When I was born, an army brat in El Paso, Texas, a local bank presented a certificate noting my “birthright to tell the Tall Tale”. Growing up however, in the "suburbanian" hills of Westchester County, drove me to day dream.
Later, I drove a Volkswagen cross country, studied educational drama in England, watered Henry Kissinger’s office plants, performed urban ritual theater, and earned a masters in education. Inspired by tale telling to my kid brother, I pulled it all together and made storytelling my full time career in 1989.
Now, I have the honor of telling thousands of people why the Headless Horseman rides through Sleepy Hollow. Hundreds of children follow me into the woods every year listening for Faeries and Elves. I know where George Washington slept the most during the American Revolution. Native Americans with me told why the Hudson River flows both ways. I share all this with children visiting hundreds of schools annually. My programs are; Finger Fables Little Listeners, Fairy Tale Theater, Myth & Urban Legend, Hudson River Lore, Medieval Manners & Manors.
A teacher described my style as "Robin Williams meets Viggo Mortenson for children."
Notable Accomplishments & Awards
Historic Hudson Valley created "Jonathan Kruk’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow" for dramatic performances of Washington Irving’s Classic.
"Legends & Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley" pub by The History Press 2011
"Tales of Olde New York" - multiple residencies with inner city 4th graders through Early Stages, Inc.
Award Winning Recordings -
"Revolution on the River" with Rich Bala
"Best of the Hudson Valley" in 2001.
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" Parents Choice Silver, N.A.P.P.A. Honors
"Barkface & Rootnose" Parents Choice Approved
"Once Upon the Hudson" with Rich Bala - Parents Choice Recommended
Also notable -"The Rainbow Dragon" "Rip Van Winkle" & "Halloween Tales"
Selected "Best Storyteller in the Hudson Valley" in 2008.
Good Citizenship Medal - Nat.Society of the Sons of the American Revolution 1998
Keynote & Workshops-
National Conferences on Native Plants, NYS Teachers of Reading Association,
The Archdiocese of New York Educators,
NYS Environmental Educators,
Columbia Teacher’s College, Fordham, Nassau & Westchester BOCES, P.A.R.P. and Mid-Atlantic Story Tellers.
Special appearances include; The Travel & History Channels, WAMC, WHUD, WCBS
The New York State Museum, 100th Anniversary of Boy Scouts, New-York Historical Society, Teddy Roosevelt Homestead, Pete Seeger’s Clearwater Festival, the Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, Washington’s Headquarters, & the Riverway Storytelling Festival
A BOCES approved Artist Educator, working on an iphone application for children