Saturday, September 19, 2009

Final Shows of Momotaro at the Aki Matsuri

What? Yes, I plan to build a new show next year, so this last weekend was the final time you could have seen Momotaro at the Aki Matsuri.
You’ll never do Momotaro again?
I’m not saying that. In fact, it looks like a group in Spokane is interested in having us perform. Also, if Sakura Con has us perform at the next one, it’ll be Momotaro because I don’t think I could have a new show up by Easter. Also, there’s some talk of a road trip to Boise, ID to do a show for Mandy’s class.
So, perhaps this last weekend might not have been your last chance. Of course, if you are my mother, Frieda, Matthew, Marsha, OR anyone who came last year, then you have nothing to worry about.
AM09 Sunday Shows (54)
My Hero
This year my sister was difficult to replace. We tried to replace her with three different puppeteers but something or other caused them all to not last. It got to the Thursday before Labor Day weekend and I had no one. I despaired of my predicament and vowed never to build a show that couldn’t--in an emergency--be done by just two puppeteers. There turned out to be two places in Momotaro that we just couldn’t do it all with only three puppeteers. I also bent the ear of the fellow Bob found to do our sound: John Utz. He mentioned that he had a 9-year old daughter who might like to help. By this time we’d divided Mandy’s puppets: Dog – me, Gold Oni – Mylinda and to make that work it required that Beckett take Green Oni. It also required us to manipulate each others characters a bit. For example, I had to take Gold Oni during the sumo match and Beckett took the bird to drop the stone on Gold Oni.
When Eileen Utz came on board, it was too late to give her one of Mandy’s character. But she was able to do a lot of the behind the scenes prop management and she took on the flat puppets during the boat scene. At the climax, she manipulated the dog for us. Without her, we could not have done it without major script revisions. So she really was our hero of the weekend.
Eileen turned out to be a very competent prop manager. She also was fearless of going out and handing out fliers to help us drum up an audience. (Perhaps a little too fearless…because she and Beckett went in two different directions alone at one point and that worried her father.) She has a strong voice and a dedication to be admired. She also expressed an interest in puppetry which I found gratifying. I hope that she will join us again.
AM09 Sunday Shows (45)
The room turned out to be too small but I think if it got much bigger, we'd be lost to the back of the room. Our puppets stand at around a foot tall if held up correctly. Nearly every show done in the cafeteria at the Nat'l Fest was lost to the back of the room.
What's my solution? I'd rather do three shows a day than put us on a main stage.
I'm rather pleased that the puppet fest we are planning for Seattle University next August has a black box for the shows. That's ideal in my mind.

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