Sunday, February 7, 2010
Yesterday I spent the day at the Performer’s Showcase at the library in Fremont. Heaps of performers interested in getting gigs at public libraries and school libraries show up to give their pitch in a strictly timed 8 minutes. Librarians from all over the SF Bay Area come to survey the talent and shop for artists for children’s events at their libraries. The artists must submit a proposal to the Performer’s Showcase sponsors and be accepted to perform. I went to read from The Call to Shakabaz and to talk about my author visit in the schools and libraries, which includes a bookmaking art project if desired. Although I sold several books based on the excerpt I read aloud, my presentation was tame compared to some of the other wonderful acts that I had the pleasure of experiencing while there. A splendid Nigerian drummer had everyone on their feet hopping. A pair of shy and understated teenage sisters playing Irish and American dance music on fiddle and cello totally blew us away. A real character who works at the Academy of Sciences unleashed his reptiles (snakes and frogs) and had us howling with laughter. At the end of the day, as I settled into the long drive home, I reflected back on the performances. Each of us who showcased loves what we do. We have a passion for children’s books, magic, science, music, dance, art, puppetry, or whatever we take out to children in libraries everywhere. The passion of each performer came shining through each compressed 8 minutes. It was an honor and a delight to spend my day with such inspired folks.