Bucket Gulch or BUST!

Bucket Gulch or BUST!

Bucket Gulch or BUST!  Wump Mucket Puppets western-themed puppet show Tales from Bucket Gulch is ready to hit the road, with the cast members very excited to be performing a new show for our fans this summer.  We are thrilled to be featuring a new puppet star too, Sarsaparilla the Cow!  The show opens with a lively tune and a tall tale about biscuits told by Miss Jacqui the Jackalope.  Next Unka Unka and Kitty will be digging for gold.  What will he find?  This is followed by the story of The Cow Who Wouldn’t MOO, starring Coleman, Reg, and Sarsaparilla.  There’s even a funky dance break for everyone to dance too!

Sassy, as we like to call her, recorded an interview with fellow cast member Coleman the Sasquatch at Cincinnati’s NPR radio station 97.1 WVXU last week.  Be sure to listen to it on the “Around Cincinnati” program, Sunday June 3rd at 7 PM.  We think that you will get a kick out of this radio interview, it was LOTS of FUN to record with host Jim Stump.  Listen to the program online at: WVXU.org

Our puppets will be on TV too!  Be sure to watch Coleman, Sassy, and their puppeteer Terrence Burke, as studio guests on Good Morning Cincinnati at Local 12 WKRC TV.  We’ll be LIVE on Tuesday June 5th at 9:40 AM.  Watch the fun as we chat and MOO about our performances at local libraries in June.  These appearances are always exciting, with Sassy looking forward to be making her Cincinnati live television debut.  Don’t miss it!  You can watch online at: Local12.com/watch

Be sure to come and see Wump Mucket Puppets this summer.  We have many FREE shows to attend throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, even New England!  Tales from Bucket Gulch is a great family show, perfect for children ages 3-10 and the young at heart too!  Our complete tour schedule can be found right here.

Be sure to get one of our new coloring pages drawn by artist Lara Rumizen.  These are only available at the puppet shows.  When you have colored it in, please share your art with us on the official Wump Mucket Puppets Facebook page.

See ya at the puppet show buckaroos!  Bucket Gulch or BUST!

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.

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

Meet and greet fun

Here are a few photos from a recent show while we meet our fans.

Our audience means so much to us, and we enjoy meeting with you very much, hearing your thoughts about the show, or give one of the stars a scratch on the back.

Find out if we are performing near you by visiting the Wump Mucket Puppets schedule page.

Sasquatch SLAM dunk!

Here’s a fun photo of Coleman the Sasquatch taken before our performance at The Goddard School in Cincinnati, Ohio this morning.

While Coleman may be a bit short to make a “Squatch dunk”, I will share that I did play on a church league basketball team when I was in high school many decades ago.  Our team wasn’t the best in town, yet we all had fun playing together.  I recall my best game, we were getting stomped on.  Everything I threw towards the hoop went in.  I had a “ball”.  That’s what it’s all about!

Wump Mucket Puppets can bring LOTS of fun to your school, library. or special event.  Please see our contact page to get in touch with us.

Giving thanks in 2017

Giving thanks in 2017

Wump Mucket Puppets - A Puppet Rocker's Blog

It is the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2017 as I write this blog.  Coffee has been made, my children are still sleeping, and our new cat Piper has been fed (more on her in a bit).  2017 has been another year of growth for myself and Wump Mucket Puppets.  

Look at the SMILES! @fallfeastcincinnati #Thanksgiving #FallFeast #Cincinnati #puppeteer #shareJOY

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My puppets have performed for so many people this year, including our fourth year at Fall Feast Cincinnati on Thanksgiving Day.  It was during these performances that I began to think how fortunate I am to be a puppeteer in the age of instant digital entertainment.  It takes time, including many late nights, some frustration (especially with using computers), and lots of hard work to get to where I am now.  What the audience sees onstage is thirty minutes of fun, that has taken many, many weeks of puppet building, script and song writing, and prop building/painting.  And I love every step of producing a puppet show. It thrills me that my audience is enjoying it too.  I am thankful for having the opportunity to perform for so many children.

Our pal Alex loved Q.B. at @fallfeastcincinnati #Thanksgiving #FallFeast #Cincinnati #puppeteer #shareJOY

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So why do I puppeteer?  Why spend weeks working on a puppet that will be performing for only five minutes in a show?  Why do I drive hundreds and hundreds of miles around the country to reach my audience?  The answer is one word, LOVE.  I love what I do.  I love to hear children laugh and clap when my characters perform.  I love having a parent tell me that their child sings my silly songs at home.  I love when my son helps me set up the stage and sound equipment, or when my daughter gives me feedback on a puppet design or song idea.  I love sharing joy through puppetry.

And speaking of love, we have a new family member, our family adopted Piper this past week.  She came to us through Cincinnati Cats, she is eight years old and blind.  Piper has won our hearts with her charm and cuddling.  

Meet Piper, our new family member. She is eight years old and blind. #adoptedcat #blindcat #cat

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So long October


So long October, you were windy, sometimes hot, sometimes cool, a bit wet at times, but always fun when performing Wump Mucket Puppets’ Kooky Spooky Halloween Show.

That’s the trouble with performing a holiday puppet show, I guess.  Just as things are rolling along at a good pace, the month ends with the holiday that you have been celebrating.  Tomorrow morning I will close the 2017 run of TKSHS (that’s short for “The Kooky Spooky Halloween Show) at a private school performance in the Cincinnati area.  It’s been a great month, and brought my puppetry to several new places too.

We opened at the beginning of the month with the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, Kentucky.  What a wonderful place this is for children!  My kids loved visiting here when they were younger, bringing back many happy memories of those years to me.  The little ones in the audience were great, and I am happy to share that I will be back there on December 16th at 2PM with our Frozen Follies holiday show -so mark your calendars now.

Half way through the month we were at our final outdoor show of the year at the West Chester Pumpkin Fest.  As the opening entertainment for the event, the audience grew as the show was performed.  What started as a few dozen people in the seats, grew quickly into hundreds!  Thank goodness the wind wasn’t too strong.

A few days later the show made a special stop to visit with our pals at the Our Daily Bread Kids Club in Over-The-Rhine.  This was our second time donating a performance, and although the audience was small, I could tell that our silliness was enjoyed BIG TIME!   Look at this very thoughtful card that our pals sent.

This card made my day, knowing that my puppetry was enjoyed and brought smiles to young faces.  Thanks Our Daily Bread pals!   I look forward to my next visit with you.

Our furthest performance of the month was at the Tipp City Public Library, where we were the featured entertainment for the library’s Halloween Family Night.  We were greeted by several teenage helpers, that were great in getting the stage and sound equipment into the library on a chilly evening.  I was told that this library had not had a puppet show in several years, so the large audience was very welcome.  Thank you for having us Tipp City, we hope to see you again soon.

As the month got closer to it’s end, I performed our busiest day with two library shows scheduled.  The day started very early for me, 4:40AM to be exact.  For one reason or another I awoke before the alarm clock to find that the power was out.  I suppose this is good, since I had an hour on the road to our first show at the MidPointe Library in Trenton, Ohio.  This is another new library, and our audience was very welcoming.  I enjoyed meeting the children after the show, especially the three year old girl who dressed-up as Dorthy Gale from The Wizard of Oz (my all-time favorite film).

After loading out of Trenton, and having a bit if mobile phone trouble, it was South to visit the Reading branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.  Once again, a new library for the puppets to work their magic (let’s keep this up!).  I arrived early, allowing me a leisurely load in and set-up.  The Reading branch is a new library too, and the community room that I performed in has a door that allows performers to get very close to the building.  I love easy load ins, and should offer awards for such places.  Here’s the poster that was made by the library to promote my show:

I shall remember the October 2017 tour fondly.  The puppets and I had fun sharing make-believe to celebrate Halloween.  We met so many great kids and parents, saw lots of cool costumes, and learned which houses give out the BIG CANDY BARS!  Thanks to our audiences, the school, library, and museum directors who booked the show, and our media friends who helped promote the shows on TV and radio.  Have a happy, and safe, Halloween!

 

Everyday is Halloween for us in October

Everyday is Halloween for us in October

I love performing The Kooky Spooky Halloween Show for our audiences.  2017 is the second year that the puppets have brought our special brand of Halloween kookiness to our pals.  We are very grateful that they enjoy our spooky silliness.

For me, Halloween should be a fun time for children (and adults).  Offering us time to  celebrate and make believe together, minus terrifying images or horrific creatures.  Sadly there’s plenty of horror in the real world.  Today’s audience at Our Daily Bread was just that, people having a fun time together with a bit of spooky silliness.

Since opening the show at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, KY, we have performed to hundreds of happy kids that totally understand my style of make-believe.  They have giggled at Unka Unka’s mistakes on holiday greetings (and helped him out), assisted Witch Willie cast her scaring spell (which never seems to work), and told me that they love our new puppet character Gourdon the pumpkin man. 

Gourdon and Witch Willie have even found the time in their busy puppet star schedules to make their world radio debut on Cincinnati’s NPR affiliate 91.7 WVXU ‘s weekend arts program “Around Cincinnati” with a great interview conducted by media journalist John Kieswetter.  This was fun interview to record.  John had great questions for me, and it gave me a chance to talk about the show, our new puppet, and growing up in Andover, Massachusetts.  Enough babbling from me, why not just give it a listen?
Listen to the interview HERE                                    (Photo by John Kieswetter)

No matter how you celebrate Halloween, I hope that you and your family have a fun and safe one.  If you should happen to have children in your life, be sure to bring them to my puppet show.  

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.

Welcome Autumn

The calendar says that today is the first day of Autumn, although in Cincinnati it feels like mid-August.  Yuck.  I am not a fan of hot and sticky weather.

Today will also be the final performance of my “Bee Happy” show for 2017.  That is unless I receive a request to perform it again.  Don’t worry if you missed it, we’ll be bringing it back next Spring.  It has been a great show to perform, and marks the first show that I have sang along to music that I have created, through the puppets of course.  I really enjoy singing, although sometimes it’s been a challenge to sing in the puppet’s voice.

Tonight’s performance will be at the Ronald McDonald House in Cincinnati.  I have been donating puppet shows there since the summer of 2012, and enjoy working with their staff.  While my audience is often small, the children and families who I perform for are appreciative.  I love providing them with a half hour of silliness, and help them with the healing process through laughter.

With October around the corner, our newest puppet “Gourdon” is nearing completion.  I began sculpting his head out of clay in June.  My daughter asked me to watch the TV show “Over The Garden Wall” with her.  In one of the episodes there is a village of pumpkin people who I found most interesting.  They reminded me of “Jack Pumpkinhead” from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. I also enjoy vintage Halloween greeting cards and decorations featuring jack-o-lanterns.   When I returned from our East Coast tour in mid-August I began working on “Gourdon”, using paper mache.  I really enjoyed building our latest cast member.  Please come see him at our October shows.

When “Gourdon” is finished, it’s time to build another traditional hand puppet for our “Frozen Follies” holiday show.  This puppet will be included in our new skit “The Many Names of Santa Claus”.  I will be posting photos to the Wump Mucket Puppets official Facebook page as the building progresses to give our friends and fans a chance to view the puppet building progress.  Please give our page a “like”.  Thanks for reading this. Puppets ROCK!