Adventures in Storytelling

The adventures of The Patchwork Players, Patti Christensen and James Nelson-Lucas, as they travel the dimensions of time and space, telling their tales

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Wishes

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanksgiving Week

The Golden Compass

So what do storytellers do as we are driving around the countryside on
our way between gigs? For one thing, we listen to stories and books
on CD (we used to listen to books on tape, before finally being able
to update to a new car!)

The latest things we have been listening to is "The Dark Materials "
series by Philip Pullman, the first book of which is coming out in a
week as the movie "The Golden Compass". Take a look at the website at We first had the chance to run
across this series at last summer's ComiCon convention in San Diego
where many of the pop culture hits and trends for the next year are
rolled out. We had the chance to get our photos taken in front of a
blue screen before we ever really heard of the books or the movie.
Now, having nearly completed the third book in the series, we have a
lot more respect for the photo of us along with the armored bear. As
it turned out, this is the movie poster for this fun movie. Take a
look at the real one at Cinemablend

This is one of those movies that although the heroes are children, is
really much more of an adult/young adult romp through fantasy,
theology and metaphysics. We enjoyed it, hope you do, too.

As for some of the gigs we drove to in the last week were to the Downey Library, Hope Elementary School and to the Bowers Museum.

We were invited to the Downey Library to tell Spooky Ghost Stories. It looks like the Halloween season can stretch into the Thanksgiving season these days. We had a blast there with a terrific audience. On the way out James noticed a couple of gold records in a display case. We stopped to take a closer look to find that they were actual gold records form the Carpenters! We had never seen real gold albums in person before. It turns out that the Carpenters went to High School in Downey. Who knew? So Richard Carpenter donated the records and a bunch of memorabilia to the library for display. Oh they interesting we see and learn on the road.

The next day we performed two assemblies at Hope, a local Elementary School. We told some our tried and true World folk
and Fairy Tales, and a few new ones too

Saturday night we were at Tellebration, an international storytelling event. We told Middle Woman by Orson Scott Card, as well as being joined by a bunch of other great area teller. This was an adult oriented show, but there was a bunch of engaged young folks there too. Once again James emceed the event.

Today James returned from a successful private for a special eight year girl, her friends and attendant parents. The parents had glowing comments and were amazed that he was able to hold the rambunctious kids attention.

Big Patchwork Players News! We are in the process

of putting together a children's picture book. We are having a wonderful creative process with our artist Jezreel Lopez. The book is based on our favorite show closer; Baby Coyote. Expect to hear more about this project. We hope to have our published book ready next Spring

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Busy Fall

Welcome true believers to this episode of Adventures in Storytelling. Well the fires are dying down. But the damage will live on for years. Again, we were safe, however we know too many who were directly affected. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

In the meantime we finished this year's Brick or Treat at LEGOLAND As always we had a great time telling to families and hanging out with old friends. Brick or Treat is a great event where kids get to come and trick or treat in a fun and safe place. We do our hit and run storytelling style we call “Gotta Minute? Here a Story”. We are also “ATMO”, which is theme park speak for atmosphere. That means that we are a part of the show just by walking around in our costumes. Kids love to have their pictures taken with us. We look forward to going back again next year.

The next day we told Urban Legends ant the Oceanside Library. They had a very nice stage set up for us that looked like a street in Big City USA. We set the show up as we were two people sitting at a bus stop swapping “true” tales. We told some classic and some lesser known legends. We all know some. Some are so well known all you need is the end line. Who knows...”The call is coming from INSIDE the house!!!? That gig got us a nice write up in the local newspaper


We then went on to do Not Too Scary Stories from San Diego to Palm Springs. We love this program. Fun for old and young alike, we offer a jolt here and there. Some spooky tales, but nothing to scare the little ones too much. We tell a bunch of the same tales we tell at San Diego Children's Hospital. So these are tried and tested tales.

We had a great honor a few weeks ago. We were guest lecturers for a class on storytelling at the University of San Diego. This is a class comprised mostly of school teachers and librarians who are working on their CEU's. We talked about our process and how to tell stories tandem style. We included some snazzy class participation bits that were well received. It was gratifying to get some very positive feedback from the participants. We know that some of what we taught will make it back to the classrooms to the edification of an unknown number of youths.

We rounded out the last two weeks with a set of

Ocean Stories, a Jewish book festival and a Hanukkah show.

The Patchwork Players were on hand at the San Diego Jewish Book Festival to tell stories to the young ones. We always love doing that show...and, as always, we left with an armload of books. To brush up on his Yiddish, James got a book titled 'From Shmere to Eternity'. A very fun read.

We went to the Children's Museumat La Habra to help promote their Ocean Adventures exhibit. We told some of our favorite ocean themed stories with an eye to conservation of our natural resources.

The next day we told (early) Hanukkah stories. We were called in by our local synagogue Congregation, B'nai Shalom, to share a few of our favorite Hanukkah stories. Some of our favorite come from the “mythical” town of Chelm, where all the citizens are fools. Also, many of the stories feature a favorite: potato ladkes! Yummy! We were followed by a troupe of talented young folks performing traditional Jewish folk dances. What a great show!

Lastly, we took a great step in Patchwork Players history! We have been working on a children's book called 'Baby Coyote' for a while now. For those of you who have not heard us tell this tale, it is the story of a baby coyote who does not know how to howl. This week we hired an artist, Jezreel Lopez, to work on the book. We are very excited to take this next step and are looking forward to having a finished product this next spring. Watch this space for further updates.

Telling stories takes us to interesting places all the time....some we visit in the stories, while other times we get to actually travel in person. All of the places are part of our magical story gathering journey.