Spurred on by his performance in a production of the musical play, “Hans Christian Andersen” in 1981, Harvey became a professional singer/storyteller as an addition to his teaching career. He has performed in numerous schools, libraries and festivals throughout Long Island. Harvey retired from teaching in 2006 after 33 years to devote more time to his storytelling passion. In addition to performing, he conducts workshops on storytelling in the classroom and digital storytelling for teachers.
Harvey gathers his stories from a number of sources, mainly folktale collections, picture books and tales that he’s heard from other tellers. He gets pleasure in telling Jack tales and folktales that usually have a twist. He enjoys the songs of Tom Chapin, Sally Rogers and Woody Guthrie. As part of his repertoire he writes and performs a number of his own songs and stories.
“I live in my head. A lot. I make stuff up, I borrow from old tales, I reinterpret new stories. As a storyteller, I’m a tour guide to that space in my brain. I work without a script, without costumes, without props. When I’m doing it right, listeners laugh, smile, sigh and breathe together, connected in the space of stories. I perform at schools, libraries, festivals, special events, and in my own backyard, literally. My mouthy hand puppets come along to shows for young children. I tell more grownup stories to, well, grownups and older kids. We play together. Apart from being the oldest educational method in the world, storytelling is just plain fun.”
Music by Chris Zabriskie