Zoom Shows (Birthday Parties) no matter where you are!
The Zoom show above starts off a little slow as Robert addresses a couple of technical concerns. Then, watch out!
Why Robert's Zoom B-day Shows Work
Robert the Guitar Guy offers a 30 minute musical Zoom birthday party for kids (especially toddlers and preschoolers). Robert says that his Zoom parties work because the children are moving to his songs, and he personalizes parties, telling participants, by name, that he sees what they are doing. Robert creates an interactive experience in which the kids are getting constant feedback. In one song, they go to sleep, then wake up and jump. In another, they hide, then march to the spider, then flee again. He tells them where they are hiding, and he sees, and reports, who is jumping, marching, etc,. Limit: 20 households. $200
Six Westchester NY libraries had children participating in this Zoom show. The show features a lot of vocal participation by very young children.
What People Are Saying About Robert's Zoom Shows
Your program today was absolutely spectacular. I don't think anyone has been able to calm down Carter since your show. She was absolutely over the moon and by the looks on her classmates' faces, I would say they were too. THANK YOU.
A.C. Manhattan parent (NY)
We love Robert at the New Canaan Library! He has adapted well to this new medium and excels at using his songs and puppets to make the kids smile! Miss Marie, Assistant Manager of Family Services, New Canaan Library (CT)
It was EASILY the happiest Zoom call he has had for the last 2 months and I am so grateful to have witnessed how happy he was during it. Thank you so much for bringing that musical joy to our house today, I recorded so many times during it because I wanted to remember how happy he was participating in your Zoom call today.
C.P. New Canaan Parent (CT)
The Zoom concerts are totally interactive and by the end of each session the children are happy and laughing.
Cheryl Smith, Director, St. James the Less Nursery School, Scarsdale, NY
Who is Robert the Guitar Guy?
Robert has made a living as a musical entertainer for children for 25 years, but originally, he was a criminal lawyer, and traded in his winged-tips for clown shoes. Here is his NY Times essay describing how he made the change.
New York Times Abandoning the Work I Hated
ROBERT MARKOWITZ AUGUST 20, 2015 August 20, 2015
Private Lives: Personal essays on the news of the world and the news of our lives.
I was the envy of my 30-something friends in Palo Alto, Calif. I had my own law office right on California Avenue. People charged with crimes handed me cash, in advance, over a big oak desk. Occasionally, I’d make a couple of grand in an afternoon.
But soon, my body started giving out one part at a time. First a shoulder, then my lower back, knee cartilage, neck vertebrae. Two groin hernia surgeries later, at 33 years old, I could not lift a bag of groceries, or sit without an orthopedic pillow. After 10 years as a law student and lawyer, working in a profession I didn’t like was taking its toll.
I sold my practice and fled to San Miguel de Allende in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. My widowed Jewish mother in Mamaroneck, N.Y., took out a missing person ad on Mexican television to find me. No joke. I had told Mom that I was headed to Mexico, but after 10 days without word from me, she paid for the ad. A strange man poked my fanned-out map on a San Miguel street corner and said, “I saw you on TV last night.”
Mom and Dad had both been teachers, children of Russian and Polish immigrants, and they celebrated law as a step up. But my mother wasn’t the one keeping me in an ill-fitting career. She just wanted to know I was alive.
After two years in San Miguel de Allende, bored and broke, I returned to the Bay Area looking for work, but couldn’t land a job in anything but law. Finally I took a civil attorney position in Oakland.
Fighting depression, I volunteered at a Sunday school. It couldn’t hurt to see a few kids on the weekend. On a bright morning, I organized an outdoor game of Duck Duck Goose. “I’m wearing new white stockings to visit Grandma this afternoon,” a 6-year-old girl told me. She had blond curls and big brown eyes. Chasing a boy around the circle, she slipped on some dirt, and fell hard, tearing the stockings. Before I knew it, she leapt up into my arms. My heart exploded with the joy of being needed. Next morning, I called my mother, and told her I was coming home.
“Mom,” I said, “I may be here for a while. Not weeks — months.”
My mother arched her brow as we walked together through her Westchester neighborhood. New knees allowed her to keep up, as we circled the block.
“Are you finished with law?” Mom asked. Pressure rose in my chest and throat, and I coughed.
“Yes, I’m done.”
“So what are you going to do? You’re 37 years old.”
She scanned my face as if taking the measure of a stranger.
“I’m going to take time to decide,” I said.
“You know,” she stopped walking, “you’re ruining your life.”
Studying want ads one evening, the one that got my blood moving promised to train me as a party clown, and send me out at $25 per show. Years earlier, I’d dreamed of becoming so weightless that I bounced off the ceiling. I could see myself in a billowy clown suit. After a free training session, I purchased the starter kit for $59 and waited for them to call.
Within a week, the company dispatched me to a party for a 7-year-old at a Ground Round restaurant in Yonkers. I applied colorful makeup, donned oversize shoes, orange wig, bag of tricks. It took a minute to decide on “Bobo” as my name. I silly-walked up to a table of children in the party room. By the end of the performance, the birthday boy said to me, “Bobo, I love you.” In the car later, I rested my head on the steering wheel. An unexpected feeling surfaced: happiness.
It turned out that I thrived in a sphere of creativity and spontaneity. The clown gig was short-lived: I donated the costume to Goodwill, picked up my old Martin guitar, and played the fool with music, writing songs like “Bossanova Boo-boo.”
Pottery Barn Kids hired me for shows up and down the East Coast, at $450 an appearance, a step up from my first $25 gigs. The school, library and party shows kept coming. I wasn’t making a lawyer’s salary, but I was doing O.K. It was fun, and my body felt better. Toddlers were better company than felons.
I’ve been entertaining children now for almost two decades as a musician. No longer do I flash power-of-attorney to withdraw my $10,000 retainer from a jailed client’s bank account. I wear jeans, and don’t frequent Nordstrom. But most of the time, I like waking up in the morning.