Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Firebird Takes Flight

I was really honored this past fall to puppeteer for the Little Orchestra Society's bold new production of Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite". It was designed by Chris Green and co-directed by Chris and David Neumann, and conducted by maestro Dino Anagnost. The performances were held at the Avery Fischer Theater--Lincoln Center.

Aside from the amazing experience of performing at such an important American theatrical venue, perhaps the true joy of this project was to be working again with the more-than-excellent Chris Green. Having puppeteered his extraordinary puppets before at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, it was truly wonderful to see a new set of puppets crafted with his special blend of mechanical brilliance and re-purposing. I am always honored to work with his puppets and in his dramatic world.

The cast was an incredibly skilled and capable group, and I very much appreciated getting to know their world of New York puppetry. I must give special thanks to Lake Simons and Marc Petrosino, who served as my senior puppeteers for much of the show on the protagonist, Ivan (a 3-person Bunraku puppet). I also enjoyed getting to move the young tiger cub, Amba, and getting to interact with several of the kids after the show (of course as said tiger cub--needless to say, we all learned that day the tigers indeed DO like cupcakes).

This was an intense rehearsal process and and complex show, but I think the team really pulled it off--and nothing could confirm this more than the collective gasps, cheers, and applause of a thousand youngsters in the audience--and of course many youngsters in adult disguise.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gneed Gnomes?

This August I was in New York City, where (amidst moving to a different sublet practically every five days--yikes! Guess summer housing in NY is in demand, to say the least.) I was really happy to work on another project by Tom Lee and Matthew Acheson. I helped build some marionette gnomes and scenic pieces for a new show at the Central Park Swedish Marionette Cottage. It is a cool story that both cute and quirky at the same time, about the history of the Cottage--half real, half fictitious. I also really enjoyed getting to meet Retta Leaphart, a puppet and theater director, who spent many long hours with me paper machie-ing all kinds of gnome-parts, boats, and spaceships.

The show is still at the Cottage in Central Park! It runs for most of 2011, so be sure to check it out if you are in NY!

Many thanks again to Matt and Tom, as well as the other builders and people who helped me in NY. I am so glad to gnow all of you :).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I am really happy to finally post this; after all the driving back and forth this summer listening to the radio (while orchestrating elaborate visual accompaniments in my head), and learning to work with Adobe Flash CS5, I am happy to post this music video extravaganza.

Somewhere between the (wonky) radio drifting to Drake singles repeatedly, and my interest in Mayan glyphs (in part inspired by a very interesting exhibit near the entrance of the British Museum), red birds and beating hearts emerged. Music videos are such an appealing medium to me; I love the potential to create images and stories which are inspired by rhythm and musical motifs, as well as the freedom to to deeply explore fantastic imagery and run away with concepts. Exciting stuff--any of you out there reading who are working on some kind of music video/music driven project and looking for artists...well, I'd probably be more than onboard. :)

Here is the link:

(Note: There is a (short) interactive intro, which it seems not all browsers get along with. If you can't click anything, right click and select the option that says something like "skip forward" or "play ahead". You will get to the music video eventually. I am currently working on piecing together a batch render to make a video for other platforms.)