Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Jastram.
Lisa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in Japan as a missionary kid. Always loved music and entertaining. After 4 years of college, became a music teacher but didn’t like the constraints of the school system. Teamed up with another musician to form Oasis for Children, a children’s educational entertainment group. Have been listed on the Mid-America Arts Alliance roster, Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster, and spent several years on the Young Audiences of Houston roster. Now performing independently up to 100 programs a year in the greater Houston area. My programs started out with multi-cultural emphasis to use my experience living in Japan to enrich children in the Houston area. Have since added many other programs and now have a list of 9 programs for schools, libraries and other venues to choose from.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In the beginning, it was a very smooth road because my group was offering a very unique experience in school professional entertainment. With the help of Young Audiences of Houston, we were performing up to 250 programs a year within a few years. The struggles started when schools began tightening up their rules on bringing in performers. These days there are pages and pages of forms to fill out before one can even think about performing in a school. Things like liability insurance and criminal background checks are standard now. It has become a very taxing experience just to do the paperwork for school districts and county venues. I have been performing more in private venues such as private church preschools and now have started a new venture into senior citizen performances in assisted living and memory care.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Oasis for Children – what should we know?
My specialty is educational entertainment. I would describe my act as a variety show for children/senior citizens which includes puppetry, ventriloquism, original music, guitar playing, singing, comedy and story-telling. My performances for children are known for keeping the attention of even the youngest audience member- sometimes as young as 1 year olds. I use colorful visual props, lots of participation, original songs suited for the audience and interactive story-telling to keep the full attention of my audience. I am very proud that my children’s entertainment is age-appropriate and educates as well as entertains. What sets me apart is the variety of talents I use in my show so that everyone in the audience can appreciate something in the program
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I started this group with Kendall Seuser, who was a seasoned actor and stage manager. He helped me understand many things about performing and acting. Many of the presenters I have performed for gave me ideas for new programs and encouraged me to branch out. My husband was/is my biggest supporter and is my techie and go to man for building new props, repairing sound systems, helping me with computer skills, and making me on of the high tech performers in the children’s entertainment industry here in Houston.
- Address: 1915 Woodstream Blvd.
- Website: www.oasisforchildren.com
- Phone: 281-980-8537
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: Oasis for children