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Inspiring teenagers

"Money. Yup. Lots of

"Money. Yup. Lots of money. I calculated what eight hundred children spend each month on sweets. How much do you spend on sweets each month? Multiply that by eight hundred." Next question, "Where could I get the money to buy the sweets?" He paced the stage. "At the time, I was not sure any bank would have been ready to invest in a teenager’s sweet shop. I didn’t find out either. Perhaps they would have been," Riccardo wondered aloud. Riccardo winked at them. "I looked much closer to home. I asked my dad." Riccardo looked directly at the students in the front row. Several of them had followed his every move as he walked around the stage. Riccardo made a snap decision. "What do you want to do with this?" asked Riccardo’s inner voice. Feigning relief, Riccardo declared, "Luckily, my Dad is here today. He’s sitting in the front row. Come on up here, Dad!" "I thought you might do that." The inner voice laughed at Riccardo’s playful use of the energy in the room. Riccardo pointed at one student, the boy who had the biggest smile, inviting him onstage in front of his new peers. As the student-now-actor came up onstage, Riccardo prepared him, in hushed tones, with brief instructions. "Just say whatever you think my dad might have said. I will work with whatever you say. Okay?" Riccardo positioned the actor centre stage and imagined that they were father and son. "Daaaad. Can I have my pocket money?" Riccardo began the scene. "No," the actor replied, giving the best dad-like glare he could muster. 40

"Awww, c’mon, Dad. It’s the end of the month. You always give me pocket money at the end of the month," Riccardo nagged his imaginary dad. "Okay," the actor relented. Riccardo pretended the next question was difficult to ask. "Errmmm. Can I have next month’s pocket money too?" "No!" the actor promptly reacted. Brightening, and ignoring the his dad’s decision, Riccardo inquired, "Actually, can I have a whole year’s pocket money in advance?" "Why?" queried the actor, trying to look disapproving. "Sweets!" Riccardo blurted. "What?" challenged the actor, placing his hands on his hips and glaring balefully at Riccardo. "I want to buy sweets and sell them at school," Riccardo explained to his imaginary father. The actor began shaking his head. Riccardo turned up the volume. "Can I have a whole year’s pocket money in advance? Pleeeeese." His ‘dad’ flatly refused, "No!" "Well, in fact," said Riccardo turning away from the actor and facing his enraptured audience, "My dad said I could have half a year, but..." he paused for dramatic effect. "But! I could never ask him for money again." Riccardo turned back towards the waiting actor. "Isn’t that right, Dad? Never again?" he asked, inviting the actor to continue in the role of his dad. "Never again," retorted the actor playing his role to the hilt. 41

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