No amount of money could replace the feeling I felt when my wife told me that the students that I performed for last month created thank you cards, complete with pictures of my puppets!
I was really touched, and impressed with their artwork. The children must have been paying attention to my little show, because their art really captures the likeness of Cyril, Coleman, and G’Wazzl G’Wook.
What is special to me is that these children were my first audience that were there to see my puppets. All of my previous performances have been in puppet slams with other puppeteers.
It is very obvious that I made some sort of connection with them in the ten minute show. That connection is priceless. It may be foolish, yet making money through puppetry has never been my motivation.
With much help from my very crafty (and lovely) wife, the rebuild of the “Coleman” (AKA “Furry Guy”) puppet has begun. I had cut out the fabric last October, yet cut it much to large for a puppet that is supposed to be a small Sasquatch.
Lara’s sharp eye spotted this and helped get the body of the puppet to look like something Sasquatchy. Now I must build the mouthplate and get it into the puppet’s head, after that it’s the eyes.
I am still up in the air about the puppets arms. Lara thinks he should not have arms, while I think it should. We’ll see.
Furry Guy, who has been renamed Coleman, inspects his new skin
Cincinnati received a proper snow storm last night, so schools closed, many businesses (including the bookshop I work at) shut down, so what should we do will all this free time and snow?
Build a snowman, abominable of course!
Here’s the little video I made:
While not puppetry, this is a piece of original art that I have created from scratch in my front yard. I encourage you to do something different with snow this winter season.
Thanks to the neighbors who commented on my snow sculpture, even the kid who claimed that Bigfoot sightings in Ohio are “A lie!“. I guess that info was just too much for his 10 year old brain to process.
In addition to my 2010 goal to get my puppet show out onto a stage I am trying to take my children to see one puppet show a month. January’s show was called Wild Puppets!
The program was presented by two naturalists from the Cincinnati Parks department at the La Boiteaux Woods nature preserve. They gave two short puppet plays about the animals found in and around the nature preserve using this puppet tree:
The children in the audience were able to make either make their own owl puppet or a possum puppet out of a paper bag. I had my hands full while trying to keep Tiernan from running all around. We were lucky that a one of Eleanor’s classmates was at the show too, her mother helped Eleanor make this nifty owl puppet:
The puppets were mostly Folkmanis puppets and the performance, while not top notch, was just fine for young children. My children loved seeing the animals, and playing with a lady bug puppet (Eleanor) and a stag beetle puppet (Tiernan). Of course I got to do a bit of puppetry when the naturalists had the audience pick up a puppet to participate with. I grabbed a toad puppet and did my Kermit impersonation that got a few laughs. We were also able to pet a rat snake who lives at the nature preserve.
Overall we had a great time, as you can see by looking at this photo of Tiernan:
My 5 year old daughter Eleanor is officially a published comic artist!
Several weeks ago she was looking at her comics and noticed that other children had their art printed in the comic book. She asked me how she could do that, and I suggested that she draw her favorite characters and we would mail them to DC Comics. Earlier today we were at our comic shop (Maverick’s AKA “Leo’s”), we were about to leave when I remembered that we had mailed DC her art, so I looked on the shelf to find this:
When I was around her age I thought that I would like to be a cartoonist or animator, my mother even paid for drawing lessons when I was in grade school. Then, in high school drawing class, I was thrown out of the class for not being serious about my work! I drew onions with hands and feet! I was so pissed off I don’t think I touched a pencil for a few years.
You should also know that Eleanor’s lovely mother is a VERY talented ARTSCHOOL DROP-OUT! Who says we can’t draw?!?!
So I would like think that a little bit of my 5 year old self’s dreams of being a cartoonist are printed on that page.
I am sad to learn that one of the men who has been a hero and inspiration to me and my puppetry has passed away.
I can’t recall exactly when I became a fan of Gumby and Pokey, I guess it was in the late 60’s or early 70’s during my weekly Saturday morning tee-vee marathons. I have always found Gumby to be magical, even though I know how the puppet is animated. There is something so real about the character, and that is that Art Clokey put some of himself into the clay figure, making it seem real to me.
The odd thing about his passing is that Eleanor, Tiernan, and I were playing with our Gumby toys and watching a Gumby DVD yesterday, the day that Art Clokey left us. How strange.
Thank you Art for creating such a wonderful cast of characters that my family and I have enjoyed for many years.