I am sorry that I haven't been blogging lately, but the summer kind of grabbed me in her strong hands and wouldn't let me go. Since my performance in April at the Lehigh Storytelling Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania this past April, I have performed quite a few programs--some alone, some with one of the storytelling groups to which I belong. In Holly, Michigan I did four shows with the North Oakland County Storytellers: a Summer Solstice program which included drumming, an Invocation to the Spirits of Earth, Air, Fire and Water which yielded some interesting results...mosquitoes, croaking tree frogs in the mood for some lovin' and muggy weather. A friend of mine whispered to me half jokingly and half seriously, "Be careful what you Invoke in the future, o.k.?" The show was wonderful, to say the least. it took place in the Holly Gardens, a beautiful outdoor venue with an Italianate-style manor built on the property and acres and acres of beautiful gardens. I told the story of ,"The Selkie Wife" and usesd my bohran for the intro part (using my hand and not the stick--not that good at using it yet, but hand drumming is still quite effective. People came up to me and told me they loved my story. The next two shows featured stories about the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln-- one at the Historic Holly Hotel in Holly, Michigan which was fairly well attended and the next one at the Holly Gardens with food catered by the Holly Hotel--disasterous!!!! We lost money that night--poor attendance and food which was way overpriced. I told the Lincoln Dream story about his premonition of his own death at the Holly Hotel and, Ambrose Bierce's "A Cold Night," a ghoulish story about the horrors of war and death. The last show took place in the Holly Gardens and we had three people for the first show, and four people from our own group, North Oakland County Storytellers. And for all that driving and gas money...I got a ridiculously small check!!! I was so angry and frustrated. Now, our group has agreed to at least pay mileage for the next gigs we perform for those of us who come from really great distances. That makes me happy because the next gig I have with the group is a workshop I am doing for the public on researching stories--where to find them and how to transform the written word into performable material. The title of the workshop is: "From Little Acorns Big Oaks Grow; Folklore, Fairy Tales & Historical Research” and will take place at Highland Station, 205 West Livingston Rd, Highland MI. Teaching the workshop with me will be my very dear friend Michael who is a very talented writer and promising storyteller.
Last weekend, though, was a real tour-de-force for me. I told again at the Detroit International Jazz Festival in Detroit, Michigan. It was a really wonderful experience--especially on Sunday and Labor Day. Labor Day I had a really great crowd who worked with me and was truly involved in the magic of storytelling. The only problems with the festival this year was that they put up the Kid Bop tent which is where the storytelling and jazz musical acts oriented for children were held, directly below the Detroit People Mover--a huge and very loud monorail and which came around the corner every ten minutes. Talk about competition!!! But I survived!!! And the pay was great!!!
Oh and I joined another writers group and met with them Wednesday. They are a great group of people and I hope to learn from them and to share some of my work with them. Also, in October, I will be performing an excerpt from my one-man show,QUEER!!! at Affirmations, our local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered Community Center for national Coming Out Month. Can't wait for that!!!!
Well gentle reader, that's all to report on right now. Hope you folks have a nice Fall and Winter. Hope to see many of you later next year.
Yours in Storytelling,
Rob McCabe--Storyteller/Writer/Performance Artist/Activist