Today marked the first day “back to school” for me as I had my first food allergy school assembly of 2016.
People sometimes ask me if I get nervous before I perform. Mostly never…except the very first gig. It’s the one show where I get nervous that I’ll be rusty, that I might have a piece of A/V equipment fail, or a new puppet bit might bomb.
I’m happy to report that today, all of those nerves were quickly erased as the students got completely engaged in the performance. They had excellent questions and were smiling throughout the songs and puppet bits. To me, if a show has that perfect balance of education and entertainment, I leave feeling like I’ve done what I set out to do.
I have added a new puppet into the mix: Professor Peeps who covers the basics of hand washing with kids. EpiMan, EpiMan Jr. and Chef Allergie are still in the mix. I had to temporarily retire the Q Sader and the AllerGeneral due to the recent auto-injector recalls. That’s showbiz for ya…in the allergy education world!
1 down…50+ to go!
After a nice hiatus from touring on a self-imposed paternity leave, I’m ready to hit the open road again with a new show filled with new songs and puppets!
My tour dates are now listed on my website, plus there is still a few open dates in case your school is interested in a food allergy awareness assembly!
This tour will take me as far as California, but primarily hover around the north east U.S. and Ontario.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
Click here to see the complete report.
One year ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of funding a video on food allergy education in schools…
I remember being so nervous the night before it launched thinking that the campaign might be a huge flop! This DVD was a dream of mine for years after knowing how eager schools were becoming to educate students about food allergies. I wanted this resource to be a reality so badly, but I didn’t know if others would share this passion. If the Kickstarter campaign had failed, I would have likely given up on this dream.
That first morning when the campaign went “live”, I had no time to be nervous. The generous support started rolling in. I couldn’t believe it! Within an hour we were over $3,000 and I was dancing around my kitchen! We reached the initial goal of $20,000 well before the deadline, and added stretch goals to help us reach $30,000. That’s bananas!
That was a wild month filled with so much work – but it was an experience I’ll never forget and loved being able to bring a whole community together to support a common goal.
One year later, the DVD is out, circulating in schools, getting into the hands of distributors, and getting great reviews!
I’m so grateful to the food allergy community for coming together to help me achieve this dream! THANK YOU to all of my backers!
After dealing with food allergies for nearly three decades, I’ve communicated my condition to a wide variety of people and have fine-tuned how I approach the subject with others. At the end of the day, you want to be taken seriously and typically get assurances – such as a safe meal, school policy or a worry-free night with a babysitter in charge.
When having these conversations, and making requests, I generally follow these five tips that help in effective communication and dialogue with others.
- Know your Audience: Are they well-versed in allergy? Are they nervous or over-confident about allergies? Use your best judgment on their level of understanding and their willingness to help.
- Adjust your Tone Accordingly: Depending on your audience, choose a tone that you feel is appropriate. Sometimes a hard-line approach explaining severity is needed for an over-confident waiter, sometimes using humor works when at a dinner party with friends.
- Discover, Don’t Dictate: Everyone knows someone with an allergy and have probably been in situations handling them before. Find out what they know/what they typically do in these situations. If inadequate to you, suggest that you would be more comfortable with an extra precaution. Giving them a voice to start with, makes them an empowered part of the conversation and solution.
- Work with Them, not Against Them: If you feel the situation is hopeless, don’t give up, but don’t burn your bridges. Sometimes the subject of allergies and accommodations may be very new to people, and no obvious solution comes to mind. Offer to help come up with answers, as you likely won’t be the last person they encounter in the same situation.
- Say Thanks: So simple, but so often overlooked. If you have a good conversation and they try hard to understand your needs, thank them for their effort and let them know your appreciation. You have just made that person much more allergy aware and showing your gratitude helps reinforce their new action/attitude. You are changing the world for the better!
Originally blogged at Itchy Little World.
I am so happy to announce that my “Kyle Dine & Friends” allergy awareness DVD is now on Amazon.com!
Getting a DVD on Amazon.com is no easy feat and I wish there was an easy guide to do so…they do a good job at ensuring no pirated films are sold on their site.
Please take a minute and write a review on the Amazon page. Even just a 5-star rating helps boost the customer credibility. I really appreciate your help!