2012 was a remarkable year for Wump Mucket Puppets.
I performed the final show of the year last night for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati. It’s one of my favorite places to perform. Why? Read on…
I was about to bring all of my puppet gear into the children’s theatre when all of the guests and staff were exiting the building. The fire alarms had been set off inside due to smoke in the kitchen area, luckily no one was hurt and the situation was under control quickly. I am glad I was still wearing my Oscar the Grouch hoodie.
When everyone was allowed back inside, I set up the puppet stage and prepared to perform the show. Guests gradually entered the children’s theatre to see the show. Then it was showtime! Everything went well, the guests sang along to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, joined in for a few knock-knock jokes, and had some fun. During our post-show meet & greet the puppets met a few of the children in the audience and passed out coloring sheets (with a few extras for later).
I then began to pack up the puppets, sound equipment, and stage when a volunteer brought three children into the theatre. She told me that they were with a sibling who had just been admitted to Children’s Hospital and had driven from Portsmouth, Ohio, about a two hour drive from Cincinnati. The volunteer asked if I would bring the puppets back out for these children. I didn’t miss a beat and brought out Cyril for some friendly chit-chat and a tune. Coleman then shared a couple of his knock-knock jokes and talked about the Bengals with the two boys and The Reds with the young lady. Finally G’Wazzl barked “Jingle Bells” for the kids and wished them a good night and happy new year. They left the theatre with some of our coloring sheets and smiles on their faces.
Wump Mucket Puppets Terrence Burke with Coleman the Sasquatch at Ronald McDonald House Cincinnati
This is exactly why I am a puppeteer. To bring a bit of happiness and joy to children through my puppet characters.
As I think about 2012, I have so many happy puppetry memories, here are a few:
The puppets performed to HUNDREDS of children and their families.
We brought the puppet show to the inner city and out to the country.
Two Cincinnati morning television shows and a radio program has us on the air as guests!
The first issue of Wump Mucket Puppets Comics was published and given away on Free Comic Book Day.
G’Wazzl and Coleman “launched” a U.F.O. from Fountain Square and Cyril sang a version of the WKRP in Cincinnati theme during the same show.
Best of all, I had a fantastic time sharing my love of puppetry with so many happy people. Thank you for an amazing year, come see the “puppets rock” again in 2013!
Cyril and Coleman will be chatting about our big show on Fountain Square this coming Saturday, September 15th at 3pm and 5pm as part of the Live It Up Downtown event. The event is family friendly & FREE and open to the public. We hope you can join the fun!
If you are one of our many out of town fans, we hope to have a recording of our television appearance available for your viewing pleasure.
Performing our shows at Julian’s Deli in Loveland, Ohio (next show on 7/15 @ 2 pm!) has inspired me to create a new puppet character based on the one and only Loveland Frog! What? You’ve never heard of this strange creature? The Loveland Frog hasn’t been seen in many years, so I am writing a skit for the show titled “The Legend of the Loveland Frog” and hope to bring this little cryptid some long overdue recognition.
Here are a few sketches that Lara and I have come up with as we develop this new character for the puppet show.
And here is a short video with me working out the puppet’s voice with a snippet of a song:
The ball is rolling for this new puppet character, soon we’ll need a name. Any thoughts?
Who ever heard puppets on the radio? That’s preposterous! Perhaps, yet somehow it worked for Bob Smith and Edgar Bergen. Last night Wump Mucket Puppets made the leap from the puppet stage to the air waves on Cincinnati’s NPR radio station WVXU 91.7 FM.
Baby, if you’ve ever wondered, Wondered whatever became of me, I’m rockin’ with the puppets in Cincinnati, Cincinnati, WUMP.
Cyril at the WVXU FM studios
Don’t touch that dial! Wump Mucket Puppets are coming to a radio (or computer) near you! You read that right puppet pals, the Wump Mucket Puppets will be guests on Cincinnati radio station WVXU (91.7 FM) during the “Around Cincinnati” program that will be broadcast Sunday June 17th from 7 to 8 pm. Don’t worry if you miss the show, WVXU will have a mp3 archive of the program available on Monday June 18th.
Cyril, puppeteer Terrence Burke, and Coleman at WVXU FM
The puppets and I had a grand time being interviewed by host Lee Hay and hope that you will tune in to hear the program. Some of you may know that a few years before the puppets came into my creative life, I produced and hosted “Doctor 13’s Audio Lab” on Cincinnati’s community radio station WAIF FM from 1993 to 1999. It was fun to be back in a radio station again.
What a wonderful day it was to be a puppeteer in Cincinnati, Ohio! The Wump Mucket Puppets made their debut performance at the Youth Arts Stage at Summerfair Cincinnati and it was LOTS of F-U-N! Many thanks to our GREAT audience, you were a pleasure to perform for.
Not only was this performance fun to do, it adds Wump Mucket Puppets to the list of fine puppeteers who have performed their act at historic Coney Island Park where Summerfair is held every June. What list is that? You may have heard of a couple of these folks: Tony Sarg, Sid & Marty Krofft, Larry Smith, and I am sure many others. WOW! That’s practically a “who’s who” of American puppeteers!
As Coleman sings in his “Things That I Dream” song, “These are the things that I dream, and somehow they seem real to me”. I am now living my childhood dream of being a performing puppeteer, and it is very real to me. May this dream never end.
At last, a bit of time to update our friends and fans before we start our BUSIEST month yet! Wump Mucket Puppets will be performing 6 shows during the month of June 2012, and we couldn’t be happier. Well Coleman is a little cranky, and has asked for a second air conditioner for his trailer, maybe next year “furry guy”.
First a little recap of our May shows! Free Comic Book Day at Maverick’s Comics in Finneytown was a BLAST! Thanks to all our super-fans who came to the show to hear Coleman “sing” the Batman theme song. WHAT! You missed this historic performance? Fear not good citizens, we have been asked to return for Free Comic Book Day 2013! So mark your calendar right now for Saturday May 4th 2013! Ka-Pow!
Speaking of comics, we are nearly out of the first printing of issue number 1 of our very own mini-comic. If you would like a copy for your comic collection, send us a message from our contact page. We’ll let you know how to get a FREE copy. The comic has been so well received by our fans, issue 2 is in the works. It tells the soon to be legendary tale of how a certain Sea Serpent and a Sasquatch first met!
While we are on the subject of art, Wump Mucket Puppets very first fan (really gang she’s been here since the start!) Eleanor Burke (age 7 1/2) has created the concept for our special Summerfair Cincinnati coloring page. She has been watching her daddy draw his puppets and came up with this very cool (and colored!) piece of artwork!
Come see our show at Summerfair Cincinnati on Sunday June 3rd at 12 noon for a coloring page version of this original piece that is now part of the Wump Mucket Puppets art archives.
Our May performance at Julian’s Deli in Loveland was lots of fun and we had a ball meeting new friends and fans. We hope that you’ll come see us there on July 15th at 2 PM. Performing in the city of the legendary Loveland Frog has inspired the “puppet construction department” to begin sketching ideas for a new puppet character to join our little troupe. What would YOU name a strange frog-like creature? Ribit!
Finally, work on the video starring G’Wazzl for our artist pal Andy Finkle is making progress! We think that you will really get a chuckle out of this one and we’ll upload it as soon as it’s finished.
What a day it’s been! I did not sleep very well last night as I anticipated my guest appearance on Cincinnati television station FOX 19’s Morning Xtra program this morning. Of course a few minor things happened as I prepared to leave Wump Mucket’s super secret HQ in Northside. The GPS would not stay in it’s base, so I left it on my lap, then there was traffic on the highway due to an accident (with 4 fire trucks!), and finally the @#$!ing GPS directed me to the BACK of the TV station! Argh! Good thing I left early.
Cyril at FOX 19
Everyone at FOX 19 was very friendly and made me feel welcome. I hope that they will invite me and the puppets back on in the not too distant future because Coleman is rather ticked off that he didn’t get to come along. The things I do for these silly puppets!
Terrence and Cyril in the Green Room at FOX 19
For those of you who missed the show, or live outside the Cincinnati area, here’s a link to the video:
Thanks Frank, Tracey, Sheila, and the entire FOX 19 crew, you know that PUPPETS ROCK!
In less than 48 hours Cyril the Sea Serpent will have made his broadcast television debut. We hope that you will watch us on FOX 19’s Morning Xtra show on Wednesday May 2nd at 9 AM. If you live outside of the Cincinnati area, don’t worry, we’ll be sure to post a link to the video later in the day.
I am excited (and a bit nervous) about the idea that my puppetry is about to take a giant step forward. My childhood dream of being a performing puppeteer came true in 2010 and has gradually gained a steady audience since. Who knows what will happen next?!?
Things are about to get very busy for me and my puppet characters. We have a few new songs and funny bits to perform for our fans, our first mini-comic is ready to read and color, and perhaps a surprise or two. Thanks to all of you who read my blog, follow us on Facebook & Twitter, watch our videos on Youtube, and most of all attend our puppet shows.
Here’s a fun little video of my daughter (and future puppeteer partner) Eleanor singing with Cyril, feel free to sing along if you know the tune.
You read that right, we are “expanding the brand” a little bit by creating a home made comic book to take our puppet characters on adventures beyond the puppet stage.
My love for comics probably started a short time after I became “puppet crazy” in 1969. This was due to the fact that I was five years old, and still learning to read. The superhero comics were a favorite, yet I was always interested in the comic versions of my favorite Saturday Morning cartoon characters. We didn’t have DVDs back then, so if you wanted to see Bugs Bunny on a Tuesday afternoon, you had to pick through your pile of “funny books” and read about that “wascally wabbit”. Those were the days!
When I thought about the similarities of puppet shows, cartoons, and comic books I had one of those “eureka” moments. The Wump Mucket cast was a little hesitant at first, yet with a bit of cajoling (and some cookies for Coleman) they agreed to have their likenesses appear in print. I am thrilled to be able to release our first comic on Free Comic Book Day, May 5th 2012 at Maverick’s in Finneytown. More info here
For those of you who would like to obtain one of these certain collectables, I will save a few that you can send away for through the mail. Start saving cereal boxtops.