Why Live Entertainment Matters

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Joey

Just my thinking…

Our world is often dominated by the latest digital media; delivered everywhere, all the time. It’s an awesome thing. But to some it can seem like an assault. Not always, but sometimes.

I’d like to propose an idea that would really make a difference: more live entertainment. I know, that’s what I’ve done for the last thirty or so years, but hear me out. Those years of performing experience have also given me an opportunity to see the result of live entertainment on real people.
 
Look, I grew up watching TV. My favorite pastime was to come home from school, lie down in front of the tube, prop my head up on a foot-stool, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and watch. (Not a pretty picture, but true.) And to make matters worse, I’m referring to my high school years.
 
This past week The New Old Time Chautauqua and The Flying Karamazov Brothers were part of a theater arts immersion at several schools in and around Leavenworth, Washington. We (the Brothers and Chautauqua) finished with a big public show Saturday night (for adults, but kids were there too) at the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.
 
The school shows included workshops by the entertainers, each teaching their unique skill: juggling, magic, song, hula-hoop, mime, and clowning. I’m told that, collectively, about 1,200 kids were in our audiences and workshops at those schools throughout the week.
 
In one instance at a high school, several self-selecting kids performed the skills they had just learned for their entire school – live, in a workshop presentation.
 
Throughout the entire week, there we’re smiling faces everywhere: kids learning, teachers learning, kids laughing, teachers laughing. All live - right in front of each other. Face to face.
 
To me, that’s the real magic of what I do.
 
And this from a guy who spent his formative years lying down, watching TV, eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
 
This should give us all hope!