Puppet Rockin’ in the Queen City Day 4

Puppet Rockin’ in the Queen City Day 4

November 3, 2014 – We neared the end of the production, with all but one of the televisions spots recorded.  It was time to re-record my puppet character’s dialog in the recording studio.  Although I was using a microphone on the shoots, the audio recorded was for reference, a “scratch-track” in you will.  I was happy to spend some time in the studio at Cincinnati State College.   This is the dialog that will be heard in TV spots.

Terrence Burke voicing his puppet characters in the recording studio at Cincinnati State College.

It had been many years since I was behind a microphone in a recording studio.  Long before puppetry was my creative focus, I was the producer and host of a radio program called “Doctor 13’s Audio Lab” on WAIF-FM in Cincinnati.  The funny thing was, as soon as I put on the headphones and stepped behind the mic, I was read for my puppet’s voices to rock!  Sort of like riding a bike I guess.

Now some of you may wonder, do I need the puppets on my hands to be in character?  NOPE!  These characters are very much a part of my imagination and can be called upon at my will.  Cyril did make the bus trip to the studio with me, but only to make certain that I behaved myself.

I do plan to bring the Wump Mucket Puppets into a recording studio one day, to record all of my original tunes that are heard in our puppet shows.  That should be fun!

Here’s a peek inside the studio as I record the dialog for Cyril and Coleman:

I have often told people that I consider my puppetry “live action cartoons”, and feel that their are a number of similarities in the two art forms.  Let’s see…  Funny looking characters?  Yup.  Exaggerated  voices?  Got ’em.  Silly songs?  We sing many.  Overall zaniness?  With some to spare!  Need I go on?  These thoughts go back to my childhood in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when I was soaking in as much Saturday morning TV as my young brain could handle.  I was interested in three things back then:  Puppets, cartoons, comics.  I remember asking my mother how cartoons are made.  She explained that a cartoon was a series of drawings that were filmed, and when projected very fast created the illusion that the cartoon character was moving.  I made a few flip-books and became discouraged that an animation studio was out of the financial means of a imaginative seven year-old boy.  By that time I had a good idea how to put on a puppet show for my family. I could do almost everything with a puppet that a cartoon character could do, and perform live!  It was probably around this time in my life that my future was set.  A creative spark had started a fire inside me, my life would eventually lead to puppetry.

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Cyril checks in on his puppeteer during the recording session.

During the session I recorded all of the puppet’s dialog within several takes.  Getting into “voice” wasn’t the trouble.  It was my fumbling a couple words that needed to be fixed.  For some reason “mayor” was sounding like “mEyer”.  No trouble, it’s all digital now!  All fixed.  I am sure that great voice actors have some great out takes and friendly pranks in their careers.  Being the playful guy I am, I hid beneath the music stand while the folks behind the glass window attended to something.  I then brought Cyril up to the mic to announce, “Burke stepped out.  I’ll be doing all the work now!”.  This got a few laughs from the control room, which was what I was going for.

Silly voices.  Puppets.  Fun.  Our recording session was done.  The Wump Mucket Puppets ROCKED the mic!

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