Growing as artists, certain milestones are apt to occur but, there are greater ones than the achievements we may initially have in mind. When I first began, I had a wide-eyed, child-like ambition to achieve the success of my contemporaries. I wanted the bookings, the travel and the success. Naturally, I thought, this should happen immediately! It’s a fine, healthy ambition to have. What wasn’t healthy was comparing myself to other artists. In our darkest moments, we may wonder why we can’t have what another artist has, whether in skill, opportunity or popularity. What had finally occurred to me was - what I offer as an artist is unique and there is more success in expressing all that is me. It’s easy to see an amazing puppet show and admire all they do, wishing you could have a similar show. If we’re all making similar shows, there is less opportunity for bookings with the increased competition. So, again, expressing our unique talent is key.
I resisted another change where we had voices in the ethers for two of the characters. Some of our original feedback focused on this obvious wiggle-moment for younger viewers and that the voices should be physical puppets. Two more puppets to make?! With just two performers already manipulating a puppet each, how would we even make this happen? Well, two more puppets have been added to the show and we are making it work. What a world of difference it makes too! Not wanting to be left to our own self-directing devices, I hired Joshua Holden to workshop a couple of weaker moments in the show and help us best present these new moments with the additional puppets. His ability to see everything from a directors perspective (not to mention being an accomplished puppeteer) was key in helping us see and feel things for the first time. The improvements are just taking root but are making us feel more confident and experiencing a new show we didn’t have before. All of these changes coincide with two local (NY) performances of “Monster Intelligence” June and July 2015, culminating with bringing the show to Las Vegas, NV for their Children’s Summer Concert Series on July 22 and 23.