Saturday, July 30, 2011

Puppet Katamari - Video and Auditions

Whew! What a GREAT day. :-) The PIP had a morning video shoot in Zilker Park for a comedic short film we are working on for the upcoming Puppet Katamari show. It included a bunch of kids and Schave & Reilly and it went off splendidly. The rain clouds threatened - it was humid - but as usual, no rain. Good for us, bad for Texas.  We also got to then shoot some video of the puppets riding the miniature train!

That was really fun. I've never ridden the Zilker Zephyr, and even though a small child fell off the train (and was scared but did NOT get seriously hurt, and in fact finished the ride), both the ride and the puppet filming was MORE than I had hoped it would be. I really do LOVE trains, and have a dream of someday opening my own PUPPET THEATER with a little toy train that circles the room on a elevated track when it's time to open house for shows. This imaginary theater will be called "The Depot" and have a train station theme. Doesn't that sound AWESOME!! So imagine my joy at getting to ride a tiny train in Zilker with a bunch of friends acting silly with puppets.

BTW! Those awesome puppeteers today were: Jayme Ramsey, Gene Joe, Topping Haggerty, Cody Melcher and Amy McKenna. And I had great acting and production assistant support from the fabulous Jenn Baldillez.

After that, the PIP held auditions for the upcoming Puppet Katamari show. We had a nice big group auditioning and everyone was really strong. It is going to be a tough decision to narrow down the list -- which is a success in itself.

Next up for the PIP? More filming and finishing our puppet building. Once the cast is set, our rehearsals begin. Look to the site soon for ticket sales, and look to the newspapers soon for our ads. THIS SHOW IS GOING TO BE GREAT!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blacklight Puppets

Here are some blacklight puppet designs for the 3rd quarter show, Puppet Katamari.








Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Puppet Katamari" Casting Call

The Puppet Improv Project is ramping up production on it's next show, "Puppet Katamari" (directed by Sara Farr).


The show will be a puppet variety show lasting 1 hour and 40 min, (with a 10 min intermission). There will be pre-filmed puppet video shorts, some games/scenes created like Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, filmed live over the players heads, and an underwater themed black-light narrative (3 acts interwoven into the show).


"Uncensored Shows" Fri. 9/23, Sat. 9/24, Fri. 9/30, Sat. 10/1 @ 8PM
This show will be rated "T [Teen]" for audiences ages 13+
(1 hour 40 min with a 10 min intermission)

"Family Matinees" Sun 9/25 & 10/2 @ 2PM
This show will be rated "E [Everyone]" for audiences ages 6+
(only 1 hour, no intermission)


We will rehearse once a week starting in August (time/date pending).
Rehearsals will be split into skill sets to maximize rehearsal time. Though the best effort will be made to set an accommodating rehearsal schedule, cast members will be REQUIRED to attend all rehearsals relevant to their role in the show in order to be cast into the show.
* Tech (just tech ppl) - 7pm Tue, Sept 20th
* Full Tech - 7pm Wed, Sept 21st
* Full Dress - 7pm Thu, Sept 22nd


Principle cast includes Topping Haggerty, Patrick Knisley and Bob Khosravi. We will have a stage manager and tech assistant to Sara Farr (director & lead tech). However, we need a SEA] of supporting players to help create our PUPPET KATAMARI show.


Sat. July 30th 2-4pm.


Yellow Room at the Dougherty Arts Center, 1110 Barton Springs Rd


Come wearing comfy clothes that allow you to move freely. Knowledge of puppet manipulation and puppet improv basics are a PLUS!


We are reaching out to all of Austin in search of people who SERIOUSLY want to PLAY with puppets, and be a part of the BIGGEST puppet improv show in Austin. Some puppet manipulation skills with Fleece & Foam puppets is helpful. BUT, if you'd like to be a part of this show and learn more about puppet improv, this will be a good learning opportunity.


You *must* reserve an audition slot and let me know you're coming to make sure we have room for everyone. The Auditions will run 2 hours, but you will not be required to be there the entire time. Each persons slot will be a limited time.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Super Fun @ "Nerd Nite"

The PIP made an appearance last night at Nerd Nite to talk about our passion for puppets.

This monthly event is really cool because it's a bunch of people talking about the THING that they are obsessed with. Last night the 3 speakers talked about birds watching, hydroponic plants and puppet! I was the one talking about puppets. Patrick Knisley went with me to do a puppet improv demo. We also brought up a nerd from the audience to play with us. It was SUPER fun!

So, here is a BIG thank you to the organizers - Dan Rumney, JC Dwyer and Lewis Weil- who were kind enough to let us share our love of puppets and improv. Check out their site for info about upcoming shows.

Here is their website - NERD NITE AUSTIN - and you can find their Facebook page HERE and join their group HERE.

If you are sad you missed us, come on over to the Puppet Improv Project Facebook page HERE so that you can learn about our next shows and appearances.

Puppet "Magic"

I got to work with a new group of puppet improvisers in the recent PIP Workshops. Watching these guys pick up and improvise with puppets was delightful. It seems a bit "magic." I remember learning about this "magic" on my trip to Atlanta and the Center for Puppetry arts back in September. Puppets act on our psyche in two ways.

First, they act on our intellect. We understand they are not real, and we suspend our disbelief and see them for what they are -- symbols. And since our brain is already in a mode to see everything in a puppet show as symbolic, it really messes with us when the other punch lands. (Punch! Ha ha!)

Second, they act on our spirituality. The "base" puppets dredge up our own memories, and then they become part of our association with the iconic symbol the puppet represents.

Pinocchio & Cricket

Fraggle Rock Fun

Snaps? Ingenious!

Wrap Party

Behind the Scenes of Fraggle Rock: Blue Screen

Behind the Scenes of Fraggle Rock: More Blue Screen

Money for Minny

The "Puppet Improv Project" (PIP) and "Girls Girls Girls Improvised Musicals" (GGG) are heading to Minneapolis for the Twin Cities Improv Festival in June. Please join us for a Very Special Saturday Night Special to help us get there!

The Puppet Improv Project will open the show with "Puppet Fever", followed by Girls Girls Girls' musical improv stylings. Girls and puppets all in one show. Irresistible.

Tickets are $10 and all proceeds will help cover our travel costs. Stay around for the after party and pay what ya want for beer, soft drinks, and Emily Breedlove's famous cupcakes.

Please go to to purchase tickets online.

2 Free Summer Workshops

By popular demand, the PIP will be hosting 2 puppet workshops this summer. And, we understand that people's pocket-books are a bit light this year, so both workshops will be FREE!! However, the space is limited, so only the first 14 ppl to sign up will get in. Check out the Workshops area of the site to get more info.

Puppet "Mayhem" for Gnap Theater Projects

Look who I'm taking with me to the Gnap Theater Projects "Mayhem" fundraiser party tonight. This gorgeous puppet will be in the Silent Auction and could be yours to take home if you take the time to come place a bid! at "SPACE 12' -- 3121 E 12th St Austin, TX.

Join Gnap! Theater Projects for our first annual spring/summer fundraising spectacular!

Featuring the destruction of an effigy of Gargamel to welcome in the summer weather, free drinks from Republic Tequila and eats from Gastrogiant, and entertainment from awesome Austin locals, Gnap! Mayhem promises to be a great evening in support of some fun local theater makers.

Musical acts include:

Best Best Best Friends at 7:30 (outdoor procession)
Band of Liars at 8 pm
Mongoose at 8:30
Southpaw Jones at 9:15
Linen Closet at 10:15

At Space 12, 7:30 to 11

Price $20 normal people, $5 broke ass artists

Admission gets you access to great eats and drinks and we'll have items up for silent auction, including some rare Gnap! memorabilia and other sundries. Hope to see you there!!

Be our Facebook Friend

Hey puppet lovers! Be our Facebook friend and get even more news about what’s up with PIP. Just posted some sweet photos of our new puppet cast.

Facebook! It's not just for kids anymore!

Summer Musical & Travel

The summer is heating up here in Austin, TX -- probably in part due to the fact we've started rehearing the "Puppet Fever" show that we will be taking to Minneapolis, MN at the end of June as an official selection of the Twin Cities Improv Festival. We are going to be improvising a complete summer themed musical... in under 20-25 minutes. So far rehearsals have been a ton of fun as we are playing with favorite characters from some of our most favorite summer themed movies -- ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,’ ‘Beach Party,’ ‘Picnic,’ and ‘Summer School’ (the 1987 version).