Making Magic in Mildura

Kids Thrive is producing Cha Cha Sam’s Postcards From Nanna, taking in regional libraries to start conversations about cultural diversity.

Here are Tales From The Road…

First stop – Mildura, right up on the border of NSW and Victoria. Cha Cha Sam was booked in to perform two shows at the Mildura Library as part of their jam-packed school holiday program. Postcards from Nanna is the first time that live performance has been incorporated into Mildura Library’s school holiday program, and after today’s incredible reception, we’re certain it won’t be the last! Our first show was at 9.30am, filled with more than one hundred toddlers, young children, parents, grandparents and carers, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and certainly ready to get involved…

Kids Thrive Nanna gets help

Of course, as in all live performance, there are magical moments that catch us off-guard, and no matter how many hundred times one performs a show, it is an absolute truism that the audience creates a different show every time by their energy, commitment and reactions.

At a crucial moment in this morning’s Postcards from Nanna performance, (pictured left) Nanna crashes onto the stage, and needs the audience to help her! As children rushed to save Nanna from her fall, the young boy at the front of the photo had other ideas.

Crawling quietly to her side, sensing Nanna’s dramatic fear at her collapse, he passed her his rattle – the perfect distraction for Nanna, of course! With a look of ‘here’s something for you to play with while they save you’, he returned to his position and watched the older kids take charge.

Leadership can take many forms – sometimes it’s not the person who pulls you out of the wreckage, who is your greatest ally, but the one beside you giving you the strength to make it out at all. This young boy’s actions definitely worked, too – Nanna seemed much happier and calmer with her rattle.

B. Cha Cha Sam's youngest audience member yetMildura is also the holder of a new Cha Cha Sam record – we met our youngest ever fan! We were in awe of little Grace. At only six days old, she looks even tinier in person than she does in this photo. Grace was enchanting us all with her delicate features and sweet temperament, before reminding us of the constant up and downs of parenthood with a rather large, well-timed, projectile poop. But, when you’re this adorable, we’ll forgive you anything!

Of course, one of the many joys of performing a show like Postcards from Nanna is that our audience is never limited to the under 5s. Or the under 50s. In fact, at today’s Mildura show, we had the beautiful experience of performing for a group of older adults from the local aged care facility.

Performing Postcards from Nanna for Nannas was uplifting and also lots of fun, and meeting this group afterwards even more so. It was a lovely mix to have the vivacity and noise of the young children, and the gentle wisdom and quiet voices of this beautiful group of older adults, and an even more special experience to watch their interactions. Seeing such a wide range of ages and diverse families at our shows – grandparents, aunts, uncles, carers, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins – reminds us of just how many people influence the lives of our young people.

Everyone can be a role model and an inspiration – and sometimes, you may not even know that you are. Finally, we would like to extend our thanks to the Mildura Library. We had a delightful first day, and we are so thankful for your warmth and generosity in hosting us at your wonderful community space.

Kids Thrive Mildura Children

Kids Thrive Mildura Adults

Kids Thrive Michael Hogan - Community program manager Mildura Library

Our final photo is a picture with Michael Hogan, Community Program Manager at the Mildura Library. Capping off a day where beautiful people never ceased to amaze us with their talents and creativity, Michael was no exception – he is currently rehearsing for a local production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Michael is certainly another wonderful role model in the local community for the young people of Mildura.

Next up – Swan Hill!
A big thanks to VicHealth, Arts Victoria, The Australia Council for the Arts, Public Libraries Network Victoria, and the Australian Institute of Social Relations for helping us to bring Nanna to the road.