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An Interview With Scott

(Q) How did you get started performing?

(Scott) I've been involved in the performance arts, and art in general since I was a young child. I was afforded plenty of opportunities to experience and explore the arts -- even dabbling in painting. In fact, when I was in third grade, my teacher offered to purchase my first real painting. I didn't sell it. It still hangs in my home--it's in the basement, but that's still in my home-- sort of.

(Q) I see. What other areas did you study?

(Scott) I took tumbling classes, tap dance, piano, guitar, and voice lessons. And when I was 12, I became enamored with magic. It was one of the things that has stuck with me to this day.

(Q) Are you proficient in all of those areas?

(Scott) No. It was wonderful being exposed to all those great ways of artistic expression, but I didn't put in the effort, or have the drive to excel in everything. In high school I picked up my guitar again, but this time I had a true desire to learn. That's also when I started taking voice lessons -- so I could accompany myself.

(Q) Do you sing and play guitar in any of your shows?

(Scott) I sometimes sing a short song. But it's not a feature of any of my presentations. The guitar has only made it into one show so far. I just haven't found the right way to integrate its use.

(Q) Where does the magic and ventriloquism come in?

(Scott) Actually, the ventriloquism sprang from my magic. As I got back into performing, I found myself doing a lot of shows for children. So, I added a puppet, and then another, and then another. Eventually, I found Chauncey, my sheepdog puppet. He was such a great character, and I knew I had to give him a voice. In fact, I just picked him up and he all but came to life for me. That's when I started studying ventriloquism. Chauncey made it seem necessary.

(Q) He's a great addition to your show.

(Scott) I know. People seem to just warm to him. He's a very lovable character.

(Q) Although you use a lot of magic in your shows, you don't call yourself a magician though, do you?

(Scott) No. I call myself and educational entertainer. Even though I am entertaining the children-- be that with magic, stories, puppets or whatever -- my primary purpose is to act as a teacher. I'm there in the school to teach, and the kids are there to learn. But we're going to have a lot of fun doing it.

(Q) Now you do shows that are educational but fun." How does that work?

(Scott) It basically means that the entire show is infused with learning--start to finish. For example, if I mention a word that might be outside of a child's vocabulary, I stop and define it; if I pick up a book, I will use something in that book to teach a lesson. Basically, I squeeze every teaching opportunity I can out of every show. The shows are fast-paced, so the teaching doesn't slow down or stall the fun. Actually, it enhances the presentation, because it keeps the kids engaged.

I've been told by many people that I have a gift for teaching. So, this type of show just makes sense for me. It allows me to tap into the best part of many of my strengths. I wouldn't have it any other way.

(Q) Which brings me to my final question. Your background isn't as a teacher; is it?

(Scott) Well, I don't have a degree in teaching, no. I went to college for communications and writing. I did manage to graduate cum laude. So I hold my own. Since then I've spent several years in the sales world, and then several more years as a Technical Writer and sometimes corporate trainer. While those were great jobs, what I'm doing now is not just a job. It is truly a passion. Impacting children in a positive way is so incredibly rewarding. Again, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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