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Past Projects
Pictures from 'The Last Voyage of the Sea Cow'

All photos of "Last Voyage of the Sea Cow" are from PuppetLOVE 2003 and were photographed by Christianna Fachin

Making BIG shows doesn't hold the same appeal for me as it use to. I guess I'm now more interested in performing in intimate settings rather than building the performers for 1000 plus. Large shows become mechanical far too easily. There is no discovery; no spark, no urgency.

And let us not forget the cost.

After grumbling about the above for several months an Idea (with a capital 'I') came in a vision, "Make smaller, simpler, shorter shows" and ":Keep your work zone clean of projects you're not working on".

Well, that seems simple enough.

"The Last Voyage of the Sea Cow" was born because I don't like shadow puppetry's lack of mobility and of the alienation of the audience due to the screen that acts like a fourth wall.

With mobility, connection and "keeping it simple" in mind I set about my quest.

At first the puppets were monstrously complex, with joints and sticks and colored bits of stuff. Why? Because oh so many puppeteers want little people with blinking eyes, moving mouth, or twitching eyebrows, when basic or no movement is all that is needed.

Looking at the complex mess that I had created I took a pair of scissors and lopped off the head of the puppet. I then used my fingers as the arms, legs, guns or whatever fit my whims. Perfect and simple.

The piece was about the S. S. Seacow, a tugboat in the San Francisco Bay who's Captain believes he is a pirate. The crew mutinies, because the Captain is freaking them out. After a long speech given by the Captain about them all being ghosts on the sea, the First Mate attempts to shoot the Captain (my finger was the gun). The First Mate misses and the resulting hole in the keel causes the boat to take on water. The Captain sees ghosts every where at this point and begins singing a drunken pirate song.

The Captain then tears a giant hole in the ship and delivers a final line that makes you wonder if the ship was indeed haunted, or not.

This show is also significant in that it was the last time that I used a four track to do any recording. I now use GrageBand from Apple and if any one wants a nice four-track- contact me.




This is the last image of the piece.

The ship was mounted on two booms. The booms were on a backpack. The whole ship swung from side to side. There were two articulated lights mounted to my head that gave off a bizarre double light.

I liked the piece, and then threw everything away. Some sort of spiritual purity thing, I think. You can get a close up of this picture by opening it in another window.

As to keep my work zone clean... I'm working on it.

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