RECIPIENT National Storytelling Network’s 2006 ORACLE Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region (VA, WVA, MD, DE, NJ, PA, and all of New York City).
contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or home 703-726-1412 or cell 571-265-7355
SELECTED in 2008 competitively as the Delaware Division of the Arts state-wide library summer reading program touring performer for 2008, performing at every one of the state’s 33 libraries. And to tell at the Mid-Region Showcase at the National Storytelling Network’s Richmond conference August 1-3rd, 2013.
From Vermont to South Carolina, over 1,000,000 listeners of all ages (not counting the festivals and fairs) in more than a thousand schools, libraries and other facilities have enjoyed the unique blend of fact and fiction storytelling for which I am known.
I begin each program celebrating the bond between storytelling and reading –each requires the reader/listener to call on their imagination to recreate the story in their mind’s eye. Because of my promotion of literacy, I have presented training workshops for the Virginia Library Association, the Delaware Library Association, the District 27 International Toastmasters’ Conference, Fairfax County Public Library Childrens’ staff, and the city of Charleston , S.C. Public Library Childrens’ Services Department.
I have also told at: the Earth Day/Arbor Day ceremony; National Zoo; the Potomac Celtic Festival; Washington Folk Festival; the Fairfax County Fair; Spotlight on the Arts; Fall For The Book; the Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival; Punxsutawney, Pa. for the Groundhog Day Festival; parks, community, recreation and daycare centers and the prestigious Homestead resort. I completed my first CD, created specifically to celebrate the city of Fairfax, Virginia’s Bicentennial (available for sale at the city museum) in 2005. And performed recently for both the U. S. Geological Survey leadership program and at the NASA Air and Space Museum at the Udvar-Hazy Center as part of Space Day welcoming the shuttle Discovery.
Although my large selection of programs is aimed at school age children, I have entertained all ages from preschool through senior citizens. I particularly enjoy custom designing sessions for clients to match a theme or special need. With just a few weeks lead time, I have prepared programs for cub scouts, girl scouts, collegiate honor societies, adult volunteer banquets, and private/public schools and parochial on such diverse topics as Mark Twain, the California Gold Rush, Vikings, polar explorers, survival adventures, and lives of inventors. Known for my enthusiastic delivery, I provide a vehicle to introduce an audience to a topic before sending them “off to the books” to read more on their own.
In fact, don’t set a chair up for me when I visit your library, school or center – you see, I move – a lot! While I take great care in selecting stories, I take even greater care in orchestrating a program of story, voices, movement, and participation that is focused on capturing and keeping audience attention. I have earned a solid reputation for being flexible and easy to work with while providing a quality storytelling experience at a reasonable fee.
Let me help you give the people you are responsible for; be they small or tall, the Gift of Story.
Member National Storytelling Network; Long term Performing Artist for Creative Arts Program (CAPS) of the Arts Council of Fairfax County; listed in Library of Virginia Approved Performers’ Directory; Two Term President of the Virginia Storytelling Alliance; Performing Member and Vice-President of Voices in the Glen; member, Delaware Library Association; member, Virginia Educational Media Association; Maryland Educational Media Association and a listed artist in the Delaware Division of the Arts. Second Place Silver Medal in the Third Annual Virginia Liars Contest.
(programs about 50-55 minutes)
Many of these are keyed to Standards of Learning – check all of them!
- Odyssey to Valhalla with Yrag the Skald: Every Viking chief had his bard or skald to sing his story. Yrag, complete with Viking helmet and sword , recounts the Norse creation myth, stories about mighty Thor and the trickster god, Loki, then relates how Vikings lived compared to life today. Copy of Runic alphabet for each student.
- A Day in the Pentium Millenium: Fast forward to the present for an hilarious look at technology gone awry. Electronic gadgetry from computers to video games to microwaves are presented in original poetry similar in style to Jack Prelutsky or Shel Silverstein. With titles like “The Upside Download,” “The Kid Who Surfed a Microwave,” “The Beeper That Wouldn’t Stop Beeping,” and about 25 others, I will have you and the students laughing till it megahertz! (great for National Poetry Month)(best for K-3rd).
- Amazing Escapes: True or False?: I simulate the recent television show Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction by telling six stories of incredible courage and survival, then allowing the students to vote at the end of each story as to whether it was true or false. (these nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat stories have done the seemingly impossible, kept middle schoolers mesmerized for an hour!). Everyone from first grade to senior citizens has been captivated to find out at the end which stories were true; (most appropriate for school-age and adult audiences). This is a great program for Teen Read Week or as a reward for “graduating” 6th graders. It is often paired with Grrreat Animal Tales for the younger kids to cover a school. So popular I have had to develop three more versions – 18 extra tales so I could come back the following year.
- Grrreat Animal Tales: A proven winner for all ages, but particularly for K-2. Children select the order of 5 stories by drawing animals from my story bag. Clever props, lots of movement, and some interesting facts about the animals catch and hold audience attention. This is a great program to kick off a unit on folklore and storytelling!
- Didgeridoos & Kangaroos: Gidday mates, here offering a bit o’ Aussie culture and folklore. In between tales of snakes (crikee!), dingoes, crocs, and kangaroos, we blow a few notes on a true didgeridoo. I even learn em a few words of proper Austrine and of course we sing, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down.”
- Come Into My Parlor, Please: This program is chock full of facts about spiders and features three stories from around the world honoring the arachnid family. Find out why Itsy-Bitsy climbed that downspout. At one point, I even dress as Anansi, complete with 8 eyes and legs! Good for all ages, best for k-3rd.
- There’s Gold In Them Thar Stories: Amazing tales from the California Gold Rush of 1849, an unprecedented time of expansion for America. Hear what it meant to drop everything and head West by clipper ship around Cape Horn, through the steamy jungle of Panama, and across the prairie by covered wagon; the danger, the excitement, the trials, the daily life, the failures and real winners. Find the basis for the legend of Zorro!
- Pumpkin Tales For The Young: Stories carefully selected to be more funny than scary as a Halloween treat to K-1st graders. We do all sorts of audience generated sound effects guaranteed to keep that all important attention span riveted.
- Leprechauns and Giants: We’re all a wee bit Irish, don’t you know! Inspired after making the pilgrimage and kissing the Blarney Stone, I’ve assembled a few clever props and even cleverer stories about big and little people from the Emerald Isle. Treat the kids to a Saint Patrick’s Day they’ll not soon forget!
- Tipi Tales: Native American facts and folklore retold with respect for the culture and a desire to pass along tradition. Although not in any way a Native American, I deliver a reasonable and exciting way to start the unit on tribal life in America.
- Johnny Reb & Billy Yank : True stories from both sides of the Civil War, I mean the War of Yankee Aggression! Kick start your unit with tales that will fire the students up to hit the library for more.
- Ancient Tales From Ancient Civilizations : From the last tale of Gilgamesh, through the Romans, Greeks, and up to the Vikings, take a romp through time with classic tales. Includes a 90 second rap of the 12 labors of Hercules. Adaptable to include China, Mali, and/or India
- Teenage American (S)Heroes : It seems like most written history favors adults – but here are true tales of courage and daring deeds by teens from Colonial Virginia to the present! A good reward for Teen Read Week.
- What’s Cooking Around The World: A hearty serving of stories from Japan, Australia, Ireland, Africa and South America. Low fat, low cholesterol, high fun content. Best for K-3rd grade. The world loves a good story well told!
- Once Upon a Dragon: A huge brass gong announces each of four dragon tales with lots of audience participation – best for pre K-2 or a family setting. This has been a huge favorite. Highly interactive
- …By the way, you could give the kids a treat next Valentine’s Day with my Chocolate-Covered Fairytales – classic tales retold with a chocolate twist; Like Goldy Locks and the Three Bars! Melts in your ears, not your mouth! Includes tons of facts about chocolate. Great for all ages, book fair! Great for a writing assignment where they play with tales themselves. Performed for the last ten years at the annual Fairfax City Chocolate Lovers’ Festival
- Tall Tales From America’s Trails: Follow the path with mighty Paul Bunyan, tornado-ridin’ Pecos Bill, bear hunting with Davy Crockett along with hammer-swinging John Henry . Sorry, no fries served with these whoppers!
- An Interview with Septimus Septimus Flavius, retired Roman centurion from AD 112 – created for third grade classes to spend an hour questioning a time-traveling Roman soldier about his era. A great way to end or begin the unit on Rome!
- You Go, Girl! – Stories of brave, smart, and all around terrific ladies in honor of Womens’ History Month in March. Boys, prepare to be humbled! 2 versions, can be done for pre-schoolers or school age. Great for a mother/daughter show.
- Bee All That You Can Bee! – stories for all ages to recognize the plight of the honeybee. Funniest version of “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” you will ever hear.
Don’t see exactly what you need? Give me a call or email me and let’s discuss your needs. Usually with only three weeks notice I can design a program specific to your desires at no additional fee. I am available for residencies/workshops on the storytelling process. These would need to be negotiated separately. Just added, BOOKTALKING – teaser introduction like movie trailers only for books for elementary level students from K- 6. (This one we would need to talk about how many sessions, etc.).
Program Fee is a Modest $375 per show. Two shows on the same day, regardless of time and location (ie. could be a school and a library, different schools, etc.) are $275 each for a total of $550 – three or more shows the same day are also $275 each. A slight transportation fee may be added for events more than 120 miles away from base.
Virginia Counties/Cities Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier, Virginia Beach, Louisa, Loudoun, Page, Rockingham, Orange, Shenandoah, Goochland, Southhampton, Albemarle, Lancaster, Isle of Wight, Spotsylvania, New Kent, Suffolk, Bath, Charles City, Nelson, Greene, Culpeper, Madison, Chesterfield, Washington, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Waynesboro, Herndon, Fairfax, Falls Church, Alexandria, Front Royal, Norfolk, Charlottesville, Roanoke, Abingdon, Henrico
Maryland Counties: Baltimore, Frederick, Washington, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Calvert, Anne Arundel, Queen Anne’s, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Worchester, Charles, St. Mary’s, Cecil, Howard, Dorchester, Kent, Wicomico, Somerset and the City of Baltimore
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach, Sussex County, Kent County, New Castle County, Wilmington (every one of the 34 public libraries in the state, not once but twice selected to do them all)
South Carolina: Beaufort – Broadriver ES, City of Charleston Public Library Childrens’ Staff
Pennsylvania: Punxsutawney (only non-Pensylvania teller invited for 2005 Groundhog Festival), Devon and Hatboro , and Red Lion District (Windsor Manor ES)
New Jersey: Sommers Point
Texas – Houston School District – 4 schools
Public Schools: Providence ES, Weyanoke ES, Forestville ES, Kings Glen ES, Deer Park ES, Cub Run ES, Willow Springs ES, Westlawn ES, Hollin Meadows ES, Lee’s Corner ES, Centreville ES, Brookfield ES, Clifton ES, Leesburg ES, Gunston ES, Washington Mills ES, Centre Ridge ES, Bull Run ES, Virginia Run ES, William Holly ES, Hugh Mercer ES, Bailey’s ES for the Arts & Sciences, Cardinal Forest ES, Cunningham Park ES, Daniel’s Run ES, Fairfax Villa ES, Fox Mill ES, Hunt Valley ES, Kings Park ES, Little Run ES, London Towne ES, Marshall Road ES, Oak Hill ES, Providence ES, Ravensworth Es, Rolling Valley ES, Stenwood ES, Terra Centre ES, Wakefield Forest ES, Terraset ES, Shrevewood ES, Old Creek ES, Fort Belvoir ES, Fairview Es, Dranesville ES, Silverbrook ES, Island Creek, Navy ES, Armstrong ES, and more than 200 others
Harper Lee MS, Poe MS, Stone MS, Hughes MS, and more than 20 others.
Private Schools/Colleges/Resorts/Churches: Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Little River United Church of Christ, St. Louis Catholic School, Boyd Montessori ( 3 locations – Centreville, Reston, and Fairfax), Highland (Warrenton), Chesterbrook Academy, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Day School, George Mason University, Oakwood School, Leadership Institute of Phi Theta Kappa, The Homestead Resort, Holton Arms, Bullis, 60th anniversary luncheon of Springfield-Franconia AAUW and many others.
Public Libraries: Lorton, King’s Park, Centreville, Chantilly, Dolly Madison, Pohick, Richard Byrd, Sherwood, Tysons-Pimmit, Reston, Herndon Fortnightly, Fairfax, George Mason, Patrick Henry, Brunswick, Bull Run, Crozet, Lancaster, Little Falls, Louisa, Lovettsville, Purcellville, Rust, Sterling, Ashburn, Eastern Loudoun, Middleburg, Northside, Olney, Orange County, Scottsville, Suffolk, Bealeton, Wilderness, Glen Carlyn, Cherrydale, Westover, Columbia Park, Bowie, Shenandoah County, C. Burr Artz, Thurmont, Heritage, Middletown, Emmitsburg, Goochland County, Aurora Hills, Arlington Mill Center, Nokesville, Gainesville, Independent Hill, Kempsville, Great Neck, Virginia Beach Central, Windsor Woods, Rehoboth Beach, Spauldings, Twinbrook, Rockville, Waynesboro, Laurel(Md), Glenarden, Greenbelt, Damascus, Mary Riley Stiles, Mt. Jackson, Kingstown, Bladensburg, and many others (over 275 in all).
Festivals and Parks: 1st Annual L.A.U.G.H.S. in Sterling; Potomac Celtic Festival; Southern Maryland Celtic Festival; Guppy Gala Festival at the National Zoo; Washington Folk Festival; Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts; Viva Vienna, Fairfax Fair; Fall for the Book, Library of Virginia Showcases in Roanoke and Williamsburg; Girl Scout Council of Central Maryland; Fairfax Chocolate Lovers’ Festival, Tellabration at Loudoun County; Toastmasters’ International District 27 Annual Conference; International Platform Association Annual Conference; Voices in the Glen Storytelling Festival; Hagerstown, Md Council For The Arts; Dulles Town Center Opening Celebration; Virginia Mental Health Institute; Colvin Run Mill; E. C. Lawrence Park; Huntley Meadows Park; Hidden Oaks Park; Fairfax County 2001 Xmas Diversity Celebration (emcee), many Blue & Gold Boy Scout Dinners, Third Annual Storytelling Festival in Punxsutawney, Pa. for Groundhog Day, USDA Graduate School and others.
What Clients Say About Gary
“My kids said it was so cool! They wished he wrote books so they could buy them. He had every students and teachers attention!!!! What a great assembly!” (W. B. Simpson ES in Camden , DE , teacher’s name withheld on request)
“I enjoyed the storyteller because he did lots of details and very good stories. My favorite story was when brother rabbit wanted to be tall like bear. I loved the descises. I hope all the asembleies are all as good as this one. I would like to be a storyteller when I grow up. (second grade girl at Floris ES, Va.)
“Gary Lloyd was not only entertaining, but told the kids that he researched his stories and explained the importance of reading for information. I hope we are able to get him back again. He’s the best person we’ve had in a long time (and he really performed for a decent amount of time and just didn’t perform the same “trick” from different angles). I also appreciated that we had a smaller group of children in attendance. Thank you for arranging this for us.” (W. B. Simpson ES in Camden , DE , teacher’s name withheld on request).
“Oh, I was so pleased with yesterday! My daughter is in 5 th grade and she came home raving about it. I was glad I had heard the morning because I could follow along with her account. She said before her class went they were moaning about how “boring” it would be and then she said they couldn’t stop talking about it when they got back! I will most definitely send you a copy of the newspaper article and will pass along the info to other schools. I know that was a lot of driving and we so very much appreciate your time! Sincerely,
Darlene Keener” Bowling Green ES, Va. (Amazing Escapes)
“I would definitely recommend your performance. In a roomful of adults, EVERYONE was mesmerized!”
Tracy Gray, Girl Scout Council of Central Maryland Annual Volunteer Dinner (Amazing Escapes program)
“Gary is enthusiastic, dedicated, and teaches concepts with every tale. He also greeted the children individually and showed a love of them and his work.”
Emily Wagner, Waynesboro Public Library
“Grrreat Animal Tales and Amazing Escapes were both appropriate for an elementary/primary age school audience. Amazing Escapes could also be used for middle school, high school, or adult audiences. I would love to hear some of the other programs now after hearing these two. Gary holds the attention of even large groups of elementary school children with ease. From my own experiences in education and library work, I’d have to say I was very impressed! His performances were a wonderful addition to our Summer Reading Program.”
Beth Wells, Waynesboro Public Library
“During your Spiderman Anansi program, even a little girl who seemed afraid of spiders had fun. This was a very creative program with educational themes, yet lots of fun. All ages would enjoy it!”
Sandy Donahue, Middletown Library
“Gary is a gifted, animated storyteller who blends educational tidbits with such skill that the audience is entertained and enlightened at the same time. He has very good rapport with the children.”
Lynn Loomis, Highland School
“He brought humor and energy to his stories, and had the kids in the audience (and their parents) tuned in and appreciative for every syllable he uttered – and all joined in enthusiastically for the audience participation parts.”
Beverly Meffed, Mary Riley Stiles Library, Falls Church, Va.
“I couldn’t believe 3 year olds could sit that long with full attention despite baby brothers and sisters crawling around – they totally ignored all distractions to stay with Gary!” (spider stories)
Barbara Saenger, Great Falls Library
What Clients Say About “Amazing Escapes”
“Each of our sixth grade classes has taken your excellent model, analyzed it, and used it as a guide to write and tell our own stories. We all look forward to your next visit when you will tell us about the California Gold Rush.”
Kerry Smith, 6th grade teacher at Deer Park Elementary School
“Dear Mr. Talespinner; you didn’t just tell the story, you were inspiring. I don’t think anyone could tell a better story than you can. On a scale from one to ten, I’d give you a 20. From a student to a teller, I give you best wishes from now to the last day you tell stories. Your listener, Marcus .”
(Marcus was a sixth-grader at Poe Middle School in Annandale, Virginia.)
“As soon as disasters began to happen in each story, their attention was riveted. The whole concept of the program was unique and excellent.”
Connie Sargent, Children’s Staff, Rust Library, Leesburg, Virginia
“You gave two performances at our library, and even though I sat through both, you presented the second program just as fresh as the first one; no one would have guessed only minutes before you were telling the same tales. I think the kids had a great time and I was tickled when they ‘just knew’ what the result would be, only to find out they hadn’t figured it out right. Your show is an attention-getter for school-age to include young teenagers.”
Amy Jo Jackson, Children’s Librarian, Orange County Library, Virginia
“You are one of the best storytellers ever! You kept five classes of sixth-graders totally engaged for over an hour.”
Debbie Driskill, sixth grade teacher at Deer Park Elementary School
“You captured the children’s attention and imagination by presenting perfectly appropriate programming. After we returned to school from break, I had parents stop me to say how much their children enjoyed the stories and had shared them at home. You made quite an impression on them!”
Ann Voss, Librarian, Willow Springs Elementary School
“Usually when I’m in an assembly like that, I’m bored, but this time I wasn’t. Those were the best stories I’ve ever heard; I told my dad some, and he thought they were awesome!”
Cliff was a 6th grader at Poe Middle School, Annandale Virginia