Hi! Riley Roam here. Since my alter ego, Page Turner is an Official Storyologist, and Kenny is still a Storyologist-in-Training, we thought it best if I told the story of how this whole wacky world of Page Turner Adventures was created, what we’re about, and why we do what we do.
How did Page Turner Adventures begin?
My background was in theater and interactive storytelling. Kenny was a Ringling Clown and improv comedian. We wondered whether it was possible to combine Circus + Story + Improv + Theater and have it all add up to something meaningful and impactful for kids. After much trial and error, Page Turner Adventures was born. Kenny and I both love physical comedy, vaudeville, big laughs, and slapstick, but we’re also both passionate about story. That always comes first when we’re creating a show. Although, if Kenny were writing this, he’d probably say the laughs come first! (Hi, Kenny here – hijacking this for a moment to say the laughs come first. Duh. Alright, back to you, Riley!)
All through high school Kenny believed he was destined to become a scientist or an engineer. That changed the day he decided to wait for a friend who was auditioning for a role in Cut Lasses, a Historic Tale of Cross Dressing on the High Seas (the story of female pirates Mary Read and Ann Bonney). Kenny decided to audition as well and got the part of Smiley, a slapstick swashbuckler, and the trajectory of his life changed. He realized he loved making people laugh.
Unsure how to translate that into an actual job, but knowing that he loved to work with kids, Kenny became a certified pre-school teacher. This inspired him to move into children’s television for a stint as the Kids Club Host for WMSN in Madison, Wisconsin. He also became an improv comedian (and teen coach) with the famed ComedySportz improv troupe.
Looking to hone his comedy chops and ready to leave home and join the circus, Kenny attended Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. After receiving an BFA (Bachelor of Funny Arts), he was handpicked by Ringling Bros. to develop an original national touring show for The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, designed to inspire and motivate at-risk youth.
In addition to performing, Kenny is an award winning video producer, director, and editor, and studied Children’s Television at Rockport College, Maine. He’s created videos for FOX Kids, the Travel Channel, Scholastic, The International Reading Association, and PBS. He still gets to put secret science and engineering skills to work creating S.T.E.A.M. shows and videos for kids. In his free time, Kenny is an avid cyclist, although, living in Florida, he misses the hills and valleys of Wisconsin.
RILEY ROAM a.k.a. Page Turner
Riley grew up in a super creative home on the South Shore of Long Island. Even though her family lived in a hundred-year-old house, Riley and her siblings were encouraged to paint murals on the walls; her inventor dad built a mad-scientist’s workshop in the garage; and her mom had a dance studio in the living room, where she developed a program to teach kids early learning skills through movement stories. Riley studied acting at the University of London, England, and graduated with a degree in theatre from the University of Buffalo.
After college, she began her career as a professional storyteller, touring schools from New York to Florida with her mom’s storytelling movement program, Motion Potion. Riley’s interest in educational entertainment led her to work as an Emmy Award winning writer, producer, and host for FOX Kids for six years. She’s also written, produced, and hosted segments for the Travel Channel, Scholastic, The International Reading Association, The Collaborative Summer Reading Program, and PBS.
When she’s not performing, Riley spends her time writing books for kids. She’s the author of THE GREAT PIZZA CONTEST, and she recently completed a middle grade novel that is currently being shopped to publishers. Riley also writes stories for Fountas & Pinnell/Heinemann Publishing (a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). When she’s not performing, or writing, Riley can be found curled up with a good book, or creating tiny robots out of Altoid tins.