Long leave of absence hopefully over!

Dear friends, thank you for tuning in to this blog when you do. I have not only been busy these past few months, but I have been afflicted with an illness called Graves’ Disease. Essentially it is something going on in my body,possibly my thyroid, that is making my eyes cross, causing terrible double vision and a very wacked-out physical appearance, to be honest. And you know, working close up on things with sewing, and drawing, and especially typing long things to read, got, well, difficult. I hope you understand. But thanks to some strong medications I seemto be getting better ad I feel like writing again.

Since we are approaching Christmas, I thought I would share with you a terrific yet haunting video of a parade of Krampuses. Magnificent costumes on these guys..just look at the variety! My only lament is the use of so much real animal material.

I  wish my Halloween employer, Netherworld, could host some sort of mini-festival of this sort, given that we have several fine Krampuses in our stable of costumed characters. 🙂



Netherworld 2010! PUG!

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 have my “performance” down to a science..let the big dumb jock “alpha male” go first,and get him around the corner & 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 dickhole.

The Vendor, continued.

You may have seen my post about The Vendor, an idea I had for a Halloween or Netherworld(just needs grossing up) costume/puppet combination idea. Now I’ve gotten into more detail about the little residents of the Vendor’s tray,Krunik and Phizti.

Pretty much going with the Kukla/Ollie format again, like Gwinkul and OhNose(one mouth puppet, one glove puppet), the moving mouth puppet is Krunik, who is kind of wormy-dinosaur-like, and Phizti, who was inspired by Aztec art and Spy vs.Spy.

Just ignore the arrows pointing up in these sketches, but I thought a great running gag for these two might be if Phizti’s head can be pulled off by Krunik and Phizti could scream, “Darnit, every time I try to get a word on edgewise you bite my head off! Put my head back on, ya lumpy-headed earthworm!”

Zombie Pigs, Skeleton Vendors

Got a commission to do a zombie pig,and although I do want to keep it pretty much under wraps, here is a sneak peek at the basic head shape so far:

Nothing too terribly exciting yet,but, there ya go.:)

In other exciting news, I attended a meeting of Netherworld employees a few weeks ago, and we sat around and watched clips from several horror movies and discussed acting and character aspects and lots of other good stuff. I managed to snag my boss for a few minutes and tell him about a new character I had in mind, and I should have had this sketch with me.

Even as much as I enjoy operating Mega Mouth, I’d like to take a crack at having my “own” character, something hand-puppet related,and be out in the parking lot. This particular character might be too cute and cheesy here, but could really be gunked-and-goried up if need be.

and as always, be sure to check out Notes from Mother and Sticky Dumbness today, too! Both are updated!

Netherworld Actor Awards, 2009

Last night I won an award–not the full trophy award, but a certificate that I had been nominated for “Best New Puppet Actor” at our Netherworld Actor Awards. I do believe if I had worked more days and been a  bit more of a visible presence, I would have earned the full bada-bing trophy honor. Just wait till next year!

Even so,I am very excited and honored. Maybe it’s just a printed-out certificate, but for me it’s a badge of accomplishment and acceptance into the fold.

I’d like to thank my bosses, all my new friends,the wardrobe peeps,the paramedic who put ice on my face after I got konked in the eye,and of course, my big, barnacled,beautiful buddy,Mega Mouth.