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December 2007

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  • Act!vated Storytellers
    Greetings from Greensboro, NC, Winter is inching in upon us, but by a strange coincidence, we re inching our way south. (Good thing, because for some reason
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 27, 2007
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      Greetings from Greensboro, NC,

      Winter is inching in upon us, but by a strange coincidence, we're inching our way south. (Good thing, because for some reason we've had a devil of a time finding propane for our RV lately.) During the month of November, we've made our way down from New England to North Carolina, where we spent Thanksgiving in the Greensboro/ Winston-Salem area, so Zephyr could spend some time with his band and even get some recording done.

      On the way, we took a bike ride into Washington, D.C., one of our favorite sightseeing cities. The Smithsonian Institution has many wonderful museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Postal Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian, to name just a few. And they're all free! Not to mention Ford's Theatre, the Washington Monument, The Lincoln Memorial,etc. etc. The day we went into town was Veterans' Day, and we passed by two holiday ceremonies, one at Arlington Cemetery and the other at National Mall. Thousands of veterans from all branches of the armed forces were on hand, most wearing commemorative jean jackets and some showing off their shiny motorcycles. Zephyr took advantage of the increased crowds to do some strutting in public as Capt. Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Caribbean", and have his picture taken with tourists.

      But Capt. Jack might be taken aback (a term of nautical origin, incidentally) to learn that his ship got its details "100 percent wrong" for vessels of the era, according to a guide at Jamestown Settlement, where we dropped in just prior to Thanksgiving. Jamestown, of course, was the site of the first English colony in America. You know -- Pocahontas and Powhatan and John smith, oh my. (The day before, we had performed at Pocahontas Elementary in Powhatan. How cool is that?) As you know, these folks had a life long before Disney -- and, for that matter, long before the myths and legends that gave rise to the Disney myths and legends. What better place to get the facts straight than at the source?

      The Settlement features an excellent indoor museum (it even had Zephyr absorbed, and if anyone is museum-jaded, he is) that depicts the three cultures that converged here: the English settlers, the Native Americans, and the Africans imported as slaves. Currently the museum features a special exhibit, in observance of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, "The World of 1607", featuring articles on loan from the period from all over the world. But it's on the outside that Jamestown really comes to life, with costumed interpreters giving tours and conducting hands-on demonstrations at a recreated Powhatan village (Powhatan was the name of the tribe, not its chief), a recreated fort, and replicas of the three ships the immigrants came over on. We asked our guide about the old yarn concerning Pocahontas supposedly saving the life of John Smith, and he informed us that Smith's journals reported similar incidents in other places to which he traveled -- indicating that he was a kindred spirit, a spinner of tall tales.

      And now we're getting ready to perform for the first time ever in Georgia, making state number 45 for us!! (Plus D.C. and Japan.) After that, it's Florida for the winter, no doubt including Zephyr's annual pilgrimage to Disney. Maybe he'll tell them the REAL story of John Smith and Pocahontas, if they're interested! Wait until they hear that Powhatan's name was actually Wahunsunacock.

      Remember, December is Write A Friend Month; and in fact Dec. 7 is Letter Writing Day. So keep in touch with people, even if it's by email instead of those outdated pieces of paper in stamped envelopes. And if you feel like dropping us a line, we'd be glad to hear from you!

      Dennis, Kimberly, and Zephyr Goza
      The Act!vated Storytellers

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      In this issue:

      • Podcasting Stories: New Episodes
      • Upcoming Public Shows - Winter Schedule
      • December Is

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      Podcasting Activated Stories

      To listen just click on one of the Activated Stories in our audio library and you can listen on your computer or MP3 player anytime, anywhere, for free. Each episode is about 15-20 minutes long.

      Since the November issue of the Laugh and Learn ledger we've added:

      "The Crowded Hut" is a Yiddish tale about a man who lived with his family in such a dwelling, and liked to complain because it was too cramped. He sought the advice of a wise old woman (or a Rabbi in some versions) who offered some rather unorthodox advice.

      With Dennis as the old man, Kimberly as the old woman and Zephyr as the narrator; assisted by various beasts

      Direct download: The_Crowded_Hut.mp3

      Show notes and subscription information at activated.libsyn.com.

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      Upcoming Public Shows

      There is only one public show in January. Sorry, the rest are scheduled at schools and are for students only. Please check our tour schedule online for details, corrections and updates. More information about the shows plus a study guide with background information and fun activities to enrich the learning experience.

      • 1/12/2008 at 3:00 PM Miami Lakes Branch Library, Miami Lakes, FL - presenting Shakespeare Shazam!

      Tell your school, library, theatre, or community group about the show; download a flyer to print and share. If you are interested in scheduling a show just send a reply to this newsletter OR call us toll free 1 (800) 429-6576.

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      Folktale Show Title for June 2008 - May 2009 Tour

      Last issue we told you we decided what stories to bring on the next tour. But we had yet to decided on a title. Well, now we have one. Drum roll please..... "Creepy Crawly Critter Tales" We have a thing for alliteration, in case you can't tell.

      Each show will feature TWO of the following 20-25 minute folktales.

      • Paul Bunyan and the Beesquitos: American Tall Tale
      • Follow the Buzz: from Japan (original music)
      • Anansi Goes Fishing: a trickster tale from Africa
      • The Coyote and the Eagle: a nature myth told by the Zuni Tribe (Native American)

      Yes, we are booking summer 2008 NOW!

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      December is Time to Celebrate!

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