Common Questions

Q: How big are you?

A I am indeed “Big” Joe, but the big is more about stature than of size. While I could stand to lose a few pounds here or there, the “Big” in "Big Joe" comes from my days as a preschool teacher. My first year teaching, we had a child named Joe. To distinguish between the two of us, they called him “Little” Joe and me “Big” Joe. For seven years the name stuck, and everyone called me “Big” Joe. When I became a storyteller, I thought that would be the perfect name to use so I became Big Joe the storyteller!!

Q: What is your real name?

A: My real name is Joseph Ernesto Pagliuca (pronounced PAL-U-KA), and while I am proud of my Italian heritage and name, Big Joe is much easier for everyone to remember and pronounce!!

Q: How far do you travel?

A: From my house in Brighton, Massachusetts, I will travel to most of the New England states to tell my tales and will journey further if a great opportunity presents itself. I have told tales in places across the country, and have even done shows in Canada and Bermuda!

Q: Is this your full-time job?

A: Storytelling started as a job I did on the side while teaching preschool. As the years passed and my popularity and talents grew, so did my storytelling career. In 1996, I left teaching to become a professional storyteller. Now, I tell stories seven days a week, and while I miss teaching, I am glad to be a full-time storyteller!!

Q: What types of venues is your show suited for?

A: Seeing as my storytelling show is both enriching and entertaining, I would be perfect for many venues such as: birthday parties, festivals, fairs, holiday celebrations, fundraisers, schools, libraries, camps, weddings, baptisms, corporate events, and any place people want to have fun!!

Q: What are the appropriate ages for your stories?

A: I have stories for kids from toddlers to teens and everyone in between. I even have shows for adult and senior citizen audiences. No matter who I perform for, I have material that is age and developmentally appropriate for them, making my show perfect for just about everyone!

Q: What kind of stories do you tell?

A: Because I like all types of tales, the stories I tell vary in terms of style and structure. I love folktales and fairytales, but I am also very fond of classic tales, as well as, tried and true standards. I am a big fan of telling stories to fit the needs of my audience, so the type of tale I tell depends on who is in front of me. Overall, I like stories that have a sense of wonder and amazement. My stories are many things, but the one thing they will never be is boring. If a story doesn’t thrill me, I know it won’t thrill my audience. I tell tales that excite the imagination, tickle the funny bone, and transport you to a whole new world!

Q: How long is a Big Joe show?

A: Typically my show is about 45 minutes to an hour in length, however, I can do much longer sessions based on the needs of my clients. If you have a large school, etc. or if you have an event that will last multiple hours, I can tell stories as long as is necessary. As my mom says about me, I could talk till the cows come home, and when they do, I would talk to the cows!

Q: What do I need to do to book a show?

A: Simply go to the contact page on this web site, and either fill out an e-mail form, give me a call, or send me a letter (a slow but still useful method), and I will contact you within a day or so and help you put the booking together! When you contact me, please provide as much information as possible about the booking, so it will make it easier for me to figure out exactly what you need.

Q: Why should I hire you over other entertainers?

A: Unlike most in my field, I have extensive training and experience dealing with children. As a result, I put on a show that is designed to meet all of their needs and reach them on a level that few others can. My show is creative and fun, but is also very enriching, meaning they will get more than just stories; they will get memories to last a lifetime!

Q Do I need to give you a deposit to secure your services?

A: Unlike other performers, I do not require a deposit for my services. I work with a secure booking policy that means once you are in my book, you are there to stay. If you need to make any changes or need to cancel, simply let me know and I will change things in my book. If you do not need to make any changes, your show will be conducted as scheduled on the date and time you secured!

Q: What is your cancellation policy?

A: It would take a severe illness or incident to cause me to cancel a performance. In the event of such things, I will provide you with comparable, replacement entertainment at the same rate, from one of the many performers I associate with. In the event of a blizzard or other type of natural disaster, I will make every effort to attend the show, but will have to cancel if conditions are too dangerous to travel. Barring any of that, if you are having the party or event I will be there!

Q: How far in advance do I need to book a show?

A: You can reserve a date and time as far away as a year in advance, or within a week of the show. My schedule tends to fill up very quickly, so the sooner you contact me, the better the chances that the date and time you desire will be available.

Q: What days and times are you available for bookings?

A: I am available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. As long as there is no direct conflict with another show, you can have any date and time you desire.

Q: What do you need in terms of space and set up for your show?

A: All I really need to make my show work well are enough space for my audience to sit (on chairs or on the floor), and a chair for me so I will be higher than the audience, so everyone can see me. I can even bring my own chair if one will not be available (for example if the show is outdoors). I have my own sound system capable of providing good sound for groups of up to 300 (it is very small so it won’t take up much space). I have worked in very small spaces and very large concert halls, and I can adapt well to any and all environments!

Q: How much do you charge?

A: My rates vary depending on the venue and the needs of my clients, so it is difficult to give an accurate answer to that question. Suffice it to say, my rates are below others in my field. While my rates are lower, the quality of my show is much higher. I do not charge huge rates mostly because I feel you should not have to go broke to give your child (or children) great entertainment. I provide a great show at a reasonable cost. To me, making a child smile is worth more than money (that’s really sappy, but it’s really true!!)

Q: Do you ever donate your services?

A: I am always interested in helping out a good cause, so I often donate my services to various charity events. I will always help out with fundraising, walk-a-thons, and children’s charity organizations. I also donate my services to be used in auctions, raffles, or prizes! I have been blessed with a lot of things, so I will gladly give to those in need!

Q: What is in the box? (Mostly asked by kids)

A: I love the element of surprise, so having a big box that is filled with all kinds of puppets and props really adds a bit of mystery and wonder to my show. Kids are very curious as to what I will take out of the box (many children think it’s books), and they are delighted when they see what is produced. Because I am always telling different stories, there is always something new to be taken out of the box. The box and all that is in it helps to make my show more creative and fun, and helps to give my audience a really good time!!

Q: How many stories are in your collection?

A: Between the stories I have found from various sources and the ones I have written on my own, I have roughly 500 stories in my collection. I am always reading and writing new stories, so my collection is always growing. In fact, I try to add at least two new stories a week so my show will always be different, and my audience will always get a new treat!

Q: Are you like this all the time?

A: I have been described as: funny, silly, goofy, wacky, child-like, creative, humorous, a giant 5-year-old, sweet, and kind. People often ask “Are you like this all the time?” The answer is “YES!” The way I am when I am performing and the way I am when you meet me are the way I am all the time. I am a storyteller by personality, not just by trade! The way I am helps me to connect to my audience in a way very few entertainers can. I know how to delight and amaze children, because I have the ability to think (and act) like one. I do have a serious and intellectual side, but my silly side is the biggest part of my personality. The way I act delights everyone (well except, maybe my wife who has to put up with me all the time!!)