Update

So the last few weeks have been pretty darn busy. Here’s a run down of a few things I’ve been up to

I’ve been doing R&D for a children’s puppet theatre show and fell in love with the most adorable puppet (It’s also a relief to do something for children!)

I’ve been working hard with the Woodoaks Association with their children’s courses during the Easter holiday and for future events on the Woodoaks Farm

I’ve been editing the Losing You music video

Hopefully I’ll be posting the Losing You Music video in the coming weeks for you all to enjoy!

I’ve been developing workshops for university students

 

Phew!

Luckily I’ve managed a cheeky rest break over the Easter break and I certainly needed it.

 

Losing Joy

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So here she is,  puppet for Losing You the music video I am creating for Paul Carrack. She took about a 2 days to make.

Her face is made out of a tube, cut into the shape of a face and painted with chalkboard paint – I had some left over from some other projects.

I didn’t want to cover her completely in chalkboard paint as I wanted her ability to change her appearance and emotions to be exclusively on her face

Her arms are made out of rope covered in black card, her torso was carved out of foam and covered with black card (slightly patchwork-ed, I will admit but it adds to her charm) her legs are rope covered in cardboard then more black card.

Oh and of course lots of glue, ALL the glue

Her arms and head are pretty articulated while I decided to keep her legs quite fixed to keep her stable (I have been planning to puppetry her by myself as the project needs to be done quickly) although they are bent a little so there’s some scope to movement (he sorts that puppets do by themselves without much input)

She also has a bit of elastic in one hand so that she can draw on herself with a piece of chalk. In the other hand she has some black foam so she can wipe her face

Oh and her name is Joy and she was named by Guy Withers – one of the co-founders of Indomitable Productions

So now I’ve made her, I need to discover what she can and wants to do for the video

And then on to filming

How exciting!

 

Losing You

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.

Anyway

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.

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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

Monster Attack! Video

Here is a brilliant compilation of clips from a great day puppeteering at the Museum of London which I was thrilled to be apart of

 

Compiled and directed by Oliver Hymans. Fellow puppeteers were  Robert Beach, Damien Hughes, Paulo Rivera and Will Yates-Johnson

As part of the Museum Of London’s Monster takeover project and the National Big Draw campaign, young visitors to the museum joined professional puppeteer Oliver James Hymans in creating a giant monster puppet as unique and lively as London. The monster puppet was created throughout a week in October at all three Museum of London sites where the unsuspecting visitors witnessed the friendly fiend come to life at the Museum of London on Friday 1st November.

Experimental Monster

In-between a sea of proposals and pitches this month I’ve been playing with my puppet making. (Possible procrastination puppetry)

I made this guy as a sort of ‘doodle’, just to test joints and ideas before I embark on a proper puppet. His head works so lovely!

 

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Today I was just seeing what this little guy can do (he still needs a lot of work) and whether it’s possible to puppeteer something on your shoulder (Quite hard to tell!)

 

Photo on 08-11-2013 at 12.30 Photo on 08-11-2013 at 12.31 #2