Tag: puppets

SU&S Tour Diary – April 18, 2013 – Closing Night

The bus pulled into St. Petersburg at about 3AM. I went straight to my room and right to bed. I’d been able to snooze a little on the bus, but got too into browsing the web to really get any real sleep.

I woke up about noon and headed down to work out. Others in the cast and crew were up early to check out the Salvador Dali museum that was right across the street and near the theater we were at. I decided to just take the day to regroup and get my head straight for the show.

I had really mixed emotions about this show. I love this show. I love everything about it. We genuinely have fun on stage. Even though last night’s show was rough, it was still some of the most fun I’ve had performing. When I get down about shows I have to remember that. It’s hard. So I was excited to be doing another show, but also bummed that this is the last show for, who knows how long. So it was bitter sweet.

After working out, I wrote yesterday’s blog post and checked in on some emails I had to get done. Just took my time to make it through the morning…er…early afternoon.


Soon it was time to meet in the lobby to head to the venue. The venue was directly across the street so we were there in no time and went through an easy soundcheck and tech rehearsal. All that was left was dinner and to perform.

Right before the show began, I was sure to stand center stage behind the scrim, look out towards the audience and take a big deep breath. I was determined to enjoy every second of this show.


The show was awesome. A great way to wrap up the tour. The crowd in St. Petersburg was fantastic. Their suggestions were great and they were extremely into the show.

I had a great first act. New Choice with Peggy had our characters cooking meth. The Digital Puppetry section had me telling a story called The Henson Dropout, about an intern who had dealings with a Sara Lee bunt cake and a resurrected Adolf Hitler who shopped at Lane Bryant. Alien Barbershop was okay. The topic was Cannibalisim.

Trapped in a mine.
No food to eat.
We were getting hungry
So we dined on Pete.

Meh. So so.

I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face went the best it’s gone. Would love to work on this even more and be able to put my own touches on it. Right now I feel I JUST have the basic mechanics down. I’d love to work on it more to really get it down. The audience loved it though and Patrick said it was our most violent version yet. It was fun working on it with Sean Johnson. He’s a fantastic puppeteer and as two of the younger members of the cast, it was fun to get the nod to do these recreations in the show.

In Act II I did a fun spot scene with Brian where the subject was Deliverance. The movie. I had a fun time making Brian’s character extremely uncomfortable and, of course, told him he had a pretty mouth. It got a great reaction.

The rest of the show was great fun and, again, the audience was really great. After the show we did a VIP Meet and Greet which was fun.

Arnorld, our producer from Westbeth Entertainment and Lenny our booked were in town for the show and they said they both loved it and it was the best show they’d seen.

After we left the theatre we all journeyed to an Oyster Bar to have a closing night celebration. It was fun but, again, bittersweet. Really don’t want this tour to end at all.

After much revelry, I said goodbye to those who I wouldn’t see in the morning and walked with a group back to the hotel to put a cap on the last performance day.


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S&US Tour Diary – April 17, 2013 – Fort Pierce, FL

The day started super early in being woken up as the bus pulled into our hotel at Fort Pierce. I was so out of it, I just walked off the bus, grabbed my suitcase, walked past the front desk where all our keys were laid out and walked to my room to go back to sleep.

I woke up,unfortunately around 9:30AM. I couldn’t quite get back to sleep, so I got up and worked out. Thirty minutes on the treadmill. I then went up and wrote yesterday’s blog post.

That, and just moving rather slow, took me right up until it was time to get over to the theatre in Fort Pierce. Tyler and I took the runners car over to the theatre which was the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce. COol because just days before “Weird Al” had been through. Not sure how he and his crew fit on that stage. It’s tiny. We barely fit.

Didn’t get to walk around Fort Pierce much. I wanted to, but those who’d already come over earlier, as there was not much to do around the hotel, had said the town was pretty much closed up. Not much was open. So I just hung out at the theatre until show time.


The show last night was an odd beast. The audience enjoyed it tremendously. We got a standing ovation, again. So, obviously, the crowd loved it. But right from the top there were audio problems. Problems that weren’t around at all in soundcheck. I just could not hear anyone during any scene. All I could hear was the house speakers echoing back to the stage. None of the rest of the cast was coming through the monitors clearly. This threw me big time. Improvisation is 90% listening to what your scene partners are saying. It just doesn’t work if you’re fighting to hear them. As a result I was off the whole first act.

At intermission I found out I was not alone, everybody was having the same problem. Our tech crew, which is awesome, went to work on it, but we’re using the house sound so sound is always a crapshoot. They tweaked it a bit, but the problems persisted into the second act.

As I said though, the show was good. I just felt off, not connected, disjointed and the harder I worked to reconnect, the worse it seemed I spun out. There were a few spot I thought I did a passable job. I had to improvise a song during the HDPS segment which I did okay at. Peggy and I did a fun scene using the suggestion ‘Graduating from the school of Tourettes’ which ended in a song. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face went well. Sean and I weren’t spot on, but the scene got laughs from the audience. I’m growing more and more comfortable with it each time.


Alien Barbershop was okay. Not my best. Subject was Stripping and I, stupidly built my rhyme around ‘Strippers’ which was not the suggestion. I realized my error right as we were about to sing and a last minute line change threw everything out of whack.

I like stripping. (Original line was strippers)
Especially south of the border.
Because the strippers there,
Always accept quarters.

Blech. Horrible.

After the show we all loaded back up onto the bus for our final drive to St. Petersburg for our last stop on this tour. Here’s hoping we go out with a kick ass final show.

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S&US Tour Diary – April 14, 2013 – Joliet, IL

We were back on a bus early this morning heading off to Joliet, IL from Milwaukee. The bus ride was nothing major, which if you’ve been reading was a very good thing.

We rolled into Joliet and drove past the Old Joliet Prison, the prison used in the opening credits of The Blues Brothers. Very cool. I put She Caught caught the Katy on the iPhone as we passed. Thought it was appropriate.

Minutes later we were at our accommodations. The Harrah’s Casino Hotel in Joliet. We checked in and I hadn’t had breakfast so I decided to strike out for food. I was much into eating at the Paula Deen kitchen that was in the hotel. I looked up what was around on Yelp and discovered Chicken-N-Spice. Sort of a ‘mom & pop’ version of KFC. It was pretty great. Dan Ring joined me and we had a good lunch.


We walked past the theatre and saw that the Marx Brothers had performed there in the 1930’s. pretty amazing. The theatre outside was beautiful.


We walked back to the hotel and I decided to check out the casino with the eight dollars I had in my pocket. I wandered around looking for something to play and wound up at a video poker machine. Two hands later I was up forth six dollars. Decided that was a good time to call it quits and headed back to my room.


I prepared my bag for the show and headed to the lobby. We walked as a cast and over to the theatre.

The venue was beautiful on the inside and they have a lobby that is just about a city block long. It was impressive. We went into rehearsal and tonight it was going to be a little nerve wracking as I was switching into operating the Henson Digital Puppetry System and Ive Grown Accustomed To Your Face.

I’ve done HDPS before in San Francisco, so I’m more or less okay with that, but Face would be a new one. I was swapping in with Sean Johnson and we were both making our debuts. It was exciting, but as I said, nerve wracking.

I was confident though because on the walls backstage all the previous artists had signed their name and the Oak Ridge Boys had been through here. I felt Grandma Donny would be there in spirit if that was the case.


The show was great. DId a fun New Choice with Peggy about bobsledding. We did an insane Hot Dog bit about a Spelling Bee and Face and HDPS went over great (though there’s room for improvement in both. I’m sure once I have them down pat, it’ll be the last night of the tour and then I won’t do them again for several months to a year.

Alien Barbershop was fun. Lets see if you can guess the topic:

I have hot flashes.
I’m cranky you bet
And when it’s time to get busy
I’m not very….fun.

After the show it was back to the hotel and we all spent some time in the casino. Not too much though as we had to get up early for a flight to Florida. And we were all excited for FLorida because there was a possibility something very cool would happen tomorrow. And it did. But you’ll have to wait and see what it is.

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S&US Tour Diary – April 13, 2013 – Milwaukee & The AMAZING Pabst Theater

Let me start by saying this, I prefer when we move onto the next town the night after a show. I don’t like having to get up early to travel. That being said, I’m EXTREMELY grateful for this opportunity and would gladly stay out as long as they wanted me to.

We were up early to leave Wausau and head to Milwaukee. The trip was uneventful, but did take several hours in the morning. Once we got to Milwaukee we checked into the Hilton City Center and proceeded to our rooms. So far this has been my absolute favorite room on the tour. The bed was comfortable, the pillows were amazing, the blackout curtains worked and the internet was fast. What more could you ask for?

I immediately hooked up my iPad to play some Mystery Science Theatre 3000 as I dozed off to sleep for a couple hours. It was so nice, and needed.

I then woke up an hour or two before call and worked on yesterday’s blog post. THen showered and met the others in the lobby to head over to the venue.

Ah, the venue. The Pabst Theatre. Stuffed & Unstrung was through here in 2011 and though I was on that tour, I joined up later. I had heard all these stories about how amazing The Pabst is. The stories were true.

The Pabst theatre is a fantastic venue. The inside is just amazing and, as Sean Johnson said, “Very Muppet Show Theatre-esq.” The artist Green Room is a green room by which all other will be compared. Big fluffy couches, bean bags, a LP Record Player with a huge collection of LPs, a collection of stand up arcade games, a vintage nintendo machine, a foosball table and a bistro bar. It was pretty sweet.


The food was amazing too. That was another thing people had been talking up and it didn’t disappoint! They even made us our own banana bread cake. The great thing was we’d finished soundcheck and tech rehearsal early so we were able to enjoy this place for several hours. I believe it put everyone in the right frame of mind to do a kick ass show.


One word about tech rehearsal. I have been asked to sub in for I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face. One of the two vintage recreations we do in the show. I’ve been asked to play the part of ‘Demon Head’ which was the part Jane Henson played. A HUGE honor. I think I may be debuting tomorrow night in Joliet.

The Pabst Theatre show was amazingly off the charts fun. The first three sketches were so funny and so filled with rapid fire laughs, it was just an incredible experience. The momentum slowed a little after, but in a good way, so that we weren’t wearing the audience, or us, out.


I had a fun New Choice scene with Allan. I played Rambo in the A&E Biography on Rambo, we did just an absolutely insane scene about the hot dogs on a roller coaster and the Alien Barbershop song was about Bacon.

I love Bacon
Its wonders don’t cease.
I’d kill my grandmother
For one more piece.

The crowd was so into the show all night and gave us a big standing ovation after. It was just a fantastic show.

After I got to meet up with Tim Winslow and his wife and friends in the lobby. They are big comedy music fans from way back and we’ve known each other for several years. Was so happy to have them int eh audience. Saw them sitting right down front during the show.

After the show some of the cast and crew went to a Milwaukee Bar called The Safe House. You need to know a password to get in and if you don’t know it, they put you through a series of embarrassing tasks before they let you in. Luckily I knew the password. Not much into bars, but this place was pretty cool to just walk around and look at all the things. They have doors that lead nowhere and a bathroom with two way mirrors so as your checking yourself out in the mirror, people in the hallway can see you.

After the bar we walked back to the hotel past the Bronze Fonz and then it was back into that glorious bed.




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