Well, it is the end of 9 days of traveling on the road talking to puppeteers & improvisers about puppet improv. I got a lot of great new info and inspiration.
The tour ended Saturday with the show "Puppet Up" put on by Henson Alternative.
The show is a mix of Henson puppeteers and Groundlings improvisers, under the direction of the very funny Patrick Bristow. They start with a Puppet Up theme song, play improv games and scenes, and end with a "naked" version of the theme song that was my favorite part!! (puppet faces made of hands). I only had an iPhone to take photos, but here's someone else's photos from the previous month's show.
The day before (on Friday) I got to tour the "Swazzle Workshop" in Glendale where I learned a few tricks about puppet building.
The guys were in the process of building a set of "Audrey II" puppets they're going to rent out to High Schools performing "Little Shop of Horrors".
The day before THAT (on Thursday), I'd arrived in LA just in time to see Swazzle co-founder, Sean Johnson, perform an amazing library show "Water Color" for the last time of the season. The show was a 1 man show, but it there were a lot of characters and it was easy to forget one guy was doing everything.
That night I went to see the Groundlings improv show -- "Cooking with Gas". It was really fun! A mix of games in Act I, then a narrative longform set in the style of Jane Austin after the intermission. Very fun! And they had a guest, Nichol Parker, who'd just finished a run on Broadway in the leading role of Elphaba -- which they had sing a lot. She'd also been on Mad TV and in the Groundlings Sunday show, so it was not surprising that she was not only a great singer, but a great improviser!