Tag: puppet improv

Puppet Up! Tour Diary – March 21, 2015 – Kirk Douglas Closing Night

And so it begins.  The adrenaline fades away, and all I’m left with is the feeling…the NEED t do more Puppet Up! shows.  Singing the final lines of the closing song make me the happiest and saddest I can be.  Doing this show is my absolute favorite thing to do.  Even when I do shows, like tonight, where I feel I’m a little off my game.

I think it was because I didn’t get enough sleep that I felt a little off tonight.  Even with the afternoon nap I had.  Anyway, I just felt a little off my game.  That being said, tonight was a fantastic show. The crowd loved every moment and a lot of fun was had.

I got to puppeteer and improvise with some of my favorite people, Allan, Colleen, Ted and Peggy and got to do my first show with Jordan Black, which was awesome.  There were some really, funny moments in the show.  Peggy, Colleen and Jordan did a fantastic carpool scene.  Allan’s Usher is always inspiring and Ted’s Biography is Pia Zadora was hilarious.

For me, personally, the highlight was performing I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face.  The first time I did the show after the recreations were added, I really wanted to do Java.  Face was a second choice.  But now that I’ve done both, Face has really become something special and I just live to do it.  I will say that when it’s done, I feel like I’ve just come off the sports field because I really do strive to get every little move right.  It’s a pleasure to do always and was especially fun to do tonight on the World Puppetry Day.

As far as being off my game, I just didn’t feel that I my improv was as strong tonight as it could be.  My Jamboree song, though funny in spots was not as good, in my mind, as the previous two I’ve done.  And my improv in the few scenes I was in, wasn’t as good as I would of hoped.  I just didn’t feel like I was in the groove as much as I normally in while in these shows.  At intermission I spoke briefly with Patrick about it and he sort of gave me a challenge for the second act that was really spot on and it brought me out of the funk I was feeling and allowed me to have some fun and feel better about the improv.

The crowd was amazing.  Their suggestions ranged from really funny to things I would never type here, lest they become preeminently part of some google search engine and therefore permanently attached to my name.  The Puppet Up crew, Cameron, Aaron and Sean were incredible, as always, for the full run.  The Kirk Douglas Theatre is a great theatre to run in and the crew is top notch.  It’s  fun place to perform and hopefully we’ll be back soon.  Finally, the crowd all four nights were incredible and we had an absolute blast performing for them.

Part of the reason it’s always hard to close Puppet Up is that we never really know when the next run of shows will be.  That’s true in this case.  Hopefully, world will come soon and we’ll be back creating the puppet anarchy we all know and love in the not too distant future.

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Puppet Up at The Kirk Douglas Theatre – Recap


I was very fortunate to be involved in three Puppet Up! Uncensored shows at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, CA this past Thursday through Saturday.  While I did write individual blogs on each of these nights, I’ve decided not to publish them.  Instead I’m just going to do this post that will wrap up the experience.  The reason I’m not publishing them is just because these were local shows, we were trying out new things and there were some things in the individual blogs that I just didn’t feel like putting out there.  You’ll get a nice overview here, if you continue to read on.

Our three shows were at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.  It’s a beautiful space with a great stage.  Unlike other stages we’ve performed in, this one was on the ground floor and the seats were raked at a step angle.  The thing I liked about this was that the audience was right there, at the lip of the stage.  Sometimes I feel a big space between the stage and the audience, say for an orchestra pit, will cause a dip in the audience enjoyment.  This is especially true with comedy.  In comedy clubs no one wants to sit up front because they thing the comedians will pick on them.  I’ve performed several places where the whole front will be empty and this will make it harder for the comedians to connect with the audience.  This was not that case at the Kirk Douglas.  And as a side note, the crew and staff at the Kirk Douglas are just amazing.  Such a pleasure to work with them all.

The fan base for puppet improv is alive and well in Southern California as the shows sold out almost immediately.  It really was spectacular how quickly the tickets went.  Each house was just filled with people who were rabid for some puppet anarchy and we gave it to them.

The puppeteer who was sick was fine the next day.  Just a weird bug.  All is well.

– Thursday, February 20, 2014 –

The Thursday show was interesting.  We had rehearsed the show with six puppeteers but just minutes before the show,one of the puppeteers became ill and was not able to go on.  Being an improv show, we improvised!  We, quickly, re-blocked the opening and then hit the stage.  It was a wild night and I got to fill in so many great spots.  Lady Singer on Face, Big Java in Java, I got to use the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio in that scene.  A lot of fun.  Moment of the night, for me, was right after performing Big Java and crossing to my chair, Brian Henson, who was also filling in here and there in spots had a big smile on his face and was laughing and he shook my hand and said, “that was great.”  Pretty amazing.

I also got to do my favorite structure, Alien Barbershop.  The topic was: umbrella.  Yes, that was it.  I went for it though.

Take an umbrella
They always warn ya
But I don’t have one,
I’m from southern California.

Not much of a hilarious joke.  It got a good laugh but I was more proud of my rhyme for California.

The cast this night was the cast that will be headed to Australia in March.  Australia, you have been warned, the puppets are coming.


– Friday, February 21, 2014 –

The Friday night show was different in that I was slated to host this show.  The cast was a ‘mix and match’ cast of really amazing puppeteers and improvisers and it was my job to lead them all though the evening.  The show went really well.  The puppeteers were all fantastic andthere was some super funny stuff.  Everyone said I did great as the host.  I’m much harder on myself though.  Being the host of this show is really complex and it’s a tribute to Patrick that he handles it so easily.  There is so much you have to keep track of and looking back I realized that while I did a good job as the host, it wasn’t GREAT because I wasn’t having fun.  I needed to relax, not worry so much, trust everything was going to be fine and just have fun.  It’s something I look forward to as we head out on the short US tour before Australia where I will get to host four of the five shows.

– Saturday, February 22, 2014 –

This show was amazing.  From top to bottom.  The audience was amazing and our improv and puppetry was fantastic.  It was a great group of puppeteers I was honored to perform with.  Each scene was really high quality and the puppetry was amazing.  Our version of WINDY that night was one of the best I’ve seen.  Victor’s Usher bit to open act 2 is out of this world.  And the show was just really amazing.

I made my Little Java debut and it went well.  I really need to study the original because I feel there’s some beats I’m missing and I need to find out what they are in order to really hit the comedy right.

Also got to do the Alien Barbershop again and it may be my favorite of all time.  The topic was Children’s Fight Club.  My rhyme:

The children in Fight Club
Are as tough as shit.
They beat each other up
But they don’t talk about it.

It killed.

Another highlight of this show was getting to do the job interview/audience participation bit with Brian Henson.  So much fun.


The whole show was just fantastic and I’m excited to be headed out with this cast on the mini-US tour.

So three fun shows here in Southern California.  A lot of people said they wished we were running longer, so who knows?  Maybe there will be more during the summer.

Every time I get to do this show I say it is the most fun thing I get to do.  And it is.  And I am unbelievably lucky that I get to do it.

And I can’t wait to do it again.

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Puppet Up Toronto Tour Diary – Day 7 – Two Shows In One

Those morning I was up late because, again, I couldn’t sleep. Just not really adjusting the time change. I rousted Brian at about noon and told him to meet me in the lobby to go to lunch at 1PM.

Today we had two shows, a 4PM matinee and an 8PM show which meant we had to be at the theatre by 3PM. Brian and I struck out at 1PM for a place called The Stockyards. It came up in a search for barbecue joints and was highly rated. We took a cab there because the place 3.5 Miles away (I know, I know I’m in Canada, I should figure out the kilometers). Not un walkable but in two hours….yeah, so cab it it was.


The place was really great although it’s not really a true barbecue joint. It’s more of a Southern American place and they have barbecue dishes. That being said, the food was fantastic and we knew we hit on someplace special because the place was packed full.


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