17 January 2012

Real Delivery of Imaginary Mail

For the last few months I've been reporting on the packages I made this past year for the past summer's Wizarding Event.  Recently, I received some video clips of the kids receiving their mail.  I was able to freeze frame and steal a few images for your entertainment.  The kids' faces are blurred or not shown as per my own policy and my agreement with the event folk to respect the privacy of children. But I can tell you their expressions ran the gamut of shy to puzzled to delighted and amazed. 

The delivery of the mail happened at lunchtime.  The event was only a couple of hours old at the point and the kids were still getting to know each other.  I arrived in my persona as the day's substitute mail carrier: a Pony Express rider from the Western Division of the North American Owl Post.


 I entered via the side door to the basement lunch room.

Our Trolley Lady with the homemade (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer 
created by one of our fantastic crew folk!

The letters I'd created for the "First Year Wizarding Students" were tied up into 19 separate packets. A short while before my entrance, I'd rendezvoused upstairs at the Trolley, surreptitiously received the letters that some of the kids' parents had written to them, and tucked them quickly into the packets. 

I used the red leather bag I carry my laptop 
and sketchbooks in as the Official Owl Post Letter Bag.

I handed out the packets of letters quickly; in part because I didn't want to mess up the schedule of the rest of the actors who where taking a quick break upstairs as they prepared for the next go-round of activities . . .

. . . and, in part, because I knew the better part of the delivery was yet to come: the Perfect Postal Packages!

The packages were a bit of challenge as they were all different sizes and shapes.  I ended up using a recently purchased, canvas duffel bag to carry them in.

I have to say the kids were still a bit puzzled at this point.  One even asked me if it was "okay for them to open their mail."  (It occurred to me later how unusual this must have been for 21st century, text-and-cell phone kids - receiving letters and packages addressed specifically to them!.)

But once a few of them opened their packages, they all got into it; calling out to each other as they discovered their contents.

"Hey, I got a cauldron!"
"Wow, that's so cool - look what I got!"
"Ooh, look at this old lock. Is there a key for it?"
"That's pretty . . .  what is it?"

These 2 young ladies in purple and blue robes 
spoke with British accents the entire day!

These 2 young wizards, below, met only two hours prior 
to opening their packages together and became fast friends immediately!

More packages to open; more letters to read!



Below, the Octyflexor Spellbinder in action. 
(The story behind this package can be found here.)

* * * * * * * *

All in all, this portion of the day was considered a grand success. I was especially happy as I wasn't originally slated to deliver the mail.  How fun it was to see all my postal-project-makings so appreciated.


  1. I wish my kids had been able to attend something like this! I love all the work and creativity that went into their mail and gifts.

  2. Thanks! It was a HUGE amount of work - so much so that while the core cast/planners hope to do it again, they are thinking they will have to wait until 2013. (I put two book projects on hold myself, and I know at least one other person did something similar in terms of putting their own creative stuff on the back burner.) Some elaborate new props are being constructed and a new narrative for the Event Day is being hatched. Even though nothing is definite . . . we all find we cannot help but make stuff for it! ;-)


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