Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Home!

I'm back from my many trips around the US..Ok really it's only two...and just Atlanta and Denver...but still, I'm home!

Puppetry Festival. wow. I can't even explain it (I can, that's a lie). It was a great festival. In some ways it exceeded Puppet Rampage (the last Puppeteers of America festival in 07) and in some ways it didn't. Overall it was great!

Highlights for me were the shows with excellent storytelling. This festival reiterated to me just how wonderful your storytelling needs to be. When you're in a dark room in a cozy chair and you're averaging 3-4 hours of sleep per night, and your days are very busy, the only thing that will keep you awake is fantastic storytelling. Pretty visuals, beautiful music, and wonderful manipulation are the things that help you drift off to sleep. A good story with good pacing will keep your eyes open.

To the puppeteers of the world: Please surround yourself with good storytelling abilities. Take improv workshops, take creative writing classes, watch good plays and puppet shows, entertain yourself. If you feel you have to stretch something, don't. Stretching for time can often lead to the SNL effect. Think about it. SNL has one punchline that they carry out about 2 minutes longer than they should. Make your point and move on. If you add material, that's okay--but add quality material that will keep me wanting to keep my eyes open. Don't be afraid of using a director. Tighten and strengthen your show by eliminating scenes that don't get you to your goal (whether that be revealing character or plot). Good story can cover a multitude of puppetry sins. It has for me.

I'll try to remember to write more about the festival in detail when I can. I'm still suffering from Post Festival Exhaustion.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hey look, embedment!

So...Found a way to embed it. I think.

You can embed it too. just uh...go to


and copy the embedding code to the right. then embed it somewhere. Like your lawn. But somewhere a lot of people will see it--so like the lawn in your front yard, not the back...my husband suggested the White House's lawn--because he thinks he's funny.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I've not been making finger puppets: an excuse in more than 140 characters

I checked how many puppets I'd made in June. only 21. That's a far cry from my goal of 60 finger puppets/month. like...a really far cry. But I have a good excuse! My dog ate my--er..no...my friggin FIVE cats made me play with them.

Slight detour: We have 5 cats. 3 are 3 months old. We decided about 3 months ago that we'd probably keep them all. However, I do really enjoy seeing the exact same set of worried eyebrows on my friends' faces when they, for the 7th time, ask me, "So have you decided whether or not you're going to keep them?" My husband (yes, I'll blame him) had pretty much declared that we'd keep them all the moment we found out there were only 3. Still, each time the kittens are brought up, someone will ask, "So have you decided to keep all of them?" And they look at me like--if I do, I run the risk of donning a large, floral-print, over-sized mu'umu'u and chasing children down the street shaking a broom at them. To which I say, I don't even know where to buy a mu'umu'u. I do have a husband and a child...hopefully that will keep me from turning into an old cat-lady. And I go back to the husband-blaming I mentioned earlier. Totally his fault. He was allergic for so many years, I think this is his way of falling off the wagon.

Back to the road.
So I really do have a good excuse. I've been working on a very short (30 seconds) video for Etsy.com. They're having a "make us a commercial & you can win some $" contest. So I did. I'm hoping it wins. But I suppose everyone who enters a video into the contest hopes it wins. If they didn't I'd be surprised.

Ok here's where it gets a little "uh oh": They choose the top 25 videos that go to the finals based on the number of views they get! (see? Uh oh.) I'm not sure if it's individual ISP views (meaning that you can view it once from your computer) or if it's the total number of views (meaning you can watch it a few times from your computer). So here's what I ask the 12 of you who read my blog to do: I need you to watch it. And! If you like it, send it to your friends, have them watch it too & tell them that your weirdo-friend made it. If you don't like it, send it to all of your enemies as punishment for being your enemy. Or if you're ambivalent about it, you can send it to your friends as punishment--or to your enemies as a reward.

I've gone on and on about watching it and I've provided you no link by which to see. I'm terrible.
Hooray! I'm not terrible anymore!

Alright then. World: do me proud. pretty please.