Monday, April 27, 2009

Recent Gigs and News

Already at the end of April and I've been able to post one story! Apologies dear listeners, I was hoping to release the telling of a story based on Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant, but the computer malfunctioned on the day that I tried to record that story. *grumble*grumble*

The good news is that I did record a show I performed at Gerald McShane school in Montreal last week: I just need to make some time to review it and pull out the stories that really worked.

And the big news this weeks is ... *drum roll* I got tentative permission to retell and record a story called The Hall of Wonders. Ever since I heard this story (back in the early 2000s), I've been telling it at shows and festivals (always giving credit to the author, Thomas Fuller).

But now that I'm recording my shows, I was hoping to be able to include it on my next CD project. Unfortunately, the author has passed away, so I wasn't sure who to contact. I finally got in touch with the creator of The Moonlit Road (the inspiration for this storyblog) and he has put me in touch with Mr. Fuller's press agent. They have given me tentative permission to include the story on the CD, but I need to contact the agent for written permission. Still... very exciting!

Also, this past weekend I attended the Montreal Beltane Fair and listened to a panel discussion with 8 authors about the publishing business. It was one of the most honest discussion about writing and publishing I have ever heard, which was a bit depressing and heartening at the same time.

Dr. Brendan Myers explained that modern publishers do very little to promote their writers these days (with few exceptions). The time, effort, and expense of promoting and marketing of a book is left mostly to the writer. I've toying with the idea of going to a bigger publisher with my next book, but if they're not going to help me with the promotion of it, I might be better off with sticking with my small publisher and simply selling the books at shows.

However, it was heartening to hear that my efforts over the past four years to promote and sell my book/CD You Don't Know Jack are quite standard now, which means I haven't been doing it wrong all this time.

I need to root through my things, but I thnk I might actually be down to my last 25 copies of the book (from the original printing of 500 copies back in 2005). I may do a second printing of You Dont' Know Jack in addition to my new CD and future book/CD. Money is tight for everyone nowadays, so everything must be carefully considered.

And lastly, keep an eye out for our new show taking place in the next two months. It's likely to happen on a Sunday night at Hurley's Irish pub. Musician Shayne Gryn and I have been rehearsing a show since December and hope to put it on sometime in May or June 2009.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Wise Fool story for April

The Wise Fool is a classic theme in storytelling. I've always been a fan of underdog stories, and Jack has always had great things to teach us. Even in modern storytelling, we always root for the underdog because he embodies our greatest fears and hopes. Somewhere, lurking in our psyche, we fear that we're not good enough, but we hope that we can carry the day just by being who we are.

Our hero Jack shows us that if we just trust in ourselves, we can rise to any occasion. No ghost is too terrifying, no dragon is too big, no quest is too impossible, unless you don't try and Jack always tries.

In this story, Jack Cures the Doctor, everyone seems to be trying to trick everyone else. Everyone is playing the fool, challenging the others to out-fool, to out-wit. This story is featured on my book/CD You Don't Know Jack, but I really like this recording of it because you can hear the children's reaction to Jack's solution.

I love it and I hope you do too. Happy April Fool's day!

News: This story was published on my new CD "The Bard's New Hat". Read more about it on my website.

Jack Cures the Doctor (11:17 minutes)
Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey