We haven’t been able to be in the Spook Show for a while as it hasn’t been able to be in its usual venue–long story. But, I do have lots of fun mementos and photos, including the rather extensive collection of costumes that Gruno and Gliz have accumulated. Here are a few:
I know it’s after Halloween, and I have a lot of my own puppet stuff to post, but I thought I’d share something with the arachnophiles out there.
Folks,I have not had any timeto blog and be part of the Halloween Countdown.I promise to make it up to you with a huge Halloween related post in the next day or so, and THEN you will see!
In the meantime, I am giving you something fantastic. Not puppetry, but deals with costumes and makeup.
Are you ready for silly color test footage of Boris Karloff in Son of Frankenstein??Here!!!
Steve and I traveled to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens yesterday to view the scarecrows. I admit, I was prepared for the worst, after the staff,crowds,and weather mangled my entries last year. However,The Mummycorn was not only fully intact, but looking great. It was also in a spot in which certain photos made it look truly as if it were stalking through the woods! Check these out:
At the Southern Museum in Kennesaw, Vapor and I did almost sixteen performances in two consecutive nights, adding a couple of shows due to popular demand. The occasion was an event called “The Haunted Museum”, which was for older kids and adults, and an all-ages Halloween festival took place on the same site. The show was called “The Tale of the Screaming Skull”, and uses total audience participation. I performed it in an adorable little depot across the street from the museum,which made the perfect puppet theater.
I made hats, each with the face of a character in the story, and once the audience knew what as going on, the kids were falling all over themselves wanting to play characters in the play. We had a great time, and my sixteen different dads out of the audience, who played my Screaming Skull, were terrific.
Many thanks to Laurel, who coordinated the Halloween festival and treated me like royalty while i was there. Steve also came on the second night, dressed as a Ghostbuster.
I have still been working my tail off this Halloween season, and finally I have a chance to show you my new puppet partner at Netherworld. Last year, it was big, bad Mega Mouth; this year I am teamed up with Pug, a vicious, red-eyed, carrot-toothed denizen of the corridors.
Isn’t he amazing, folks? He feels like he’s about the size of a small car. He’s heavy and takes some real turbo-strength to operate him properly, but the effect is well worth it.
I do not give a halfway presentation with this puppet.I push it, suddenly, roaring right out into people’s faces, biting and snapping, red eyes flaring,then pull it quickly back into the darkness to hide for another ambush. It takes incredible strength to do this, and I give it my all, which is why I tear myself to pieces every night that I am operating it. Employees have lamented that I am not there more to operate it, but this is why.I want to work Pug, and I want to do it well, or I don’t want to do it at all. Unfortunately, this means giving me several days of work followed by several days off to repair myself!
It also takes some brains to operate Pug, and other big puppets of this ilk, without getting beaten up by the unruly public. Stupid guys, always in an effort to impress the other numbskulls in their group, will often dive on the puppets, or gang up and all push the puppet at once, which can knock the puppeteer off balance, hit them in the face or head with the machinery, and do all sorts of collateral damage to the equipment itself. Yet our employers want us to get aggressive with the public and really SCARE them, freak them the hell out. So you have to learn and understand how to be a good “predator”…:)
I have my “performance” down to a science..
Usually I can tell that the guy in the front of a group, especially if he has big baggy pants, is gonna be trouble. I hate to miss out on pummeling him, but it’s just as much fun keeping him from doing stupid stuff(so he can be cool in front of his friends)by splitting him up from his group.
I let the big dumb jock “alpha male” go first,and get him around the corner and out of the way, THEN attack the rest of his group. If he is separated from his group, he can’t impress them by being a butthead.I also make sure I only chew at people minimally–I give them a good chomp, for sure—and then retreat quickly back into the dark so they don’t really have a chance to do anything to the puppet and me. Then once the rest of the people are hurriedly streaking by, thinking, “oh, it’s not gonna come out again, we’re safe”, I come roaring out one last time and get the straggler, the one who thinks he’ll get away by being at the end of the group!
Anyway, it’s been a really fun season. I know my appearances have been sporadic, but it’s really all my little body can handle.
I’ve been working very hard this Halloween season, hence my sad, sad little Halloween countdown. And my Mummycorn scarecrow did NOT win a prize at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens(getting a little bit tired of all the work, effort and money going into something that gets completely destroyed, truthfully).
But, work is good, and boy have I been workin’. In the latter half of every week, I work The 25th Annual A Tour of Southern Ghosts at Stone Mountain Park.
They are trying something radically new, using me this year. After hearing the tales told by the six different storytellers around the antebellum plantation buildings, guests finally arrive at the end of the tour and gift shop. There, a more humorous presentation is given, usually told by a sort of carnival barker-type person(my new coworker Jon!) who pretty much gives a commercial for the Tour’s creators, ART Station. ATOSG is really a fundraiser for ART Station, and we also must mention the sponsors, talk about the items to be found in the Ghostly Gift Shop and so forth. But the main part of the spiel contains very corny ghost jokes and puns, and I thought that this might be a perfect vehicle for one of my ghost puppets. I inquired about it to ART Station, and to my great surprise, they were interested. Long story short, I auditioned for them and brought Vapor, although I ended up using Misty, a new female ghost puppet created from my ghost called Phantz.
Here’s Misty and me by lantern light. Boo, y’all!
This Halloween Season I am participating in ZombieWalk Atlanta 2010. My pal Smits is coming down from Nashville to walk with me and we came up with quite the sordid mess for our costumes. She will be a zombie Beatles fan, and I will be a zombie puppeteer!
This is a sketch for the puppet,Little Jed, that I intend to take along with me;
and here is the finished Little Jed. He is named after a rather amusing friend of mine whose daughter is a big fan of Mo.:)
Then there was the matter of costumes. During a recent visit to my house Smits joined me in the immense trashing of clothing for our zombiefied outfits. I cut up, bloodied and filthified my old Puppatoons logo shirt and jeans, as well as a dress she scored at Goodwill that had a definite retro flair to it, as if she had worn it in the sixties.
I think they came out quite well, eh?
Last but not least came the zombie makeup. We visited Atlanta Costume, where we picked up a bottle of liquid latex and a small palette of “dead” selection of Ben Nye makeup.
Five minutes into playing with the makeup I was hooked:
Oh, what fun we are going to have. 😀