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Kamishibai for Kids Interview with
Roberto Mendoza

Roberto Mendoza

Tell us about yourself, your childhood, overall background, and current occupation.

I'm a storyteller from El Mante Tamaulipas, México. I like to draw, sing, make kids and all people laugh. In my childhood I was a very lonely kid, but I had drawing, and then I began to tell jokes. Afterwards, I started to believe I could be on a stage and make performances. Then I was discovered and invited to a storytelling workshop, and the rest is history. I have 5 years telling stories and I want to keep doing it. I'm glad for meeting great colleagues from all over the world and enjoy the journey of the stories.

How did you first find out about kamishibai?

From Tere Farfán (Maria Teresa Farfán Garcia) at a Festival in Monterrey 4 Years ago.

What made you want to start performing kamishibai?

I feel kamishibai is a great way to tell stories to the kids, and to all the audience, we can make special moments thanks to the kamishibai way. I see my colleagues, and I am inspired to make kamishibai too.

Do you make your own stages? How do you use the stage in performance?

Yes, I had one made for me here, and I use it when presenting and explaining what Kamishibai is.

How do you develop your stories?

I make them checking books first. But when I make my own stories, I use the knowledge of how to make the cards and present the stories.

Do you have a favorite story or kind of story?

I like interactive, participatory stories best.

Roberto Mendoza performing.

Whom do you see as your audience for kamishibai?

The kids, families, and grown ups. Everyone. We can all enjoy kamishibai.

What do you think kamishibai offers this audience and what has their response been when you have performed?

It offers an easy way to know a story, a funny one, a happy one, and a great one. The response is amazing. They like it, and I think they will love it, if I do it better (laughs).

How is kamishibai similar to and/or different from other storytelling forms that are available to you in your country?

Both send a message and want to make the audience happy. I guess kamishibai may bring the audience closer because it helps when the audience can see the images.

What are your plans going forward for performing kamishibai or making them available to others?

I'm a storyteller, but I can give a richer performance to the audience when I include Kamishibai, and share the knowledge of Japanese culture and their stories.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I'm still learning thanks to my colleagues, like my sensei Tara McGowan, Noriko, Tere Farfán, Laura and Ganchan, and I appreciate them all.

Website: robertocuentacuentos.com

Facebook: Roberto Cuentacuentos

YouTube: Roberto Cuentacuentos

Roberto Mendoza

Kamishibai for Kids ~ Cathedral Station ~ PO Box 629 ~ New York, NY 10025
Tel: 212-663-2471 ~ kamishi@kamishibai.com