With the help of his son, a musical ventriloquist makes a foray into virtual merriment

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What could possibly go wrong? Hear Kevin Driscoll tell the story, pretty much everything.

“My iPhone holder broke at the start of the performance. My PowerPoint slides were appearing upside down and unreadable on Facebook Live, ”lamented Driscoll, a former CEO of an internet startup with a master’s degree in education who reinvented himself as a children’s animator as a result. of a stress-induced medical episode in 2017.

“I’ve learned that I can’t rely on my past experience as an artist for a live audience. Playing virtually is very different,” he added. Jerry, in 2012 I was terrible. So it can only get better from here.

The Driscoll team has since found its rhythm. During the afternoon session of “Drum with Dummies” on April 21, for example, Kevin Driscoll opened the half-hour show for ages 2-10 by presenting a variety of percussion instruments and encouraging participants at home to improvise theirs by hitting spoons against an empty water bottle or overturned saucepan.

With the help of models Jerry (wearing a face mask), Mickey the monkey and Shep the sheepdog, Driscoll reminded the children to wash their hands and cough into their elbows. He then taught the intricacies of puppet drawing with Willie the Red Nosed Whiteboard, oversaw the “No Bully Zone” duet with Jerry and Doug the Talking Dog, and comforted his young viewers during this uncertain time.

“Even though there are a lot of things that are pretty scary right now, it’s still a wonderful world,” Driscoll reassured, preparing Doug to sing a rendition of Louis Armstrong’s signature song, “It’s a Wonderful World “. “Nothing lasts forever, so the pandemic will not be with us forever. People will eventually find and develop a vaccine, just like the flu. And we can go back outside.

Although playing without hearing a laugh was initially confusing, Kevin Driscoll said he appreciated the opportunity to learn new skills and practice what he so often preaches to young people: do your best and do not fear mistakes.

Lance Driscoll, who is also an actor and comedian, manages the Driscoll Productions Facebook fan page, creates graphics and short YouTube videos, and oversees the creative and technical aspects of virtual events hosted via Facebook Live, FaceTime, Google Duo, and Zoom.

He says his most important role, however, has been that of his father’s longtime fan.

“In all the time that we have worked together, we have never had a moment of contention. I am proud of this fact, ”he said. “We have always approached everything with the same dark but cheerful and cheerful sense of humor, which has allowed us to take on any theatrical or technical challenge – and life itself.”

For more information call 617-901-6232 or visit driscollproductions.com.

Cindy Cantrell can be reached at [email protected].


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