said the third.

On they marched, until suddenly, ahead of them, they saw the lights of a village. "Maybe we'll find a bite to eat and a bed to sleep in," they thought.

Now the peasants of the place feared strangers. When they heard that three soldiers were coming down the road, they talked among themselves. "Here come three soldiers," they said. "Soldiers are always hungry. But we have so little for ourselves." And they hurried to hide their food. They hid the barley in hay lofts, carrots under quilts, and buckets of milk down the wells. They hid all they had to eat. Then they waited.

The soldiers stopped at the first house. "Good evening to you," they said. "Could you spare a bit of food for three hungry soldiers?" "We have no food for ourselves," the residents lied. "It has been a poor harvest."

The soldiers went to the next house. "Could you spare a bit of food?" they asked. "And do you have a corner where we could sleep for the night?" "Oh, no," the man said. "We gave all we could spare to the soldiers who came before you." "And our beds are full," lied the woman.

At each house, the response was the same -- no one had food or a place for the soldiers to stay. The peasants had very good reasons, like feeding the sick and children. The villagers stood in the street and sighed. They looked as hungry as they could.

The soldiers talked together. The first soldier called out, "Good people! We are three hungry soldiers in a strange land. We have asked you for food and you have no food. Well, we will have to make stone soup." The peasants stared.

The soldiers asked for a big iron pot, water to fill it, and a fire to heat it. "And now, if you please, three round smooth stones." The soldiers dropped the stones into the pot.

"Any soup needs salt and pepper," the first soldker said, so children ran to fetch salt and pepper.

"Stones make good soup, but carrots would make it so much better," the second soldier added. One woman said, "Why, I think I have a carrot or two!" She ran to get the carrots.

"A good stone soup should have some cabbage, but no use asking for what we don't have!" said the third soldier. Another woman said, "I think I can probably find some cabbage," and off she scurried.

"If only we had a bit of beef and some potatoes, this soup would be fit for a rich man's table." The peasants thought it over, then ran to fetch what they had hidden in their cellars. A rich man's soup, and all from a few stones! It seemed like magic!

The soldiers said, "If only we had a bit of barley and some milk, this soup would be fit for a king!" And so the peasants managed to retrieve some barley and milk.

"The soup is ready," said the cooks, "and all will taste it, but first we need to set the tables." Tables and torches were set up in the square, and all sat down to eat. Some of the peasants said, "Such a great soup would be better with bread and cider," so they brought forth the last two items and the banquet was enjoyed by all. Never had there been such a feast. Never had the peasants tasted such delicious soup, and all made from stones! They ate and drank and danced well into the night.

The soldiers asked again if there was a loft where they might sleep for the night. "Oh, no!" said the townfolk. "You wise men must have the best beds in the village!" So one soldier spent the night in the priest's house, one in the baker's house, and one in the mayor's house.

In the morning, the villagers gathered to say goodbye. "Many thanks to you," the people said, "for we shall never go hungry now that you have taught us how to make soup from stones!"


As an afterthought this story might be mixed well with Leslies reference to the story of the two warriors. The above story could be changed to fit, thus changing the meaning of the two warriors in the bag o' stones.
What a great story about sharing. Show me a child in todays age that does not have issues with this mindset, they are few and far between. A very meaningful story and is definatly going in my Bag o' Stones.
This also could be attributed to a wandering trickster/storyteller like myself - "... removed 3 stones from out of a bag, not unlike this one." - he deciedes to mischieviously help unite the village, teach them an invaluable lesson, and ends the evening telling stories and laughing the night away...

Declan Ring
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
fishwasher
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Thanks Declan Ring I enjoyed reading that...
Sayn lay narn, marli?

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Silvertongue
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This will also be a nice addition to the bag...

Sand and Stone

A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE."

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one, who had been slapped, got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After the friend recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE."

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, "After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now, you write on a stone, why?"

The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But, when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it."

LEARN TO WRITE YOUR HURTS IN THE SAND, AND TO CARVE YOUR BENEFITS IN STONE

You could show the blank stone front and back - paddle move-. Then have spec hold stone in hand as you tell the story, then they turn the stone over to reveal the written message...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Leslie Melville
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Love the Sand & Stone story! In the context of the paddle move, The word 'Forgive' would be adequate on the reverse side of the stone.

Thanks for the tale.

Leslie.
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Silvertongue
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Thanks Leslie, nice idea about the stone thanks, I will keep my eyes open in the spiritual shops, I know I have seen a stone with 'forgive' carved into it...
Sorry for the length of this next story but I am thinking of adapting this because it may be a nice opening story for my bag o' stones act. Please also take the time to check this link for a shorter and in my opinion tighter version of this story verbally retold by Linda King Prutt under the title of 'The Story Stone' I hope you enjoy, thanks...
http://www.lkpstoryteller.com/listen.htm

The Story Stone.

A long time ago, a young man called Crow lived in one of the villages of the Seneca people. His parents had died many years before and he had no one to care for him, or to cook and sew for him.
He lived at the very edge of the village in a small lodge made from bark and branches. His hair was always a tangled mess, and his clothes were old and tattered cast offs he had been given in trade.
The village children were cruel and made fun of him because of the way he looked and because he was an orphan. This was a time when people did not have stories to teach them how to respect and care for others.
Young Crow was an excellent hunter with his bow and arrows. He traded the birds and animals he killed for parched corn, other food and clothes.
As winter drew nearer, Crow had to go further and further into the woods to hunt. One day he went further than he had ever been before. Eventually he came to a clearing where there was a large flat smooth stone with another round stone sitting on top of it.
Crow sat on the flat stone and rested his back against the round one. He laid the birds he had killed next to him. Then he reached into his buckskin pouch for some parched corn, and began to tighten his bowstring.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked a deep rumbling voice near him.
Crow got such a fright he nearly choked. He jumped up quickly, spitting corn from his mouth and looked around but could see no one.
“Who’s there?” shouted Crow. “Come out and show yourself.”
The clearing was silent. Nothing moved.
“I must be hearing things,” Crow said to himself. “And now I’m talking to myself too.”
With a laugh, he sat down again and rested his back against the round stone.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked the deep voice again.
Crow sprang to his feet and shouted “Alright, that’s enough. Show yourself now!”
Again, the clearing was silent and nothing moved.
Then Crow looked at the round stone he’d been resting against. He could see a face in it. He realised it was the stone’s voice he’d heard.
“Who are you, and what are you?” asked Crow.
“I am Grandfather Stone. I’ve been here since time began,” answered the stone.
“Shall I tell you a story?” asked the deep rumbling voice.
“What is a story?” asked Crow. “What does it mean to tell a story?”
“Stories tell us of all things that happened before this time,” answered Grandfather Stone. “Give me a gift of your birds and I will tell you how the world came to be.”
“You may have the birds,” said Crow.
He sat down in front of the stone. Its deep voice told him of a time before this one, how Sky Woman fell to earth, how Turtle Island was made, and about stone giants. When he finished one story, the stone told another and then another. On and on he went.
As the sun began to set the stone said, “That’s enough for today. Come back tomorrow and I will tell you more stories. But don’t tell anyone about what you’ve heard today.”
Crow ran back to the village. He managed to kill a few birds on the way to trade for hot food and parched corn.
When he traded the birds with a woman in the village she asked him “Why have you brought back so few birds from your hunting?”
“Winter is getting nearer and it’s harder to find anything to hunt,” answered Crow.
Early the next morning, Crow went into the woods with his bow and arrow. He hunted for birds and then rushed back to the clearing.
“Grandfather Stone, I’ve brought you more birds as gifts,” said Crow. He put the birds down on the flat stone. “Please tell me some more stories.”
Crow sat down and the stone started telling one story after another until it was nearly nightfall. This happened for many days. Crow brought back fewer and fewer birds to the village. The children of the village were even crueler to him. They made fun of him and told him that now he wasn’t even a good hunter.
One day Crow came to the clearing, placed his gift on the stone and said, “Grandfather Stone, please tell me some more stories.”
But the stone answered, “I have no more stories to tell. You have heard all that has happened before this time. Now you must pass on the knowledge you have learned from the stories. You will be the first storyteller.
You must tell others what you have heard, and also add stories of what happens from now on. The people you tell will remember your stories. Some will remember better than others. Some will tell different versions when they pass them on. It doesn’t matter. The truths and lessons from the stories will be remembered.”
“Thank you Grandfather Stone,” said Crow. “I will make sure the stories are not forgotten.”
Crow went back to the village. He knew it was time to move on. The people here didn’t respect him and wouldn’t listen. He collected his few belongings and left the village without telling anyone. No one missed him.
Crow travelled far and eventually came to another village. The people welcomed him warmly. They invited him to come in out of the cold wind, sit by the fire and share their food.
After he had finished eating Crow said, “You have been so kind I’d like to share something with you.”
He began to tell the stories he had learned from Grandfather Stone. He told them of the time when animals could speak, and when the turtle raced the bear.
That night the lodge house seemed warmer and the sound of the first storyteller’s voice could be heard above the howling wind outside. People went to sleep dreaming of the stories they had heard.
The chief of the village sent runners to other villages, inviting everyone to come and hear the stories. They brought gifts of food and clothing for Crow to thank him. A beautiful young woman came and sat by him every time he spoke. She listened to every story. Many seasons passed. Crow stayed in the village and married the young woman.
When he had shared all the stories with the people of the village and its neighbours, Crow and his wife left and travelled to other villages further away, to tell the stories.
Eventually they came to the first village where he had lived before. The people didn’t recognise him in his fine clothes and with his beautiful wife.
The village chief welcomed them, inviting them to sit by the fire and share their food. Crow told his stories. The people listened with their ears and their hearts.
Crow told them, “You must not forget the stories and legends. You must pass them on to your children and your grandchildren, and they must pass them onto theirs. We can never again forget the stories and their wisdom.”
And that is how it has been from that day to this. The stories from Grandfather Stone have been handed down from generation to generation and storytellers are still honoured today by those who listen.
The End

Some things could be changed ie. I think it would be nice that after the gifts were made to the stone and the storys told it would be magical that after he awoke the next morning, in place of the offerings are the story stones that when held by the storyteller, bring images of the stories flooding back, and the tale is told as if for the first time.
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Leslie Melville
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Super tale! Thanks for sharing. Thanks also for the link. I had a quick glance at it. It looks interesting.

Leslie.
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Silvertongue
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Your welcome, thankyou, now what I would like to know is if you think I could turn the research done on the bag o' stones into an act???
This project - that's what this thread is to me - has far exceeded my expectations, a wonderful treasure trove of stories has been found to fill the bag,and its growing weekly as you can see, but I would like to know if the idea would be worth taking that step furthur and turned into something performable for an audience. All opinions welcome and thanks again to everyone who has encouraged and helped out, I had hoped more of my brothers and sisters from the bizarre forum would have chipped in here as this is where all my influences have come from, if your reading this, go on give us a story...

Dec

p.s. I have found more stories for the bag I just don't want to overload this topic with my own posts...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Leslie Melville
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Dec,

You certainly have enough material for an act. But who is your audience?

Because the props are going to be relatively small (bag of stones etc.), then I imagine that it is going to be a close-up type of show for small, intimate audiences.

On the other hand, if you are hoping to perform before a larger audience, then you will have to be more expansive in your presentation, more like the Tale-teller himself, in 'The Story Stones'. Standing with your satchel of stones, carefully selecting your stone and holding it against your heart etc. You would need theatrical skills.

If it appeals to you, please feel free to use my 'Story-bag' idea. Although originally devised for pre-school age children, I have found that it also plays quite well for adults - different stories of course!

Leslie
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Leslie Melville
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Dec,

Further thoughts.

Looking back through your posts, you seem to be particularly interested in tales that carry 'meaningful' and 'significant' messages.

Not knowing exactly who your target audience is, I hesitate to judge. But if the main purpose of your projected act is to entertain, be careful that you are not seen to be moralising or preaching. Audiences can very quickly switch off if they perceive a performance to be over pretentious!

A couple of philosophical ideas is o.k. But don't neglect the need for fun and mystery in your presentation as well.

Keep in touch.

Leslie.
Stories....?....That's telling!
Silvertongue
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Great advice thanks. Yes originally I had wanted the bag o stones to be something that I carry about with me as I travel through life, adding stories to it as time passes. I see the problem of what type of audience this would appeal to and the intimacy of it - close up - regarding venues, and thinking about it none come to mind. I will think more on this...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Leslie Melville
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Where, when, how often and generally, for whom do you perform?
Stories....?....That's telling!
Silvertongue
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Well mainly for the last 9 yrs on and off to stay in the practice of magic I have been performing close up effects and mentalism paid and unpaid, but I've been studying, writing and practicing bizarre for nearly the same amount of years - believing character development, acting skills, right effects and good writing are essential, I have been mainly focusing on these -
I have been writing a children's act for probabaly 3 yrs, doing research and accumulating ideas...
What I came up with was an act I call 'The Storyteller'. It is geared towards children mainly but is on an interactive level of anyone over probably 5 yrs old.
The act is about a very magical book which comes to life as the words are read and the audience find that they have arrived in the middle of the story and this is where the story begins... The act itself is about imagination, wishes and dreams and above all MAGIC...
I have followed the hero's journey model and wanted the audience as a whole to go through this experience as a group of observers so appealing to all senses, (visual-acting, props and magic effects, auditory-storytelling and sounds from inside the book, smell-the scents in the story, and touch- which will be the active involvement of the audience in the magic effects and props.) I created an act with me as the guide, guiding the audience through the adventure.
All my notes and writings are in a folders and numerous notepads and I'm hoping to go to the magic and meaning conference at the mystery school so I can show it to people and get some feedback and direction...
so I hope this wasn't too off topic but I know this is the style of magic for me as a person and as a character and I am wishing now to start in my career as a mage...
For as long as space exists,
And living beings remain in cyclic existence,
For that long, may I too remain,
to dispel the sufferings of the world.
-Shantideva

Engaging in the Conduct of a Bodhisattva
Leslie Melville
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Sounds really great!

But you seem to be more research than performance. You should get out there and perform. You will learn much more that way. Writing scripts and researching stories is fine, but until you get in front of an audience and experience the reaction, you really can't tell if your ideas have mileage.

In front of a live audience, you will know almost immediately! And then you can edit, readjust and tighten up your presentation. For improving an act, nothing beats working!

Contact local primary schools. Ideally schools where you have a contact, someone with a child at the school etc. Tell them about your presentation and your ideas and I think they would be delighted to have someone like you come to visit.

If, as I suspect, you haven't done a lot of these shows, offer to do a couple of freebies - with the proviso that if it goes well, the school offers you a paid date within the next couple of months!

I am not a great advocate of free shows, but in the early days of a new presentation, doing the show, can be more valuable to you than getting the money.

From what I have learned about you in these conversations, I am sure that you have more than enough material and your presentation ideas sound fine. What you are hoping to do is very similar to much of the work I am doing in schools, libraries, parks and festivals etc. here in the U.K.

I can promise you that in this particular market, there is a mass of work out there, and very few people competing for it!

So go for it - and good luck!

Leslie.
Stories....?....That's telling!
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