Christmas Performer Workshops: Newsletter May 2018
* Upcoming 2018 CPW Schedule
* ISC Denver 2018
* Father Christmas Winter Magic Staff
* Planning for 2019
Upcoming 2018 CPW Schedule
Greetings Folks! I hope everyone is ready for a great summer! Just a few tips and some info on what’s going on with CPW (Christmas Performer Workshops)!
We have five workshops scheduled this summer. Currently, each workshop has some room for additional registrations, however that could change. No national workshops are planned after August. (There still might be one more scheduled in Southern California.)
2018 Summer CPW Schedule
- June 1-3, 2018 – Link to event page
* Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Santas: Performing Skills Workshop
* Contact Bo Turner
- June 8-10, 2018 – Link to event page
* Sumner WA, NORPAC: ADVANCED Character Work/Storytelling Training
* Contact Dennis Gorley
- July 20-22, 2018 – Link to event page
* Phoenix AZ, Arizona Santa’s: Performing Skills Workshop
* Contact Mike and Tammi Ridder
- July 28-29, 2018 – Link to event page
* Jacksonville FL, PalmTree Santas: Performing Skills Workshop
* Contact Bob Elkin
- August 4-5, 2108 – Link to event page
* Tarpon Springs FL, PalmTree Santas: Performing Skills Workshop
* Contact Bob Elkin
ISC Denver 2018
Cat and I taught at ISC Denver, and we want to give a big shout out to all the ISC Volunteers. Conventions are hard work, and we were delighted to be a part of it. The classes we taught and panels we were a part of included the following.
- Hard Truths: Looking at problems in our field, starting discussions/solutions (taught with Jessica Kringle and Gordon Bailey)
- Unique Endeavors: Those unusual gigs, and how to get them, prepare for them (taught with Ed Taylor)
- The Art of Performing: A peek at what CPW teaches (taught twice)
- Rock Solid Santa: The Art and Science of being a Marathon Performer (taught with Steve Eastis)
- The Performers Agenda: About working as teams and getting everyone on the same page. (taught with Gordon Bailey, Darla Bicknell, and Bob McMasters)
- Manager/Handlers Skills: Taming your season with calendars, spreadsheets, and “trip ticket” printouts (taught by Cat Ellen)
Suffice to say, a lot was learned and shared at ISC Denver. And it was great to finally attach real world faces to the people we chat with online.
Father Christmas Winter Magic Staff
Finally, I had a chance to show off my Green Father Christmas Outfit (tailored by Brenda Asta) and my Winter Magic staff. Several folks asked me how it was made. It took some time, but I think it looked pretty good. Want to make your own (handy for processions and tree lightings)? Here’s the recipe for your own magic staff.
Key Ingredients and Plans
(1) My staff has four strands of battery powered lights. One has about 2-inch snowflake attachments, and the rest are small LEDS. The staff itself is constructed from a sturdy piece of PVC. It has a rubber cane tip on the end. At the top, a couple of PVC end pieces hold the Christmas ornament (which was an open cage type ornament). I placed additional LED lights in the open ornament and added sparkle plastic from the candle ornaments from a dollar store to diffract the light. All the foliage is plastic holly, ivy, or pine, courtesy of Michaels Crafts.
(2) Figure out how tall you need it. Too tall and it won’t be in photos or it could block your face or others. Figure out where your hand placement is going to be while moving. Use a lightweight topper. Heavy glass balls or ornaments are going to be a problem, likewise reindeer with sharp antlers.
Assembling the Staff
- Step 1: Make PVC staff. Glue it up and give it a solid shake down first, after drying. Attach the can tip at the bottom.
- Step 2: Mount topper. I used zip ties and glue.
- Step 3: Place LED strings. I cut plastic food containers to provide cups to hold the battery packs in, and zip tied the switches down. We used blue painter’s tape to wind the lights around the staff. I needed two places for battery packs, one for the ball on top and the rest for the staff.
- Step 4: Covering each of the lights and ornament, I spray painted the entire staff matte white.
- Step 5: Temporary foliage placement. I was going for a fantasy birch look, but the foliage looks cool but makes no sense botanically.
- Step 6. My Sweetie took strips of white linen, ironed them to have one clean hemmed edge, and carefully wound it up the staff. This covered the tape and the LED cords. As the linen was spiraled up the staff, she cut holes for the LEDs to shine through (sewing each with button-hole stitches), and cut the linen to fit around the stems of all the plants, pine branches, pinecones, and snowflakes. She hand-stitched the linen spirals in layers from bottom to top. (You may be able to do this with hot glue, but she’s needle crafty.) Each of the battery packs is covered with a linen layer, but the switches are still accessible, as if they were in a pocket.
- Step 7. Practice turning on lights and walking with staff.
- Step 8. Strut your stuff at a Santa Fashion show.
Planning for 2019
We are currently booking workshops for 2019. CPW does things a bit different. You book us to come teach a workshop. Your group provides venue and gear. We pay for our travel and lodging. We ask for a 20-person minimum (usually at $200 per person). Any student registration that exceeds the 20-person minimum, becomes the excess tuition that your group gets to decide what to do with. For example, Arizona has a low cost site, and so they are having 40+ students at a reduced tuition of $125 each for a 2+ day workshop. OKC is paying for their venue with the proceeds AND offering a couple’s discount (tuition is only $350 for two students attending together).
This is a unique business model. Your groups could use the money for scholarships, reduced tuition, paying for the venue, booking catered meals, or whatever you like! We book workshops only between February and August. And all our workshops are customized for your group. Let us know what you have in mind!
Thanks for letting us share our news with you.
Santa True, Cat Ellen (“Mrs Santa True”), and all our friends at Christmas Performer Workshops (CPW)
It is our belief that the future of our Art as Christmas Performers depends on investing in ourselves and in each other as Performers and Entertainers. CPW is about helping you make the magic happen!
Christmas Performer Workshops: Putting the Heart in our Christmas Art!
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