Saturday, November 16, 2013

NaNoWriMo #6 : My ... Debut?

Yesterday, Friday, I woke up mopey.  I complained to my wife that although I'd circulated my work to about a half a dozen people, nobody had given me a word of feedback.  I do not count the generic "Wow this is amazing this is so great!"  I can take criticism (at least, some.  I do still like to hear the parts you liked :)).  The show is today (or tomorrow, in the context of yesterday, got that?) so I was afraid that my whole "Get kids interested in Hamlet so they'll be more interested in going to see it" thing was going out the window.

Got a text from my daughter yesterday afternoon to let me know that her teacher had her classes reading my work!  *snoopy dance*

"What did they think?" I text back.

"They said they understood it. Some were a little upset that everybody died. Some thought the dying part was great (the boys)."

Nice.  I found that particularly amusing because, after my daughter was confused over Laertes' death, I'd gone back in and rewritten my summary so that they truly fell like dominoes, leaving nothing to confusion.

This morning I got more details.  The teacher had three of her classes read my work directly, which I figure has to be approaching 75-100 kids.  Some did not have the time, so according to my daughter she, "wrote it out on the board."  I figured out that at this point she was telling them Hamlet herself, and not specifically using my work.  But, as my daughter pointed out, since by then she'd been through multiple readings and discussions, she no doubt was borrowing some of my ideas.

I asked again whether kids liked it.

"People were coming up to me and asking whether it has a happy ending," she said, "while they were still in the middle of it."

No, no it does not.  Except for Fortinbras and Horatio, of course.

And me.  Today, I am happy. I like that this may have gone to the next level.  For the past few years, me as Shakespeare guy has seemed a very local sort of thing, like only the people that I've personally met know me and what I do.  But there's only one middle school in the whole town (there are three elementary schools), so my audience is suddenly 3x the size and now there's going to be kids going home to their parents, parents who have no idea who I am, and saying "We read Hamlet today, because this girl's father is writing a book about it."

Today is the show.  I'm terribly curious whether my little effort has succeeded in putting any butts in the seats, or whether I'd know if it had.  My girls are coming with me, wearing their Shakespeare is Universal shirts of course, and I've got a pocket full of business cards, so I'm prepared!

Show is at 2pm.  I'll report back.

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