Educating and Inspiring through creative storytelling

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

I wasn’t new to the world of Vacation care / after school Incursion work.

Between 2014 & 2016, whilst working at the Woolworths Distribution centre in Larapinta, as an Order Selector, I was also working for a company called E.G. Incursions. It did not pay much, but I took to it like a duck takes to water, performing and educating kids in different regions.

Fast forward to April 2017 and I just got back from the Adelaide Fringe Festival, riding a high from sold out shows, and was on to the NEIS scheme through Centrelink, beginning to focus on the my own style O.H.S.C. & Vacation services with the goal to not only doing it locally, but also regional rural areas!

With my only workshop “Sound effect play" I spent two months cold calling O.H.S.C. and kindergartens which left me with a hefty mobile phone bill, and no work. Then in Mid 2018 I received an email and a phone call from Young Minds Connect.

Young Minds Connect is partnered with OSHClub and Helping Hands Network, who together create the Junior Adventures Group, Australia’s leading providers of OSHC and Vacation Care services.

Imagine my surprise!

By the end of 2018, “Sound Effect play” was being performed in Brisbane city areas, and in 2019 I changed its name to "The Golden Age of Radio" as I began “touring" around the Sunshine Coast and outer Brisbane regions, with other Helping Hands locations that booked me. Then the Pandemic struck and I lost all the work & momentum.

But not for long...

It seems by not being idle, embracing the winds of change, developing a Covid plan and reworking my workshop, in order to keep it cost effective, so I can continue to do something that is just as important as making money to continue my services... inspiring a child's imagination... might have just have paid off for the long run in three ways!

Two are revealed here, and the other will be revealed in a future blog!

The Golden Age of Radio workshop

Otherwise known as G.A.R. this performance workshop consists of introducing a young audience (aged 6 to 12) to a time when there was no television, no computers and no internet, just listening skills and imagination.

I start with a guessing game of “what year did this radio came from", which kids estimate to be around between 1980 and 2000, before I then proceed to make sounds to 4 mini radio play episodes that consist of an aeroplane, martian heat rays, trains, thunder storms and pirates!

Originally, I use to let participants jump up and help me create the sounds, but due to the cost of sterilising each item used after the show, due to Covid, I now only allow 6 kids in total to touch certain sound effects.

The rest I show how to create the sound effect needed, physically & vocally, from their sitting position in the audience.

The educational aspect to this workshop is how people use to listen to shows, and being creative in creating the sound effects!

The changes to this workshop, performed at Helping Hands Coomera, Arundel and Eumundi was met with success. I even had kids ask if I was on social media or YouTube, so they could see more of what i do, and if had merchandise they could buy - in the form of sound effect T-shirts! I even got asked if I do birthday parties!

This gave me some food for thought! And if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would look into it.

Co-Stars - a new workshop

I trialled a new workshop, at Helping Hands Yandina, in the style of an old school recording studio.

Here 10 kids make sounds which are included into a 10minute audio story they get to keep. I'm going to call this workshop Co-stars.

I chose my favourite story, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, as the premise for the first workshop in this series, as its rich in soundscapes. First I show the kids how to make the sounds of the Lapping water, sea gulls, ocean waves, followed by the engine room of the Nautilus and then battle with the giant squids; using the objects you see in the pictures below.

We then record the sounds as I listen to the story through headphones, as narrated by Ned Land (which is myself doing my best occa accent).

The educational aspect to this workshop is following directions, working together and listening. By the end of this workshop the kids were itching to listen to their work. The workshop was successful enough for me to start including it for the next round of school holidays incursions, and working on other scenes from famous stories.

Here is a snippet of what was accomplished at Yandina.

The sounds you heard were seagulls, lapping water, a ships bell and ocean waves. There are still some kinks I need to iron out in this 45 – 50 minute workshop, as there are other elements that can be added by participants including more scripted pieces and sound sequences but this all depends on ages, reading ability and attention spans.

Driving back from the Sunshine Coast I thought about including this workshop for adult team building exercises.

All in all these school holidays proved by educational for myself as I navigated my way through a new normal, performing to 160 kids in total between the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, with the view that hopefully that number will rise and I will also be going towards Toowoomba and the Darling Down regions if the opportunity arose.

Keep an eye out on my website as more details emerge about these workshop / performances and If you are interested in a birthday party or team building experience, drop me an email or phone call as I would be happy to trial either of these idea out with you.

Until next time!

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