June 7th, 2008

b&w typing

"Puppet Cinderella Go!" or "...boy are my arms tired."

I'm sitting backstage at the church where we're putting on Cinderella. We just did our first show with an audience and while the house was not exactly packed it was gratifying to actually perform it in front of an audience. All the rest of the shows I've been in there's been that period of extreme anxiety hoping the show pulls together and then, as if by a miracle everything knits together.
This show I feel like we've been ready to perform it for weeks now. Granted, it's been getting more and more polished with each run through and we're still adding little bits and flourishes to the characters but it's nice to finally be performing it.

It really is something seeing how the show has come together. It's gone from barely controlled chaos backstage to refined clockwork. I handle a LOT of puppets but the one I wrangle the most is the Stepmother. She is one of the heavier puppets. I'm not sure how much...maybe 3 or 4 pounds...which doesn't sound like a lot...until you have to hold it over your head for an extended period of time and THEN put a lot of energy into it trying to get a performance.
I was getting really worried during the rehearsals that he would take the part away from me and give it to Ben since he's stronger. The final BIG scene with her she goes totally off the rails on Cinderella and to help me get into character Theo (the director) gave me a copy of Mommy Dearest to watch. (NO MORE WIRE HANGERS EVER!!!) I kept trying to get it...but rather than feeling the rage I should be channelling, I felt like my arm was about to fall off. It's hard to be really really angry when the only thing you are thinking about is how much pain you are in.

I feel like I have really come far as a puppeteer. I felt like I had been getting the majority of notes...the critiques in character, the constant harping about my levels and I was getting a bit depressed as I was seeing all these other characters really start coming to life and I felt like I still didn't quite know what to do with the Stepmother.

Finally one rehearsal I felt like I had finally got her...and I wondered if Theo had cut her legs off or something under her massive dress because she FELT lighter. My left arm must've finally gotten a clue and put some more muscle on because while she still gets wearying I no longer massively struggle just to keep her aloft by her final scenes. Now she's a real pleasure to run and I felt some sort of sadistic pleasure during our first show when I heard the audience members go "whooaaaahhh..." during the Stepmother's psycho mad scene.

There are party planners and hotel and theater booking agents and all sort of high mucky mucks coming to watch the shows so hopefully all this work will be financially worth it. The big, big show will be on the 21st of June at The Starlight Room in San Francisco which Theo assures us is a big frakking deal.


I am doing okay. I wish I were getting more work...but I've been trying to work on a storyboard portfolio to submit the next time an opening appears. I've got so many things I want and need to work on I get overwhelmed. I've been thinking about a post my sister wrote talking about "large rocks," and how you only have so much container space. If you fill your container with sand...you're not going to have room for your big rocks.
I need to figure out what exactly are my "Big Rocks" and work on them first and find some way to keep myself absolutely accountable. I very much feel like I'm floundering and I don't like it.
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