Here is an amazing interview from the folks at Union Bowl.
Stevie Ray leads you step by step thru the building an Aces of Spaces String Puppet. Each week Steve will teach you how from start to finish to make your puppet dreams come true.
Here is some of the best large scale puppetry I’ve seen! It looks to me like it is a huge animatronic puppet remotely controlled. I’ve been trying to figure out how much each cost and who built them but to no avail. If anyone knows please let me know.
Awesome Puppet talk show called “Good Head!” -in this episode Rudy Bushy talks with Steve Aoki.
Stan Winston School of Character Arts posted my review on Jordu Schell’s maquette sculpting and painting tutorials!
Read my review and then check out these tutorials- they really helped me in my sculpting and painting techniques and great for beginners learning the technique of maquette making.
A. A friend told me about an audition for Poko Puppets produced by Larry Engler, and I got cast and did some work for him. Then Marshall Izen was looking for a new partner. Larry recommended me and I got cast because Marshall’s first pick had a conflict with the Village Halloween parade. So I got the job. Thirty years later, he’s still in my life and I’m still doing puppets. Marshall was represented by TheatreWorks in 1983, and after five years with Marshall, I started a one-man show, also represented by TheatreWorks, called “North, South East and Jim West,” using hand puppets, shadow puppets and cartooning, which Marshall directed. Eventually when Marshall retired, I took over doing the larger puppet shows for TheatreWorks, building on Marshall’s material and adapting it for my own. At the same time, I was supering at the Metropolitan Opera and had the opportunity to develop hand shadows for a production of “Manon” directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.
A. In developing shows, I like to use a variety of puppetry. I find that by changing the visuals, I can keep the attention of a younger audience, so I contrast shadow puppets in one segment with rod or hand puppets in another. Also by segmenting the show, I can hold the young audience members’ attention better than I could with one long story. In conjunction with the variety of puppets, I also demonstrate how the children can make the puppets themselves at home. Hopefully, this will keep them more engaged if they see how to use their own imaginations. I have been criticized for de-mystifying puppetry, but my shows have never been about me showing off, they’ve been about me showing how you can do it too—that it’s easy and fun. I also like the shows to be colorful, and certainly music enhances the puppetry.
A. I try to make my own puppets, especially the ones I show the audience how to make, but I also have Muppet-style host puppets in my programs, and those I will design and then commission professional builders to fabricate for me.
A. In my 30 years, the business end has changed dramatically. We’ve gone from an era of abundant field trip opportunities for touring artists to one where teachers are very limited as to the number of outside activities they are allowed to provide for their students per year. These limitation are due to a variety of factors, including gas prices, budget cuts and standardized testing. Consequently, a booking agent has to adapt to a new playing field and that isn’t always easy. However, there are venues where I’ve been presented for many years, where they’re still selling tickets and filling their houses. I keep working to make the shows relevant to the current curriculum, which helps teachers to justify the investment of their time and field trip allotment.
A. Thirty years of touring has been an amazing experience. You see places you would never have set out to see that are fascinating, fun, some quite beautiful, I don’t think I’ve missed a single contiguous state in the U.S. Beyond our country, I’ve also performed in Bermuda, Canada and Malaysia, the latter booking the result of producers from Kuala Lumpur seeing my show at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York.
A. I always try to enjoy the locale, whether it’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans or riding elephants in Malaysia. I even had a fish pedicure in Malaysia, where little fish eat the dead skin off your feet. It tickles, but the result is amazing—really old baby feet! But I really think the most beautiful place I’ve visited is the California coast highway right here in America. Big Sur is my idea of heaven.
A. My immediate plans are to return to Malaysia this fall with a stop in Borneo, where I hope to keep my head. Solvent retirement is a more distant goal.
Please give! They are so close to their goal and the show is by far one of the best I’ve seen on the internet!
Please join their Kickstarter campaign HERE
So it has been a very long time since I’ve posted last. I’m very sorry, but since the birth of my son last August my priorities have changed and bit and I wanted to focus on my family for a while. Since August 2012 I have made a conscience effort to drop back my workload in some areas and take time to reassess what I am taking on in life.
At the time my son was born I was working a 9-5 job, working on 3 different puppet builds, developing and working on two other projects- not to mention putting the nursery together, attend Prenatal classes and attend a local lodge that I am a member in…whew! I found I was working myself to the bone and my focus was scattered! When my son finally arrived I found no time at all to do anything! LOL I was staying up till 2am working on puppet builds then getting up for 7am for work. This went on for weeks until I finally decided I needed to stop and prioritize things before I burn out and am no help to anyone. I completed the puppet contracts I had and stopped taking future orders until I was able to reassess EVERYTHING.
This Blog started in 2005. I am very proud that it has lasted this long… but not proud as to the content it sometimes consists of. My blogs postings are often rushed and I feel my focus isn’t 100%. My goal for “Puppeteers Unite!” was (as stated on my ABOUT page) to fostered relationships, support, empowered present and future puppeteers by providing and promoting information detailing puppet performances, building techniques, and positive business practices. I feel that in order for “Puppeteers Unite! to truly reach this goal and provide the best service possible, I must set “Puppeteers Unite!” free.
It is time to allow Puppeteers from all over the world to Unite and contribute their unique voice on this blog. I have contacted Puppeteers (some old, some new) to join me on this blog and begin writing and posting their work and news findings. The caliber of artists is extraordinary and I can’t wait to have them join “Puppeteers Unite!”
Over 3-4 months you will see a new design for Puppeteers Unite! and a new cast of writers.
I know this decision is for the best and that “Puppeteers Unite!” will be a better blog for it. So please forgive the lack of posts and be ready for big changes to happen here.
I do occasionally post puppet related news on Facebook so if you want to follow us there: CLICK HERE !