Trent Arterberry

Trent Arterberry

Trent Arterberry’s multi-decade career has taken him across North America, Europe and Asia where he has opened for major recording artists such as B.B. King, played historic theatres like Radio City Music Hall, headlined on luxury liners such as the QE2, and was named “College Campus Performing

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My Impractical Life


Program description

Powerful and funny, this play of mime and monologue retraces Trent’s adolescent steps toward finding a career. His journey takes him through terrain with which any teenager will identify: hours spent escaping into music, video games, TV and the internet; extravagant efforts to achieve athletic prowess and pop stardom; visits to an eccentric psychiatrist; and a romantic crush that devolves into a


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Program Detail

Artistic Discipline: Puppetry, Storytelling, Theater
Cultural Origin: American
Subject: Language Arts, Literacy, Theatre Arts
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

I will be in NC in October, Feb and April. Other time periods may be added. Please email me for more info.

Length of program: 50 minutes
Space / technical requirements:

Performance area 20 feet by 20 feet. One table, one chair and one empty A/V cart on wheels.



Fees / Ticketing:

$695 for one showing; $1095 for two back-to-back showings


NC Standard Course of Study:

RL.6.1 — Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. This show is presented through both text and mime. There are numerous opportunities to infer the action or emotion of the story from the mime and movement information in the living text. For example, at the end of the play, the shrinking box is used as a metaphor for the mental blocks that the character faces, and he manipulates the box as he describes how he can change his life. There is both verbal and non-verbal evidence that must be inferred in order to understand the central theme of the show. RL.7.2 — Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text. The central theme of this play is described in one of the closing monologues. Mime action supports the text. Worksheet #5 in the study-guide asks the students to interpret what the walls represent, where they came from and what it means that Trent manipulates them. Given a transcript of the text, students are asked to describe in their own words the theme of the play. RL.8.3 — Analyze how particular lines of dialogue of incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. Worksheet #2 in the study-guide allows students to fill in a graphic organizer that outlines plot development through the events of the story. This will help students to see how conflict and rising action leads to a climax and resolution.  

NC Essential Standards:

This show has many obvious tie-ins to language arts and theatre, but I think, more uniquely, it serves as a model for exploring the Guidance issues of self-awareness and personal responsibility. This show helps students examine influences on them from significant adults, peers, pop culture, media and technology. It encourages students to explore the nature of relationships with others, their values, the consequences of their choices, and how they respond to pressures around them. Guidance RED.CR.1 — Understand the meaning and importance of career self-awareness and career goals. This show contrasts my search for a “rewarding” career versus a “respectable” career. It is an inspirational story, in that I was finally able to muster the vision and courage necessary to follow a non-traditional career path. This occurred only when I became more self-aware, and began to take responsibility for my own success. Guidance EEE.CR.2 — Understand the relationship among career goals and interests, personal interests, aptitudes, and abilities. This show recounts failed attempts at two different career trajectories for which I was interested, but had no real aptitude. It also traces my endeavors in pre-med for which I had the aptitude, but no real interest. Eventually I found a career path for which I had both the ability and the enthusiasm to pursue. Guidance RED. CR.3 — Understand the relationship among personal and academic decisions, career expectations, and future life decisions. I struggled with conflicts, both internal and external, in my search for a career. Ultimately I realized that these conflicts were really of my own making — my own mental blocks — and that with a positive attitude, I was able to integrate my conflicting desires and make good choices, even if they involved some risk. This discovery has led to a four-decade career that has given me personal success and satisfaction in ways that I recount in the show.


Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Maintains general liability insurance (Individuals and organizations listed in this Directory can provide proof of insurance upon request. ASC does not hold copies of current documentation for providers): Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes

Cancellation Policy

There is no penalty to cancel two months in advance. Cancellation with less than two months notice will incur a penalty of 50% of the fee, unless the cancellation is due to weather or other circumstances beyond the control of the school, in which case it is assumed that every reasonable effort will be made to reschedule.