Some people need to perform. Others like to perform. I fall into the “like to” category. Well, most of the time. Apparently I had a thing for puppets as a child. Must have been all that Sesame Street and Muppet Show.
I guess the puppets didn’t take because I started to play trumpet in the 5th grade and played all the way through my first year of college. In middle school I picked up the bass guitar because they needed someone to play on the Middle School ministry worship team. (This is also where I met my would-be wife who plays piano and sings. We still sing and play together every Sunday. Kind of like these guys.) We had a bass at home so I asked my dad to teach me how to play. I only ever really played bass for church and still do from time to time. These days I mostly play cajon (drum box) at church. I like to play it with brushes. I’ve learned a way that almost makes it sound like I’m playing a kit comprised of hi-hat, snare, and kick. It works for us and I almost feel like a drummer. Almost. OK not really.
In high school I got into the drama class. In that class I was first exposed to something called improvisational theater. I was instantly hooked. The more I learned where it came from, how to do it, who else was doing it, I knew that I wanted to do it. I had also done some regular plays in high school, even wrote some original music for some of the shows, but improv was where it was at for me. My teacher learned what she knew from Seattle TheatreSports, now Unexpected Productions. When I went to UW one of the first things I did was look them up. Over my time there I managed to get all the way through their advanced classes. It was during this time of life when The Lord got his hands on me. Between going leaving UW and going to Bible College I had the privilege of going back to my old high school, as well as a few others schools back home, and teaching my own improv workshops. Serious fun. While I was at Bible College I was allowed to teach a class on using improv as a toolbox to create original sketches for outreach. The class also put on a show which can bee seen on YouTube.
Fast forward some years. While working a tech job to support the family, and old friend from UW called and asked if I wanted to be a yo-yo man. The short version of that story is that I said yes. I signed on with USA Yoyo Extravaganza, now All For Kidz and The Ned Show. In fact, my good friend Timmy is featured in this video. Basically, I was a human cartoon for 45 minutes, educating and encoring kids all over the word. It was a one-man show I did for almost four years. Good times!
Since then I have hung up my yoyo (for the most part). I still enjoy the occasional bit part in the local community theater. I love playing music at church. I look for opportunities to use the gifts, such as they are, that The Lord has given me.