Sand under a microscope is a collage of turquoise swirls and serrated stars, enigmatic blackstones and faceted crystals. However, sand in the hand becomes beige and lifeless – that is, unless it is in the hands of a sand storyteller, in which case it takes on the color and life all its own.
Lightbox, sand, fingers: the three ingredients required for sand storytelling. Sand Artists as far away as Su Dabao from China and Kseniya Simonova from Ukraine tell wordless stories using only sand. Animators spread granules on top of the lightbox and push, sprinkle and dab the sand into fluid pictures, often accompanied by theme music. Sand storytelling is a one-size-fits-all event: artistic therapy, talent show, event accompaniment, homage performance, simply amazing!
Joe Castillo is a sand storyteller superstar. A finalist on the seventh season of America’s Got Talent! Castillo has been involved in art since his first class at the age of five. After 20 years in advertising, Castillo sold his advertising agency, attended Ashbury Seminary and dove headlong into art and oratory.
Sand Storytelling from AGT Sand Artist Joe Castillo
Read All About It
Created for the X-Factor talent show, “Read All About It” is a story of love and life, a dazzling performance suited for corporate meetings and public speaking performances. Surprise. Delight. Spontaneity. All these emotions and more are guaranteed by a Castillo sand storytelling performance.
Make A Wish
This somber black-on-blue performance follows the wanderings of a young boy, a haunted boy, a boy eventually granted the gift of fatherhood. The story concludes with the Make-A-Wish foundation logo, a typography swash that reaches into sky and memory. The Make-A-Wish foundation has operated since 1980 granting special experiences to children with critical medical conditions. On average, the organization fulfills a wish every 38 minutes.
One of the best-known stories from author Roald Dahl is “Matilda,” the story of an exceptional child with rather unpleasant parents. This fast-paced performance, accompanied by music from Matilda the Musical enthralls audience members both young and old. Matilda springs to life from Castillo’s nimble fingers, making this a perfect performance for family events.
The Story of Nairobi
In 1963, Kenya declared its separation from Britain. Fifty years later, Joe Castillo celebrated the nation’s independence by setting the story of Nairobi, its capital city, to the song. The story of its acacia trees and booming metropolis, white and black residents, makes history three-dimensional. Castillo’s performances called SandStory, have been seen in all 7 continents, across 43 countries and translated into 35 languages.
First presented at the 2013 Burger King Global Convention, this spackled sand story animates the history and success of Burger King. Along with the hamburger magnate, Castillo has performed Sand Storytelling for Mercedes-Benz, Disney Marketing Group, the Bank of Dubai and for other corporate events, holidays and conventions.