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Updated: 2018-03-07T10:36:00.989-05:00

 



Back On the Road - and the Street!

2011-05-04T17:09:55.888-04:00

Lots has happened since last we updated... including this!

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We'll be creating videos as we travel around the world (technology permitting), so keep checking back as the tour progresses. Be sure to also check out the official USO blog for pictures and performance updates as well as the opportunity to check out all the other amazing stuff they do.



Great News!!!

2010-09-13T21:24:36.688-04:00

Hey There! It's David...I know I haven't personally been updating this blog as much as I could be lately (my dad reminds me of that fact almost every time we talk...ha!) but I have some exciting news to share that I hope will more than make up for it...

I've just been cast as Princeton/Rod in the Tour of Avenue Q!

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Rehearsals will start late Oct. or early Nov. with the first show of the season opening in Japan in Dec. Once January hits, we'll be on our way back to the States to cross the country. There may even be a few Canada dates, eh. As of right now, I don't have a definitive schedule, but you can bet I'll be posting as I find out more information.



Uke Gotta See This!

2010-08-30T17:36:01.437-04:00

In addition to creating puppet videos, we also travel with a ukulele. Its amazing what a little jam session can do to perk up the room... but adding puppets makes it even more so!

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We Played in Peoria!

2010-08-18T22:37:02.015-04:00

Another round of footage yet unseen to the world is from an excursion we had way back in February - in Peoria, IL. In the theatre world, Peoria has always found itself to be the butt of many a joke (dating back to Vaudeville!), but this adventure took us on a journey through the cosmos...

Recognized as the "largest complete 'to-scale' model of the Milky Way" by the Guinness Book of World Records, this solar system is no small-scale diorama! Spanning over forty miles from the sun to Pluto (yes - I still consider it a planet, Scientists!), this model accurately represents both size and distance of the planets and lesser space bodies.
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With limited time to explore, we made it all the way to Uranus before having to call it a day. I have been sitting on this footage for several months trying to figure out what to do with it, and recently found some inspiration after contacting the creator of the exhibit, Sheldon Schafer. Over the next several weeks we will also be visiting Huntsville, AL (home of the infamous Space Camp) and Houston, TX (where they deal with problems).

Hopefully we'll be able to have some more space-themed adventures in the near future... As you can see from the picture below, we're ready!

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Puppets Are Muggles, Too!

2010-08-10T17:58:20.014-04:00

Hello virtual community!

Recently we were given a three week break from traveling with the monkey, which allowed me time to go through hours of footage we've accumulated over the past few months. I'm happy to say that some of it is usable!

Right before our break, we were able to visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Due to the high volume of muggles trying to partake in the magical atmosphere, Yancy wasn't able to see too much of the streets of Hogsmeade, or the halls of Hogwarts... but we were able to have a quick chat with the Conductor of the infamous Hogwarts Express!

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Exit Row: A New Puppet Heap Web Series

2010-07-20T19:45:49.701-04:00

If you haven't heard of it yet, check this out:

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It's a new web series called Exit Row, created by the folks over at Puppet Heap. We've been following their work since we started building puppets, and recently Kyle even worked with many of their gang at the O'Neill. They are an inspirational group of designers, builders, puppeteers and all-around puppet geniuses who also happen to be a very helpful group of guys and gals. They've been there to answer questions, give guidance, and even a tour or two when Kyle stopped by their place outside NYC a while back.

What's funny about this series is that a few months ago, we started drawing faces on air plane barf bags, both as a cute little joke, and a way to advertise for free. Here's a example of a couple of those little guys:

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The caption we leave reads some variation of this: "Sorry you don't feel so hot. Too bad, this would have made a great puppet." And then we add our web address.

It's cool to see how creative minds can take a similar idea and run with it. Hope you enjoy their series.



Our Latest Dirty Habit...

2010-07-12T19:14:44.324-04:00

(image) Our newest creation was commissioned by FantasyLand Theatricals out of Orlando, FL. I was contacted a while back regarding the possibility of building them a puppet for their upcoming productions of "Nunsense!" and "Nunsense A-Men!" After much discussion, we concluded that this design would be a departure from the traditional Sister Mary Annette - and more toward a saucier, edgier, sexier nun... And thus my ticket to Hell was purchased.
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As women of the cloister seldom expose themselves, we were able to let our imaginations wander beneath the habit. After the initial jokes were made, I realized I would soon have to create breasts for a lady of the lord... Now, I know it sounds juvenile and shallow, but there have been a few past projects where I have avoided anatomy for fear of not doing them justice. However, I am proud to say that I have conquered that challenge and am quite proud of what I created!

So if you happen to be in the Orlando area, check out "Nunsense" and/or "Nunsense A-Men!" opening this week at the Pointe!
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Fishin' for new Puppet Pics?

2010-07-06T01:16:54.145-04:00

I must admit, for a while here on tour, it seemed that Kyle and I were lugging around huge suitcases filled with puppet supplies for nothing...As we've stated before, building on the road can become very difficult without sufficient time and room to spread things out. It often depends on how long we're in a city, what time commitments we have for the show, and a big one...if there is a place to use contact cement since we have to use it outside.The past couple weeks though, we're feeling good! Despite an abundance of storms here in Florida, the rain has stopped at all the right gluing moments. We've also had a couple full weeks in large rooms, and Kyle came back with a big boost of creative energy after the O'Neil...all of this in time for a few custom builds.I took on this one:I call her Pearl...originally I thought she was a Lolli, but I take it back.And this is Brutus...originally Brutus. Both fish are for excellent magician and friend, Jason Hudy who has recently decided to incorporate puppetry into his work.You can see I went for a more raw, fish-scaly look with the combination of reticulated foam and acrylic paint.Right before I had left for tour I built a fish in the same style, very similar to the same basic shape as Brutus here. I really loved the bright colors I could find in the acrylic paint and had always wanted to give this method a shot. The original fish turned out well, but I learned back then what I should do for the next time...See, I had tried to paint the foam after the main shapes were completely glued, which is not really the best way to get the paint on evenly. Now in my defense, I was using a head that had been made over a year prior to it's last minute conversion into the body of a fish, but I learned. This time around, I cut the foam shapes out, but before contact cementing I took the paint and went at it like a kindergarten art class project...skipping the paint brush and just pressing it into the foam with my hands, essentially dying it with the paint. By painting before gluing, I cut the build time by AT LEAST half...pumping these two puppets out faster than I've ever created any ONE puppet (at least that I've liked).Dyeing, you say? So why not dye the foam to begin with, with actual rit dye?Well to answer the question I'm pretending that you just asked: Because we don't want the room charges for staining the hotel bathtubs. And because the colors really pop with some of the acrylic paints I've found. Rit dye is definitely a future venture for us, but I'm glad to have tried it this way too.Note: If it's something you plan to do yourself in the future, just keep in mind, there will be a stiffness to your puppet that you wont have with rit dye. It actually adds a certain solidity to the character if you use it to your advantage.[...]



O'Neill Withdrawal...

2010-06-25T22:40:41.209-04:00


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Having recently returned from the 2010 O'Neill Puppetry Conference, my mind is racing with inspiration from being surrounded by so many creatively ambitious souls. Without knowing I was missing it, it was nice to be welcomed home!

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The atmosphere surrounding the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center is a constant buzz of potential, powered by people and resources beyond measure. They are dedicated to the art of producing new art - and they are damn good at it. There is a reason they earned the Regional Tony Award this year!

The Puppetry Conference, headed by Artistic Director (and resident Muppeteer) Pam Arciero, strives to provide the nurturing and challenging lead-by-example approach to the world of puppetry arts, aiming for every student to exit
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the conference having created something that didn't exist
previously. In addition to conjuring new work, the conference is about creating a community of artists - and this particular aspect blew me away. Never before have I born witness to - much less been a part of - such a raw source of life-giving spirits. Puppeteers are (by their very nature) artists who give life to the world around them and can see beyond the surface to the inborn potential below. I feel honored to be a part of their world and can not wait to see what else is in store.
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Our time spent at the O'Neill was only twelve days in the real world, but with everything we managed to pack into every nook and cranny of time it felt like months. We were suspended in a bubble ready to burst at any moment - and when the moment came where we all went our separate ways, that bubble could no longer be contained. So now we find ourselves back in the real world cleansed and renewed by this giant bubble, and ready to take it all on.
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After a week of giving life to the inanimate, the real world seems so full of possibilities!



BALTIMORE: Rich In Culture - Poe In Spirit

2010-06-05T20:16:14.573-04:00


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A few weeks ago we took in the sights around Baltimore including an Orioles game at Camden Yards, enjoying the tourist-laden Inner Harbor (which included witnessing a street performer unexpectedly stabbed by his volunteer - don't worry, he is ok), visiting the Curious George exhibit at Port Discovery, and absorbing the city's rich history by visiting Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum!

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Jeff Jerome, member of the Poe Society and curator of the House & Museum, graciously invited us into Poe's former residence at 203 Amity Street. Over the course of the afternoon we had a fantastic time with Mr. Jerome as he enlightened us about the house and Poe's ties to Baltimore. Not only did we learn a great deal about this famed author, but we made a friend as well.

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Mr. Jerome was an amazingly knowledgeable host and his passion is evident. We couldn't have asked for a better experience! As a performer, he was unbelievably easy to work with and even offered his own thoughts on what would make for good video material.

As you can tell, we can't say enough about how pleasant an experience we had that day. As if that weren't enough, I'm nearly done editing the video, so soon we'll be able to share that with you as well... but in the meantime, enjoy the pictures!

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Oh, Yes - O'Neill!

2010-06-03T19:04:32.250-04:00

For fear of jinxing my chances, I haven't announced some of the biggest news to come our way in a while...

In just under a week I will be attending the
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So many things happened just right to allow me time off work and the ability to make my way to Connecticut, so I was hesitant to say anything until everything was finalized - but arrangements have been made, time has been taken off, flights have been paid for, and I will soon be surrounded by pure, unadulterated puppety goodness! I will be taking extensive notes and video and will be working closely with Jonathan Little to make sure we both catalog as much material as possible over the ten day intensive.

In other news, we have recently been hired for a few quick builds - one for a magician friend (and repeat customer) and another for FantasyLand Theatricals out of Florida!

Speaking of Florida, the monkey will be bringing us to your good graces soon...

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And we can't wait!



Another Ambiguous (but slightly more fulfilling) Update

2010-04-26T17:06:58.673-04:00

Today we find ourselves on a wifi-enabled bus en route to Baltimore!

Contrary to our recent blogging habits, these past few months have been anything but idle. In addition to now having two puppeteers on the road, we have also made significant purchases to improve the quality of our puppet performances, modified our puppets, met with other puppeteers, and shot videos in Boston, Atlanta, Morgantown (WV), Springfield (MA), on the bus, and a number of other locations. Coming up in the next few weeks we plan on taking our puppets out to see the Orioles vs. Yankees, taking to the ocean for another go at whale watching, and returning to our summertime stomping grounds of the White Mountains of New Hampshire to bring you the views (and possibly the rambunctious weather) from atop Mt. Washington!

With so much raw footage over the past few months, we are still sifting through it all in order to post more videos, but in the meantime feel free to enjoy a recent adventure we had in Boston!

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But wait, there's more...

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Yes... We crashed karaoke night at everyone's favorite prime-time pub - and it was awesome!



Let's Take it Back...

2010-04-06T10:14:00.460-04:00

It's time to rewind and recount because we've been going through some great changes and experiences in the past couple months that we have to share!

BIGGEST CHANGE OF ALL: David has joined Kyle on tour with Curious George Live!, the fun filled family musical...with the curious little monkey everyone knows and loves!

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With that said, now both of the puppetFIX guys are on the road with suitcases full of supplies, their favorite puppet pals in hand, and FINALLY...the opportunity to work together in person again after a very long hiatus.

It's been about a month and a half, and that time has not been wasted. The only way to really get this out will be to break down the experiences in separate posts, some from David, some from Kyle, and now...even some from both of them at the same time, from the same room (or tour bus with wifi)!

Time together has been used to film, network, check out shows, hold impromptu performances...and you can bet this is only the beginning. Check it out, right here at the puppetFIX Blog.



Peter Cottontail

2010-04-05T02:08:43.913-04:00

Happy Easter!

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dztJydSO43uNPeWC8YEJnWZUCfa3JHQCk66UkIsU_CQBIjtEBmYSCN1pM6B1mMEMZu8wD71ZPb1oxNZJsC6Jg' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

Hey there friends, it's Wells. I had some time today to make this little video for you all...do you like my new look? I made the ears myself, I promise...no Easter bunnies were harmed in the making of this film.

OH!...
I've been meaning to tell you, keep your eyes open for new videos of me on my cross country adventure. I started in Chicago, but took a wrong turn somewhere back in the tunnels of the Red Line...good thing I bumped into a familiar friend to help guide me along the way...get ready!



A "Little" Something Special

2010-02-28T19:16:50.840-05:00

If you haven't already seen it, PLEASE be sure to check out our friend Jon's new tabletop puppet piece "I Hate Chores!"

Based on the arduous life of a little boy forced into performing hard labor by his Frank Oz-ian father, this video is just a fun little story with a cute hero and a few laughs thrown in for good measure. Do yourself a favor and click play!

"I Hate Chores!"
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Living Legend Strikes Again!

2010-01-15T01:11:32.718-05:00

Earlier this week I stumbled upon a notice about the release of an amazing new gift from none other than everyone's favorite number enthusiast, Jerry Nelson! His debut solo album Truro Daydreams is a catchy and very personal collection of songs Jerry has been carrying with him for "what seems like two lifetimes!" (Ah - Ah - Ah!)
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Not only does the album sound like a trip through a friend's folk-laden mind, it also feels as though you've been welcomed home. The songs are fun and catchy with an immense amount of passion driving through. It really is an absolute delight!

Another amazing aspect of giving this music a listen is bearing witness to the crystal clear quality of Jerry's voice. I've grown up admiring and relating to Jerry's plethora of characters, finding myself singing along and replaying his performances over and over - and this brand new original musical venture has a few other familiar voices as well! Rounding out the vocal performances are appearances from Kevin Clash, Fran Brill, Tyler Bunch, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, and Stephanie D'Abruzzo!

Although not yet available in a physical manifestation, the album is available for download from Digstation (an independent artist distribution site) which can be found by clicking HERE!



New Fisticuff Puppets Website!

2010-01-07T15:11:50.504-05:00

Happy New Year Everyone!

We thought the perfect way to kick things off, was to give our old website a new look.


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Check it out here:
www.fisticuffpuppets.com


We've got a good feeling some pretty big things are going to happen to us in the world of puppetry in 2010. Now might be a good time to bookmark this page.



A Day at the Beach with Wells

2009-12-29T11:58:19.057-05:00


Hey Yancy,

It's Wells!

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I remembered how you enjoyed the beach last time you went, so I made you this quick video. Nothing fancy, just a little something spur-of-the-moment.

Hope you enjoy!

allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dz3vHHoBFSmUmuwJ1-qT6wSagXDJX_G1NZHeQ7VcU6qs0q7TPpQKZuPCW24D0uDJtbuVu8D8SEE68ufzMzPZQ' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />

-Wells



Avenue Q Audition (part 2)

2009-12-28T16:02:15.576-05:00

When I got to the audition I felt ready and confident in what I had worked on. I had even found a consistent Nicky voice in the past couple days which has always been a hard thing for me. After hearing some pretty great guys while in the hallway, it was my turn. I walked into the room and actually felt pretty comfortable. There were definitely some nerves trying to work their way into the directors line of vision, but I was able to combat them with preparedness.After realizing that I had a ton of material to do, Evan (the director) asked what I'd like to start with. I chose "Purpose" because it was how I had envisioned the audition starting for the last week. Whenever I have the choice to make something happen the way I've envisioned it, I take the opportunity. Tempo wise, I feel like I might have taken it slightly slower than I wanted, but I was able to hit all the acting beats I had been working on so I wasn't too worried about that. Next I did a Princeton scene which felt great. After that I did the scene between Rod and Nicky that sets up "If you were gay", first as Rod, then as Nicky. I was prepared to do "If you were gay" too, but we moved right on to "The Internet is for Porn". "I wish I could go back to College" was next and I was a bit worried what I would sound like after doing Trekkie, but in my search for placing his voice, I think I've found a healthy spot.After "College" it was puppet time. They asked if I would rather put on Princeton or Nicky...a tough choice because Nicky is a cooler looking puppet, but Princeton is Princeton so I chose him. The puppet builder in me really wanted to sit and inspect the design but that's not exactly what you have time to do in an audition so I had to set those feelings aside. They had me start "Purpose" again, puppet in hand (or on hand) to check what kind of Puppet skills I might already possess and to see if I would be right to continue.This is where the puppeteer in me started trying to reassure himself of all he's learned in the past. I'm not sure what I must have looked like but for you're reading pleasure, I've broken my though process down like so:Purpose, ~wow, this grip is different from anything I've built before~ it's that little flame that lights a fire under your a*$... ~hmm, I wonder what it's made of...it's kinda like the king fish puppet built by Henson that I used in Elmo's World Live...Purpose, ~that would make sense, Rick Lyon worked for Sesame Street~ it keeps you going strong ~ooh, remember the acting, I want to punch "full" tank because that's really the operative word, not gas just because it rhymes with the first line~ like a car with a full tank of gas ~yes, got it~Everyone else has a purpose, so what's mine ~puppet acting, make sure he's alive, they don't care how good you sound right now, they just heard you sing...crap what do I do for the penny bit ~ oh look, here's a penny, it's from the year I was born ~watch your syllables ~ It's a siiiiiiii ~loosen the wrist, make it fluid~ iiii-iiii-iiiiii ~this new version of the music is good- oh crap what have I been doing with the arm rod ~ iiii-iii- ign ~do something with the arm rod ~ I don't know how I know ~ act!!! don't forget this means something ~ but I'm gunna find my purpo- "Good, that was great"...The second callback was a success! On to the final, but with a quick stop along the way... Avenue Q Puppet School, a two day workshop involving puppet manipulation and character study to prep for the final callback. This means another trip to New York, and boy will it be fun. This is a chance to get to see how [...]



Merry Christmas from Wells

2009-12-25T19:51:26.475-05:00

I just finished a new Puppet! A little Christmas present to myself...

Wells

It took me a while (I started him back in the spring) but here he is. I tried to do a little video on the digital camera my girlfriend and I got today. Hope it works.

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Happy holidays to all. I hope everyone got what they wanted.

Expect more from Wells in the coming year.




Avenue Q Audition (part 1)

2009-12-21T15:21:16.877-05:00

Hello All,There's a good reason why I have not been posting lately... Now I don't want to jinx this, but since it's puppet related I feel like I couldn't NOT blog about it. As Kyle mentioned I just recently made a quick trip to NYC to audition for Avenue Q! As you might imagine it's the ultimate dream show for us puppet loving musical theater majors, so when they said they'd like to call me back, it took everything not to jump through the ceiling. Adam, the casting director was great and upon realizing I had flown out from Chicago for the audition, offered to let me do the callback via video tape so I wouldn't have to pay the money to fly right back. From the looks of it, they were mainly looking at me for Princeton/Rod which has been my dream role since I first heard the soundtrack on a car ride a few years ago. They included, however, material for Nicky/Trekkie too; in case I could be considered for an understudy position. As much as I would have liked to tape and re-tape, nitpicking until I got a perfect take of each part of the audition, there was not nearly enough time... nor would that really be fair since everyone else gets only one shot anyway. With that, the taping was complete. Kyle gave me a crash course in video editing over the phone and I posted it to a private youtube account that night. Soon after, I got word from the casting director that I was invited to the second callback. This meant flying out to NYC again to do the material for Even Ensign, the director! Adam gave me a lot of great notes to work on from what he saw on the video. Notes that would help with characterization, intent, voices, and so on. What was great, was that I had a couple days to take those notes and really work on them with some of the faculty at school here. Since it was finals week, there was more time to spare and the sessions I had really helped break down the acting beats of the songs. Being able to talk through the lyrics with different minds was really beneficial. Everyone was on the same page, they just identified with different lines in different ways and had a different vocabulary for articulating those ideas. Since there is a lot to say (and hopefully more to add within the next month) I'm splitting this up into different posts.Check back for Part 2 coming very soon.[...]



Christmas Critter - Furry Puppet Studio

2009-12-21T14:36:13.324-05:00

Recently, Zack Buchman of Furry Puppet Studio brought this project to our attention.

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Check it out. The puppet looks great, and what a wonderful feeling it must be to have your work in a national commercial!

Click here to find out more about it. There's even a video!

Congrats Zack!



David + Avenue Q Audition = Blog

2009-12-09T14:51:34.788-05:00

Today is a big day for one, Sir David Corris, who is attending his first Avenue Q audition in NYC!

By all accounts it seems to be going well - he got a callback!

So keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled... we're going places!



Serendipitous Media Exposure!

2009-12-08T05:27:45.576-05:00

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A few weeks ago I took Yancy to the National Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City. While unsafely filming inbetween lanes of traffic, our attention was suddenly drawn toward a frantic woman beckoning us to finish crossing the street for an interview. Not one to pass up an unbelievably well-timed opportunity (it was November 10 - the day Sesame Street turned 40), I traversed the remaining lanes and safely arrived on the sidewalk. Within moments I was given a microphone to wear and the camera was focusing on my cloth-covered hand!

We spoke for a few minutes about what I do for a living and what Sesame Street means to me, and as I settled into this impromptu interview I realized how crazy lucky the entire situation seemed. After a mere few minutes the interview was over and we parted ways... Talk about being in the right place at the right time!



A "Barrel" of Gratitude

2009-11-30T02:23:27.296-05:00


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In the midst of a hectic week of shows fell the holiday that reminds us how distant we've become from our families...
Thanksgiving!

Being on the road, we were forced to go commercial for our celebration - thus we attended the illustrious Cracker Barrel in Southaven, MS. As a last minute decision, I grabbed some felt, Fabri-Tac, and Yancy to come along for the ride. Within half-an-hour Yancy had a new outfit, and an entire restaurant gawked at how rude it seemed to be to have a puppet at the Thanksgiving dinner table!

Forgive the lack of editing and obvious "puppeteers arm", there was not nearly enough room to get a nice angle. Enjoy!

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