Monday, August 10, 2009

Can you tell me how to get back to the subway from Avenue Q?

Princeton and I ,goofing around.

last week , I went to NYC, to see Avenue Q, had not seen the show since it Opened 6 years ago. I was Lucky enough to work on the show For Rick Lyon's Company, "The Lyon Puppets", It came at a great time since I had just finished doing some work on "Crank Yankers" and was dealing with my first year of "Freelance" puppet building. I had done some work with Rick here and their over the years , on weekends , when i was off from my job as a puppet builder for the Jim Henson Company.

Avenue Q was great a great experience. Not only is Rick a accomplished performer, and Puppeteer, he is a wonderful Puppet designer as well, and Avenue Q really showed that.It was a Honor to be part of what truly was a Ground breaking Theatre experience, and it not often that Puppet Builders get their names in Playbill.
Thanks and Congratulations to Rick Lyon, and Avenue Q for 6 amazing years on Broadway.

read carefully , I'm in their somewhere :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's a Jungle out there, and in my workshop as well.

The Foosa, 2009

Madagasgar Hissing Cockroach , with Common NYC Roach
One Very Large Sneaker,

Giant Brazilian Cave Roach

Monarch Butterfly Life Cylce Show. Large Rolled Up News paper
The Eastern Painted Turtle

Prairie Dog and Rabbit
This Is a Chestnut Madibiled Tucan, and this is You-CAn the Toucan, and his Brothers

American BullFrog.

for the past several years i have built puppets and props for the Central park zoo. Its always a fun project no matter what the deadline, I get to build stuff that i might not otherwise think of, and the reaction they get from the kids and the crowds at the zoos are always fantaftic.

This past year alone i worked on a Madacascar Hissing Cockroach, a Foosa, and did some repairs on some older props i had worked on. here are some puppets from over the years that i have done fro the Central Park Zoo, and the Bronx zoo, and Queens and Prospect park zoos.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

My first failed attempt at Blogging

I could have sworn that this blog was deleted, Guess i was wrong.

I started the blog to promote a new Show at , a Not for profit Marionette and Hand puppet Theatre in Brooklyn NY, Puppetworks was my first professional job as a puppeteer, and i still work with them today.

It is interesting to see what i was writing 3 years ago, seems like i was trying to sound smarter than i am. Anyway check it out ,and here are a few more pictures from "The Reluctant Dragon" which i co-wrote with Micheal Leech, Puppets By Nick Coppola , and Myself.


I have done a few jobs with a Company called charged in NYC, they do a lot of commercial work, but have also pitched and developed some concepst for Tv and the Internet, My first gig with them was for a show called "Smoking Gun TV"based off the stories on the website., i was hired as art department, but i also did a good amount of puppeteering as well.

a coupel years later they developed a show for (now part of the website i belive). The show was called " TIME SUCK" and was about two office mates . Benji the dog , and Patches the human. It was essentialy a parody of the crazy viral videos that we all look for on line. Here a few of puppets i built for the show. we where under a time crunch (it always seesm that way) I think i had about a 4 or 5 days to get all three done.

to bad i cant seem to find any links to the videos we did, Here is the link for Chrged though

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

sorry for the lack of Update today

was a long and stupid day , and i just didn't have time, so here is a picture of that Beaky Monster dude, he looks like i felt today, Good night , Ill try to do a More substantial post on Thursday at some point.
ahh the joys of Frustration.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Late day post ,

Hey all, its a late day post today.I was called in to do one of my Part time job (Oh joy.) and i am just now getting in front of the computer.
Some one on was saying they liked this frog i built for "Johnny and the Sprites"so here is a pick of her, and a few other frogs i have done over the years.

She was designed by Michael Schupbach, (of the puppet kitchen) and i worked from His design and under his art Direction, from what i know she was a real hit .I only was on set in the work room for 3 -4 day in the afternoons building her(i was working at a YMCA that summer teaching a puppet building class to kids as well)

I wish i had a better picture than this , I built this frog for the Central Park zoo, i was very happy with the way he came out , i need to get in to get some better shots of him some day .
This little guy was originally going to be a part of a Video i did for the San Fransisco Outside lands Music Festival This year , but he decided the set didn't have room for him. He ended up appearing in the "Kiss The Girl ...Continued" Video i did with
This is Blotch , The Bullfrog bully from "Kermit's Swamp Years", I built two of them, one had a Eye Mech designed by Larry Jameson, the other was just some possible armature wire. I was very happy with the way the puppet came out. Not so much with the way the Movie came out.

I really have nothing to say about this one, The project fell apart do to a number of issues , all i know is that some designs do not make good puppets.
I love this little guy, I wonder what ever happened to this project, Ill have to do a post about this one in the future.
Finally here is a Marionette i built for "PUPPETWORKS INC." in Brooklyn NYC, I don't work full time their. but i go in an do work whenever they need me, I'm actually working on a New Frog for this show. we wanted a plumber , less athletic looking frog for the "Frog Prince. That's it for today , I have two more deliveries, and then back down to the basement/workshop, to finish some other projects.
Have a good one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Im feeling slow today ,

just waking up, Late night at work, then some bad dinner food, I'm just not feeling to peppy today .Anyway , here are some puppets to look at.

These are from a project i did sometime in 2003 or 4 (i think, its been a while.)

not my most successful Freelance outing. But i was still sort of wet behind the ears on this one. Communications where crossed, and emails where not as clear about things as they should have been.

The snail below (the green and grey )is the final Version of "IGBY"
and actually he came out pretty good all things considered.

The problem is when i got the email,and printed him out this is what i saw

A golden Yellow and Brown snail. I had to completely re skin the puppet and send him back out to California, very embarrassing situation for me , and a very unhappy client , in the end i guess it all worked out, I know they shot a Short film, or video project, I do wonder if anyone has ever seen it.

That's it for today I think ill go back to bed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

off to see some Futbal.

getting ready to go see the Concacaf Gold Cup Final here in NJ, its the USA vs. Mexico, should be a good game, to bad my seats are in the nose bleeds.

heres a few puppets i worked on with Monkey Boys Productions for a Sony Bravia Commercial in Mexico. I did the original Concept Designs, and built several of the puppets .was a great trip, i got to visist another country and play with my friends,That doesn't happen often.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Why are Chickens so Funny?

Seems like they are an International Punchline, sort of sad when you realize that they have some genetic ancestry with animals like the Tyrannosaurus , and Velociraptor.No denying that they make great puppets though. The Muppet's are probably just as well known for the Chickens that populate the Back stage of the Muppet theatre as they are for Kermit and Piggy.

Back when i was working for The Jim Henson Company , i spent several weeks Refurbishing chickens that had seen better days , Ultimately, Re-Building the original Camilla for a Made for TV Christmas Special. I'm glad i spent so much time on her since in the end in true Muppet fashion one of the old Basic chickens was used as Camilla for most of the film, and the new rebuilt hero Camilla was sent into the background. Gonzo apparently cant tell the chickens apart either

Along with Chickens it seems like Ducks are a much maligned species as well, But again fun to build, These two where built for "Mop A Tops shop", To replace the old Muppet Show ducks,My supervisor Tim Miller told me to have fun with it, and wasn't concerned with Replicating the original Muppet ducks, so i spent a couple of weeks making new patterns and individually gluing feathers and hackle pads to fleece and fur that i used to make these guys, I'm still very happy with the results, i wonder if they will ever see the light of day in another production some where down the line.

All this time spent Building and re-building Chickens and other avians proved very useful a few years later. In late December 2006 i got a call from a Production company , They needed 3 chicken puppets for a short series of TV adds For the restaurant chain Ruby Tuesdays, by the time we had finished emails,and phone conversations, i had about a week to build all three puppets. We shot on a Horse Farm in Long Island on a thankfully warm January morning.
here are a few images from that production.

My very Rough Sketch and the First Mock Up head

The girls nearing the finish line.

Stuck in a net

Ready for their Close ups,

Its always a good idea to hold on to your patterns, you never know when you might need them again. 2007 seemed to be my year of the Bird. a large project came up , that i new was beyond one builders ability,Several of my puppet building colleagues had just formed a puppet building company in Pa called, Monkey Boys productions, (see the post below for link). i talked to them and we started work on the build in March, One of the main Characters was a Brightly colored bird with polka-dots, and a Guest on the Pilot episode was a Partridge (also called a prairie chicken) so with some minor alterations i was able to bring the chicken pattern out and put it into service once more.
here are those puppets from the pilot episode of "Planet camp"

Dolly Partridge Built By myself and Ozone the Bird Built by Mike Latini, and Myself
wow This was along post with lots of Pictures, Here is link to the chicken video to close it all out , I hope you enjoy !