On Saturday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Van Allsburg at the 92nd St Y. When the invite came in, I was already scheduled to be in California on that Friday to speak at the California School Nutrition Association's Conference. There was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to moderate a conversation with one of my literary heroes—and at such an iconic location, too! I flew a red-eye and made it to NYC on time. After only five hours of sleep on the plane, I managed to lead and nagging conversation on Mr. Van Allsburg's life and work. Here is a photo taken by the very talented Mike Curato:
The conversation was recorded and it will be published on the 92nd St Y podcast. More info as soon as I have it! (Spoiler alert: it got a little emotional at the end for everyone.)
On Sunday, I was at another iconic NYC venue—Symphony Space on Broadway. I hosted a fundraiser for First Book—Manhattan. It's an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Celebrated actors read the works of E.B. White, and it was...terrific! Not only did I host, but I also read the part of Wilbur. Was it intimidating to read alongside such giant talents? Well, when I first met everyone, it was during rehearsal. Imagine the shell shock of seeing Jane Curtin, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Potts, Naomi Watts and Live Schrieber walk onto stage with you? But they quickly put me at ease. David Hyde Pierce hit me on the shoulder, chuckled and said, "That was great!" after I read my first line. By the time the performance came along, all in trepidation had vanished, and I had a blast. The audio was recorded, and hopefully you will get to hear the inspired performances!
Check out more photos on Symphony Space's Facebook page here!
Here are a few of my favorite moments form the show:
When introducing First Book to the audience, I spoke of the importance, and power, of book ownership. To illustrate my point, I brought a copy of Stuart Little on stage with me. This copy belongs to my father-in-law, Greg. It's the very copy that his father once read to him. Greg has had Stuart Little on his bookshelf for nearly 60 years—it has served as a physical symbol of his father's love for him. Greg went on to be a wonderful family-man himself, and an engineer—Greg helped design airflow systems in jets. So the next time you adjust the air on your next flight, think of Stuart Little. *photo courtesy @symphonyspace *