After nearly eight months in development, I performed Les Voyages Fantastique last week at my local library in Escondido.
Towards the end I was getting a little worried. I had only practiced it once or twice with my bucket. (For those of you who haven't seen me perform in person, I have a five-gallon bucket with a state of Texas License plate on the side, and a seat for a lid, that I use to transport my gear to shows) I was using my bucket as a prop - the cannonball upon which I rode, the place I set my head while awaiting execution, and the seat I could "pop up" from when I needed to appear bigger than life (more on that later).
Besides only getting one or two practices with my bucket, I was beginning to worry that the show might not appeal to the audience. This wasn't standard fair, there was no repetition, not a lot of obvious laughs, the entire story is first person and it grows more and more complex as the characters interact with each other. I was also worried in that I didn't get time to make an outfit for the show, and that I dropped the music.
In the end it worked - fantastically. The literary tie-in worked great for the library, the framing story of me, as a young boy, perfectly meshed with summer reading, and my delivery went great.
I started out talking about reading adventure stories, or as Jules Verne called them, Les Voyages Fantastique, in bed and then segued into the actual story (I thought it was a great segue too). As the story progressed, over the next thirty-five minutes, my "Charles Emerson Winchester" accent grew thicker and thicker until the climax, and then into the denouement I dropped it - indicating the return to the normal world.
I have never received a response like this from an audience that young, they literally exploded in applause.
I learned a great deal about project development and story writing with this program. But, most importantly, I learned a lot about delivering this type of action-adventure story to a gentler audience without the constant barrage of scary-violence.
A great time was had by all!