Local Kicks off Kids Festival

By lanarae on January 14, 2004 in News with No Comments

The Yukon News-Wednesday, January 14, 2004 by Darrell Hookey
Lana Rae will be kicking off the Nakai Theatre for Kids festival, Saturday by answering the musical question: What do cows really want?

And she will discuss with the kids-and the adults-on the versatility of mud and the irritability of lumps in socks. These are important issues for children.

Any adult, who isn’t totally exhausted by the treadmill of survival, will understand. If they don’t understand, they may want to leave the Westmark Whitehorse ballroom when Lana Rae leads the little people in their very own pop anthem I Just Want to Be (as any Lana Rae fan can tell you) Little.

While adults can enjoy this weekend’s Comedy Arts Festival, the children and youth will inaugurate their own festival with Lana Rae and balloons and treats. When she found out she is kicking off the festival, she figured, “That’s very cool.”

When she was first asked a year ago, she didn’t know she would be the only Yukoner. “I hope this will be an annual thing,” she says.

And just because her act is for young people, it doesn’t mean she wrings the intelligence out of the lyrics of her songs-like some purple dinosaurs who will remain unnamed.

Sure, she won’t be smashing her guitar at the end of the performance and there is a good chance she won’t be crowd surfing, but the frames of reference her lyrics uses are at a child’s level.

For instance, what is the worst way to treat somebody?
Answer: Squish them like a bug.
Where is the best place to be?
Answer: Sitting on Mom’s knee.
What goes together as well as two friends?
Answer: Cheese and noodles.

These are messages that will be delivered with a sophistication the children really do appreciate-she can draw a note out in Lumps In My Socks that is appropriately full of angst-unlike aforementioned dinosaur.

Lacroix has an ability to see things from a young person’s perspective: “My Mother asked if I would ever be mature and responsible. I tried that once, but life is too funny.”

It helps that she has three children. Her son is the one who doesn’t like lumps in his socks. And it was a conversation with her daughter that made her realize cows just want to be pretty, too.

And, having been a teacher, she has had attentive audiences to practice on. I Just Want To be Little was written while she was placed in a school for two weeks while working toward her B.Ed.
Returning (to the same school for a full term practicum) eight months later, the children (now in grade 4) were still singing the song.

Lacroix knew the song had hit a chord recently when an adult shouted out a request for it when she took her country act to a Festival in Faro. And two 18 year olds in Haines Junction proclaimed,” Mud Is My Bud rocks!”

These are good signs she is maintaining her commitment to her young audiences. “I don’t want to condescend. Kids are not stupid. And kids are so honest; if I suck they’ll let me know,” she says, explaining why she gets just as nervous performing for a children’s birthday party as she does at a country festival

For both she will dress nice “But no funny hat. I’m not a clown.” And when she is singing country to an adult crowd, she won’t wear sequins. “I’m not a flashy person. I have a very keep-me-humble family…….I love having the kids come…and they sing to me…A little girl showed me her new polka dot socks,” she says smiling at the memory. “I get more of a thrill form that than anything.”

Just like any performer, she would like to become internationally famous. But it costs so much to promote a CD. “At least people tell me every day they sent my CD somewhere. There is a little person, somewhere in the Maritimes, listening to my CD.” Lacroix financed the production of her I Just Want To Be Little CD two years ago. Six years before that she produced a country CD in Nashville. The country CD did well, but the interest level in country is only six months whereas a children’s CD is timeless.

Lacroix is working on the financing for another children’s CD and she has just formed a new band. Lacroix is also working on a series of books to go along with her children’s songs. The first one is for lumps in My Socks. With all of this going on and her dining room taken over for a rehearsal hall, you have to wonder why she does it. ” Because I just have to, “she says.

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