This magazine has an ad for the Hallmark readable story books. These books have embedded electronics that allows you to record yourself reading the text. When somebody opens the book, the playback feature is activated and they hear you reading the story. This reminds me of the Read Along record/story sets I had as a child. (The very first one was Bozo at the Circus read by Vance "Pinto" Colvig,)
Dana and Jane Abendschein, a pair of clowns in Missouri, started a program several years ago called Story Link. They took books into prisons and recorded parents reading the stories. Then the book and cassette tape was sent to the children of the prisoner. It provided a connection between parents and children.
Last year I attended a show in Branson, MO called Yakov's Moscow Circus. During the show, Yakov Smirnoff reads a book about a troupe of circus performers in the old Soviet Union. Sometimes he is shown on a large screen holding the book as he reads it. Other times, you just hear him as a voice over narration. His narration from the book provides the transitions between the circus acts. After the show if over, copies of the book are sold as souvenirs.
How could you use the read along / readable concept in your performances? Would you actually use one of the Hallmark books or a different technology? Is there something else you can do with the technology of the Hallmark books?
An idea that I had was to record the revelation of a chosen card. During performance you would force the card, and apparently fail while trying to locate it. Giving up in frustration you would open the book. During the narration of the story one of the prerecorded characters would announce the identity of the selected card.