Coming Up Oct. 18: Odds Bodkin’s Zoom Performance of HERCULES IN HELL

 

A Professor of Classics should know what he’s talking about, and Joseph Walsh of Loyola University Maryland certainly does. He and his students experienced an Odds Bodkin Zoom performance just three weeks ago. Here’s what he wrote:

“Odds Bodkin has been thrilling our students every Fall for years now with his live performances, and this year’s zoom performance of Iliad Book 1 was every bit as successful. We have gotten a good deal of feedback from the attendees, and it indicates that they were mesmerized, as usual.  Indeed, several students who had seen Odds perform in the past – and he has fans who come back every year – considered it even better.  They loved the fact that they could see his face up close, watch his fingers dance across his guitar and harp, and they thought not a bit of the usual intensity and beauty of his performance was lost.”

Now you can have a front row seat for yet another dynamic telling of a Greek mythology classic, HERCULES IN HELL. This GOLDEN HEADSET AWARD-winning spoken word tale features amazing voices, a score on 12-string guitar, and an exploration of the shocking myth of Hercules. His murders, his labors, his enslavement, his triumphs.

This is an adult storytelling. No children please.

Sunday, Oct. 18 at 5 pm EST on Zoom

Tickets are $15.

 

Sponsored by Grendel’s Den.

“DAD, I FIGURED OUT WHY IT TRANSLATES”

I’ve been a full-time professional storyteller since 1982, and in all those years and across all the recordings I’ve made, I only sell one video. It’s of The Iliad: Book I performed live before a high school audience. All the rest are audios, because, well, my business is to urge people to imagine. I use words and music to do it.

When I turn on a screen, however, I don’t want to imagine. I want that to be done for me ahead of time by actors, directors and composers, with scene changes. I want to watch what they’ve imagined, not some talking head. Usually I’m live on a stage a few feet away from a front row of listeners; the audience stretches out behind them, as far as the PA system can send the sound. They listen and imagine. I never thought I’d give that up.

Enter the coronavirus.

No more live audiences, right?

Gavin Bodkin, my entrepreneur middle son who helps run the ultra-cool company called Circular Blu, now in his thirties, has graciously become my Zoom producer as well because—oh, I’ll just say it–he loves me a lot and wants to see me keep performing. I live in an old three-storey house and the attic is pretty big, big enough for an area of it now to have become my new “Zoom Studio.” I’ve done a few shows on full-screen over Zoom, but until the other day remained skeptical it could really work for people.

And so I was shocked when Gavin said, “Dad, I’ve figured out why your Zoom shows translate.”

“Do tell,” I said, wondering if he meant it.

“No, seriously. It’s your eyes.”

Unlike an actor with a fourth wall, as a storyteller I always make eye contact with my audience, an old habit. It builds the storytelling spell. Now, since there’s nobody to look at, I’ve been making eye contact with the camera lens, just a couple of feet away.

Gavin went on. “You’re close up and your eyes are locked onto the camera, even as you’re playing your instruments. I think that’s why it works.” While he’s producing, he watches all the people’s reactions at home. Kids dancing and smiling. Adults laughing, even clapping. I don’t get to see any of that because I’m busy with the art aspect, this photo of me being an ogre who’s holding an imaginary fairy notwithstanding.

“They’re all imagining, dad. I think this whole thing is going to work.”

My next show is coming up this Sunday, July 19th at 7 pm EST on Zoom. I’m working with Grendel’s Den in Cambridge MA. It’s early Greek mythology. FALL OF THE TITANS. Tickets are $15. Drop by and let me know afterwards if it translates. There will be a Q&A.

Oh, and no kids, please. It’s an adult show.

Story Time with Odds Bodkin on Facebook Live: Friday Finale/THE EVERGREENS & THE NAME OF THE TREE

Each day this week Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will tell a different music-filled story from his collection of tales for children.

The performances are at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re a mom or dad with kids at home during this scary time and you need a break, then sit the kids down for two stories with sweet and warm characters, amazing sound effects and a live score on 12-string guitar and African sanza.

On Friday, April 3rd, at 12 noon EST, he’ll perform THE EVERGREENS, a tale from Denmark on 12-string guitar, and THE NAME OF THE TREE, a wise Bantu tale from Africa on thumb piano.

Follow Odds Bodkin at

https://www.facebook.com/oddsbodkin/

and join him on April 3 at 12 noon EST.

Please share with friends and family!

Visit Odds Bodkin’s Download Store for hours of listening!

Story Time with Odds Bodkin on Facebook Live for Wednesday, April 1st: The Elf of Springtime

Each day this week Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will tell a different music-filled story from his collection of tales for children.

The performances are at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re a mom or dad with kids at home during this scary time and you need a break, then sit the kids down for a half hour of fun characters, amazing sound effects and a live score Celtic harp.

On Wednesday April 1st at 12 noon EST, he’ll perform The Elf of Springtime, a heartwarming Swedish folktale told with Celtic harp.

Follow Odds Bodkin at

https://www.facebook.com/oddsbodkin/

and join him on April 1st at 12 noon EST for this live show!

Please share with friends and family!

 

Story Time with Odds Bodkin on Facebook Live for Tuesday, March 31st: Finn MacCool and the Big Man

Each day this week Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin will tell a different music-filled story from his collection of tales for children.

The performances are at 12 noon Eastern Standard Time.

If you’re a mom or dad with kids at home during this scary time and you need a break, then sit the kids down for a half hour of wild characters, amazing sound effects and a live score on 12-string guitar.

On Tuesday March 31st, at 12 noon EST, he’ll perform Finn MacCool and the Big Man, a hilarious Irish folktale with a song to learn.

Follow Odds Bodkin at

https://www.facebook.com/oddsbodkin/

and join on March 31st at 12 noon EST.

Please share with friends and family!

Shiva, Parvati, Yudisthira, Ganesha, Bhima, Arjuna and a Faithful Dog in Mahabharata Tales for Adults

Although the princes of two families grew up as demigods together, they have always competed for rulership of the city of Hastinapur. Each armed with fantastical powers, the Kurus and the Pandava brothers fight with magical mantras as much as with weapons. They’re not above trickery and murder. And it is their sweeping tale, arcing across history, bejeweled with hundreds of stories-within-stories, that is The Mahabharata.

When I first read it, I was stunned by the particle weapons and cluster bombs the characters wielded–this in a book created 2,500 years ago. I was also amazed by the immense floating cities. And by the Himalayan forests where emeralds were the leaves. And by the epic journeys encountering beings of all kinds. And by the Hindu gods especially, visiting humans like aunts and uncles on vacation from heaven.

It reminded me of Homer’s Iliad, and how the Greek gods whisked warriors away from death on the Trojan plain.

It’s a mythic storyteller’s dream, this great epic. And with my 12-string guitars and harp tuned to the world of Indian ragas, I’ll scratch The Mahabharata’s surface on Sunday, March 29th at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

If you’re of Indian descent, please do come. You’ll enjoy it. It is highly honorable and Indian folks in Chicago loved it.

This fourth Grendel’s Den winter season has been a series of sell-out shows, and India’s Ancients: Tales from the Mahabharata and Beyond is the performance that fans voted for, out of a field of four adult tellings, to be the final one.

So this is the one I’m preparing for.

Some of the finest, most wondrous stories I’ve ever come across.

 

INDIA’S ANCIENTS: TALES FROM THE MAHABHARATA AND BEYOND

ODDS BODKIN

MARCH 29, 2020 AT 5:30 PM

GRENDEL’S DEN, CAMBRIDGE MA

TICKETS $20

VIP TABLES AVAILABLE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TWO EVIL DWARVES: They Who Kill for the Blood of Wisdom/Viking Myths at Grendel’s Den with Odds Bodkin

“Fjalar.”

“Yes, Galar.”

“I miss the mead. I miss those sips. I didn’t understand what happened to me when I drank it, Fjalar.”

“I did. Wisdom happened to you, Galar. That’s why you didn’t unders…”

Suddenly their heavy oaken door blew in and landed flat on the floor. There stood an old man in a grey robe and wide hat, his one-eyed, scarred face half-obscured in the swirling stone dust. He carried a gnarled staff in his left hand.

“Dwarves…” said the stranger, who, although they did not know it, was Odin, who was about to kill them. He’d finally found the murderers of his best friend. “Welcome…”

A mortal fear swept the two dwarf brothers of Nidavellir.

 

 

THE MEAD OF POETRY is the second story in ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, an adult storytelling with music at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA this coming Sunday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m.

Eat Viking food, drink mead, and then settle in for an evening of adult storytelling.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a preternatural ability to create characters with an array of simply inspired voices.”—digboston 2020

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

ODDS BODKIN

GRENDEL’S DEN, CAMBRIDGE MA

SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 2020 AT 5:30 PM

TICKETS $20 IN ADVANCE, $25 AT THE DOOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Sunday in Cambridge, MA: ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

As Loki hangs on while Thor thunders his chariot down Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge to earth, Loki hollers over the wind, “Thor, how fast can this chariot go?” The heavy vehicle is drawn by two He-Goats, Snarler and Tooth Grinder.

“I can cross ten leagues in an hour!” Thor proudly replies.

“Oh, then how many leagues can you cross in ten hours?”

Thor’s brows knit. He snorts, unable to think that far. “Don’t ask stupid questions, Loki!” Then a light enters Thor’s eyes. Ah, he has the answer. “Far enough!”


In Odds Bodkin’s telling of Thor’s Journey to Utgard, although Thor knows Loki is a liar and tells him so to his face, he still needs Loki’s cleverness. At least he thinks he does. Their insulting banter is constant as they make their way to Utgard, the capital city of the Frost Giants.

Thor is there to prove his strength. The outcome is altogether different.

This is one of two Viking myths, along with Viking lore, I’ll be offering Sunday March 8th at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

Come eat Viking food and drink mead from Grendel’s Den’s complimentary Odds Bodkin glass!

ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS

An Adult Storytelling with live music

Sunday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m.

Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square, Cambridge MA

TICKETS: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

 

TAKE ODDS’ STORIES HOME WITH YOU.

The Fans Have Spoken: India’s Ancients is My Final Cambridge Show

I was a bit wary when Kari Kuelzer, she who runs Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA, suggested that for my final show this winter, we ask the fans to choose it.

“Nobody’s going to do that,” I observed.

“No, we’ll put it up on Eventbrite so when people buy their tickets for Beowulf and The Odyssey, they can vote,” she replied, looking determined, which spelled doom for me to say no.

I remained skeptical but grudgingly agreed to offer a choice between Heartpounders: Tales of the Supernatural, Hercules in Hell, India’s Ancients: Tales from the Mahabharata and Fall of the Titans. They’re all full evenings of storytelling.

Lo and behold, people voted and in the end India’s Ancients edged out Heartpounders. This was all revealed at the Odyssey show last Sunday. So it looks as if I’ll be trotting out some of my favorite tales to tell, especially Yudisthira at Heaven’s Gate. And I’ll have to practice up my 12-string guitar motifs designed to sound like a sitar. I developed these stories for shows at the Art Institute of Chicago years ago, and recently at the Peabody Essex Museum.

 

India’s Ancients: Tales from the Mahabharata and Beyond

March 29, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

Grendel’s Den, Cambridge MA

Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Story Flash Drives Tomorrow Night At Grendel’s Den: A Chance to Buy All Four Hours of Odds Bodkin’s THE ODYSSEY

18 full-length storytelling albums on a single flash drive.

TICKETS: $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

ILIADMATIC: ODDS BODKIN BRINGS BARDIC STORYTELLING TO A TRANSFORMED GRENDEL’S DEN

 

No Man Did It! No Man Killed Me!

So howls Polyphemus the Cyclops to the other cyclopses outside his stone door. He’s been blinded by a giant spear in his one eye as he slept, a spear carved from a tree by Odysseus and his men. Now thrashing in agony in the darkness, the monster has attracted the other monsters with his howls.

“I’m blinded! I am killed!” he screams.

“Who did this to you, Polyphemus?” calls one outside.

“No Man did it! No Man killed me!”

“Well, if it is no man, then it is the work of the gods. Good bye!”

Polyphemus has been cruelly fooled, doubly so. For as Odysseus has poured brandy into the monster’s bowl and fooled him into drunkenness, and the monster has asked him his name, Odysseus has replied, “My name is No Man,” fooling him again.


Come hear this and other adventures from Odds Bodkin’s adult storytelling, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST, this coming Sunday in Cambridge, MA.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” —  Billboard

 

Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square

Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner.

Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Odds Bodkin performs THE ODYSSEY on Harvard Square Sunday Feb. 9

Grendel’s Den hosts Odds Bodkin for the second show in his winter adult storytelling series, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST. Eat Greek specialty menu items, drink, and then settle in for hypnotic music on 12-string guitar as Bodkin spins mythic magic with vocal effects, character voices and narration.

Introduction to Homer and Greek mythology on Celtic harp.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.