April 19, 2010

caught a glimpse of myself

Caught a glimpse of myself in the glass door frames on my deck... you would think I would be used to how this sort of thing looks. It always cracks me up. Never fails.

Thought it was worth documenting since I felt absurd and also awesome.

Just a reminder of how it looks when all is right with the world.


Conversation I have in my head with the neighbors that walk by:

"Hey neighbors! Just workin on a retriever-esque assistant for a blind character who will be in a theater festival in May.

This weather is delightful. How about that storm the other night?

OK bye. I need to get back to sewing his harness and figuring out his eye sockets."

In a major crunch to finish some work for an Old Kent Road Theater show. 

but I am currently adoring this weather and can't seem to stay inside. So, I combined.


Sunshine makes sewing on the deck really pleasant.   The sound of the machine is a bit out of place, but this machine is rarely on a sewing table, and usually hangs out on the ground.

Very Happy to be outside. Very Happy to be making work.

Something else that made me happy was when a friend used my life as a short story launching point for a grad class. When I got the email about this and read the attached story, my heart swelled.

Her story is below.

Elizabeth Grissom
Workshop #3
April 15, 2010
Ain’t No Socks

If you make puppets in New York City, you have nowhere to store them, nowhere to make them, no way to transport them, unless you’re freaking Tim Burton and you’re the boss. If you live close to the theaters, good luck having enough room for your materials and your bed. Unless you have a day job as like, a banker. You’re storing puppets in your oven, over the bookcase, in your shower. You trade places. Hey Velveteen Lola, mind if I use the shower? You remind your roommate never to pre-heat without checking to see if anyone’s in there. You hate everyone who ever uttered “At my studio…” Because YOU deserve a studio the most, because your art takes up SPACE.

If you carry your puppet to rehearsal, you risk the throb sidewalk traffic rubbing Henry the wrong way. If you wheel your puppet in a Radio Flyer, someone might steal it. If you push your puppet in a stroller, disguised as a baby so people will smile and move over, good luck when some over-excited mom pulls the blanket down from your puppet’s face. The terror! You make puppets that look like old men. People can’t take them, being strolled around like that. If you think you’re something, and you think you’re going to get to park somewhere, and you strap that puppet of yours into the passenger seat, the looks you get from the toll people. Like you’re some kind of freak. Well, you’re an artist, and this is New York. And if you have five small puppet people for some play, and you put one in a big backpack, and two strapped on with bungy cords, and if you carry the other two, well you’re something like a flesh-colored octopus walking down the street, or some kind of sicko displaying victims. You’ll say Oh, I’m sorry—did my playwright brother’s social constructions manifested as puppets frighten you?

You’ll have some friend Ai-shi wanting a dragon for some glorious Dragon Boat Festival, and all you’re thinking is will Ai-shi and her gang of paddlers float Junior into town? And you realize her anacondan vision of Junior will take up every ounce of your tiny apartment. You will be sleeping with his snaky tail coiled around you. You will make him out of fabric that feels like a warm, strong man. Ai-shi will be so impressed with grumpy red snake man she will ask you for another puppet. My niece Ling always wanted a brother. “That’s creepy,” you’ll say. Ai-shi reminds you her name means “fond of poetry,” and she loves what you do with negative space and juxtapositions of intertextuality. SAID BEFORE. You make Ling a little brother anyways, five years old, and when that toll booth lady looks at you like you’re some deranged somebody, you roll down the window, hand her the money, and shout I AM A PUPPETEER AND THIS IS JING-SHENG!


  It pretty much nails the essence of "what I do."

Maybe I will print up some copies and when someone makes conversation ~ So, are you still in school? Are you working? I can just ask them to hold onto my duffel bag for one second while I root through my backpack for Elizabeth's story. I can hand them a crumpled copy and say... it's a lot like this...

Thanks Liz. I love it.

(they just wont know there's a puppet packed in that bag they were holding on to... packed in there so he can be checked under the bus for the ride north.)


1 comment:

Leslie said...

I love her rendition of your life with puppets...made me laugh. you should just dress like a hobo and put them all in a shopping cart to wheel them around. nobody would think twice, but then you couldn't get in a cab or on the subway. but that's what you have a truck for...oh yea you hate driving in the city, haha! i wish you did live here though...we'd display one of your puppets on our balcony as art and also for shits and giggles from the neighbors.

i love music. almost more than everything.