The Captains Log 5 — MAD House Kids Entertainment

Gasses, Goths and Genecide This month was all about liquids turning into gasses, bright red foam shooting out of a pot, smoke rings that blow cups over and bubbles that are big enough to stand in. It was also a joy to meet a couple of crazy characters along the way who enriched my experience and kept me smiling. […]

via The Captains Log 5 — MAD House Kids Entertainment

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The Captains Log 5

Gasses, Goths and Genecide

This month was all about liquids turning into gasses,  bright red foam shooting out of a pot, smoke rings that blow cups over and bubbles that are big enough to stand in. It was also a joy to meet a couple of crazy characters along the way who enriched my experience and kept me smiling.

My sell out Science Shows at a lovely regional arts centre where great fun. I was greeted on the morning of the shows by two straggly and greasy raven haired, leather clad techies who for  the sake of this blog I will give appropriate names to match their gothic countinence. Let’s call them Edgar and Damien.

Edgar was their Leader. He made all the descions. Which is very hard when you are consentrating so intently on wafting hair out of your face and gazing purposefully into the emptiness. I had parked the van as close to the entrance of the venue as possible to unload. Edgar assured me it would be fine to stay there for the duration of the shows. He offered to help me unload but as I headed to the van I noticed he wasn’t following me. Something or very probably nothing had caught his attention and his energy was now fully engaged with that. As I brought my kit into the theatre; Edgar and Damien where discussing their bands. They where both base guitarist and lead singers in separate bands. ‘Random Hobbit Genecide’ was Edgar’s band. They played a dark fusion of Rock and Metal or Folk and Country depending on which of the three band members got to the microphone first. Damien’s band was called ‘Satans Soul Stealers’. You have to admire the alliteration for someone who even his mother would admit was not the ‘sharpest crayon’ in the box. Still the back drop of their discussion was a welcome distraction from the toil of my setup. Although I was asked to move my van minutes before the show was supposed to start even though Edgar had assured me it would be fine where it was.

We discussed lights and sound and all things technical which I gave them pretty much free reign on and they seemed to relish this with a nerdy lust that was as disturbing as it was welcome. They did their job; freeing me up to entertain my audience and show them some cool science which even impresses me every time I do it.

Science is an awesome tool for engaging young people in the wonders of the world around them. The audiences where really fun and energetic as I have come to expect and enjoy. Chemicals reacted, polymers bound together in a stretchy mass, rockets popped, smoke cannons blasted and transparent orbs of bubbly wonder filled the auditorium. It was a good day to be me and as we glugged down our refreshing ‘after show’ cans of coke; even my two new friends Edgar and Damien had to admit

“They where pretty sick shows.” (‘Sick’ is a good thing I think).

YOUTUBE CHANNEL PLUG

The Captain Calamity Adventures

Captain Calamity’s amazing YouTube Channel is up and running and it is looking great!

This fantastic channel aimed at children aged 3 years+ is already full of Art Projects for your creative kids, Science Experiments for inquisitive young minds, Circus Skills to improve coordination, Magic tricks for both pure entertainment and plenty that your little ones can have a go at themselves. There are also loads of ideas for rainy days, bath time fun, long car journeys, restaurants and anywhere where kids need a little engagement. It’s educational, it’s interactive but above all; this channel is fun and entertaining creating smiles and laughter.

Subscribe today to catch the weekly episodes that go live every Sunday at 5pm (UK Time). Plus there will also be bonus episodes during the week.

In the coming weeks; we have interactive stories, make and do projects, songs, magic tricks and loads more great guests visiting the Lollipop Lighthouse.

Please click the link to the channel below and subscribe to let your child’s adventures start today.

YouTube.com/TheCaptainCalamityAdventuresChannel

 

 

 

 

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The Captain’s Log 4

Road Trip, Green Sludge and an Elbow in the Balls

It’s 10 past 10 in the morning and I’m sitting here in a tiny corner cafe in Euston drinking a glass of of decaffeinated latte which is going down nicely. What won’t go down nicely is the other glass on my table. Green Sludge. It’s good for me. It has a home made label on the front and it contains spinach, Apple, cucumber, celery and ginger. I was torn between this and another bottle which contained purple sludge. The cafe manager tells me that the purple one is more ‘earthy’. I don’t know what that means but I know I don’t fancy it.

So I sit and i drink through gritted teeth, feeling each slop of this slimey liquid ooze down my throat like an alien lizard exploring my innards. I just need to remember once again that it really is good for me. I passed a Homeless Man on the way up here. He had a sign. ‘No Home. No Job. No Money.’ I walked past because everyone was walking past. But then I stopped a little way up. I couldn’t just abandon him. This immigrant man who had come to this country with so much hope in his heart of a new future and here he was in London, on a cold blustery day, his desperate eyes telling a tale I just could not ignore. I opened my wallet because he had opened my heart and I took out a mere £5. One note. I walked back. I made eye contact. I smiled. With no words I placed the note in his hand. He said thank you in a barely audible breathe and we parted. I knew it was right. I knew he needed it more than me.

Today I’m working for an amazing charity called ‘Spread A Smile’. I will be going into the children’s wards of University College Hospital accompanied by a Fairy, two Close up Magicians (my mates Nick Einhorn and Ian Manly), a singer and whatever I am. Our job is very simple and yet wonderfully rewarding. We ease boredom, distract them from pain and nervousness and create a few giggles along the way. I love my job. Pudsey Bear and Fern Cotton (off the telly) will also be joining us to celebrate the fact the ‘Spread A Smile’ received funding from Children in Need to continue their amazing work.

Last week I went on a bit of a ‘Road Trip’ with Isabelle; my kind hearted, scarlet haired younger sister. We where always very close growing up but the pace of life and bringing up ones own family can get in the way of sibling relationships so I was so pleased to have a day with her. Just the two of us and the highway. I picked her up from her flat in Finchley. She had convinced her staff and colleagues at Harrods to donate some kids toys to a few children’s hospitals and she was joining me on a day of visits. I have to say; it was a great day. She threw herself whole heartedly into the role of my comedy assistant. I pied her face twice and she did not mind one bit. What a trooper. If your reading this then thank you Isabelle. You where brilliant. Let’s do it again sometime.

Another sip of slime goes down the gullet and as I wince; I recall last weekends parties. It is true to say; in most cases when a parent tells me they don’t understand why their child never gets picked by an entertainer at a party to come up then there is probably a very good reason. I suspect it is because your child is probably not quite the angel you may think they are. I recall the birthday boy at one of my parties.

“He doesn’t get picked often”. Mum said.

I couldn’t see why. As I was setting up I glanced across at him and coyly smiled back. He was helping his Grandma lay the tea table. He seemed like a good kid. His friends entered and they all sat down behind a taped line I’d placed down. They where all energetic and smile and giggly and he was engaging with his friends playfully. So I called him up to help me. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman; “Big mistake! Huge!” As his elbow thrust into my nether regions, followed by an almighty stamp on the bridge of my foot I realised exactly why he didn’t get called up usually. He was a show off and he wanted his friends to laugh heartily at his actions and the more they did, the more aggressive towards me he became. I got him sat down very quickly after that and decided I would be a little more discerning who I picked to join me next time.

If you want to see a great YouTube Show for children then check out the details below and please subscribe.

The Captain Calamity Adventures

Captain Calamity’s amazing YouTube Channel is up and running and it is looking great!

This fantastic channel aimed at children aged 3 years+ is set to be full of Art Projects for your creative kids, Science Experiments for inquisitive young minds, magic for pure entertainment and tricks that your little ones can have a go at themselves. Their will also be plenty of ideas for rainy days, bath time fun, long car journeys and anywhere where kids need a little engagement. Above all; this channel is fun and entertaining creating smiles and laughter.

Subscribe today to catch the weekly episodes that go live every Sunday at 5pm. Plus there will also be bonus episodes during the week.

Please share this post with anyone you think may find it of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA

 

 

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The Captain’s Log 3

The Lollipop Lighthouse

I’m starting to get used to this ‘Blogging Lark’. So grab yourself a mug of your favourite hot beverage, recline back in an arm chair with your feet up on the pouffiest pouffe and let me take the reigns of this ride around my crazy world.

This week has been full of fun and frolics. I met up with my good mate Paul Megram aka Colonel Custard (he’s a children’s entertainer too. Well he’d have to be with a name like that) and we filmed some new episodes of my YouTube channel where demonstrates some great magic that kids can easily replicate and perform themselves. When you meet someone who shares the same passion for entertaining as you but whose style is very different and whose skill set is also different then I must say; I become a kid again watching with the same wide eyed wonder as I watched entertainers as a 5 year old boy. We got some great episodes in ‘the can’ and then went to a local cafe to catch up. Filming my channel is a joy and a pleasure but working with a mate on a few episodes makes it even more enjoyable. I also work with a terrific video guy called Dan and he has the ability of creating a relaxed environment and just letting the show flow with ease in through the lens of his camera. Then he very quickly works his magic, converting a studio apartment in Stoke Newington into The Lollipop Lighthouse. If you haven’t seen the episodes that are up on the channel yet; I very strongly recommend you find a 3 to 8 year old child (preferably your own but a niece or nephew will do) and stick them in front of it. Then just watch their smiles and laughter as each video unfolds.

Today is a POD day. POD is an amazing charity that sends entertainers into hospital to create laughter and smiles for children who need them most. Together with POD and the other charity I work for regularly; Spread A Smile; I have been lucky enough to meet some of the bravest, smartest, wonderful children I have ever known. Today I’m going to 3 hospitals bringing them a bubble shows. They’ll see me create bouncing bubbles, smoke bubbles, bubbles in bubbles, magic bubbles, rainbow and caterpillar bubbles and lost more. I can’t wait!

I owe my work as a Bubbleologist to Samsam the Bubble Man of Bubbleinc who was kind enough to spark my interest and train me and who has about half a dozen Guinness World Records to his name. Seeing him and his team work; I always believed that if I could develop some basic skills then the combination of bubbles with my ability to engage an audience of children; it would be a really strong and unique addition to my shows. I must have been blowing bubbles for five years now and it is always a huge highlight in my shows.

This week my son Zak has been rehearsing a magic trick for his School Talent Competition. He’s a bright boy and he’s got the mechanics of the trick down (in fact Kelly (my wife) thinks he does a far better job of it than I ever did but getting him to speak to his audience and engage with them is a challenge. I’ve got my work cut out to get across to an 8 year old who thinks he knows everything that it’s not enough to present the mechanics of a trick and that he needs to make it into an entertaining routine… And he definitely needs to smile more.

I smile at everyone. People crossing the road alongside me, people in other vehicles in traffic, school mums when delivering my boys in the morning to the gates of their prison of academia for the day. I realise that most people think I’m at best a little eccentric and at worse; clinically insane but I don’t care because persistence pays off and eventually strangers smile back and you can’t be stressed or angry or frustrated when you are smiling. Try it. You’ll see.

My great children’s YouTube Channel is up and running and its full of ideas for rainy days.

Details below:-

The Captain Calamity Adventures

Captain Calamity’s amazing YouTube Channel is up and running and it is looking great!

This fantastic channel aimed at children aged 3 years+ is set to be full of Art Projects for your creative kids, Science Experiments for inquisitive young minds, magic for pure entertainment and tricks that your little ones can have a go at themselves. Their will also be plenty of ideas for rainy days, bath time fun, long car journeys and anywhere where kids need a little engagement. Above all; this channel is fun and entertaining creating smiles and laughter.

Subscribe today to catch the weekly episodes that go live every Sunday at 5pm. Plus their will also be bonus episodes during the week.

Please share this post with anyone you think may find it of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA

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The Captain’s Log 2

Best Foot Forward

It’s Sunday. I’ve entertained at three parties this weekend and I’m sitting in Cafe Nero cradling a mug of tea before embarking on my final party of the weekend. A group of Polish girls chat in broken English about their trips around the UK. I think they are practicing their language skills on each other.

Mint Tea girl says “Cambridge was fun but not as ‘British’ as the guide book says.”

Soya Milk Latte girl says “I very much enjoyed Oxford but I was nearly knocked over by a bicycle.”

Mint Tea girls says “Cambridge also has many bicycles but they don’t knock you over.”

I’m thinking Cambridge might be the better option then.

Sometimes my weekend goes swimmingly. Every party is a dream and the parents who book me, the birthday child and the mini party goers are all wonderful. This weekend was not quite one of those.

It started well. Really well. The venue was welcoming and I was provided with a cup of coffee as I set up and they let me get in early so I wasn’t rushed. The kids where energetic but on the whole lovely, bubbly and responsive and the birthday Mum (another Blogger) was really easy going and just let me get on with my show and was receptive to everything I had suggested might work to make the party better. The birthday boy was 6 years old and was also great fun. Full of excitement, eager to get involved and introduced me to all his friends as they arrived, called me ‘Captain Calamsy’ and grinned and laughed heartily throughout the show.

Then I arrived at party two. To be honest it was a bit of a trek from one party to the other so I arrived with the bare minimum time I needed to setup. This one was at a school which is fine if I can park easily and access the space without Caretakers flexing their muscle and providing me with lists of ‘do’s and don’ts’. There was no sign of the Caretaker and the Hall was open. All would have been absolutely fine if in an attempt to help the birthday Dad to setup the chunky metal refectory tables for the birthday tea; I hadn’t dropped one of them right across the bridge of my right foot. I stopped for a moment looking at the floor. Hoping that I hadn’t done any damage. Time froze. Then slowly the burning throbbing sensation engulfed my foot. Something was wrong. I smiled at the parents and walked to my van outside trying to maintain the facade of ‘being perfectly fine’. I was not. I sat in the van. Doors shut and waited for the deep throbbing to subside. When it did; I returned to the party. I became Captain Calamity; the bumbling Pirate Superhero that the 5 year old birthday girl had wanted for her party for a whole year since her Mum had booked me. She had watched my videos on YouTube, she had remembered all her favourite routines from seeing me at her friends parties and my pain was of no interest to her (unless I could make it funny) therefore it would be pushed to the back of my mind so I could do a professional job. I won’t say it was easy but I did it and as the guests left and the parents drove away from the hall having thanked me for a good job and paid me my fee; I took my trainer off and peeled down my sock to reveal a nice purple bruise.

My Sunday morning party went quite well. One issue was that I do a trick with a wooden block that has a piece of string through it and I am able to stop the block as its dropping down the string. However; to demonstrate that the string is one piece without any notches or knots; I have to drop the block down the string and straight on my foot. So I’ve got it all setup. I realise I’m going to drop this block right on my bad foot.
My foot is screaming “Don’t do it!”
The kids want me to drop it.
It’s going to look awkward if I swap over feet now but I know it’s going to hurt. In my head I count down to the moment of impact and then I just do it. BANG!!!! That hurt. So I make a joke about having to limp around. The kids laugh and on I go with the show. That burning throbbing aching pain is back and all for a silly laugh. What an idiot.

The rest of the party went well. Lots of happy four year olds and a birthday boy who took immense pleasure in putting a shaving foam pie in my face as his friends screamed with delight! They all loved the routine I did with my Puppet Scorcher the Dragon and every joke and silly comment that Scorcher made at my expense; hit the mark. Sunday started well.

I’ve just looked at the time and better head off to my last party. I’ll report back in the next paragraph if there is something to add…

…There is something to add. I won’t go into detail because I’ve ranted enough already and this particular incident will fill a post in itself. Let’s just say; sometimes you just need to keep smiling and nodding and let people say what they need to say then stick your professional head on and make the peace. Which is exactly what I did. I’ll tell you more about this sometime soon.

The party went well. I know this crowd and the kids are lively and lovely at the same time. At the end of the show; Barry the Caretaker (not his real name. I’m rubbish with names). helped me pack away as we chatted about his Fishing Trips, Hall Maintenance, what to do with his week off and whatever else we could both think of to pass the time. I like Barry. He’s a descent bloke. 5′ 8″ and the right side of podgy. Just large enough to look jovial and friendly but not fat. He’s always happy to chat and often helps me clear away. Then I headed home in the ‘Captain Calamity Mobile’ to The Lollipop Lighthouse in Chocolate Button Bay where I tell the kids I live. In actual fact; it was back to Edgware to help Kelly (my wife) clear the mess that my boys had made from a ‘Pyjama Day’ at home and to tuck the two little misfits into bed. I look at them both tucked up in bed. I’ll check on them later. They’re cute; my boys… When they’re asleep.

My foot is still throbbing but I’m not disheartened. This weekend; the positives have far outweighed the negatives and as I watch Dragons Den on telly and see Peter Jones absolutely crucify a brave Entrepeneur who is confidently selling Goal Posts but can’t quite work out the value of his business; I realise some people have worse days than me.

Don’t forget to get your little ones to view my YouTube Channel. I mean your kids and not your aged and slowly shrinking parents.

Details below:-

The Captain Calamity Adventures

Captain Calamity’s amazing YouTube Channel is up and running and it is looking great!

This fantastic channel aimed at children aged 3 years+ is set to be full of Art Projects for your creative kids, Science Experiments for inquisitive young minds, magic for pure entertainment and tricks that your little ones can have a go at themselves. Their will also be plenty of ideas for rainy days, bath time fun, long car journeys and anywhere where kids need a little engagement. Above all; this channel is fun and entertaining creating smiles and laughter.

Subscribe today to catch the weekly episodes that go live every Sunday at 5pm. Plus their will also be bonus episodes during the week.

Please share this post with anyone you think may find it of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA

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The Captains Log (Reboot)

Tumbling Out of Control

Over the years I’ve made many attempts at writing a blog. I’ve written hints and tips for running a party, I’ve talked about the psychology of engaging different age groups, I’ve tried to be sarcastic and jokey with my content but I’ve never been able to maintain the facade of being a relentlessly witty, intelligent Super Dad. So I have made a decision to reboot and start again but this time I’m just going to be honest. Some posts will be pretty raw, others quite light hearted. This will be a un-edited snap shot of my slightly absurd and unusual day job as an entertainer combined with the very normal and often too real life I lead as a dad to two cheeky boundary pushing, middle class, spoilt and yet loveable boys and a husband to my smart and beautiful yet stubborn and argumentative wife of nearly ten years. You may not agree with everything I say in fact I sincerely hope you don’t but I hope you appreciate the honesty behind it.

Why am I writing this? Therapy perhaps and the desire that; through my candour you might see echoes of your own life and realise although we are all very different, in a lot of ways we are all very much the same.

Today I’m in the laundrette. I perform bubble shows at kids parties and that means a lot of wet towels and mats covered in bubble liquid. I’m not allowed to use the washing machine or tumble dryer at home. Not since the ‘Foam Gate’ incident when the washing machine filled up with so much foam from the residue bubble liquid on my towels that the bathroom (where the machine is kept) was flooded. Foam party for the kids but Kelly; my wife was livid. I’m good at inadvertently making Kelly livid. I have all the right intentions but all to often I act in haste, not really thinking about the outcome. Kelly recently received a speeding ticket. I saw it one morning and decided to pay it. No problem so far right? Except that Kelly had already booked herself on a Speed Awareness Course and when I paid the fine; she was automatically removed from the course and points where added to her licence. It’s all sorted now. She sorted it in the end after I spent a day chasing my tale and getting nowhere. We don’t talk about it now. It just annoys her.

As I sit here in Kingsbury Laundrette; the closest one to home that hasn’t yet objected to me bundling my saturated materials into their machines (I’ve been banned from more than a few laundrettes in my time). I am hypnotised by the machines tumbling brightly coloured cloth over and over itself in rows of constantly changing kaleidoscopes. I am suddenly made ripped from my malaise by the sound of the elderly bohemian lady to my left who is constantly belching. I turn only slightly so as not to catch her eye and find she is drinking coke from a huge bottle, stopping at regular intervals to let out massive gurgling fizzy pop burps. She seems completely unperturbed by on lookers and continues in earnest drinking and burping her way through half a litre of her brown fizzy drink of choice. I do like my regular trips to the laundrette. You meet some great characters. The owner is a man called Dave (He’s not but I can’t remember his real name. I’m rubbish with names). He’s a little chap. Looks like a trendy Science teacher. Nice though. He suggested that I should pour a bottle of Comfort directly onto my mats and towels to prevent the foam. It works. Which he must be pleased about because I often wrecked his machines and he used to have to get Steve (not his real name) in to fix them. Steve is the Laundrette Maintenance Man. I used to see a lot of Steve before I stopped breaking the machines. He was a nice guy too. Tall whispy, middle aged chap. Looks like he’s lived a hard life (made harder by me and my mats). We used to joke about the broken machines but inside I bet he felt only a burning loathing for me. Still those days are gone now. Which is just as well because I was running out of Laundrettes in London that didn’t have posters up with my mug on them instructing customers to report me if I set foot on their premises… It was getting a bit like that. Well my stuff is dry now so I’m going to sign off. I need to get some lightbulbs, a new laptop power lead to replace the one that either Zak or Luca (my two boys) snapped off in the plug socket (and that I’m being blamed for) and I must fix Scorcher the Dragons box (he’s a puppet!) before my weekends parties. Be sure to look out for my next blog and please drop me a comment below.

Be Safe
Be Smart
Be Smiley

P.S.

Your kids might like my YouTube Channel. Please check it out and subscribe if you don’t mind getting a weekly update from me when each of my shows goes up on the channel.

Here are the details:-
The Captain Calamity Adventures

Captain Calamity’s amazing YouTube Channel is up and running and it is looking great!

This fantastic channel aimed at children aged 3 years+ is set to be full of Art Projects for your creative kids, Science Experiments for inquisitive young minds, magic for pure entertainment and tricks that your little ones can have a go at themselves. Their will also be plenty of ideas for rainy days, bath time fun, long car journeys and anywhere where kids need a little engagement. Above all; this channel is fun and entertaining creating smiles and laughter.

Subscribe today to catch the weekly episodes that go live every Sunday at 5pm. Plus their will also be bonus episodes during the week.

Please share this post with anyone you think may find it of interest.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA

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Summer Shows, Rhymes and Prose

It’s been a Whirlwind July at Captain Calamity HQ with great schools Fun Days, Community Events and Festivals. I’ve blown up my 6′ Balloon and climbed inside it on quite a few occasions in June and July and it always gets a great response. What could be funnier than seeing a man stick a giant balloon over his head then pull himself completely inside it before emerging like an Alien popping out of an egg and bouncing around to Hawaii 5.0 or Gangnam Style?

The other highlight for outdoor events in this weather has been getting out amongst you with rods and nets and creating millions of beautiful bubbles filling the sky with magic. The expressions on some of your faces has been priceless.

I’m always seeking ways of upping my game so I can offer packages that other entertainers can’t compete with.

My Rhyming Story Books are coming along nicely and will be released in time for the Highgate and Hamstead Literary festival in September. My first story os called ‘I Think My Mum’s an Alien’, the other two are great Captain Calamity Adventure Stories and I’ve also written a little quirky one which I hope you’ll all love. I’m also giving a few story books out for birthday children at parties. So, feel free to ask for one if I’m entertaining at your party or event.

The Stage Show is also growing from strength to strength with more show dates being added all the time.

Please check out the all new and wonderful website for more details of shows, videos, photos and info. Www.captaincalamity.com and don’t forget to put your comments about my parties up on the Facebook page Facebook.com/captaincalamitychildrensentertainer

That’s all for now. Catch you soon. X

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