I love performing Message in a Bottle. I had the opportunity to ROCK West Bench Elementary in Penticton yesterday. It is incredibly fulfilling to have put this much artistic effort into something that is meaningful for me. The gratitude and enthusiasm that I receive is also very rewarding.
For the first time since I have been performing as the Purple Pirate I feel like an artist. I believe that art should be accessible and feel like I achieved that ideal with this production. Creating programs for the kindergarten to grade 7 audience is challenging. The maturity and different stages of intellectual development are vast and it is common for part of the audience to feel alienated. I put focussed and conscious effort into connecting with the entire audience. There is great feedback from all grades. I have succeeded!
This audience first needs to trust and connect with the performer. I achieve this through magic. Magic is a fantastic artistic medium for this purpose. I prefer the international silent act style which is popular in Europe, Asia and most places outside of North America. I had the privilege of sharing the stage with Junge Junge, Kevin James, Nicholas Knight and Juliana Chen in Shanghai in 2001. What these great performers achieved planted a seed.
My previous exposure to magic and illusion was what most North Americans are exposed to. Silly puns, an emphasis on the “trick” and very little if any effort into narrative. The acts in Shanghai were all international stars of magic and most had a theatrical component that really appealed to me. At that time I was Juliana’s assistant/choreographer and didn’t have the confidence to try that myself. I also wasn’t interested in performing for an adult audience.
Now, with alot of effort (about 500 hours), I have created something that is inspired by this artistically sound style. More importantly, I am exposing this young audience to a theatrical experience unlike anything they would have had the opportunity to see before… with the important message of foregiveness.
I was told by Robert Baxt, a successful performer from the US, a few years ago that “if you want to send a message use UPS”. This means that entertainment and message don’t mix. There is some truth to this but I can’t go against my nature. I need to say something meaningful in all areas of my life.
Much of popular media has ridiculous messages. Young people are exposed to messages of violence, infidelity, and fear in a glossy package. I believe that positive messaging can also be presented in an exciting way. It has to, as the competition for mind space in people will be won by the most engaging. What people are expecting has increased in expectations of production value.
I was, in fact, inspired by Hollywood to create a powerful soundscape and use a sub woofer…and boy it works awesome. Dynamic sound effects, panning and base! My father suggested I try pointing the sub at back wall to use the building as a transmitter for base. I did it yesterday for the first time and it was awesome! During the scene when my character was about to walk the plank the base engulfed the entire space. Incredible! and the audience really responded.
Creating an artistically sound piece with commercial appeal was a dream…that has now come true! I am feeling blessed.