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  • Writer's pictureJeff Quinn

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.

For instance.

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.

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