What’s next?

As 2010 starts to wind down, I look back on it with some pride. I have finally, at the age of 45, become an amateur puppeteer. Is being an amateur a bad thing?
Not really.

I recall a line from Ken Nordine‘s “Adult Kindergarten”, “No one lives long enough to be anything but an amateur.”
Perhaps if I had followed my passion for puppetry back in the 80’s or 90’s I may be able to pay the bills with it. Then it could have become a “career” rather than a hobby.
Careers have always scared me, I have followed several of them and never really been very happy to where they have taken me. Whereas hobbies are doing something I love for the pleasure of it, nothing else. Sure, some hobbies may lead you to grand and wonderful places to meet fun and exciting people. I am up for that journey, as long as they aren’t wearing suits and neck ties when I get there.

As I move this little puppet troupe into 2011, I have begun to research puppet friendly venues to perform the show. Nothing solid to report just quite yet, however there are a few promising possibilities on the horizon.

I can tell you that I will be performing “Lil’ Red Sasquatch Hood” at a private holiday party for my fellow Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild members next month. I have been a CAPG member since 2001, when I began to focus my creative energy towards puppetry. They are the nicest puppet people I have met, and it will be a pleasure to perform for my puppetry guild.

Dim the lights, it’s slide show time everybody!

Here are a few photos from the three performances of our “Lil’ Red Sasquatch Hood” show on October 27, 2010.

Slide show of “Lil’ Red Sasquatch” puppet show

Many thanks to Jan Stenken at Winton Montessori School and William Lambeth at the Northside Farmers Market for having me perform.

Thanks to my daughter and son, Eleanor and Tiernan, for being my test audience and inspiration to perform puppets for children.

Thank you Mum and Dad(R.I.P), for seeing that I had an interest in puppetry all those years ago, and encouraging me to (finally) be a puppeteer.

Yet most of all, a HUGE HUG & KISS to the love of my life, my wife Lara, for staying up very late with me as we worked together to get this little puppet show out our front door and in front of an audience.

For those of you still reading (Hi Susan, Chris L., and Ruby Mae) thanks for your kind words of support as I ever so slowly put this little puppet troupe together, you are VERY cool people because you know that PUPPETS ROCK!

WOW! I’m bushed

Well my big puppet day of 3 shows all performed live on the same day is over.

Almost everything went well, and I even got the kids to laugh!

I’ll post more pictures soon.

Goodnight puppet people, Zzzzzzzz….

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FREE PUPPET SHOW!!! – Wednesday October 27th – 5:30 & 6:30PM

Well the big show is coming up next week. I hope that you’ll come and see us!

WHAT: Wump Mucket Puppets presents: Lil Red Sasquatch Hood

WHEN: Wednesday, October 27th at 5:30PM and repeated at 6:30PM (the same show will be performed LIVE each time)

WHERE: Northside Farmers Market @ North Presbyterian Church, 4222 Hamilton Avenue in Northside.
Google Maps Link

HOW MUCH: FREE!

WHY: For fun of course!

I hope to see our Cincinnati friends & fans there!

HEY KIDS! Have you tried this new cereal?!?

When I was a boy my mother rarely purchased any cereal that was sweetened. Most breakfasts were oatmeal, homemade granola (I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s), or even pancakes. I dreamed of being pumped up on any breakfast cereal that was pitched by an animated sales character.

When I started earning my own spending money delivering newspapers at the age of ten I knew what I would buy: Comic books, candy, and Cap’n Crunch cereal. Who cared if it ripped the roof of your mouth up? It was sweet! Soon I found a Cap’n Crunch clone cereal called Freakies (remember it was the 70’s). The animated commercials were cool, the jingle snappy, and there was a plastic toy inside! I loved Boss Moss, and would draw the Freakies for classmates in 4th grade.

So as I put my puppet show together over the past 9 (!!!) years, I knew that it had to have a “sponsor”. We know that all great kid’s shows from my youth were “brought to you by (read “buy”)” Kelloggs of Battlecreek, General Mills, or Post.

As an adult I’ve learned that the cereal companies practically bankrolled Saturday Morning cartoons. Why shouldn’t the Wump Mucket Puppets have a “sponsor” that the puppets can chat about?

Why not indeed!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls, I present the sweet cereal to top ALL sweet cereals!

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SUPER SUGAR CRUNCHY THINGS HAVE ARRIVED!

Now before you call the FDA, remember…it’s only a puppet show. I think I’m going to get some miles of this gag gang, at least until some kid tries to get their parents to buy a box at the supermarket!

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Eleanor wants the FREE Krunchy Kat Comic that is inside each specially marked box.

Still rolling along!

Many things are rolling here and there at the Wump Mucket HQ in lovely Northside.

The upgrade to the puppet stage is coming along with MUCH help from Lara, and NO help from the sales lady at Hancock Fabrics who shorted me on a few feet of Velcro…guess where I am no long shopping?

The props are looking cool, and need a bit more work before showtime.

Finally, I knocked out a pleasing looking flyer for the show, scratch that, it’s cool looking. I am proud of myself for making the flyer with very little knowledge of Open Office software. Yippee! Now if only I could figure out how to convert the PDF to HTML so I may share it with our lovely fans.

I shouls also mention that the “Lil Red Sasquatch Hood” show (as it’s been dubbed) will also be performed for Eleanor’s class at Winton Montessori School as a warm up for the “big show” on October 27th.

Time for some rest…Zzzzzz.

The September show is now the October show…

I have had to move the show to late October since there is still work to be done and I didn’t feel that it could be completed in time for late September. Thanks to Will at the Northside Farmer’s Market for being flexible with my schedule.

In moving the show, two cool things have happened…my wife will be my puppet wrangler (this means she will help me quickly switch puppets while I perform) and the show will now be indoors! No need to worry about the weather!!!

Not only do I have almost two months to wrap this little show into a tasty bite, I had a spark of creative energy this afternoon while vacuuming the house! I was able to blurt out a new tune that Eleanor thinks is good enough to include in the show.
Seeing that she’s my Number 1 fan, how can I not include it?

Now for some late night puppet show prop design…

Type Type Type Type Type

The little show has almost 1300 words* in the script so far! I have been staying up late, typing the script while listening to the Cincinnati Reds on the radio.

I am very happy with how the show is looking on paper. I hope to have it typed into a proper script by the end of the week. Then it’s time to make a few props, and if time allows, get the puppet stage cleaned up a bit.

*Words in the script include: Raucous, Sucrose, and Forest

…Still rolling along

The draft is happily morphing into a real script with a few adjustments here and there. The ending of the featured sketch, which will be in the middle of the show, has made me poke my head with a pencil a few times. I have tried a few endings, and have yet to settle on the one that I feel works the best, and gets the most laughs.

I hope to have the complete script finished this week, and then it’s on to prop building, stage adjusting, and possibly back to the “Coleman” rebuild project.

Yipee!

This show is on a roll!

I am happy. I am tired. I am not tired of being happy. In all honestly I have LOTS of crap (icky) going on outside my “puppetry world” that has no place here. Luckily I have made progress in writing the script for my new show that will be performed in late September.

Writing this show has been easier than before since I have always kept notebooks and scraps of paper with bits & pieces scrawled down for future use. I only needed the time to roll in into a little puppet show that made me chuckle. My lovely wife suggested a few weeks back to get out of the house, away from the chaos of everyday life. This worked like a charm. One trip to our neighborhood coffee shop and I had most of the centerpiece sketch done, and cleaned up the lyrics to the opening song.

A few days later I escaped to The Northside Tavern, to ignore the wildlife and bands to format the show into a production that will work. This needs a bit of tweaking, yet has a solid base to work from.

Are you still interested? Great, because I have really good feelings about the show and the style of humor that I am writing.

About that… Why do SO MANY so called “family” shows (tee-vee, movies, whatever) have to include fart/burp jokes, rude humor, or material that should NEVER be seen by children? Last year we had to take our son to the hospital and sit in the waiting area for quite a while. The tee-vee was on The Disney Channel, I think the show was “That’s So Raven” or something like that. It was unbearable. As we were the only people in the waiting area I muted the crap. THIS IS FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT?
Children are supposed to “enjoy” this stuff? WTF?!?

If this is what passes as “quality family entertainment” these days, then I am William Shakespeare.

Lara (my lovely wife) and I talk about media and childhood often. We were both born in the 60’s, we both watched TONS of cartoons, re-runs, commercials, etc. We agree that the “crap” back then was far less harmful than the CRAP that is launched at children today. Our crap was sometimes junky, today it is TOXIC!

It is in knowing this that I pledge, as a father of two young children (ages 5 & 3), I will never perform family entertainment that I would not perform in front of them or my own mother. I wonder if the people who produce today’s junk can say that? I doubt it very much.

TEASER ALERT: The title of the song that will be at the start of the show is [DRUM ROLL PLEASE] “A Song About Cryptozoology”.