I’m going to Hawaii.

For the past few months, I’ve been reading articles on how to start your blog. Answer a common question. Give a top ten list. Explain why the professor on Gilligan’s Island could make a radio out of coconuts, but couldn’t fix the hole in the boat.

But I’m sitting at Logan, ready to head to Dallas to see a friend and I have my muse. And it’s a little crop of islands in the South Pacific.

I am on a quest. Inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s book "The Happiness of Pursuit," I decided my quest would be to perform at a library in each of the 50 states. So far I’ve visited 7. Hawaii will be my 8th.

I love performing in libraries. I’ve been a professional children’s entertainer for 13 years, full-time for 11. Like most businesses, Jungle Jim’s has evolved. From character parties to balloon twisting to stage shows, I’m where I want to be. And when I came into my own as a stage entertainer, I quickly learned my real passion was performing in libraries. It’s simple. I loved the library when I was a kid. I love performing for children. Naturally library performances are my favorite.

Now, you might be saying to yourself “50 states? Jim, you’re crazy! I don’t even think there are 50 states!” (Spoiler Alert: there are at least 50 states).  

I really like performing for audiences that have never seen my kind of show. It’s not just the 6-foot balloon, or the 15 volunteers or the $20 bribes to disruptive children. It’s the energy. It’s that they give me back as much as I try to give them. It’s me trying to put on a show I would have loved as a 5-year old.

Ok, Jim, how’d you do it? How’d you get booked in Hawaii? 

There are 60 libraries in Hawaii. And I called every single one and asked them if they would host my program. Most said no. 16.6% said yes. Making those calls wasn’t easy. Having 50 people tell me no didn’t feel good. But the 10 that said yes are kind of my heroes. They’re letting me go to Hawaii!!! 



No, I'm not actually trying to justify my obsession with Hawaiian shirts, I swear.

No, I'm not actually trying to justify my obsession with Hawaiian shirts, I swear.

Fun Jungle Jim Fact: Jungle Jim once made a dress out of balloons!