Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Only Hope We Get Free Tickets

A professional entertainer attempted some audience participation with Thumper and may have regretted the decision. His exact words to me were, "He's going to have his own show before long!"

We've gone to live children's music shows before, most notably the live summer shows at Symphony Square which I have mentioned here and here, and we've also gone to a couple of Sunday morning free kids' shows at Ruta Maya, including one by a very nice stay-at-home mom named Sarah Dinan who invited me to join her play group once upon a time, though that play group eventually turned me down. Thumper has enjoyed all of these shows except for the last one at Ruta Maya, known as Mr. Leebot, billed as Devo for kids. We walked in the door and Thumper declared it "too loud," saying that it "made his belly hurt." So we haven't been back to Ruta Maya since. Though he's enjoyed most of the shows, he's been suspicious of attempts to get him to dance, or to sing along, or clap in time.

But today we checked out ScottyRoo and Christini at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse. It was a very small, informal, intimate performance that seemed heavily ad-libbed. There were perhaps half a dozen families with kids from one to four years old. What I really enjoyed about the show, despite the really bad pre-schooler-targeted stand-up comedy and puppet bits between songs, was that it was the first time Thumper actually participated in audience-participation moments. When they asked if anyone were afraid of bees or bugs that bite or sting before "Baby Bumble Bee," he raised his hand. He sang along in a couple of places, he jumped in front of his chair during "Pet Kangaroo." The more he warmed to ScottyRoo, the chattier and more outgoing he got until he finally was standing in front of ScottyRoo's keyboard holding a full conversation, oblivious to the audience behind him. He told ScottyRoo his full name and age, he asked if ScottyRoo were afraid of dragons or triceratops and advised him he need not be afraid of baby triceratops because they come from eggs and are tiny. Some of the time, ScottyRoo had no idea what he was talking about, as when he asked if ScottyRoo liked Despicable Me, the movie we were going to see after the show. ScottyRoo said, "Spooky what? Is that a TV show? I probably wouldn't like it if it's spooky. I get scared easily."

ScottyRoo had been playing an extended musical interlude on his keyboard throughout this exchange then looked at me and said, "He's going to have his own show before long!" I took this as a cry for help. I wondered if maybe I should've intervened sooner, but I figured if ScottyRoo didn't want his show hijacked by a three-year-old, maybe he shouldn't engage them in conversation like that. It was time for us to leave to make it to our movie on time, so we exited stage right while ScottyRoo sang about his friend Thumper who likes dragons and triceratops.


Scott Hardy said...

LOL! We STILL talk about Thumper! He also elaborated that if I had fears of large dinosaurs then I should start with a baby because they are smaller. He was helping me manage fears! A brilliant 3 year old to say the least! Tell him hello from us, and if you can come see us at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower center for "Luminations" Much love, ScottyRoo & Christini

I, Rodius said...

Thanks, Scott! It brought a little joy to my day to see that you found us. I think the Wildflower Center event looks like a great one. We'll try to make it. I'll do my best to keep Thumper from hijacking your set.

She Said said...

Go, Thumper!! It's all that Yo Gabba Gabba practice. :)

Scott Hardy said...

Thumper can Hijack any of our shows! That type of interaction and improvisation have become the hallmark of our shows now. We had only been performing our kids show for a few months when you saw us. Thumper was actually influential in moving us in that direction. At Ruta Maya a few weeks ago an ambitious 2.5 year old took the stage, sat down and starting gently playing a ditty of his own creation on my keyboard. His mom was initially concerned/mortified but I asked if it was ok for him to continue his song. She agreed and the audience (about 100 people) loved it!
When the applause finished I said "Some kids have something to say, and some kids have something to play!" Our fears and filters are, I suppose, somewhat necessary as adults, but it's an honor to interact with these kids with their open minds and free spirits. Seeing a parent take the time to provide enrichment for their children makes Christine and I feel such hope and optimism for the future. Good people helping make more good people!

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