Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Friday, May 6, 2011

Doc Ed at Morrill Elementary

I always feel first impressions are important and so do the good folks at Morrill Elementary School. Look at that sign. It fun and high spirited. That's a nice welcome to the school.

The architecture is pretty nice too.

The boards are okay for now but with a big audience magnified,projected images work best. I should be getting the Power Point back from the EAA techies next week in time for my next Doc Ed show.

Picking out a volunteer is always a challenge and with kids it's harder because they sometimes raise their hands automatically because that's the way kids are: They want to participate. You have to set things up before hand to give them an idea what might be expected of them as volunteers.

Yesterday's Doc Ed presentation at Morrill Elementary went fairly well. As I mentioned before I'm still fine tuning it and continue the process through the final days of the school year and through the summer months. The goal is to have it ready and fine tuned for the new school year.

At some point I'm going to need to record a few of these shows to do some serious nitpicking or even better, have Pammy watch a few shows and take notes. I make a few mental notes here and there but there's nothing like a second set of eyes watching closely for good pacing, comic timing and audience reactions.

Friday Roundup

It's here! Friday is finally here!! It's been a busy, crazy week here at Rancho Ramirez. Pammy is in the middle of a very intense week preparing for Mother's Day at the Grey Moss Inn. She might even have to work this Mother's day too. Bummer.

I've had five Doc Ed shows at four different schools this week. Lot'sa driving but lot'sa fun too. I love my job. I presented both the Amazing Aquifer Adventure Show and The History of a Rock Star Show. I'm pretty comfortable with the first show since I've been doing it for three years now. The newest show, History of a Rock Star, is going well though I'm still tweaking the bits of comic business and overall timing and pacing for it. You can't rush comedy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Whirlwind Week

My puppets are way in back. They look kind of like the Keystone Cops. Don't worry boys, I'm comin' to getcha!

The week is quickly coming to a finish here at Rancho Ramirez. Pammy has been busy at the Grey Moss Inn preparing for Mother's day then next week she'll be prepping for graduation parties. I've been busy with Doc Ed business and phone calls, etc. arranging for more work. Tomorrow I've another mid-day Doc Ed at Morrill Elementary and then I'm done for the week.

Pammy is in the early stages of being a production manager for Tamara Say's next flamenco production which will be this summer. Should be fun!

I still haven't picked up the marionette from Bob Abdou. I'm dying to get it and start working it. I keep forgetting to call. Just can't keep track of things lately. I might have to drive up to Austin this weekend.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This Week with Doc Ed

Yesterday the kids at Wilderness Oak Elementary spent some quality time with Doc Ed and today Doc Ed paid a visit to the 3rd graders at Mary Hull presenting The Amazing Aquifer Adventure Show. Tomorrow good ol' Doc will be at Nichols Elementary and Friday at Morril Elementary. Busy, busy, busy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From Way Back When- Cyndi Lauper

I love Cyndi Lauper!

Kodak Moment

That's a photo from this past Saturday's grand opening of the Mission Branch Library. Pictured are the authors and illustrators including myself that read and chatted about our work. Back row L to R: Jose Luis Orozco, myself, Xavier Garza. Bottom row seated: Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Terry Ibanez, Roxanna Montes Bazaldua.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Library Opening Literary Event

Pictured above is the main entrance to the Mission Branch Library located on the site of the Mission Drive- In in southeast San Antonio. They had the grand opening for it this past Saturday with a variety of activities and entertainment. I was amongst a number of writers and illustrators there for readings and book signings. I was pleased to see that there was a good sized crowd present. There were things to see and do both inside and outside as well as check out books or apply for a library card and then check out books (which a lot of people did that day).

One of the movie screens of the old drive-in still remains and I understand that it will be preserved and converted into an outdoor stage and who knows, perhaps also a screen. I've got some fond memories of that drive-in going back to 1985 when I was a student at UTSA. I remember going to the drive-in and enjoying the concession food which included chili dogs. Back when I was a kid in Laredo, they still served chili dogs at the movies not to mention the fact that most theaters in my hometown had huge single screens and balcony seating. fast forward to San Antonio 1985 where huge movie screens are few and far between and chili dogs are definitely a thing of the past...except at the Mission Dive-In Theater.

I was in heaven anytime I saw a movie there. There's nothing quite like watching a movie under the stars and chowing down on a chili dog. Sitting in the car was totally optional as well. One could sit on the hood or if you had a truck, turn it around to face the screen then sit or lay in the bed. Some folks would bring lawn chairs with them if they had a large number in their group. We were there last to watch Wallace and Gromit's Curse of the Wererabbit.

So when I was invited by Scholastic Books to do a reading for the event I immediately said yes though being there was a bittersweet experience for me. As much as I love books and libraries I wish they could have saved the drive in and built the library too only elsewhere. Still, it is a pretty spiffy library and it was much needed on that side of town.

Library courtyard with craft activities by volunteers.

Author and recording artist Jose Luis Orozco got kids and adults on their feet and dancing.

Xavier Garza, children's book author and illustrator, had everyone's attention with his spooky tale, "Llorona 911".

The only remaining structure from the Mission Drive In Theater left standing.

Another view of the screen taken by the front entrance to the library.

Here's the street-side view of that huge screen. They don't make them like that anymore. Oh, and in case your wondering why there aren't any photos of myself it's because my friend and art director Art Avila forgot to snap some shots with my camera though he did mention he knew the photograher roaming around taking photos for the library and might be able t get a copy from him. Keep your fingers crossed.

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