April 30, 2010

I will tell you something if you promise....


to tell everyone else. 





My website is updated. 


Also- I wanted to show some Old Kent Road Theater photos from a past show.

 Photography by Ari Douthit. 

Show performed at Ontological-Hysteric Theater, East Village, NYC, July '09.

Stage floor design. And Puppet design.

the floor is painted faux wood and original drawings. 

it was a black floor.

then one night. it became the set.

for a really wonderful show.


want some color? 


Raise your hand if you would marry Prismacolor markers.

Hand raised. 

Current obsession: Ballet Pink. 

For the obvious reason. and because it is a specific color. The harder the color is to define, the more I will probably love it. But it cant be muddy or overly desaturated.  Meaning: It cant go super gray. or lose tooooo much of its identity. 

Yeah what? I love color.

Sort of like the way someone can be a coffee snob. 

I am a color snob. But Im nice. Just really picky and also really impressed by colors that are specific. Colors that cannot be seen everywhere. or easily duplicated.

Also meet:

she too loves Ballet Pink. 


April 27, 2010

Agnes Bidet

sit down. 
I'll show you something.


I just finished work for Old Kent Road Theater and our newest production- 
Are We Bourgeois, Mon Amour? 

which will be a part of:


MAY 13-15 AND 20-22



From the Bushwick Starr site, which can be found at thebushwickstarr.org:

The Bushwhack Series is a performance festival devoted to the development of new experimental work within the neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn. This annual series celebrates what is unique about our arts community, and serves as a platform to share that with the larger NYC area. 


to get this work made, sometimes I pull late late nights mid week. Because nothing is fast when you're approaching a deadline. and well, that last sentence should be read- All I do is stay up late and pay for it the next day. 

AND. when I am up late and wrapping my mind around the puppet drying on the kitchen table and what that says about my life in that moment, I feel the need to take a picture and share that image.

This night is brought to you by brown sugar and the plastic mixing bowl. 

Thanks for the support guys. 



 Almost all of my work likes to pit stop in Philly. Is that because the people there love to watch puppet photo shoots? maybe. Is it because there is a kind couple of friends who bend over backwards and help ease my trips with sprinkle-covered soft serve and the Continental? maybe. 

But I love Philly for 302312+ reasons. and here you can see some puppet head transport. 

I did keep telling her, "stop carrying it through the streets FACING people. it is shocking."


Now, some finished work:

Three "live feed" images of Paris. Again, this is all for our new production. 





The seeing eye dog c'est fini!

She is safe and sound in a Brooklyn apartment resting up for her rehearsals and shows. 


Cant help it.

Agnes Bidet

She was tired of being in a trash bag. 


She is going to work hard. 

She is sweet. 

gooooood girl.

This one would be our senior high school portrait if we had one. But that would just be silly. because dogs don't go to school.




April 26, 2010

"Cause you and your heart...shouldn't feel so far apart"

- Jack Johnson, he's been telling me that a lot lately and I totally agree with him.

This is what my studio looks like right now. I am part horrified. 

But my heart is in this...

If you haven't worked really hard on something and carried it through the streets of NY, you should. 

Man: what's in there? a body?

Me: Sort of.

(and everyone keeps walking)

It can be cumbersome. But it makes travel look like cake when you aren't carrying theater supplies or sculptures through the streets. 

Whatever your passion is... put it in a black trash bag and go. 

I am quite amazed at my life. and quite in love with it when I am mid art transport. When what you love is weighing you down, but you keep carrying it, you realize how committed you are. 

Even though there is so much to figure out, it is ridiculous to squeeze a puppet head in the cab of your truck so it stares at your friend the whole way up the interstate. 

What about when your friends carry the puppet head while you haul the body down Broadway?

shout out to ultimate sidekick sister- who ties up all sorts of loose ends.. and will carry the roll of set paintings around without knocking people out on the bus. 

Did I ever mention how in love with brunch I am?... It's what I look forward to in life. It is in the top 5. 

Did I mention the giant puppet is under the table?... Barely... so many people. so little room.  But we made it. 


Bye sweet girl. Go break a leg. 

You should go see her.
We are OLD KENT ROAD THEATER. and we are about to perform next at:

Oh I have so many more pictures to post and things to say. Stay tuned. I am very very tired..... which means I am throwing myself into some new stuff. 

in that case. i love being tired.

*seriously. theres more where these came from. and they will be up ASAP.

P.S.  go see Memphis
You need to.
Everyone does.

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.)


April 14, 2010

It is unjust to sit in one chair for 9 hours.

When I emailed the above to my mother re: my office job she said -     "You are unjust."

Some of my expressions rub off on her I think....hmmm... I would have said that.

Our email conversations are the best because she shortens everything and mashes it all together.

exhibit a-    "I can't believe that happened to you .That is crazy. I have to shower. "  <----and thats it!

thats the entire email.

And, I normally email her complaints. such as- "I cannot stay at work any longer. aghhhh. sos"

To which she once said the best comment ever-

" Hi Pixie Dust. One must work to eat. "

Tough Love. short and to the point. and I mostly died that she called me pixie dust.  and just like that,  I can tolerate a few more hours. 


Things are not always as they seem at this dayjob of fluorescentpaperwork.

Like Lunch...




And then lunch is over....

IMPORTANT NOTE: when you get up from your desk, take off your headset. GETS ME EVERY TIMMMEEEE... it's like a violent car accident. I recover. Then I do it again...

April 10, 2010

a total win


I love to say my tasks OUTLOUD. or write them down. to remember they are real. and hilarious. 

such as...

 1- Finish seeing eye dog puppet

2- make him in parts so he fits into duffle bags when riding the subway. 


He is distracting me by being ridiculous. and I'm part laughing at myself for doing the following.  and part thinking... this is my life?!... I know. I am totally aware of my actions which either means I am cool. or a little off.  In both cases I think it is a win.

and my main reason for having this blog is to say- hello everyone. this is what I do. and I am for serious.


a total win.

i love music. almost more than everything.