Monday, October 29, 2007

Podcast and Career Day

First order of business: Podcast! Yes, I've been recorded and I'm now available (at your convenience) for download at ! One of the perks behind written interviews is that they tend to edit many of the "ummm..." bits out of your conversation. Not so on a Podcast! So enjoy the smooth sound of my voice as I stammer through a half-assed synopsis of my graphic novel.

Next: Halloween is the big day! Chiaroscuro will be in stores on the 31st, Woo-hoo! I have my advance copies piled up next to me looking slick as all get out.

And then there's Career Day. Well, it was.... Interesting. I was asked to speak at my old High School to the students about my careers in animation and comics. There was 3 sessions of about 40 minutes each, between 20-40 students in each session.

I remember being in high school all to well. There's the little cliques; the metal heads, the cool alternative geeks, the smart asses and the disinterested. Snarky kids and some kids with a genuine interest, but with no teacher supervision in the room: just me. Yar. Not a lot of questions were asked, most kids seemed vaguely interested in computer animation and little else. I don't know that I was of any use at all in getting kids excited about pursuing the arts, but I tried. I would run out of things to say after 30 minutes and then with no questions, just sit back and watch the clock.

Except the last session. There was a kid who came in who clearly had social/mental issues. He spoke too loudly and with no inflection, interrupting everyone and becoming irrationally hostile towards me for no real reason. It was odd having to deal with this poor kid in a polite manner, as I said there were no teachers present. It was nearly impossible to speak to the rest of the kids while he shouted weird things at me with a big smile on. When the session was over he got up in my face with a fist raised yelling "You haven't seen the last of me, I'll have my revenge! Why don't you got to Hollywood, we don't want you here"! Really weird. I feel bad for the guy, it can't be easy getting through the day in such a manner.

It's also strange to find that all those lousy children's cartoons I worked on over the years are the stuff these kids grew up on. Ouch.


Suzanne Marsden said...

I've done a few workshops in schools as well and the preamble to them was usually so awful and stressed-filled I wondered again how BOTH my folks' could handle being teachers?

I was lucky compared to you dude, cause there was always a teacher present for the talks. The younger kids were fine, and spent more of the QA time asking for drawings, rather than actually asking questions ;-) I never knew drawing Spiderman and Bart Simpson could be challenging, but that's what I get for doodling female barbarians all day long.

The High School experience was intense; it took place in a lecture theatre (the kind you find in Universities) with 3 classes worth of 15/16 year olds. I had prepared a talk, which I staggered through abysmally.. yet the kids seemed interested. They liked the video stuff I'd cued up to show various styles of animation and enjoyed looking at the painted cels I'd brought in. At the end, a kid asked for one of them, and (of course) I gave it to him.

I'm sorry you had to endure the troubled kid in your career-day talk Troy; it's always difficult trying to figure out how to cope, not insult, ride through without a teacher to help out. I wonder how they do it? Whenever anyone really grinds teachers down, I remember the stories my folks would often bring home and shake my head. Whatever profession I inevitably will fall into, I'm glad I realized early on that the classroom wasn't for me.

You, on the other hand, are a natural teacher. You are patient, understanding, have an innate feel for what people require to learn and present it in chunks that are easily digestible and immediately practical. (I learned more about Flash in the short time with you than I had in the last few years! Really!)

If we ever come into a million or two Troy it'd be a gas to open a Comic Academy/ Studio. Now to scrounge a bit o' captial...

Monica said...

Hey there!

You probably don't even know who the hell I am, but I'm one of the kids who was in your session! The first one, in fact.

I was the weird redheaded girl, who sat next to that weird tall girl with the slime green hair. We were in the front.

Remember us?

Just wanted to say, I loved your session! Even though you didn't give out free food, It was still my favorite. The 24 hour comic was the topic of conversation for the rest of the week in my group of friends.

I've already bought your book, and, when you do a book signing, I'll be in line! You ARE doing a book signing right? I think I read that somewhere...

I was telling my dad about your book, and trying to describe it to him:
Me- "It's got, like, a cover. With this guy with, like, a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and stuff? And-"
Dad- "This one?"
Turns out, it was on the shelf behind me all along. And I, in my infinite wisdom, did not spot it.

Anyways, enough of my rambling. Just wanted to let you know that SOME of us jaded teens liked your session.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monica (of your old Highschool)

Troy Little said...

Thanks Monica!

Yes I remember you and your friend, you both seemed really into comics and interested in what I was talking about.

Thanks for picking up the book, I hope you enjoy it! I'll be doing a signing at the Confederation Centre on November 9th at 7PM, it'd be great if you can make it!