MAYOR OF STORYVILLE - Inspiring children to use their creativity
I was so shy in First Grade nobody knew my name. The cows on my Grandpas farm didn't mind that I was shy, and I loved their mooing. As a kid I collected sounds like other kids collect stamps, and I've always had this strange ability to impersonate almost anything and anyone. When I moo, the cows moo back, they still do. The cows and my relatives enjoyed my impersonations, which finally helped me to overcome shyness. I will always have a place in my heart for shy kids.
It was my 10:00 show at comedy club called "Little Bit of Magic," which changed everything. As a stand-up comedian I was known for impersonations, one routine had 28 impersonations in a seven-minute skit—a one-man That’s Entertainment. I told the audience, "It's late... and time for a bedtime story. They giggled. I told them “The Loneliest Crayon,” a story dedicated to anyone who’s ever been picked last in gym class. When I finished the story, there was an eerie pause. I saw big smiles and watery eyes. Then came the applause and I knew I had found a little bit of magic.
Immediately, I began performing as the Mayor of Storyville for hospitals, schools, organizations and corporate functions, entertaining families and inspiring children to use their creativity. I discovered adults loved the way I wove my voices through stories and songs as much as their children did. Grandparents said it reminded them of old time radio. Each day, I tell a story to two new people. I have been doing that for 18 years.
On nick.com I’m the voice of Billy Borschtbelt, 40 Winks (Camp Counselor Kenny), Dutch, and Alien Answer Brain. As a children’s author, my books, include Disney’s Look and Find Aladdin, Dinosaur Park, Noah's Ark Play-a-Sound and My First Treasury Christmas Stories—in total selling over 1,000,000 copies.
My Mayor of Storyville program is shot live in schools before 300-400 K-5th grade students. The show also airs on public access (yes…I am the Wayne’s World of Children’s shows) and have raised thousands at fundraisers that benefit children's charities: City of Hope, Chicago Commons, Pediatric Aids and others.
My wife and I spend a lot of time playing Duck, Duck, Goose, SPUD, and Frozen Tag in TuTus (also known as “Killer Ballerina”) with our 8 and 10 year-old daughters…Dolly our dachshund likes to join in too. Together, we live in New Lenox, Illinois. My girls keep me on my toes…they expect a new bedtime story every night. By the end of the day the Mayor is bushed, but 213 of those stories wouldn’t let me sleep until I typed them up. With more stories to come, my challenge is to become the “Hans Christian Andersen of the 21st Century.” I hope you’ll enjoy the journey with me.
"Have fun, be kind to one another, be good, and I'll see you real soon ... in Storyville.”
NOTE: Download the first 7 stories and songs FREE from the CDBaby Mayor of Storyville "Now THIS is FUN ” CD page — "The Loneliest Crayon" plus 6 others tracks are FREE ... my goal is 100,000 FREE downloads ... Enjoy! Mayor's Treat.