Saturday, December 8, 2007

Today's Music

Ever eaten food that fell to the ground and wasn't completely rinsed off? Ever feel the grit of sand or gravel between your bare feet? This is how I would describe today's music. With all the electronic cadgets that serve as backdrop for the songs, it leaves a din that subtracts from the quality of the number.

Secondly, it seems that music is going back to the dark ages where they sang acapella in chants. Where is the musical variety? So much of the music is so monotone today.

I went to a concert last night that I would describe as contemporary and on the edge. Thankfully it was an orchestra playing, so the auditorium wasn't filled with all the clutter that electronic background leaves in its wake. The performers did an outstanding job with the music, but the music didn't have much variety and was difficult to hear the lyrics. It was this concert that encouraged me to write this blog. How else was I going to let my opinion be known without offending someone.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bloomington River Rendezvous Comments

The Bloomington River Rendezvous was once again a great success. We had several new demonstrators who provided a little different flavor to this event. As in past years, I once again gave my program on 19th Century Norwegian Immigration. Here are some comments made by teachers who attended my presentation:

"Oh my goodness! Your program was the favorite one of the day! The kids were still talking about you when we got back to school! We loved the way you connected it with real family life. Maybe some more "young kid" stories would be good. Toys, food, chores, etc. You were awesome and the kids can totally count to 10 in Norwegian...we did it on the way home in the bus! Great job! Thanks for sharing your heritage with our "city kids." We loved it!"

"I like how you appeared to be very stoic and proper and were actually hilarious. Your teaching of the counting to 10 was brilliant. Your presentation of facts was fascinating due to your entertaining presentation. You were the highlight of our stops. Thanks for asking."

"The class and I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation. As a teacher, I thought you made the kids think and problem solve while getting out your info. I wouldn't change a thing. The use of humor was also a gift to us. I'm sure my students will remember your presentation. I'm sure they will never look at nails without thinking how precious they were at one time. I was very glad you were on our schedule. My grandfather came to America on a fishing boat and there was dock strike so he just stayed. He was from an island farm named Mellingen outside of Bergen so it was very personal to me."

"Honestly I think you were the best. Of course, I am Norwegian and I got a lot of your jokes! But seriously you did a great job of introducing the Norwegian language and I loved how you had them translate. I especially liked how you stopped when two of my students had an issue because it caught my attention to what was going on... I guess I was too involved in your presentation to notice. I do apologize for thier behavior. They forget, in those situations, how to be problem solvers. I thik it was great for the time allowed. Maybe you could make it longer? I woudl stay and listen forever! I wish you could see our presentations today. My students are sharing their big book pages and their page includes a mangle board, a chest (three D) and the backpacks that the children would wear. It also highlights the need to packl tools first! Also, how much food you would need to pack. They obviously learned a lot from you."

"Thanks so much for being patient with my class. My class consists of third and fourth grades, therefore, when you asked the difference of immigrants and immigrate a lot of them had no clue. We will be working on Social Studies and learn more about the vocabulary. We love the accent you have. It shows how people can still carry their tradition...mother tongue is one of the important aspects of who you are and we are today. We like that you talked about your traditions and how you came to the United States. Just wish that we could have mroe time to learn a couple of Norwegian vocabularies. Thank you for all the good time we havd in River Rendezvous."

"I personally thought that your program was the best that we encountered!!! We enjoyed how you acted like you really lived in that time. You had some very interesting details about your character and your presentation was PERFECT! I don't have any suggestions for improvement! You were superb!"

"We very much enjoyed your program. My students voted your program as their overall favorite of the day. They liked counting to ten, your stories, the traditions, and the many artifacts you had.
I loved your stories, but especially your interaction with the children. My theory is that you have been doing this for many years, and also must have children and grandchildren of your own as you connected with them in a special way. Thank you for your time and expertise. I'll be requesting you again next year."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Review Quotes on An Immigrant's Tale

Below are some quotes from reviews I got on my Minnesota Fringe Festival program, An Immigrant's Tale.

"This was truly an interactive presentation." -- Tim Bloudek

"I found the homespun character of Ole a soothing experience." -- Paula Nancarrow

"It was a very eye-opening look at what they (immigrants) went through to get here." -- Jim Belich

"It's easy to like Roger Hellesvig's character. The Norwegian Immigrant is fun and very believable." -- Cody Roeker

"Think of it as an entertaining. theatrical history lesson." -- Emily Gurnon

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

An Immigrants Tale Review

I would like to give you a review of Roger Hellesvigs program entitled AN IMMIGRANTS TALE. I saw his performance last winter at an arena in Watertown, SD and wish to give you my opinion of his presentation.

First of all, I am a grandson of four people who came from Norway and Sweden. I have in my possession many things that made the journey across the ocean with them, and have heard many stories about the trials and tribulations endured by these strong people in their pursuit to gain a new home and life in this country.

Roger Hellesvig did such a good job of portraying this immigrant he portrays, that a person would never doubt but what he was the actual person who made the journey. His trunk, his portrayal of the contents and how he acquired them, the order of importance that each item was meant for, the limited amount of space in his trunk for only the most essential items, and his story of preparing for and also his arrival in America: all are so well done and so factural, it leaves no doubt in my mind that this is a valuable presentation to anyone interested in the past and how it came to be. He certainly teaches his audience that to appreciate the future, we must first know and appreciate the past and where we all came from. I would recommend this to any group, class, organization or gathering of any kind concerning the preservation of our past history. He has a most excellent program.

Review written by Norman A Shelsta, Ortonville, MN

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Norske Torske Event

Hope you all had an enjoyable Syttende Mai. Had a full house, 524 people, at the Norske Torske event, at the Prom Center, where I gave my presentation. For those of you attending the event, thanks for coming out.

About Me

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Ole Oleson,aka Roger Hellesvig, has been sharing his story about 19th Century Norwegian Immigration for the past 15 years. Join the adventure as Ole leaves his Norwegian homeland and travels to America. The audience will help Ole decide what to pack in his trunk as he shares about his Norwegian traditions. To find out more about Ole go to