Chris EspinosaXYZ


Improvisational writing for narratives, expository essays, and scripts

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K-5th Grade

Residency
Virtual

About Chris EspinosaXYZ

First of all, what's the deal with the XYZ?!?!?!?

My dad was a W.
Ba-dum-bum!...(SFX: crickets)...Is this thing on?

My name Chris Espinosa, but when you search the internet for me, the first listing is for Chris Espinosa who works at Apple. NOT ME!

And another Chris Espinosa had the digital wherewithal to get to the .com ULR.

HOWEVER, I was able to register the .xyz URL. Then there was the 'Aha!' moment. Just add XYZ to my name and ALAKAZAM! My name is the first one on the list of internet searches.

In February 2020, I received the Young Audiences National Teaching Artist Credential. The application process required me to reflect on my residency as well as all of my artistic work and professional achievements I that led me to intensive reflection on what I do with my art as a teaching artist in four specific areas: Artistry, Instruction, Planning & Preparation, and Community. The long hours of gathering all the materials and reviews my accomplishments rejuvenated my creative soul which best reflected in my Artist Statement and my Education Equity Statement.


As I organized my application for the Teaching Credential, a pattern emerged in my professional history that showed how a career as an improvisational theater teaching artist was inevitable. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a teaching artist, I guide students to discover what they can accomplish with nothing but their imaginations. I teach students important improvisational skills that will give them the confidence to face obstacles when life presents a situation where there is no script.  Most importantly, I provide a stage for students to stand up and stand out as an individual. Once students learn who they are – when they find their true voice -- they have the power to speak their minds, they have the power to accomplish their goals, and they have to power create -- To create something out of nothing but their imagination.
From the graphic arts to the performing arts --
The circuitous path to becoming a teaching artist

Being a teaching artist was not my original career path. I majored in advertising (art minor) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Once I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991, I returned to my hometown of Corpus Christi to begin a career in advertising. I developed and designed sales catalogs for 18-wheeler truck parts...BUT I JUST WASN'T HAVING ANY FUN---I KNOW, SHOCKER!---

That's when I discovered the local community theater. Before long, I found my tribe of like-minded comedians and a own comedy troupe. I was a writer, director, and actor. We were performing shows regularly throughout the city.

Then in 1998, I was off to the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) area. DFW is a popular location for TV commercials and movie productions. I signed with a talent agency and off I went to auditions. I booked a few; even one national commercial for Denny's Restaurants. To improve my acting skills, I took a few acting classes. One was an intensive, 4-tiered improv program with Randy Bennett; he was one of the original members of the Groundlings. His former pupils include such well-known celebrities as Phil Hartman, Jon Lovitz, and Elvira — Mistress of the Dark. I also continued writing and several of my works were produced around Dallas and Fort Worth.

In 2000, I auditioned for a job as a professional storyteller with a live cotton tail bunny. You read that right! A bunny. You might want to 'awwwwww'...stop it! I was a cotton-tail nightmare. Bunnies are not that cute and cuddly when they are your boss. However, I did enjoy hopping around the eastern part of the United States visiting elementary schools and hawking a book that chronicled the rabbit's travels across America. I had found my true passion: performing for children.

After traveling with the bunny for two years, I chased a robot dog around Texas. That robot dog, Rocket Megabyte, is the main character of my Rocket Megabyte's Texas Adventure, published in 2002. Rocket Megabyte is programmed to explore Texas on his own, but something happens (Spoiler -- It's my fault!) and he takes off on his own. The goal of the book was to inspire children to learn more about Texas by making Texas history fun and exciting. To promote the book, I developed a comedic author visit program that entertained and educated students about Texas history. I also created a improv-based writing workshop to show students how much fun the writing process could be.

A teacher realized the potential my one-day writing workshop would have in her classroom. She asked me to create a 5-day residency and my teaching artist career began. My 5-day residencies motivate students to write in the classroom as well as for “The Test.” Even reluctant writers will want to write!  I have implemented over one hundred residencies (that's 2,000+ classroom hours) which has helped thousands of elementary and middle school students write their stories and essays.

Many of the schools that have hosted my program experienced higher test scores. My TEKS-based lessons focus on ideas, voice, and word choice. Although there may be tens of thousands of teachers across the state with just as many lesson plans to teach writing, I can adapt my program to support the writing methods in your classrooms. And that's what makes my program successful. I have visited over 300 schools and public libraries across Texas and Arkansas. I have entertained and educated in excess of 100,000 students. In addition, I have been a guest author and/or speaker at various conferences, conventions, writers' groups, and other literary events.


Schedule your visit today! 817-281-4340

Copyright 2002- , Chris EspinosaXYZ  




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