Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Load-in, Lights, Live

Load-In: Yesterday we loaded our show into the Dougherty Arts Theater in preparation for our upcoming show Trash, which premieres this coming Fourth of July weekend. We ran into a bit of trouble when I realized that the set pieces were slightly too big for our transportation vehicle, so we are having to break them down so we can get them to the theater. This is a good lesson for us as the intention is to make the set portable and easy to load-in and load-out.

Lighting: Though we couldn't do much with the set, we did get all our lights hung and focused, in large part due to Sam Schak! our tech for the show.
Sam pointed out that every good theater tech carries around the following essential tools:
  • wrench
  • pencil
  • permanent marker
  • tape (measuring tape, gaff tape, glow tape)
  • multi-tool (screwdriver, pocket knife, pliers, scissors)
  • flashlight
I brought a ton of puppet building tools, but forgot the most important -- the wrench. Luckily I had a vice grip and Sam made do with that. The puppets look great on stage in the lights we hung, and we can't wait to see everything in action tonight at our Tech run through.

Live: And, thanks to Austin  YNN, Joel Ausanka and I got the chance early this morning to briefly show off our "Trash" puppets during their LIVE morning show. Unfortunately, there was some breaking news, so the news team had to cut our coverage short. However, we got a bit of exposure and we hope people will see it and be inspired to come see the whole show.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet the Neighbors

A big "hip-hip-hooray" and a hearty "THANK YOU" to Jennifer Bateman for her help on our Glen Park Neighbors, and Fairview Citizens. A lot of her adorable self is in these guys. We can't wait to share them with you, so here is a sneak peek.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hey, Neighbor!

Jen helps bring life to the neighbor/citizen puppets, which are made from dowels pulled from a broken drying rack, cardboard rolls (paper towels, toilet paper, wrapping paper), acrylic paint and bits of yarn, feathers, and elastic.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Innovation is Messy

As I work on the giant "Heap" puppet for our show, Trash, I'm overwhelmed with how messy is the process of innovation. It is journey of trial and error, that leaves a slimy slug trail of failed attempts. It is plastic shavings, sawdust, spilled glue, scraps of wood, bits of foam, lengths of pipe cut too long, or too short, or from the wrong material. It is the remains of a botched attempt to build something, or the implementation of an idea that just didn't work in the physical world. Ideas are great in your head, and they may compute on paper, but until you try it out and put it to a physical test, you won't know if it works.

Without a mentor to guide me, I'm learning through my own mistakes. The entire Puppet Improv Project is exactly that. Saying "yes" to ideas, trying them out, and building on them. Experience tells me that every botched implementation, or idea that falls flat, is leading me towards a lucky strike. So knowing that the only way out of UNknowing is through experimentation, I wade through this creative mess.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Alex! The Glorified Sock Puppet

Here are some shots of "Alex", the hero of "Trash". He's built using Project Puppet's "Glorified Sock Puppet" pattern. He's smaller than the Forma series puppets (the adults), but he looks great in proportion to them. Elizabeth Buchanan will be voicing and giving life to this cute little guy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wrapping Up the Forma Series

 Couldn't do all this without a little help from my friends.

Cutting steel music wire for arm rods

Final arm rods with pose-able hands ready to be sewn up into the Forma puppets

Thursday, June 13, 2013

UTIC "Puppet Performance" Puppet Arsenal

I'm so excited for the progress my students are making in the University of Texas Informal Class "Puppet Performance". I have yet to snap a photo of the class (I keep getting wrapped up in the performances and forgetting), but here is an shot of the extensive puppet arsenal we get to play with. :-)