October 7, 2007
Hope never dies…

…That I’ll achieve the goal of one posting here per month. Not a question of public relations but just a desire, above all, to take a regular span of time and look at what’s happening in life, both onstage and off. Retrospection isn’t the most important thing in life–the most important thing is whatever I’m doing right now–but it’s not smart, when you’re calling yourself The Independent Eye, to lose perspective.

Since June, life has been pretty much a single texture, with sudden little spikes in the blood pressure’s Richter Scale. I’ve been seized by puppet fever. In July I used my frequent-flyer mileage to attend Puppet Rampage in St. Paul, MN, a five-day national festival of puppetry: some dull, some totally conventional but luminous, some wildly inventive but half-baked, and some unforgettable. 27 shows in 5 days, plus workshops & non-stop socializing. It only happens every other year, and I can see why, but earnestly planning for 2009 in Atlanta, and want desperately to get invited to perform.

So, back at the ranch… We began in August working with a dozen other artists in The Mythic Kitchen, blending the heavy tang of myth with the gritty yams of reality. We meet twice a month for exercises, improvisation and staging experiment, some devoted to Descent of the Goddess Inanna, which we’re restaging next spring with a larger cast and total redesign, and part to new, shorter pieces designed for informal settings. First up is The Shadow Queen, adapted from an ancient Chinese story of a king, grief-stricken at his queen’s death, who finds solace in the magic of a puppeteer who brings her shadow to life. But what happens when the shadow screen comes down?

So now the characters are being born. Clay model, plaster mold, pouring the polymer casting compound, opening the mold, then the sanding, the painting, the eyes, the costuming–and then the rehearsals begin. I guess part of the charm is Victor Frankenstein’s ambition to create life out of lifelessness–or is that what any gardener does? The first moment the puppet comes alive, sometimes even as an unpainted white blob, it’s a bit like your child’s first word or first laugh–the first time you see a sentient soul in there.

And now we’re gearing up for another round of Dream House–two showings at the end of October and good possibilities for something in Ukiah or Willits the following month. And hoping to bring it to Seattle next year. Just finished editing an 8-minute trailer which is now on YouTube. A first. We join about 60 million other people in bringing our electrons to world consciousness.

Enough for now. I’m getting goofy.
Peace & joy–