Puppet Rockin’ In The Queen City

Wump Mucket Puppets on location for City of Cincinnati TV spot

Puppet Rockin’ In The Queen City

Day 1 – Hillsides and Trashcans

As I attempted to sleep on Wednesday night, I remembered of all of the people that have helped me reach this new point in following my childhood dream to be a puppeteer.  Certainly my parents were there from the start so long ago.  Thoughts of my father were racing about my brain, and how I wished he was here to enjoy my growing success as a puppeteer.  Then, I finally fell asleep.

Suddenly it was 5:45 on Thursday morning.  I needed to prepare for my day as the solo puppeteer for the Cincinnati Department of Public Services television spot -that’s showbiz lingo!  I zipped up my hoodie, plugged in my earbuds, and hit the sidewalk for my morning walk, Led Zeppelin was my soundtrack.  With the “rock walk” and arm stretches complete, I had breakfast, kissed my family goodbye and drove to Cincinnati State College, who’s video department are providing the crew and equipment for this shoot.

Our little caravan of vehicles included the production van, a college shuttle bus (posing as a Green Room/prop department), and a city garbage truck driven by one of my co-stars John Ervin.  In between scenes John and I chatted about the truck.  I know my seven year old son Tiernan would have loved to see his daddy squished into the cab to perform Cyril the Sea Serpent.  John told me that these rigs can get up to 65 mph, provided they are not hauling trash.

Wump Mucket Puppets Cyril the Sea Serpent and Terrence Burke

Cyril and Terrence are unaware that in a few minutes they will be squishing themselves into a trash can. The things we do for laughs! © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppets

Our first location was on on Heekin Avenue, in the Mt. Lookout neighborhood of Cincinnati. In this PSA we are informing residents who live on steep hills that they can get an exemption form and leave their trash on the curb.   This was the most difficult scene to shoot since we were working on a set of very steep, and cold, concrete steps. If that wasn’t hard enough, I had to puppeteer from inside a trash can, covered in make-believe trash!  It was not easy, yet we got the shots needed.    I won’t give any more away, yet I will promise you this, it’s VERY FUNNY!  Our director Zo Wesson was very encouraging and praised me for my performance multiple times.  I guess he knows that this puppet rocker ROCKS HARD!

Wump Mucket Puppets Coleman in Mt. Lookout

Coleman had a great time goofing around with the cast and crew in Mt. Lookout. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppets

After our lunch break, the cast and crew made their way to Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood.  The video and lighting equipment was nearly set up when the sky above us began to darken.  Rain was determined to stop this from being shot.  No trouble, we still had a third location on the schedule, the city garbage truck garage!

Director Zo Wesson and crew set up a shot at the garbage truck garage. (L-R: Zo Wesson, John Ervin, Terrence Burke) © 2014 Terrence Burke /  Wump Mucket Puppets

For our final location we shot a few of Cyril’s intros, welcoming the viewer, and explaining where he’s going with his pal John.  This time we were protected from the rain, and I got to sit on an apple box!  Now that’s luxury.

Cyril hamming it up for the camera between takes while Terrence Burke listens to the director. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppet.

Wump Mucket Puppets Cyril the Sea Serpent and Terrence Burke

Terrence Burke puppeteering Cyril the Sea Serpent. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppets

Cyril and his co-star John Ervin are greeting viewers in this shot. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppets

With several of our garage shots “in the can”, the crew began to pack up all of their video and lighting equipment.  And I thought puppeteers had lots of gear!  These folks filled two vans with their gear.

John Ervin with Cyril and Terrence Burke. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Terrence Burke

What I really enjoy about this production is that it’s cast and crew are all from Cincinnati.  Working with these fine folks was great.  Everyone gave it their all to make this production shine, even though the sun wasn’t.

Wump Mucket Puppets cast and crew of Cincinnati Public Services video

Our cast and crew. These folks ROCK! L-R (front row) Anastasia, Zo Wesson, Corry (back row) Bobby Gayol, Cyril the Sea Serpent, Terrence Burke, John Ervin, Paul Grundy. © 2014 Terrence Burke / Wump Mucket Puppets

 

 

Lights! Camera! Puppets!

Lights! Camera! Puppets!

Wump Mucket Puppets Cyril the Sea Serpent and Terrence Burke

Cyril the Sea Serpent with Terrence Burke.

Early tomorrow morning a new chapter in my adventures in puppetry begins.

The entire cast of Wump Mucket Puppets have been hired by the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Public Services to be the “spokes puppets” for the city’s new trash collection rules.

There are a total of five PSAs (public service announcements) being shot over two days in six locations around our great city.  Our co-stars include members of the Department of Public Services, Cincinnati broadcasting veteran Clyde Gray (former WCPO-TV anchor/CGA Public Relations Strategies), and Mayor John Cranely!

When the production is completed, the PSAs will be provided to broadcast television stations, websites, and social media to help inform the public of the changes in trash and recycling collection in Cincinnati.

We are thrilled to be a part of this production, and hope to be able to share a few photos from the shoot on our official Wump Mucket Puppets Facebook page.

One final thought,  I seem to recall a few other puppeteers who’s careers got a big boost by appearing in commercials back in the 1950s and 1960s.  Can anyone remember who they were?

Now I can honestly say, “I love trash!”

We’re in the news!

We’re in the news!

We hope that you are having a great summer.  Wump Mucket Puppets have been performing all around Cincinnati, and even in Kentucky a few times this summer.

We thank all our pals in the Cincinnati media for their recent help in promoting Wump Mucket Puppets.  You ROCK!

Here’s the recent interview in CityBeat newspaper with Terrence Burke

On the radio, WVXU spoke with Terrence Burke about Cincinnati’s puppetry scene

Even Cincinnati Magazine is helping us out and called us “zany”  -Thanks!

Thanks for reading or listening.  Now, back to rockin’ the puppets!

A Puppet Rocking Day!

Wump Mucket Puppets - Terrence Burke puppeteer and chracters

Cyril, Terrence, and Unka Unka ham it up for the camera.

A Puppet Rocking Day!

I have no time for a proper blog right now, as I am in the middle of building THREE new puppets, a mask, and more, yet I wish to share this with our friends and fans.
As many of you know Wump Mucket Puppets regularly donates performances to non-profit organizations. This afternoon’s show at Community Services of Northern Kentucky was one of those magical moments that once again proves to me that my path in puppetry is pretty clear; share the knowledge, spread the joy.

Several of our audience members approached me after today’s puppet show, with smiles so bright you could probably see them on the moon. They told me several times how much them LOVED my puppetry. One woman asked if I knew the legendary Cincinnati puppeteer Larry Smith, and said  that I reminder her of his show that she watched as a young girl. I told her that while I did not grow up in Cincinnati, I have met him several times at Cincinnati Area Puppetry Guild meetings and events. She then asked if Larry still performs, and I explained that he has retired from performing his lovable characters. To this she replied, “You should ask him if YOU can perform his puppets for us!”
I am very touched that someone sees a similarity in our styles, and that I was able to bring back a bit of her childhood for thirty minutes.  This is why dear friends and fans that PUPPETS ROCK!

Now back to getting messy with glue!

Wump Mucket Puppets are returning to FOX 19!

Wump Mucket Puppets are returning to FOX 19!

Wump Mucket Puppets at FOX 19 television studio

Cyril outside the FOX 19 studios in 2012.

We have been invited to appear on FOX 19 Morning Xtra on Friday June 6 at 10:25 am.

I am thrilled that my daughter Eleanor will be joining me as a guest on the show!

We plan on bringing Cyril, Unka Unka, and Kitty Quo Quo Quo Qua and hope that all our pals tune in this Friday.

We love to see your coloring pages!

We love to see your coloring pages!

Over the years we have probably passed out hundred, possibly thousands, of free coloring pages to our young fans after the show.  Wouldn’t it be a great idea to share these fantastic creations with the world?  Sure!

If you are the parent of a child who’s enjoyed our silliness, simply snap a photo of the finished Wump Mucket Puppets coloring page and either email it to us, or post it on our Facebook page.  Be sure to include your young artists first name (only) and age.  We’ll have Coleman post ’em up on our fan page lickety split!

Live outside the Greater Cincinnati area?  No worries, here’s a link to download a few coloring pages that Lara has drawn over the last several years: Coloring Pages Link

Here are a few coloring pages from our friends at Stepping Stones in Norwood, Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

Wump Mucket Puppets - Fan coloring page - Stepping Stones Ohio

We look forward to seeing YOUR coloring page soon!

Introducing Unka Unka the caveman!

Introducing Unka Unka the caveman!

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka the caveman

Our newest cast member Unka Unka the caveman!

We are very please to announce that Wump Mucket Puppets has brought a new puppet character to our stage, Unka Unka the caveman!

A couple of years ago my daughter Eleanor said, “Daddy, you need a caveman in the show.”  She is a big fan of the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, and really enjoyed the episode that has a “caveman” chasing Mystery Inc. around.  This silliness inspired her to make up her own “caveman” word “unka”.  An idea was planted.

Some time later this doodle found it’s way to my studio desk:

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka caveman doodle

Unka Unka doodle by Eleanor

This made me want to try my hand at creating a puppet head sculpted from clay:

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka head

Unka head sculpted by Terrence Burke

Time past.  I was able to see many incredible paper maché puppet heads at the 2013 National Puppetry Festival.  It was time to get this puppet rolling!  It had been decades since I worked with paper maché, and I took my time to learn as I built the puppet.  There were a couple of setbacks, which will now be known as learning experiences.

Wump Mucket Puppets Unka Unka the caveman

Unka Unka’s new paper mache head observes his clay remains.

More time past.  Shows were being booked, songs were written, skits were being created.  The puppet was coming along slowly but surely.  Many thanks to fellow puppeteers Rick Morse, Mathieu René, Michael Schwabe for advice and tips.  A HUGE HUG and THANK YOU to my fantastic wife Lara Rumizen!  She really helped this puppet “get his act together”.  Many thanks to my father-in-law Jim Rumizen for shooting these photos.

Wump Mucket Puppets Cyril the Sea Serpent and Unka Unka the caveman

Cyril and Unka Unka inspect a prop for our newest skit “Elvis and The Shoemaker”

We hope our audience and fans will join us in welcoming Unka Unka to the silly stage of Wump Mucket Puppets.  Please visit out Facebook Page to view more photos of the building of this puppet.

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 16

Wump Mucket Puppets FUNday Monday # 16

Wump Mucket Puppets Coleman the Sasquatch FUNday Monday

We hope that all our pals had a great Easter!  Here are a couple of videos that will make you giggle:

Have you ever heard of the Easter Squatch?

Be sure to visit our YouTube page for more silliness with Coleman the Sasquatch.

Wump Mucket Puppets News!

We are getting things ready for our season launch on FREE COMIC BOOK DAY, May 3rd 11:30 am at Maverick’s Baseball Cards & Comics 8522 Winton Rd in Finneytown.

Wump Mucket Puppets Free Comic Book Day graphicBe sure to come and see the premier of our newest puppet character, Unka Unka the Caveman!  He’ll be bringing LOTS of FUN to our show!  Bring all your pals to meet our new puppet pal!

FREE Puppet show!

FREE Comic Books!

How COOL is that?!?

See YOU there!

Puppeteer brainstorming

Puppeteer brainstorming

I really am fortunate to live in a city where there are several very talented puppeteers. This evening I had the pleasure to hang out with my neighbor and friend Jesse Mooney-Bullock of Bullooney PuppetWorks.

It was great to “talk shop” about new puppets, show ideas, puppetry festivals, and our families.  Like many creative people, it’s easier to express yourself to another artist who knows both the joy and the pain of being a solo artist. 
Please take a look at his work at: Bullooney PuppetWorks

Hello 2014! Are you ready to ROCK?!?

Hello 2014!      Are you ready to ROCK?!?

It’s a new year!  Yippee!  I look at it as a blank sheet of paper waiting for a doodle, a song, or a skit to work into the puppet show.  I have already started a list of goals to work towards and would love to share a few with you, our fabulous friends and fans!

New puppet characters!  In the new year we will introduce two new member to our growing cast of silly puppets.  Both have been “on the drawing board” for a some time and it’s due time that they joined the fun!  First will be this guy, Unka Unka the Caveman!

Eleanor with her concept sketch and the sculpted head of Unka Unka the Caveman.

Eleanor with her concept sketch and the sculpted head of Unka Unka the Caveman.

Next will be our second Sasquatch character, who will be named Cousin Snavely.  The voice is sounding a bit like actor Charles Nelson Reilly.  He played Horatio J. HooDoo on the 1970s kid’s TV show LidsvilleHere’s the opening theme on YouTube.

Coleman the Sasquatch with Bigfoot crossing sign.

Watch out for Sasquatch!

Our third puppet project with be a much needed rebuild of on of our most loved characters, Coleman the Sasquatch.  This little guy is over 35 years old!  It’s quite amazing that he has held up as long as he has.  The mouthplate inside the puppet is deteriorating with every show.  We’ll be sure to share this process as his rebuild begins.

Of course that’s not all!  We have a couple of fun new skits and songs in the works, which we think you will enjoy.  Here’s a short video with a sneak peek of a few of the tune ideas: