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

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My puppet life ~ Fall 2011

I have neglected updates in months and there is much to report so, I'll dig right in.

Back in September, I produced a puppet weekend for a local theatre group. We hosted a Tough Pigs Muppet Vault, had shadow puppet and marionette show [by The Puppet People] for the daytime/matinee shows and hosted a puppet slam with local talent along with a showing of Heather Henson's Handmade Puppet Dreams. The poster for the event [below] was designed by Pasha at Project Puppet.

Inspired by Project Puppet's Borsa pattern and this great fur that I found, I made this live-hand puppet which was completed toward the end of October. I was considering making a puppet for a raffle to raise funds for my anti-bullying puppet show that I'm working on but, fell in love with this guy so much, I couldn't part with him.

After a couple of rehearsals with new vocal talent, we were finally ready to get into the recording studio to record the anti-bullying puppet assembly program Helping Drew. It filled me with equal parts excitement and this feeling that this is the "put up or shut up" moment. This production has been gestating for so long and you get to this moment and you're like "oh, right, I really have to do something with this!" The process started back in January and went through the re-writing process, an initial recording session that didn't produce the results I needed and my obligations to the theatre I had been helping that kept me from focussing, along with my last studio that did not come through.

I had a business acquaintance whose husband makes ring tones for cell phones so, I knew he had some studio connections. He ended up offering to record us knowing he had capable equipment. He had great excitement and confessed his love for puppets - especially the Muppets. When I asked what I could pay him, he insisted on doing it for free. He was smiling and having a great time through the whole session since it was something he never had the chance to do.

I had terrific talent for the session. My friends Joyce and Ed both worked professionally in theatre and did table reads in Manhattan for upcoming theatrical shows and even did a read on an early Lopez/ Marx [Ave Q guys] scripting of another show they had worked on. Another one of my voice talents, Joni, had taken John Tartaglia's master class. She's got a great female puppet voice - somewhere in the neighborhood of Kate Monster and Abby Cadabby.

The 1/2 hour show took us about an hour and a half to record. We plowed through and only did additional takes where we messed up. I excused the actors when I felt we had everything complete and spent another hour and a half with the engineer to choose our takes, make sure all the spacing was cleaned up and the cues were in the right place. I should have a preview copy soon enough after all the levels are cleaned up.

I was at Party City yesterday and purchased nice big serving spoons for some sweet puppet eyes for the next puppet I hope to use for the raffle I previously mentioned.

All in all, everything is going great and the puppet projects are a great source of excitement and motivation. Excited to see The Muppets this coming week as well! Getting my Muppet geek on and seeing an early morning showing as well as attending an evening show with the extended family. Can't wait to share this new Muppet chapter.