So straight after Buttons I’ve got stuck in making and devising some puppetry for a music video.
It’s for Paul Carrack, singer-song writer, extremely talented touring musician, who has performed with Ace, Squeeze and Mike and the Mechanics, among many many more as well as producing an incredible discography of his own songs, described as the Man With the Golden Voice…
He also happens to be my dad
Should be obvious, You don’t get many Carracks around
My dad had always been a creative inspiration for me. He’s worked incredibly hard to carve a very successful career and is a complete natural at what he does. I couldn’t imagine him doing anything else and that’s the same way that I feel about puppetry. He’s also supported me fully to forge my own career in the performing arts and for that I will always be grateful to him.
He also picked me up from the airport at 2am in the morning when I came back from Poland (When we originally thought we were landing at 10pm – yeah thanks fog in Krakow) So, yeah, he’s a great Dad.
Alas his music genes skipped missed me
But I suppose I’m very good with my hands and got hit full force with the performance gene.
Dad approached me last year-ish to do a music video for him for one of his singles off his latest album Rain Or Shine and I quickly agreed (secretly I have always wanted to do something like this and was just waiting for the right chance to pop along)
At the start of this year (because it can take a while to decide which single will be best, apparently it’s up to a lot of other people) I was given the track Losing You by Brenda Lee.
This song is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking. As the title suggests, it’s about losing a loved one through a break-up of a relationship, that is both gradual and sudden, a love that has ended yet there it still exists in some respect.
Now, the song is full of splendid imagery and I could of gone for a very literal interpretation (I can’t help but think it would have looked amazing with shadow puppetry) but I decided instead to explore the essence of the song.
Here’s my mind-map. I love a cheeky mind-map
My first decision was to go with a table-top style puppet to really give some life to the song, exploring through ‘3D’ rather than ‘2D’.
My next decision…. I can’t quite remember what came first…
I knew I wanted to make a puppet with a chalkboard face. This is something I had explored during Buttons and at one point I we used our moleskin journals as mini ‘chalkboard’ (this might be slightly sacrilege to some journal purists, but it did look awesome)
There was something so beautiful about drawing, rubbing out and refreshing on a surface, particularly how there was always a smudge of chalk still left. It made me think about how memories are constantly revisited and changed after losing someone, they never quite disappear.
I also was quite interested in the stages of grief -shock, bargaining, denial, depression, anger and acceptance – which anyone who goes through a loss, in what ever capacity, will go through. It’s a very human thing in fact it kind of process that you are human. Avoiding fully experiencing these emotions can be more damaging. And I was interested in how these emotions take hold of someone, changing them in a way and leaving there mark.
Here’s me combining both chalkboard, grief and testing out how to show emotion, clearly and subtly. And trying to rediscovering some drawing skills along the way.
But I wanted there to be a sense of hope. (I’m very big on hope) and do I wanted to explore how loss brings about a chance to reinvent oneself and a chance to find who you are. This puppet can literally discover and then draw who she is.
And who is she?
Well that’s for the next blog post when I’ll talk about making her