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“a modern-day Orpheus”–Billboard Magazine
“one of the great voices in American storytelling”–Wired
Why do Silicon Valley executives raise their children technology-free? This headline from The Guardian says it all: TABLETS OUT, IMAGINATION IN: THE SCHOOLS THAT SHUN TECHNOLOGY.
They do it because they want their kids to be imaginative and mentally healthy, basically. Looking out over the wasteland of anger, narcissism, teen suicides, obesity and incivility that social media networks have caused in young lives recently, many of these tech wizards are scared for their own kids.
Like King Midas, everything they touched has turned to gold. But don’t forget the old story: When King Midas touches his own daughter, whom he loves, she turns to gold, too. That’s the end of her.
Digital Addiction begins with kids interacting with screens. The colorful, always-changing worlds they find are so much fun that when they’re suddenly without their screens and look up to see the real world around them, it simply moves too slowly. It’s boring. This causes a kind of free-floating, stimulation-seeking depression.
Down through the ages, kids engaged in creative play with toys and role-playing, attempting to do what grownups did, but in miniature. It has always been this way. But not now, not in the dopamine-laden world of video games and social networks. Not unless the kids’ lives are balanced by getting them away from these devices.
It’s ironic. Now that the digital masters of the universe are having families, too, they realize this, smart as they are. Heck, they built these things to be addictive. And yes, they love their kids, too.
So what is the indispensable skill they want their children to develop at these very expensive, very selective kindergartens and elementary schools where less is more?
What grows imagination best?
Creative outdoor play, kids playing with kids, without any adults around.
If that’s not possible, what’s the next best thing?
As Einstein said, “If you want your child to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”
Wait a moment, you might say. Odds Bodkin is using digital media at the moment. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical?
That’s because my imagination developed long ago, when I was a kid, playing outside all day, and then, after coming back home, listening to my dad tell me stories.
FALL OF THE TITANS/Adult Storytelling in Nashua NH on Sept. 23rd.
Cronus, her last born Titan, will do anything for power, and so when his mother Gaia asks him to castrate his father, he’s more than willing to do it, but only if he rules the cosmos in his father’s stead. Gaia is so deeply furious with her husband Ouranos that she urges Cronus on. After the deed is done, he hurls the family jewels into the sea, but they don’t sink. Instead, from the bloody package surges a pink froth that shoves a giant seashell up into the waves. When it comes to shore and opens, out steps a tiny, unbelievably beautiful little thing. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, the first of the Olympians. The eldest of them all.
The Titans have no idea what she is.
That’s a mistake.
And so their fall from power begins.
Fall of the Titans
An adult evening event with storyteller and musician Odds Bodkin. A full score on 12-string guitar accompanies the tale.
Sunday, Sept. 23rd at 7 pm at the Riverwalk Café and Music Bar, Nashua NH.
What better way to start the school year than with magical harp music echoing through your school’s halls? The children wonder where it’s coming from, and teachers stand smiling at their doors because they know Odds Bodkin is beckoning to his audience. Soon the children file in and see a man playing the harp, surrounded by instruments. Quietly, three hundred students sit, forgetting to talk to each other, and Odds weaves the rich music, preparing them for stories.
“By the time I’m ready to speak words, we’re all friends,” says the storyteller. “The music does it. It uplifts them. The harp is a crystalline, magical starship, it really is.”
And then the stories for GOLDEN RULE begin. Stories from around the world that teach empathy. A collection for K-2 audiences. Another for grades 3-5. All with ongoing music, blended with the words.
It’s literacy, performing arts and solid ethical learning for kids, all in one show. To learn how to bring Odds Bodkin to your children’s school this year, visit:
With 12-string guitar in hand, Odds Bodkin sits down with interviewer Brother Wolf to answer questions about creating character voices, vocal effects and music in Bodkin’s brand of muse-inspired storytelling. Here are the secrets this “modern day Orpheus” (Billboard) uses to create his unique performance art. Click to listen!
Downloadable Myths, Epics, Folktales and More…Starting at $.99
The Odyssey: An Epic Telling
The Wise Little Girl: Tales of the Feminine
Beowulf: The Only One
David and Goliath
Paul Bunyan Tall Tales
The Little Proto Dinosaur Trilogy
And many other unforgettable titles by Odds Bodkin. Use PayPal for instant downloads! Great for vacation listening!
11 pages of storytelling products
Tomorrow night I’ll be telling HERCULES IN HELL, the full 90-minute version, which means I can recount my favorite of Hercules’ Twelve Labors–the killer birds of Stymphalos.
Backstory: Eurystheus, Hercules’ weak cousin, who has complete power over Hercules for the long years of his labors, tells him, “There are some birds I want you to drive off.”
“Birds,” Hercules replies, unimpressed. “They’re dangerous, I take it.”
“Oh, yes. They kill people with their feathers. Feathers of brass. They can hurl them like arrows. The quills are razor-sharp. They’ve infested the forest of Stymphalos and have been carrying off sheep and unattended children, who they peck apart and devour. The people are terrorized. Go solve their problem, Hercules.”
Hercules knows Eurystheus is trying to kill him by sending him on deadly missions like this, so cleverly he takes an extra-wide bronze shield, his arrows poisoned with VX-like Hydra blood (one touch, you’re dead) and a big bronze bell.
Not long after, he’s standing in a field, watching the hundreds of giant birds in trees above deep guano, skulls and bloody clothing. He bangs the bell, startling them into attacking him. He doesn’t fight back though. Instead, he crouches beneath his shield as the brass feathers rain down, then jumps up, unhurt, and yells curses while ringing the bell, bringing the birds again and again, each time diving under his shield.
Since only their feathers are brass, not their bodies, Hercules can soon see bare patches on their wings. With his arrows, he proceeds to shoot them out of the sky. That’s not quite the end of the battle, but as a clever labor, it’s one of my favorites.
You can hear it live, with thunderous music and Hercules’ deep, furious voice, at the Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar in Nashua, NH at 7 pm tomorrow night. Fun show.
Bring a friend for some adult storytelling. Great food. Great bar. Intimate setting.
KADDO, THE PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY (African sanza)
THE ROCK N ROLL THREE LITTLE PIGS (fuzz electric guitar and stomp drum)
FINN MACCOOL AND THE BIG MAN (12-string guitar)
A SUMMER’S WORTH OF AUDIO STORIES
Smart parents across America are choosing Odds Bodkin’s Master Drive for inspiring vacation travel listening for their kids. The “consummate storyteller” (The New York Times) offers twenty-five hours of vivid tales from around the world, scored live with original acoustic music.
And it all comes on a flash drive. Plug it in and load age-coded folktales, fairy tales, myths and epic stories onto your kids’ devices. They’ll love it.
For Father’s Day: Odds Bodkin’s $174.95 MASTER DRIVE on sale for $99!
For you dads out there, a one-day-only sale of Odds Bodkin’s complete works.
25 hours of storytelling for all ages. Original music. Plus Odds’ 555-page epic work of high fantasy in verse, The Water Mage’s Daughter.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!