Zombie paintball takes undead apocalypse and Halloween 2014 to LARP-level horror

Never mind Ebola, folks! There's an even greater threat, warns

the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)--a Zombie Apocalypse! When the horrifying brain-eater invasion was (jestingly) forecast a few years ago, folks were advised to create zombie emergency preparedness kits.



This Halloween 2014, intrepid zombie warriors have discovered a new weapon for their arsenal against the undead: paintball guns. Zombie paintball is this Halloween's hottest (well, coldest, as in cold and dead) activity. What is zombie paintball? It's a LARP--live action role-play--survival game. People dress as zombies so others can practice their tracking skills. Paintball splats seem to stick to zombies and make them more visible. Zombie paintball takes undead apocalypse and Halloween 2014 to LARP-level horror - Grand Rapids Holidays | Examiner.com

Native American Indian Costume Crafts for Halloween and School Plays

 Many schools teach Native American history around Thanksgiving. Fall just seems to lend itself to American Indian culture studies. Here are cross-curricular lesson plans including Native American costume crafts made from recycled paper bags. Perfect for Halloween and trick-or-treat dress-ups. use them for literature study skits and school plays. Native American Indian Crafts and Costumes from Your Recycle Bin 

Summer Repertory Theater and Summer Stock Good Venues for Kids

Summer repertory theater, or summer stock, is the perfect way to introduce children to drama and acting, as spectator or performer. Almost every city has some form of summer theater opportunity. Most have a local actors' guild, community theater, county playhouse or college production company.

During the summer, when schedules tend to be less demanding, it's easier to do theater. Take childrenm students, homeschool group or day care to see a local production. In my teaching, homeschooling and momming (that's a word) years we've enjoyed Rudyard Kipling's 'Just-So Stories', Fa Mulan, Narnia, George Washington Follies, Peter Pan, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Les Miserables and more.

Live theater inspires and enthralls students and children like no movie or television show can. Our now-16, then-2-year-old daughter remembers clear as day when she got fairy dust from the Lost Boys of  the "Peter Pan" production we took our children to see. Once bitten by the theater bug, you're a slave to Thalia and Melpomene.

Or maybe audition for student summer repertory productions. So many life lessons are learned onstage and backstage that could never translate in a classroom setting. Obvious skills--reading, speaking, delivery, projection--and nebulous skills-- working cooperatively, giving your all, overcoming stage fright, supporting each other--all get a workout in theater.

If money is an issue, many local venues offer scholarships. If you have a special needs child, perhaps with autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADD, ADHD or emotional issues, I doubly encourage you to try theater. It's therapeutic and in my experience special needs kids make superb actors. 

Bidding Farewell to First Lady Maya Angelou

The incomparable Maya Angelou passed away this week and we mourn a great lady. I'm disappointed and annoyed that so little mention was made of it. Stop me if you've heard this tirade, but when some druggie has-been dies, we hear about it for weeks. Yes, I know Maya did a stint as a prostitute/brothel owner. Well, women, especially black women, did what they had to in order to survive. And survive she did. Maya was a wunderkind. Actor, dancer, activist, writer, singer, diplomat--she truly was a modern Renaissance woman.   Bidding Farewell to First Lady Maya Angelou 

Homemade Pirate Costumes from Free Printables, Recycle Bin

Summer approaches--time for homemade fun! My kids spent their holidays dreaming up adventure, creating suitable costumes, scenery and sets and writing them into impromptu theater productions in the back yard.  Their raw materials came from dress up boxes and the recycle bin. Here's a guide for pirate themed adventure, from costume to pirate ship to buried treasure! I've including loads of links for free printable pirate crafts, costumes, treasure maps, Jolly Roger flags, model ships and more! Use for skits, plays--Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Island. Or make up your own pretend adventures! Pirate Themed Boy Birthday Party Activities, Homemade and Cheap

Cinco De Mayo Movies from Mexico History

Cinco de Mayo isn't the Mexican Independence Day. That's September 16. But it does celebrate an unprecedented military victory. A small Mexican army routed the superior French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Here are movies to celebrate Mexican culture.  Best Movies for Cinco De Mayo

Homemade Medieval, Bible Character Costumes and Props

Putting on a religious themed play? Dressing as a Bible character for Halloween? Maybe Mardi Gras or a costume party? These work for medieval costumes, too. Here are props and symbols for major Biblical figures. I've included men and women. Bible costumes may look similar, so using props will help identify who you are. This Bible character symbols list will make a great party game like 'Who Am I?', Bible scavenger hunt or Bible 'Sword Drill'. This list of Bible characters is taken from the older, more comprehensive Catholic Douay-Rhiems Bible. These characters are in somewhat Biblical chronological order.  Props for Bible Character Costumes: Halloween, Vacation Bible School, All Saints Day

Like Disney Frozen? Here are Free Disney Printables

 I've written articles on free printable kids crafts since 2007, often linking to the Family Fun website (from Family Fun magazine. Family Fun partners with Disney and provides lots of Disney-themed crafts. Family Fun now has a new website Spoonful. Besides regular Family Fun goodies, Disney crafts can be found there too. And best of all, free printable "Frozen" crafts. Frozen is the highest box-office grossing cartoon ever. Free Disney Printables from Family Fun New Site Spoonful

Free Printable Masks for Theater, Preschool Dramatic Play Learning Centers

Looking for printable masks for plays, children's theatre, or preschool dramatic play? Or maybe you're having a a dress up party with your kids, or students? Here are free printable Mardi Gras masks. There are animals, Harlequin, mythical beasts, Balinese, Latino, Tiki, Native American (for the Mardi Gras Indians) and gobs more. Print these and let kids cut and color them. Adults, you might want to try this too. I think senior citizens in nursing homes might get a kick out of mask-making, too. Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!Print Mardi Gras Masks for Children to Color, Free (Adults, too!)

 

Octomom Nadya Suleman Pleads Needs Acting Lessons

 I know, you're shrieking, enough Octomom!! But I just had to process her court appearance for welfare fraud--you know the sorry saga--single welfare mom, six kids, has IVF octoplets, makes a masturbation porn video, gets busted for not reporting income to FIA. She is a ham actress through and through. Octomom Nadya Suleman Pleads Not Guilty to Welfare Fraud--And Needs Acting Lessons

Downton Abbey Mostly Downhill Abbey, Storyline, Actor Discussions

Downhill Abbey, erm, Downton Abbey season four is done. Put out of its (our) misery, mercifully. I exaggerate. But for such critical acclaim, superlative casting and lofty ideals, I'd hoped for more than a low budget soap opera. And not low. Highclere, top billed actors, period authentic costumes, props, vehicles--steep price tag.



Thomas (I refuse to call him Barrows) had chutzpah, but is now just an oily creep in whose tea you'd like to put generous doses of Ex-Lax. Lady Grantham is brain dead. We'll probably find she's a laudanum addict. Or was eaten by zombies in season three. Her eyes scare me



Maggie Smith is going strong, but how long can one fading duchess keep up CPR on the show? Isn't she like 900 by now? Read on Downton Abbey Mostly Downhill Abbey, with a Few Exceptions

Alternative Indie Songs Make Good Play Scores

I saw a production of "Macbeth" that was period-diverse--that's my term for "set in time period different than what it was written in." The actors used modern music to score it and played themselves. They used Lady Gaga (Bad Romance), Cage the Elephant (Ain't no Rest for the Wicked) and the Decemberists (This is Why We Fight). And I got to thinking how nice modern music, especially alt-Indie lends itself to play scores. This list might not be precisely alternative indie music, for you purists. That's just me trying to sound young and hipster. I have no idea what constitutes "indie" other than something about independent, So, like not under fascist control? Not living with parents? Non-gratis? (Erhm, highly doubt that). Alternative, I have no clue about. Don't think hipsters do either. I think they just like how it rolls off the tongue sort of important like. I know I do. Semantics aside, here's the playlist.   Alternative Indie Songs that Make Me Feel Good - News - Bubblews

Drama Mama's Acting Tips: the Convincing Sad Scene

I am a drama mama. I'll bet that doesn't surprise you! Not drama as in I like to stir up problems. Drama as in theatre. I have theatre experience, both acting and directing. I've play-written and written existing stories into plays. I've done costumes, hair, makeup, lighting, music and set design. From that I've created a series of method acting tips. Let's look at how to play sad scenes.   Drama Mama's Acting Tips: the Convincing Sad Scene

Kwanzaa, Congo Square Treme New Orleans

I get really weepy when I think of New Orleans. That city has such joie de vivre, despite the sorrows it's endured. Treme was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. All around are reminders. Foliage sprouted from flood water still grows on some buildings, like modern Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The original Mahalia Jackson Theater for Performing Arts was drowned in 14 feet of water. A new theater opened in 2009. Some areas still await clean up. Others will never return. Here's more on Congo Square, jazz funerals, Mardi Gras Indians and all that makes NOLA so "very different from any other city I've been to" (says my world-traveled friend).   Blessed Kwanzaa Ceremony, Congo Square Treme New Orleans - News - Bubblews

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