Yorick the Break Dancer (Yo-Rick!)

In my most recent direction of my Hamlet for Kids there came the moment when the young actor comes on stage and says the line, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him. When I was a kid, he was the jester, the funniest guy I knew.” And the play moves on… but, this one kid, as he was going through rehearsing in many different ways, stumbled on saying it as “Yo, Rick” and his first improv was around, “Who is this Rick guy?”  But, he settled for going with the break dancer avenue, as he put it, “the best breakdancer I ever knew…” Well, see for your self:

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Yorick the Break Dancer (Yo-Rick!) was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Green leprechaun pees in the toilet

The Story of the Rainbow Leprechauns

Green leprechaun pees in the toiletSo everybody knows about the green leprechaun, but do you know about the history of the other colored leprechauns? Every year we go through this story with my son, it is so much fun leading up to St. Patrick’s Day, since this is one of our favorite holidays.  The legend of the rainbow leprechauns goes a little something like this (spoken in your best Irish accent):

Everybody knows about the lore of the green leprechaun. But what people don’t really know, is the history of the rainbow leprechauns. The little brothers and sisters of the green leprechaun.
The rainbow leprechauns check in every day before St. Patrick’s Day and can leave little gifts if you’re being a good boy or girl before their big brother, the green leprechaun, the most mischievous of them all, comes by for a visit.  They are getting your house ready for their big green brother, to make sure everything is in order so he can cause the most trouble!  Lots of different troubles, that you have always thought were caused by the green leprechauns, were really the work of his rainbow gang, but blue leprechaun on fridgeGreen takes all the credit, because, he is the oldest and the wisest!
The reason nobody knows about the other colors is they are not allowed to be seen.  I try to catch one every year, but all that is ever left behind are little colored footprints!  As they prove their worth through mischievous deeds, they can, over time, change colors to become green one day.
All of the different leprechauns are mischievous, it’s just part of their nature. They typically come at night, one day after another, each day before St. Patrick’s Day, when the Green Guy finally shows up. However, they have been known to show up two or three on a given night, just to try to cause more mayhem.  Every once in a while, although rare, they have even been known to show up during the day!
To get an idea of what these other leprechauns are like, let’s start with the blue leprechaun. He is a messy leprechaun. Just figuring out how to be a leprechaun and he leaves his blue marks everywhere. On the cupboards, on the floor, even in the toilet.  His intentions are good, but he just purple leprechaun in bathroomdoesn’t know how to control his blue yet.
The purple leprechaun is a risk taker. He is not shy, but is always doing something a bit extreme to get the attention of anybody that will watch. His footsteps are bold, and prominent and sometimes things get broken, not on purpose, of course, but by accident. And when he leaves a gift, sometimes, it’s a bit edgy and risky. And yes, it’s not uncommon to see purple sink and toilet water!
The red leprechaun is just curious. Always poking his nose, fingers, hands, or feet in places they probably shouldn’t belong. He typically leaves his little red gifts in these places as well. He is definitely in trouble from time to time.
The orange leprechaun is always is running late, typically missing the night time visits.  He is the king of procrastination.  Some feel he just likes to visit during the day and risk being caught, where others feel he likes to watch the kids behaviors during the day to make sure they are doing everything juuuust right!
red leprechaun on tileThe yellow leprechaun is shy. You can barely see his footprints at times, and doesn’t want to come out in the middle of the room. He is always a bit hidden and difficult to find.  He always leaves gifts, yellow in nature, and they are difficult to find as well.
The green one, well… he is a combination of them all, the best definition for him is: mischievous. He is the craftiest, the wisest, the eldest, a risk taker, and definitely the biggest troublemaker of them all.  He typically leaves his footprints everywhere around the house. The toilet water is always green, the milk and other such foods are green, and he even seems to dance on the little kids faces from time to time leaving green dots all over their faces when they wake up.  Green is also the most fun!
So, that is the story of the rainbow leprechaun gang.  I hope to hear about their shenanigans around your house next year!
As you can see in the photos, they stopped by our house again this year!
purple leprechaun letter

green leprechaun on mirror

The Shakespeare Prank

Ahhh, Puck!  My absolute favorite of all Shakespeare’s characters.  I associate the most with him and his mischievous ways, and that is why I probably like him so.  But, he is also the perfect character to kick off a post about Shakespeare Pranks.

Okay, this isn’t an actual Shakespeare prank, not yet, anyway.  I am big into the creative process of a prank or a practical joke. I have history of doing practical jokes on people. I’ve always considered a practical joke simply a canvas for creativity. This past week I completed a practical joke on a fellow coworker who resisted putting any art on his wall, he took a week of vacation off, and I “arranged” for art to be applied while he was away. See the video below for the great fun it was…Slimetopia:

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But after it was done, it really got me thinking about doing a Shakespeare Prank. Now, I cannot exactly do a Shakespeare prank on somebody here at work, not the right forum. However, there is a chance that you can!  That’s right, you!  Now, the school setting or theater setting, would be a great place to stage a Shakespeare prank. How great would it be to rally a class of kids together to pull a Shakespeare prank on another class or teacher within the school? Maybe it’s a MacBeth witch theme prank and they pull everything out of a teacher’s, or principal’s, office and replace it to look like the witches cave? or a Hamlet themed prank, where they fill every desk in a rival classroom with skulls? or some such craziness. Maybe they do an “impromptu” Mechanicals flash mob a do a scene from A Midsummer Nights Dream in the middle of another’s class!!!  Oh, I can just see the chaos now!

I can start brainstorming a big list, but really, it’s about starting the idea then stoking the fire and letting the kids be creative with their ideas. I’ve always found, I start with a good foundation, add a little craziness and excitement, and everybody else will keep adding in ideas. And with Shakespeare, they can rally all the ideas around a specific play, helping to better understand all the symbolics of that particular storyline. What a great lesson idea this could be.

Do me a big favor, if you do this, please let me know and send me the video you create. Time progression pictures are always the best, as well as the reaction!

For more inspiration, here are a few other pranks that I have done in the past… They are YouTube videos, so click on them!

The Troll Door – we actually replaced and framed in his office door with a tiny troll door!
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The Hen House – This was in retaliation to turning my office into an aquarium with 800 balloons!!!
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Credit for the feature image to Great Scott – that’s a phenomenal drawing of Puck, the most mischievous prankster of them all!

The Shakespeare Prank was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books