The Little Things
When I'm developing my Summer Reading Program, I always make sure I add in lots of nuances. You know, those little things that contribute so much to my show. It may be a costume, a joke, a sight gag or a pun. It could be included in the show to amuse the children, or to go right over their heads and amuse the adults in the crowd.
Trust me, a lot of thought goes into these little nuggets and I think they're important.
After I've decided on which tricks I'm going to do and what order they're going to be appearing in my show, I sit down and play the show over and over in my head. I look for places where there may be funny lines or funny situations. Sometimes that works, but other times they come at me out of the blue.
Several years ago I was developing a show for the "Paws, Claws, Scales & Tales" Summer Reading program. One of the tricks in my show featured a toy snake. I wanted to give the snake a funny name and the inspiration hit me at a most inconvenient time.
I was driving on Highway 680 in Omaha when the muse hit me. I actually exited the interstate at Pacific Street and drove to a parking lot to write the idea down. I would tell everyone that my snake's name was Rocky and that he was a very special kind of snake. He was a cross between a Ball Python and a Boa Constrictor. (pause) That's right...Rocky Ball-boa. Many children didn't get that joke, but it got plenty of groans from the adults and that's exactly what I was hoping for.
Whenever I perform that trick, I still use that line and it still gets a groan.
This summer there will also be lots of fun puns and funny situations. Whether it's a piece of costume, a look, a joke or a goofy prop, you can be sure that it's there for a reason.