Bee Happy at Rockdale Academy

Bee Happy at Rockdale Academy

Wump Mucket Puppets had a great time performing our Bee Happy puppet show at Rockdale Academy, which is an elementary school within the Cincinnati Public Schools system.  Our show was part of the school’s Global Conservation Day.

I wrote “Bee Happy” during the Winter/Spring of 2017, to perform it throughout the Summer at libraries, schools, and special events.  I was inspired by my mother, who is retired and keeps bees at her home in New Hampshire.  While speaking with her on the phone, we agreed that children are often afraid of bees, and should learn more about how they are very important to our world.

I cast our super space princess G’Wizzl (see above photo) in the featured story, having her land on Earth to meet a worker bee who tells her how helpful bees are, she is then invited back to the bee hive to meet Q.B. the Queen Bee.  During the later part of the story, G’Wizzl invites the audience to stand up to do a bee dance with her.  It was a better idea to have the 250+ students stay seated, and “dance along” by clapping and moving along to my electronic “bee music”.  The children were fantastic “bee dancers”.

I am very pleased that the show fit in with the school’s curriculum “BEE-utifully”.  Both the faculty and students told me how much they enjoyed the show.  This is very pleasing for me to hear, because it means that my puppetry is both entertaining and educational.  This was my second time performing for the Cincinnati Public Schools this year, and based upon this experience, I am looking forward to “buzzing” this fun puppet show throughout the school system and beyond.

What is a little ironic, is that I was terrified of bees as a boy.  Now I am helping educate children about the many benefits of bees, how they help us, and how we can help them.  

To close out this blog post, I wish to quote my original song that G’Wizzl sings towards the end of the show, “Be happy let your smile shine!”

The Aftab Pureval Duck flies again

The Aftab Pureval Duck flies again

I had the pleasure to shoot another as the puppeteer of The Duck in a video with Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Aftab Pureval.  He is running for US Congress in 2018.  This will be the second time in almost two years that I have voiced and puppeteered The Duck for  campaign videos for Aftab.  Here is a link to the other videos that I perform The Duck:  CLICK HERE TO WATCH

While it may seem easy, providing the character voice and holding the puppet up into frame for the camera to see, requires me to hide myself behind Aftab while keeping The Duck puppet steady and in the shot.

You may be wondering where The Duck puppet came from.  The puppet was purchased by Aftab’s campain staff a couple years ago when he was running for Hamilton County Clerk of Courts (He WON!).  It was created by puppet builder Steve Axtell of Axtell Expressions.

This particular shoot was made on location at a private residence in Downtown Cincinnati.  Many thanks to the camera crew, and Aftab’s campaign manager Sarah Topy for having me back as The Duck’s puppeteer. I will be certain to share the video when it is posted online.  Best wishes AFTAB!

Here’s Sarsaparilla the Cow

Here’s Sarsaparilla the Cow

Please say hello to Wump Mucket Puppets newest puppet star Sarsaparilla the Cow, we call her Sassy too.  She will be performing in our brand new show “Tales from Bucket Gulch” this summer.

This is a publicity photo of Sassy and Coleman the Sasquatch, and was taken by Michelle Jellison.  The puppet was build over a couple weeks in March 2018 by Terrence Burke.

Sassy was created with art supplies and fabric that were on hand at the Wump Mucket Puppets studio.  When designing the puppet, it was decided that there are many black and white cow puppets out there, yet not very many bright green and pink stripped cows.  So far the reactions from our pals has been very favorable.

She will be a featured puppet star in the story “The Cow Who Would Not MOO”, which is included in our western-themed “Bucket Gulch” show.  Come see Sassy and her co-stars this summer, and find out why she would not moo.

New puppet in the workshop

New puppet in the workshop

Here are a few photos of the new puppet that is being built at Wump Mucket Puppets’ workshop.  Can you guess what it will be?

 

PBS TV here come Wump Mucket Puppets

PBS TV here come Wump Mucket Puppets

We have been informed that our guest segment on “The Art Show” has been picked up for national distribution on PBS television stations in major markets.

In late summer 2016 two TV crews interviewed me for the segment that was included in the CET public television program The Art ShowCLICK HERE TO WATCH

I am not certain at this time when and where the guest segment will air around the country at this time.  As soon as more info is available, I will be sure to share it.  Many thanks to CET TV producer Don Hancock (who has a few Emmy Awards with his name on them) for letting me know this exciting news.

Valentine’s Day Special Offer

Valentine’s Day Special Offer

Wump Mucket Puppets  our clients! We are having a Valentine’s Day Special Offer SAVE $25 when you book two of our kid-pleasing puppet shows. Book one of our shows to be performed in 2018 and receive a $25 DISCOUNT on our Halloween or Christmas shows, performed in October or December 2018.

This offer is good for shows booked in February 2018.  Travel fee additional , a total will be quoted when booking a show.

It’s a great way to bring quality arts programs to your school, library, daycare center, or special event. Have a question? Call or text Terrence Burke at 513-370-9803 or through our website contact form CLICK HERE

Who wants a Wump Mucket Puppets sticker?

Who wants a Wump Mucket Puppets sticker?

Our new stickers are here!  5000 of them!  Would you like one?  Join our Facebook page and leave a message.  We will let you know how you too can have a new Wump Mucket Puppets sticker.

This sticker is an updated version of the “puppet burst” artwork that was created by Lara Rumizen a year or so ago.  The new stickers really show the detail of Lara’s art. The Wump Mucket Puppets logo has been tweaked a little bit, adding a shadow and glow to the words to make them more readable.

Wump Mucket Puppets sticker

Wump Mucket Puppets sticker. Art by Lara Rumizen, logo by Terrence Burke 

Happy Holidays 2017

 Happy Holidays 2017

Please enjoy this short video featuring Coleman the Sasquatch:

What a wonderful year 2017 has been from Wump Mucket Puppets

We have has the pleasure of performing for so many happy children and their families over the year.  Your laughter and smiles are precious gifts.  Thank you for letting us share joy with you through the magic of puppetry.  Have a wonderful holiday season and a fantastic 2018!

                                   -Terrence Burke, creator/puppeteer Wump Mucket Puppets

 

Encore broadcast of our PBS TV debut

Encore broadcast of our PBS TV debut

Wump Mucket Puppets creator Terrence Burke

Did you miss seeing Wump Mucket Puppets on Cincinnati’s PBS television station WCET TV 48 back in January 2017? 

Don’t touch that dial!  There will be an encore broadcast of our PBS TV debut on The Art Show,  Saturday, December 16 at 6PM on CET HD, and once again on Sunday, December 17 at 8PM on CET Arts.

Live outside of the Cincinnati area?  Busy on those nights?  No worries, you can watch the entire show online at anytime here:
http://www.pbs.org/video/art-show-season-6-episode-1/

Wump Mucket Puppets performing at CET PBS television station

Wump Mucket Puppets performing for the CET Kids Klub event in 2014.

Working with the production crew from CET was a fantastic experience for me.  Everyone was great during the two day shoot, and worked hard to make my puppets look wonderful on camera.   I encourage you to show your support of their work, and all PBS productions, by making a pledge of support to CET or your local PBS television station if you are able.

Wump Mucket Puppets photo collage

Original photo collage made to promote the January 7, 2017 broadcast of The Art Show.

After you watch the show, leave a brief message on the Wump Mucket Puppets official Facebook page , and let us know what you thought of our guest appearance.  We love to hear from our friends and fans.  Who knows, maybe one of these days,  Wump Mucket Puppets may have their very own television program! 
Thanks for watching everyone!

Here’s Gourdon! Our new puppet star!

Our newest puppet star has arrived!  Gourdon has joined the cast of “The Kooky Spooky Halloween Show” that we perform throughout October.  Here’s a look back on how this puppet went from a lump of clay, to a paper maché head, and almost making his public debut on live TV, yet to being interviewed for a weekly radio program.

The idea to create a pumpkin headed puppet popped into my head earlier this year when my daughter Eleanor asked me to watch the cartoon “Over The Garden Wall”. In one of the episodes, the two boys visit a village of pumpkin people. They reminded me of the character Jack Pumpkinhead from the Oz series of books written by L. Frank Baum.

So I began sculpting a new puppet…

The new puppet had to wait to be worked on as I toured our “Bee Happy” summer puppet show around Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and even a trip to Massachusetts in August.

Gradually the clay began to “magically” work it’s self into a friendly face that children would enjoy.  I love Halloween, and find the vintage greeting cards that feature pumpkins, witches, and ghosts most visually appealing.  I started looking at lots of great pictures, and added them to a Halloween themed Pinterest page.

Gourdon’s head is made of paper maché, and took me about a two days to build.  I lost count of how many tiny bits of paper it took.  I enjoy this part of the puppet building process, since I can listen to music while working.  I remember listening to Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, They Might Be Giants, Gary Numan and Led Zeppelin while building this puppet.  There is a reason why I always say, “Puppets ROCK!”.

The build was moving along at a good pace.  Things were looking great as I finished the head, and Gourdon started really looking like Gourdon.  I was very happy with our new puppet star, and prepared to sew his body and costume together.  I was booked to make a live TV guest appearance and wanted this to be  his public debut.

Then a bit of a “hick-up” happened after I had finished sewing his inner sleeve and body.  While quickly trying to get the puppet completed for the TV segment, I goofed up and used the wrong pattern on his costume.  It was too small.  I was rather upset, since this puppet has been my project.  In the past, my wife Lara has been the principle puppet builder.  She took a step back to allow me to be more comfortable with sewing, and give me room to learn.  Ugh.  Gordon would not be going on TV.

Fortunately we have a great cast of puppets to “step up” and take Gourdon’s place for the TV interview.  Witch Willie was the best puppet to replace Gourdon.  I have been performing her for over a year, and through the summer, so off to FOX19 she went to make her third live TV appearance:

With this scheduling problem solved, Lara whipped together a fantastic costume for Gourdon to wear for his puppet stage debut at the Behringer-Crawford Museum.  I could hear the children in our audience react to Gourdon as he welcomed them to our show, they love him.  After the show they were thrilled to meet him, with several of the kids requesting to have their photo taken with our new puppet star.

The day’s adventure in puppetry was not over.   After I finished loading-out of the museum, I had to drive back to Wump Mucket Puppets headquarters to unload our  gear, only to head back out to have Witch Willie, Gourdon, and myself record a radio interview on WVXU, Cincinnati’s NPR radio affiliate.

Tune in to Around Cincinnati next week to listen.  WVXU’s John Kieswetter had many great questions for the puppets and myself, making what I am sure will be the fun radio debut of a pumpkin head puppet named Gourdon.