autographs

Bifur and Dwalin–Hobbit Dwarf Presents!

Wow. Long story short, I had the extreme privilege of meeting some of the actors who played dwarves from The Hobbit, which may now be one of my favorite movies ever. I and several friends formed a vehemently persistent group of fans who prodded the officials at Dragon Con  to GET SOME DWARVES HERE IN ATLANTA. We succeeded in getting two out of thirteen–William Kircher(Bifur) and Graham McTavish(Dwalin). We had James Nesbitt(Bofur), but he had to call it off at the last minute, and I believe I heard that Jed Brophy(Nori) wanted to come but missed the boat on applications or somesuch.

But of the two we had, Bifur is my favorite, and although I didn’t put together a costume as many of my fellow dwarf-loving friends did(and quite splendidly,I might add),I wanted to show my appreciation. That, from me, comes in the form of a puppet gift, usually in the appearance of my favorite character an actor plays.

I made wee glove puppets of Bifur and Dwalin–very simple and not terribly detailed, but pretty cute if I do day so myself. Here is a  compilation of photos taken by my husband, pal Beth, and William Kircher’s lovely (and very funny) wife Nicole.

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William and MiniBifur!

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Graham and MiniDwalin, whom he said “needed to be sneaking up on me”.:)

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Graham and MiniDwalin seem to be conspiring their next move..will they be getting coffee? Donuts?

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Another pic of William and MiniBifur. He showed off this puppet at a couple of panels afterward.I was so proud!

Here is an interview with William at a Con just a week later, and he shows off the toys he received in his Con travels as well as MiniBifur! 😀

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I do believe they enjoyed their presents.

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Goodbye, MiniDwalin. Serve your master well, with much amusement!

Next post, the warg puppet head I made to show off to the guys!

The two dwarf puppets in their humble beginnings--clothes are being made, features designed.

The two dwarf puppets in their humble beginnings–clothes are being made, features designed.

Mini Dwalin!

Mini Dwalin!

Bifur puppet, affectionately christined "MiniBifur" by his new owner!

Bifur puppet, affectionately christined “MiniBifur” by his new owner!

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Labyrinth Singalong and Interactive experience!

Just spent a fantastic evening at “Labyrinth Sing-Along & Interactive Experience” put on by Heather Henson (and lots of toys and noisy things). It was held at the Center for Puppetry Arts here in Atlanta, and it was an event for members of the Center only.

I’m so proud of Halbag I decided to take him tonight. When we arrived, people in the lobby cooed and fussed over him and little kids went nuts.

Then we received our goodie bags of “stuff we would need” for the evening. The goodie bag, and a few items we got to pick out for ourselves, consisted of two foam rocks, a pair of knockoff  peepers, a wee rattle, a candy bracelet, a party popper,a feather mask, a pair of devil horns, three tiny foam rockets and a launcher, a Sunkist Fruit Gem gummy candy, and a stretchy monster spiky ball thing that lit up when you twirled it around over your head. Oh, and instructions. The instructions explained what you were supposed to do with the goodies at particular times during the movie,such throw the rocks when rocks were flying everywhere, shoot the foam rockets at the fairies, and shake the rattle when Toby the baby cried.

A local comedian joined Heather Henson onstage, dressed as “David Bowie and his Inappropriate Pants”!  Also, several people, probably with Heather, waved various puppet-like things on sticks out over the audience: a barn owl, cloth chandeliers and fabric clouds. We were encouraged to shout at the screen, sing along with the songs(which were captioned),yell and dance, and carry on various acts of foolishness throughout the movie.

Steve with monster ball and rocket launcher

Steve with monster ball and rocket launcher

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Frank Oz’s Dad and me.

This is Mike Oznowicz and me. Besides being very involved in puppetry guilds and organizations himself,and twice president of Puppeteers of America, Mike’s other claim to fame was his son, Frank.
Mike was one of the folks high-up and “in charge” of this particular puppetry convention, but I remember him being an incredibly sweet and down-to-earth man. And funny as hell.I sat at his table at lunch a couple of times and nearly cried I was laughing so hard.
I got to talk to him quite a few times during this festival, and it was he who gave me the confidence to go ask Frank for his autograph.I was young and ambitious and very determined back then to meet and greet whomever I could, but I got a little shy around Frank for some reason. In his thick Dutch accent, I can still hear Mike saying, “Elizabeth, don’t you worry, Frank does not bite. You go and you get that autograph— you’ll see he’s a very nice fellow”.

I had my doubts he could still be alive, but nevertheless, it was with great sadness that I found an obituary when I searched for him online:

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I found my long-lost Frank Oz autograph!

–the one that isn’t on a rubber duck and fading fast. I have it on paper!!!

I got this at the 1993 Puppetry Festival in San Francisco.He was standing with me and some other bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young kids, and I asked for his autograph. After that, he signed a few more, then asked us all if we wanted to go get a beer. I declined, and I’ve kicked myself ever since.