Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the "i" upside down in Act!vated?
It is activated "i" so of course it is doing a cartwheel! It also helps put the emphasis on "act". Which is what we do.
When we perform we are in constant motion. We use physical comedy, tumbling, contortion, dancing and a variety of other performance art skills to bring the stories to life. That's why we are called "activated". So often people want to know where we get the energy (and where they can buy it). The truth is, we get it from our audience. For some odd reason, the more they laugh and respond the higher we jump.
How come you guys are so funny?
Because we like to watch the audience laugh. But that goes without saying. We believe that the more you laugh the more you learn.
How did you get to be so funny?
Funny business is serious work. There is no easy answer here. We spend a lot of time learning how to be funny, by studying the audience's reactions. We make mental notes about what makes certain age groups laugh. Sometimes it's a certain look, or word. We include a little something for everyone to make sure no one goes home without a smile.
Why do you use American Sign Language?
We devoted a whole page to American Sign Language to answer this question.
Download a flyer to print and share with your favorite library or school. (PDF format).
Will you come to (fill in the blank)?
You bet! Just check the tour schedule to see when we will be in your area. If you don't see a show scheduled in your community. You can get the ball rolling by printing a flier and sharing it with your favorite library, school, daycare, JCC, or homeschool group or other group. We perform anywhere kids and their families gather. (PDF format) Get Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Where do you get your stories?
Books. First we decide on a theme for a show, like "American Folk tales" or "Serendipity Stories". Then we go to the library, and hit the folktale section and read. As we tell our audiences at libraries the secret is the 398.2 section of the library. Dennis is the company's playwright. He spends about 2 months researching and writing each story. Sometimes, he also uses a book called "Motif Index to Folk tales" for story ideas and themes.
How did you get through the tennis racket?
You'll be able to relate to this question if you've ever seen one of the shows. Kimberly squeezes through a tennis racket in the splits. It looks impossible and everyone in the audience holds their breath. We'll say this much - it is not a fake tennis racket. Though, we did take the strings off (she looked a little strained when she tried it with the strings still on).
How do you balance the broom (or ladder, or chair, etc.)?
How do you learn to ride a bike? Or a skateboard? Practice. Practice. Practice. One other tip is to focus on the top of the object you are trying to balance. Look at the top, not the bottom. And make sure the area around you is clear. Inside the house is not the place to practice. Go outside, or to the neighbors house, then practice, practice, practice.
"Thank you for bringing your talent and business to our library. Our country needs more of this type of entertainment and I applaud you." ~Barbara Nelson, Wellesley, MA
Where are you from?
We began our business in San Francisco in 1988, and for the first four years we just performed in Northern California, except for occasional jaunts to Reno, Nevada and Eugene, Oregon. During this time, we lived and worked out of an apartment in San Francisco. Then in 1992 we booked tours in several states on the East Coast and in the Midwest, so we bought a motor home to tour in, and gave up our home. We've been traveling non-stop since then. Our mailing address is in the Los Angeles area (Burbank) but we have mail forwarded from there to wherever we are. We have our belongings stored in Reno and our vehicles registered in Arkansas. We typically don't spend more than 2 weeks in any one place.
Where do you live?
We live everywhere and nowhere . . . or is it nowhere and everywhere? Anyway, we travel 365 days a year never staying more than two weeks in any one place. We like to list our hometown as "Asphalt City, U.S.A."
Do you eat out at restaurants everyday?
Goodness no. For one thing, we are vegetarians and finding good vegetarian restaurants everywhere would be a nightmare. Not to mention, a waste of time and money. We do most of our eating in our RV as we are driving from place to place. We have fridge, a stove and a microwave. And we often "borrow" the microwave at truck stops and gas stations along the way. Occasionally we eat out, but no more than most people (probably even less often).