Time For Some Halloween Fun!

Halloween season is upon us, and I could not be more giddy.

I have a slew of events and projects over the next six weeks that will be fun and crazy and creepy and awesome. It all starts this weekend with the 4th Annual Warner Library Headless Halloween Mini-Golf event. All day, on Saturday, September 23, the hallowed halls of our venerable library are turned into 19 holes of mini-golf awesomeness!

 

I’ve overseen this glorious event since its inception and am blown away with what the other builders come up with. That skull opens and closes its mouth!

Friday, September 29, I begin my unofficial residency at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery by hosting an original murder mystery event: Murder at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Someone is going to die and everyone is a suspect! Even you! Be warned, tickets are very limited!

The next day, Saturday, September 30, I’ll be back at the cemetery presenting Dark Dahl – Roald Dahl’s Creepy Tales at 5:00 and then again at 7:30.

On Thursday, October 5, I’ll be doing a reading of my latest Middle Grade novel, Beyond the Doors at the Warner Library in Tarrytown at 7:00.

Saturday, October 7, will find me spending the day at the Collingswood Book Festival in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Then on Monday, October 9, I’ll be back at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for two performances of An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe. Shows are at 5:00 and 7:30.

I will be appearing at the Barnes & Nobles in Yonkers, NY on Friday, October 13 (Friday the 13th!) for a reading and signing at 6:30.

The next day, Saturday, October 14, is the annual Sleepy Hollow Street Fair in Sleepy Hollow, NY. I’ll have a booth with books and goodies so come on by!

And that takes us through the first half of October! There’s plenty more in the second half, including an exciting new project I’ve been working all year on with Historic Hudson Valley that I hope to be able to announce soon.

Happy Halloween!

What the Audience Doesn’t Know

Earlier today, I got all dolled up in period dress and preformed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for an appreciative crowd at Warner Library. The event  was the Gunpowder Kids awards, where kids who have volunteered in the village throughout the year are celebrated. A good group, of all ages, and they ate it up.

My performance is a fully-memorized one-man show. It spans around 25 minutes, tells the whole story using Irving’s words, and generally leaves the audience satisfied. Right in the middle of the story, however, my mind went absolutely, 100% blank. I just plum lost everything. One second I was running full steam ahead, the next my head was as empty as leaky bucket. Which I would think would be very empty. Hence the metaphor.

Work with me, people.

So I broke into that special, split-personality thing performers do when their body is going through the motions while the mind is scrambling for something. I sort of half-repeated what I’d just said, slowing down both for effect and a desire to stretch out the time, while my mind backed-up and quickly ran through it again, trying to figure out what I’d missed. It didn’t work. I gave up backing up and scanned ahead, looking for a good place to jump back into the story. Meanwhile, my lips started babbling random words that felt like they belonged, trying desperately not to lose the audience.

After what seemed forever, but was probably only a few seconds, I dove back in with both feet and got back into the rhythm of the story. Yes, I had skipped some things–and of course once I started, I realized where I’d gone wrong and had to resist the urge to go back–but I managed to pull the train into the station, so to speak.

When I was done, everyone erupted with applause. They loved it. And not a one had any idea that I’d utterly blanked in the middle of the show. I even asked a couple of my friends if they’d noticed anything, but they didn’t. They thought I had been perfect.

This has happened before. Point of fact, I doubt I have ever done one of my one-man shows the same way twice. I used to wonder why the audience seemed oblivious to my obvious missteps. But I long ago realized the key to getting through these momentary mind-erasures–bluff. As long as I seem confident, nobody knows the difference. Bluff and bluster and just keep saying something. Anything.

What the audience doesn’t know can’t hurt you.