Whimsical Workshop

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Whimsical Workshop
Whimsical Workshop

Brian Cox
The Incredible String Man's
Whimsical Workshop

      Using the simplest materials found in most classrooms and homes, Brian evokes a world of Imagination and Magic. His performance is an "introduction and how to" presentation. It encourages not only to learn, but to perform as well. To help develop routines, themes and confidence. During the course of a peformance, he explores the Art of the Juggler, the intricate mysteries of Origami (Japanese paper folding) and subtle Rope Magic, String and Cat's Cradle figures from around the world.

     The Juggler often was a news carrier and storyteller, using Juggling to catch the attention of the passer-by.

     The intricate mysteries and history of Origami are explored through the magic of paper. The performance introduces Origami through model displays and storytelling. Featuring a 350 year old folding form that lends itself to many different shapes called a "Troublewitt". Rumour has it that it was invented in China. The "Troublewitt" is used on stage by Magicians.

     The Stringman will string you along from the non-literate, non-urbanized societies dependant on cord, string and thread of either animal or vegetable origin. As a functional tool, art form, folk lore and storyteller. To the tricks, games and puzzles from many different cultures.


45-55 minutes - Activity Magic Show, featuring "how to" Juggling,
Origami, String Figure storytelling and Cat's Cradle games.
All with a sprinkling of Magic.

"how to hands-on" workshops in Juggling, Origami, or String
figures and Cat's Cradle games.

Technical Requirements:
Folding surface for Origami
Sound equipment, depending on the size of the event.

Aproximate audience size: 350 people.

Fees based on performances, workshops, supplies, mileage, and number of presenters required for the event.
Fee Schedule is available on request.

For more information contact: The Whimsical Wizard -


Performances and Background

      Charlotte, North Carolina/1996/1998/1999, Southeastern Origami Festival, school and festival presenter, "Troublewitt" performance, volunteer, construction of Creating a Balance 1000 paper crane mobile, Plus involement in year round projects.

      Munich, Germany/1999, Celebration of the 100 year anniversary of Munick-Schwabing Children's Hopital and opening of a new children's wing.

      Würzburg, Germany/1997, International Origami Festival, assisted Kunihiko Kasahara and Origami Deutschland with classes, construction of Creating a Balance 1000 paper crane mobile for Origami exhibit, plus Whimsical Workshop performances.

      Calgary First Night/1995, pre-festival project, performances and workshops on New Year's Eve.

      Ottawa, Canada Day/1995, performances and workshops celebrating Earthday's 25th and Manitoba's 125th birthday.

      Folklorama/1995, pre-festival project, Co-ordinator of mobile construction of 1000 paper cranes and opening ceremonies presentation of the 1000 crane legend.

     Winnipeg Folk Festival, "Family Area" Co-ordinator since 1983 plus Children's main stage performances since 1987.

     Winnipeg International Children's Festival, Hands-on site Co-ordinator for 7 years (1983-89) plus performing and consultant.

     Children's Hospital Research Foundation's Teddy Bear's Picnic Co-ordinating site, Hands-on activities, storytelling tent plus performances.

     Selkirk Children's Festival Consultant and performances since 1986.

     "Kidstuff", Featured Performer and workshops, 1985-90.

     Concert in the North Tours, remote northern communities, school workshops, evening troupe performances.

     Prince George, British Columbia, Canadian Northern Children's Festival. Original Hands-on Activities Consultant plus daily performances.

     "I Iove to Read day and Storytelling Through Origami", co-animator/performer for Library Teacher's and Audio-Visual Assosiation, SAG Conference.

     Winston Wuttunee: Touring Northern Manitoba communities through Manitoba Cultural, Heritage and Citizenship. Guest appearances Winnipeg Children's Festival, Festival Du Voyageur plus other venues.

     Manitoba Arts Council, "Artist in the Schools" residency program. "Performances for Young Audiences

     Plus many school, Library, community groups, teacher in-service parks and recreation training workshops, day-care and youth councillor activities trainer.

     Youth Councillor, Justice Department, Manitoba Youth Centre, 1974 to present.

     Television Appearances: World of Origami Co-host and producing 39 programs for Shaw Cable TV, S'KIDDLE BITS with Joey, Children's program for 8 years as "The Incredible Stringman" - CKY-TV, Magic Mike's Castle - Videon Cable TV, Mystery Mountain CKY-TV.


Quotes & Reviews

"Categorically speaking, Brian Cox is uncategorizable. but whether you call him an artist, an entertainer, an instructor or activities co-ordinator, his time spent here added a new dimension to this year's Arborg Fair.
Cox showed the young volunteers how to paint clown faces, make kites, do string art, make puppets, model clay, make primitive musical instruments, make "junk crafts" and juggle -- plus other activities.
One of the most intriguing things Cox showed the volunteers was the art of paper folding - Origami. Out of a single sheet of paper he can style anything from flapping birds to barking dogs to horses and buggies with no cutting or gluing.
'If it's fun, I do it' says Cox. And for the past few years he has been showing kids how to do it to."

-The Interlake Spectator

"The main attraction of the flea market was Brian Cox who was hired to perform for the children and train volunteers in children's activities. responding to skepticism he notes, "You can do a lot of illusions with string."In addition to cat's cradle, string bridges and Jacob's Ladder he makes 'magic' with string loops which appear to pass through necks, belt loops and thumbs.
Following the performance he reveals how to perform tricks with string. "Most of the things the kids can see... we then go and show them."
Keeping the children involved and active is his job and they don't appear to be crest-fallen when they discover how the 'Magic' is done. If anything, they seem even more interested."

-The Scratching River Post

"Brian Cox captured the attention of children from all age groups. His performance based on various juggling acts was very intriguing. Throughout his performance he displayed several methods of juggling with balls, scarves and plates. This seemed to be the kind of entertainment that was enjoyed by all, young and old."



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Last Updated July 15, 2003.