“Food Allergies Rock!” – An Explanation

Food-Allergies-Rock-Logo3

The song and motto “Food Allergies Rock” is one that I get questioned on frequently, leaving people often scratching their heads. Fair enough! It’s an odd statement!

However, I urge you to read this full blog post to see why I’m not crazy for saying “Food Allergies Rock”.

To completely contradict myself, let me start by saying that food allergies do not rock in the literal sense. We know what anaphylaxis is, what it can do, and how scary everything associated with it can be. No one signed up for food allergies, and given the opportunity, no one would. Who would want a relationship status with food that can be best described as “It’s Complicated”??

In my 30+ years of living with multiple food allergies (peanut, tree nut, egg, seafood and mustard), I’ve had a lot of low points and scary close calls. Some days I curse my allergies. Truth be told, I curse my asthma much more.

At the end of the day, I am an individual living with a severe but manageable health condition. I believe how I view my own allergies affects my own quality of life, and the perception other people have of me.

  • Do I want to feel and be viewed as a victim? No.
  • Do I want to feel and be viewed as someone living in constant fear? No.
  • Do I want to feel that life is always unfair and be viewed as someone who lives under a dark cloud? No.
  • Do I want to feel like a confident and normal person who is never slowed down by their food allergies? Absolutely.

I wrote “Food Allergies Rock” to flip my own perspective on my condition. If I can “rock” my food allergies, I will be more confident and empowered to stay safe. I choose not to let food allergies define me. I stay positive while staying safe. I read labels, carry epinephrine, ask the right questions at restaurants and more. I got this.

I know “Food Allergies Rock” a line that might be hard to grasp. But as someone who has the condition, this perception/self-talk/attitude has actually made me less of a risk-taker, and improved my overall quality of life. To me, that rocks!

With all of the other severe and unmanageable health conditions out there, I feel somewhat fortunate to have only food allergies. I’ve learned how to live with them, travel with them, the precautions needed, the ways to deal with frustrations, and how to rise above them to live live life to the fullest. If reading this makes you think, “wow, he really rocks his food allergies”, then you now know the power that a little catchphrase can have on the psyche.

I hope you and your kids can rock your food allergies too!

Watch Video Online – Today AND Tomorrow!

Online-Premiere-Square-extended

Great news! The online premiere of “Kyle Dine & Friends” has been extended by a full day! I’ve received so much great feedback on the video so far, and really want more and more people to see it so they know the true value of this resource for schools and children. Tomorrow is the official launch day of the DVD and I would love for people to see what all of the hype is about!

Please feel free to share the premiere link to any contacts you think should view this film! Parents, teachers, principals, PTO members, bloggers, etc. etc! Share with pride! This is our project :)

DVDs Arriving This Week

Kyle Dine DVD Arriving September

This is the big week! After months and months of editing, language overdubs, finalizing artwork, and scrutinizing every single detail of this project, it’s finally done.

I am thrilled to be wrapping up this project! It has been a full year of work on top of my regular day job and 100+ school performances while touring. I’ve been busy. But the true secret of this video are the people that came together to make it a reality. The Kickstarter backers who believed in it, the “A-Team” who helped finesse the content themes, and the advisory team who helped me create the best possible script.

I received the first box yesterday in the mail – 90 DVDs in total. I was overjoyed to see them! I pick up the other 3,000 today. I was so happy to see it in real life after months of staring at clips and artwork on computer screens! It’s better than anything I ever imagined at the start of this project.

Looking forward to sending this to YOUR mailbox soon!

Official release will be September 22, but pre-order’s will ship in the meantime from www.foodallergyvideo.com

Here we go!
Kyle

That’s a Wrap! DVD Filming Recap.

I’m finally coming up for air after last week’s video filming in Chicago. It was easily one of the greatest weeks of my life filled with amazing and talented people and a creative process that I enjoyed so much, I didn’t want it to end!

Filming in Chicago was a bit of a gamble for me. I’m from Ontario and all of my connections are mostly in Toronto. However, someone recommended David Hunter at Greenroom Productions and I was really impressed with the quality and creativity of his work. He has a background in improv which I thought would lend itself well to the “fun factor” of making an educational video engaging for children.

Once the video company was set, I wasn’t 100% sure where to go next. I know I needed some other creative people….so I emailed the Chicago Puppeteers Guild! They kindly sent a mail out to all of their members. I had nearly a dozen puppeteers express interest in helping out. I brought on Kat Pleviak, Tom Holste and the multi-talented Bob Anderson. Bob was my right hand man with set design and painted all of the beautiful scenery. I referred to him as “Bob the Painter” so not to get confused with Bob Stoffel who built all of the amazing set pieces. He was of course, “Bob the Builder”.

When I arrived in Chicago, I headed to Bob the Builder’s warehouse – which is one of the largest supplier of children’s theatre sets and props. Had I ever come to the right place! I was overjoyed seeing my set pieces for the first time! They were perfect. We made a few cuts where we could have puppets pop through – my favourite being behind the bookcase in the classroom.

On Sunday, it was moving day. Bob S. and I sure got a workout loading up our rented Uhaul truck, then unloading it all at the theatre we rented for filming. It was a long night, but by the end , the set looked great and was ready for action the very next morning.

Monday morning- game time! One by one, the crew started to arrive:
Bob – puppeteer
Kat – puppeteer
David – Producer
Kevin – sound engineer
Rachel – lighting

At that point, I had no clue how much fun we were about to have over the next 3 days.

As the cameras started rolling, we went scene-by-scene, location-by-location. I was just so excited the whole time, I felt good about the filming – always had good energy, but definitely crashed hard at the end of each day. Bob and Kat were amazing – truly impressive puppeteers, but they really blew me away with their voices for the puppets! I actually had 3 puppet voices pre-recorded in the studio, but Kat was so talented, we made a last minute change so she could do them live.

The hardest part for me was memorizing my lines! Although I say these messages nearly every day, the pressure/importance of sticking exactly to the medically approved script made me realize how much I prefer to ad lib! Let’s just say there was not much rest after a long day of filming- just memorizing the next day’s scenes.

The hilarity when the camera was not rolling had me in stitches. Bob and Kat would give the puppets a lot of sass – and let’s just say it was more like Avenue Q at times rather than a children’s DVD! It put me in a great mood – especially if I messed up my lines and received hilarious criticism from Chef Allergie!

We were behind schedule going into the final day of filming, but we all buckled down and finished at 1:06pm – we had the children scheduled to arrive at 1:00pm . Wow that was close! Ending with kids on the set was so fitting! They brought so much fun and energy to several songs. After all, this is who the video is for!! I suddenly felt much more comfortable and in my element. They did an amazing job and were very quick to learn instructions – for dancing, singing and doing special hand gestures (for the “Hand Wash Rap”!). What a fun way to end the shoot!

The kids and their parents left around 4pm and it gave us a chance to go through the scripts in detail to make sure we didn’t miss a thing. Once we filmed a final two lines, David announced, “That’s a wrap!” This was followed by hugs, handshakes and laughs knowing that the last three days were truly an experience we’ll never forget. I think there was a mutual feeling that we all just created something really special.

It was truly a team effort where every single person was an MVP. I couldn’t have done it without them and am so thankful everything came together so well. It made me feel good about my decision to film in Chicago and drive 13 hours from home. I would have travelled much further if it meant I would get to work with this talented team.

Next step: post production and editing. I cannot wait to see the first cut!

Here are some pictures from the filming. Such amazing memories!

 

Hello Chicago!!

Hello Chicago!!

Seeing my set pieces for the first time.

Seeing my set pieces for the first time.

View of the warehouse from above. Amazing to see all of the other sets were on site.

View of the warehouse from above. Amazing to see all of the other sets were on site.

Bob S. with his perfectly packed Uhaul truck.

Bob S. with his perfectly packed Uhaul truck.

The set coming together. It felt like we were raising a barn at times!

The set coming together. It felt like we were raising a barn at times!

Hanging the last star from the rafters.

Hanging the last star from the rafters.

And....action!

And….action!

Cool Bracelet!

Cool Bracelet!

Talking about not sharing food with Miss DeLabel

Talking about not sharing food with Miss DeLabel

Suzie Symptoms camera debut! With Kat

Suzie Symptoms camera debut! With Kat

So glad that Kat and Bob were already good friends. They were in pretty close quarters those 3 days!

So glad that Kat and Bob were already good friends. They were in pretty close quarters those 3 days!

What a cool kitchen! This scene was explaining cross-contamination.

What a cool kitchen! This scene was explaining cross-contamination.

Placing the steps of the emergency procedure in order.

Placing the steps of the emergency procedure in order.

"Never Keep a Reaction a Secret" with Suzie :)

“Never Keep a Reaction a Secret” with Suzie :)

I just think this is hilarious - getting make-up done while chatting with Chef Allergie (Bob) and Rachel.

I just think this is hilarious – getting make-up done while chatting with Chef Allergie (Bob) and Rachel.

No running water on set? No problem!! ;)

No running water on set? No problem!! ;)

Quick line refresh with Tom before filming.

Quick line refresh with Tom before filming.

An incredible group of kids!!

An incredible group of kids!!

Kids doing cool actions for the "Hand Wash Rap"

Kids doing cool actions for the “Hand Wash Rap”

Song time!

Song time!

Kat, Kyle and Bob

Kat, Kyle and Bob

Final look of the whole set. I'll miss my little apartment!

Final look of the whole set. I’ll miss my little apartment!

The Big Finale - Food Allergies Rock!

The Big Finale – Food Allergies Rock!

Top 5 Tips on Approaching Others about Food Allergies and Accommodations (Kyle Dine)

A recent blog post I wrote for “It’s an Itchy Little World”.

It's an Itchy Little World

Today’s guest post is from none other than Kyle Dine, food allergy role model and educator. My family and I were lucky enough to see Kyle Dine perform at a school assembly for elementary kids last year. It was awesome! Everyone was dancing, shouting out answers to Kyle’s questions about food allergies, and laughing at the antics of EpiMan (one of Kyle’s very cool puppets). Honestly, I had no idea food allergies could be so fun for anyone, much less an auditorium filled room of kids, some with food allergies, but most without. And every single one of the parents and teachers were smiling and clapping along – it was a great time!  In the end we bought two of Kyle’s CDs and jammed out to them on the way home and my kids have been listening to them ever since. Their favorite songs are “Food Allergies Rock” and ”…

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