What did you learn back in the first grade about coloring? Take your black crayon, if you can find one, with the black crayon, outline the picture you want to color. Then color it whatever color you want to color it.
Just stay inside the lines. Stay inside the lines. If you go outside the lines, your work looks sloppy. Color it whatever crazy, hopped up, non-realistic, spasmodic, operatic, rinky-dink color you want, but STAY INSIDE THE LINES!!!
This month, my son’s Cub Scout den (I’m the Den Leader) is in charge of the Pack meeting. We have to do the flag ceremony and a skit. During our planning session, I thought I could use the skit as an opportunity to earn the Webeloes’ Showman badge. Since I am an actor, I’m the one who has to figure out how to get this done. One of requirements to get this badge is to write a script for a puppet show.
First, my nine boys each made a sock puppet. When I asked them what they would like to name their puppet, mostly I got “I don’t know; What do we have to name them for?" "Crusher; Destroyer, Godzilla.”
Then I told them the theme of this month’s Pack meeting: Litter to Glitter. We then tried to come up with ideas for a story to put the puppets in. Here’s a list of the puppets’ names and various ideas they came up with once they were provided with the lines:
The Junk Man
Collects Trash and makes sculptures out of it.
Midnight the Owl
Flies around and gets hit in the eye by litter
The Litter Bug
Gets crushed by falling trash
CEO of French Company S. Cargo, pollutes everything
Monsieur Garbage’s personal assistant
Superhero of Recycling
Monsieur Garbage’s wife
The Unknown Man
Not quite sure about him yet
Destroys and eats things of course
Suddenly, they could see the lines and immediately began to color inside them. Probably while you’re looking at the ideas and the characters, you can see a story emerging there too. Creativity, art, only happens inside boundaries. If there are no boundaries, it just
seems sloppy. It looks like an accident, a mistake rather than on purpose. So have outlines for kids to color inside, whether they’re acting in your play or writing their own.
And don’t worry. No matter what your boundaries are, you’ll always have a Godzilla.
Kevin Coffey is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and the Acting Studio Conservatory in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as a stage veteran of 28 years. He's performed in a range of theatre from Shakespeare to musicals, drama to comedy. Since memorizing Bill Cosby and Flip Wilson routines in the fourth grade, Kevin has done stand-up comedy, singing and dancing, writing radio advertisements, DJing and even dressing up like a chicken. Visit his web site at http://coffeyproductions.com/aboutus.aspx