March 05, 2013

Author Randel McGee Talks Paper and Scissors!

Randel McGee is the author of our Paper Craft Fun for Holidays series. A versatile writer and entertainer with 30 years of professional experience as a storyteller and ventriloquist, he has performed all around the globe. He has written articles and done illustrations for the Puppeteers of America, Inc., the National Storytelling Network, a Danish-American newsletter, and the Guild of American Papercutters.

We were lucky enough this week to convince Randel to put down his paper and scissors for a few minutes to answer some questions for us.

How did you decide on your career as a storyteller, author, and artist?

Even as a child I loved to be on stage and making things. I left college with a degree in Children's Theater and wanted to perform professionally as a puppeteer. Puppetry combines all my interests of art, performing, storytelling, and music. I soon added ventriloquism to the list of things I could do and I started developing programs for schools with my unique workshops using my storytelling and paper crafting skills. 

I was performing at the American Library Association Convention as a paper crafting-storyteller when someone from Enslow saw my act and asked if I would like to write some books for them. That's how the Paper Craft Fun for Holidays series came to be.

Do you have a favorite craft of all time?

That's a difficult question! I usually feel that my last craft project is my favorite, because I tried something new or I could see where I did a bit better than before.

You create so many craft projects, was there one in particular that was an epic failure?

There have been many, many mistakes and failed paper projects, but I look at those closely to see what went wrong, before I toss them away. However, there was a special project I was working on in glass. After hours of work on engraving portraits in a sheet of glass, the piece slipped off my table and crashed to the floor! I was so upset. But I realized that on the next try I would do even better and be especially CAREFUL!

Who has been your greatest influence as a storyteller?

Growing up, though I thought of him as a comedian, my favorite storyteller was Bill Cosby. Cosby's lively style has always influenced my performing as a storyteller. Hans Christian Andersen has had a major influence on what I do now, because I portray Andersen and share my version of his tales.

Randel McGee at the 2013 Chinese New Year  Parade and Festival in Fresno, California

What are you working on today?

Today, I created this How-to video for a St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Chain craft to share with you from Paper Crafts for St Patrick's Day. No glue! No tape! No paint! Just paper and scissors. Click here to watch the video. Enjoy!

Paper Crafts for St. Patrick's Day and other titles in this series can be purchased with a library binding or in paperback from EnslowAmazon, Barnes and Noble, or your preferred vendor. 

For more information about Randel McGee's shows, workshops, and writings, please visit his web site at or you can contact Randel at

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