My journey creating and producing puppetry... trials, tribulations, inspiration and contemplation.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Creative Process & My Upcoming Workshop

I love the creative process and the evolution of a puppet. I had an idea for some hair on a new puppet that changed into something else and the character started to inform a new direction. I have a spark of an idea and see where it takes me. I wish I could be one of those people who draws a sketch and follows it through to some amazing puppet likeness but, I'm not there yet. I've played around with some different eye shapes [above] for the new character and have revisited it at least 3 times already and feel like I'm closing in on something soon but, I appreciate where the process has taken me and the new things I discover along the way.

My puppets caught the attention of a friend who works for a local children's museum and he asked me to consider doing a workshop with the kids who might be interested in building puppets. With permission to use the Project Puppet Simple Series patterns, I gathered some friends this past weekend [below] to see how much we could get done in a certain amount of time with just me doing the sewing. With six participants in the 'test', they got all of their patterns traced and cut and the head and body sewn. It was enough to gauge how many kids I could handle in the workshop, volunteers needed to assist, additional sewers, etc. The first workshop at the children's museum is scheduled for March 14 and I'm equally nervous and excited.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The MuppetCast & Sesame Street at 40

Thanks to Steve over at The MuppetCast for the mention on his 1/25/09 show. Steve has been providing a great service with his regular podcast on all things Muppet and is one of the entertaining resources that I regularly turn to.

I attended the Sesame Street at 40 lecture at William Patterson University in Wayne NJ on Friday [Jan. 30]. The whole team did a great job and it was wonderful to see Frank Oz, one of my first puppet heroes, involved with something Muppet-related. The event was moderated by author Michael Davis and included writer/composer Tony Geiss, Bob McGrath, Fran Brill, Marty Robinson, Kevin Clash, Sonia Monzano, Caroll Spinney and Frank Oz. It was cool to hear stories about how they came to Sesame Street in their careers. Who knew Bob had a huge fan following in Japan?? He was quite the famous singer in his earlier days. The best part of the evening was the improvisational conversations with the puppets themselves as they brought out Oscar, Zoe, Telly and Elmo. No matter how old you were in the audience, your inner child was in awe to see these well-known childhood heroes live. Even those of us who are not exactly Elmo's biggest fans, really appreciate how Kevin performs him for the adult set - there's a little more 'knowing' behind that soft, red exterior and Clash is a fantastic performer and puppeteer.

I'm working on my next new puppet. I'm really enjoying the process. You think something is going to go a certain way and when it doesn't, the work takes you in another, interesting direction.