Library to host annual children's talent show next month
Most users of the Fairfield Public Library know that if they raise their voice beyond a certain level, they may be met with a "shh" or the evil eye from library patrons and staffers. However, there will be no such admonishment for a dozen or so children on Aug. 5, as that is the date of the annual Children's Summer Talent Show. Kids can sing, dance, play an instrument, recite poetry and do magic to their heart's content -- for a maximum of three minutes.
Town Librarian Karen Ronald said of the event, "It's really charming and fun." There is no winner and conversely, there are no losers.
"They're not in any way stressed, so they can have fun," Ronald said.
When children get through their act, especially if it's their first time on stage, their self-confidence is boosted, according to Cindy Barich, a children's librarian who has been involved in the talent show ever since coming to Fairfield seven years ago. An actress who has done local plays, voice-over work, and appeared in various films as an extra, Barich presently does the radio shows at the Black Box Theatre at Fairfield University, and is also the theater games instructor at the library for children in 2nd and 3rd grade.
Barich has seen dozens of children ages 6 to 12 impress at the talent show, but there have been a couple that simply wowed her.
"I have a hard time remembering my phone number," Barich said.
Another memorable moment was a six-year-old performer who played the violin "incredibly" two years ago.
"That stood out because it was fairly formal," Ronald said.
At one show, Barich was particularly impressed by a 7-year-old boy who made various animals out of towels. Were his skills on par with the cruise ship staffers who do exactly that?
"We could tell what they were," Barich said.
She added she likens the talent show to "an end of the summer reading."
"It's kind of a celebration," said Barich. "It's very comfortable. I make it a very comfortable experience, so they're not self-conscious at all."
In addition to singing, dancing, poetry, playing an instrument and doing magic, children do a martial arts demonstration, tell jokes or act out a skit. For some of the children, Ronald said, the talent show is their first time on stage in front of a crowd, which can be a little nerve-wracking.
"Cindy really coaches them to get over that and just have fun," she said. "She's a good mentor."
To register for the talent show, log onto www.fairfieldpubliclibrary.org.