Tag: tour

Puppet Up Down Under 2014 – April 22, 2014 – Brisbane


Woke up around 8:00 AM, and begin the process of making sure I have everything out of the hotel room in Melbourne. Yes, today, I would have to leave what has become one of my most favorite cities in the world. It was time PuppetUp train to move on towards Brisbane, Australia.

It was raining this morning in Melbourne as though the city was sad to see us leave. Soon, though, we were at the airport, boarding the plane, and heading off to Brisbane. The flight to Brisbane took just under two hours.

While I was in the airport, I found a store selling these little notebooks that I had seen around Australia. They are made in France but I have never seen them in the United States. I picked one up, a small one, and I tasked myself with writing a short story that would completely fill all the pages of the notebook by the time we landed. I did, and it was a fun little creative exercise. I was almost very tempted to leave the notebook on the seats for the next passenger to read. But, I kept. I did however leave some googly eyes when we landed. When we arrived in Brisbane, we immediately felt the tropical weather that we hear is the norm in this town.


After a misguided taxi ride from the airport, we arrived at our hotel in Brisbane. This one was a bit different than the others we have stayed in because instead of sharing an apartment-like, two bedroom space, we have individual rooms. They are pretty great.

Shortly after arriving, Brian and I walked around a little bit to find someplace to eat. Neither of us had eaten anything during the day. We wound up at a kebab restaurant and had a nice kebab wrap each, then we walked around town a little bit more until we found a grocery store. After some shopping, we headed back to the hotel. Some of the other folks were just leaving to go get dinner on their own, so Brian and I decided to join them as they walked along the river to find a place to eat. It was a nice walk, and Brisbane looks pretty beautiful. It’s no Melbourne now. Soon I headed back to the apartment, on my own, and I did some laundry, answered some emails, and watched a little bit of the WWE Network.

Other than that, it was a relaxing day. Sad that there is less than a week left of the tour. But I am excited that there are three more performances left.

It will be great to get back home as I have a couple projects I need to dive into upon my return. Some big news coming for Uncle Interloper and a new partnership that is on the horizon for him. Good thing I filmed all those Uncle Interloper interested shorts while we were here in Australia.

As always, very grateful that I get to do this job.


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Puppet Up Down Under 2014 – April 21, 2014 – Goodbye Melbourne


A day off.

Today we have a day off and it is our final day in Melbourne. I started the day by sleeping in pretty late. Later than I have in past days. I then got up and went down to the gym and ran on the treadmill and lifted weights. Afterwords, I went back up to my room to shower and get ready to go look for some food with Dan. Brian woke up and decided to join us so we went and had some lunch. After lunch I struck out in the city on my own. I walked around a bit, filmed a Vine or two with Uncle Interloper, and then went and picked up a few props I needed for an Uncle Interloper idea I’ve had for a while. Then I headed back to the hotel room for a bit.

Once I got back to our hotel, I decided to film the Uncle Interloper Vine that I had bought props for. Brian was on a phone call in his room, so I was glad that no one was around to see me film is Vine. Partly because of the position I had to get into to film it, and partly because whenever I film something like this I do a million takes. Take 2 was probably perfect, but I need to do a million of them because on little thing will be wrong in the shot. I’d be a horrible movie director. I’d be over budget the first day. At any rate, I am now one of those people who have spent way too much money on a six second Vine.

Finally getting the take right, I just spent some time in my room doing some writing and answering some email.

There was sort of an unofficial plan that everybody would go out to dinner around 5:30 PM, I had a Vine idea and I needed Brian’s help with it so we planned on leaving the hotel a little early to go film it. There is a street near our hotel called Hoiser Lane. It’s really neat and that all the walls of this, basically, alleyway, are covered with really impressive works of graffiti. So Brian and I went down there and we filmed an Uncle Interloper Vine in that alleyway. It was cool saying all the different kinds of graffiti all over the place. The alley was filled with a ton of other tourists who were all there taking pictures of all the different graffiti designs.


After filming the Vine and walking around for a bit, we went over to the restaurant. I was immediately not enamored with the restaurant. The maître d’ at the front door was extremely rude to me when I went up to put our name in for a table. . I brushed it off, but then when we went to be seated the maître d’ had told us he would get two booths instead we said nine people around one tiny booth. When I said that the maître d’ had told us we could get to booths the server said that was impossible. So then we sat down in this tiny little booth and looked over the menu.

This is a very, very hip restaurant. There’s lines out the door. But it’s one of those places where you don’t get a lot of food but you pay over $30 for the food that you do get. I can usually hang at places like that but this was one of those restaurants where there would be one ingredient that would throw the whole dish off. This is not an example from the restaurant but it’s the same idea: grilled chicken, with mashed potatoes, and squid sauce poured all over it. That’s kind of thing. So there was nothing really enticing to me on the menu. Patrick had to leave the meal early because he was meeting another performer from the comedy Festival, so I decided I would leave with him and find my own food.

I walked around a bit and then went to an Indian restaurant that I had gone to the first week we had gotten here. I had a great dinner on my own and just kind of enjoyed my last night in Melbourne. After that I just headed back to the hotel and started to organize my stuff for our departure tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow we had the Brisbane!

I’m going to miss Melbourne a lot.


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Puppet Up Down Under – April 20, 2014 – Melbourne Finale


Before I get started on today, I forgot to mention something else about last night. After the pump it up show, then I went to go see another show that is part of the Melbourne international comedy Festival. We went to see a standup comedy show. Featured three comics from United States. I have seen a lot of standup so the show was not incredibly hilarious. The final comedian of the evening was pretty good and had me and Dan both cracking up.

This morning I woke up to the sound of Brian bustling around in our kitchen. He was getting ready to meet up with Dan because Brian has decided that Dan needs a haircut and the two of them were going to go out and get a haircut today. I got ready to go and leave with them, not to get a haircut but just to go get lunch.

As they were having their “spa day”I walked around the city and found a nice place to have lunch. Then I walked around downtown a little bit more and then headed back to the hotel. I did some writing, some email and worked on my song improv for a bit. Then I had to vacate the room so housekeeping could clean it. I sat down in the lobby and continue to write and then Dan and Brian arrived with their new haircuts Intel. Their haircuts are the top of the company.


Then, after housekeeping was done, it went back up to our room. Brian continued working on his project well I took a nap. And then we got ready to get over to the field

Tonight was our final show in conjunction with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It was another fun show. The hotdogs went skydiving, we took a carpool trip to Tipperary, I saying my jamboree song about monkey, I guy in the front row who was wearing a Robin (from Batman) style mask. it went pretty well. I got a few more laughs and then last night. Excited to work on it even more in front of a crowd and get it even. and of course the aliens saying their barbershop song, this time about leg waxing.

I wax my legs
They look good in a skirt
It’s really worth it
But it fucking hurts

After the show, we went out and took Facebook photos with people in the lobby. then, sadly, it was time to pack up all the puppets and starts taking down the set getting ready for our trip to Brisbane. I’m really happy that we get a day off tomorrow in Melbourne. It’s kind of like an extra chance to say goodbye to this amazing city.

After getting her stuff back to the hotel, a group of us met up and went out for dinner. We then went to a place called the Hi-Fi for the closing night party for the festival. They had a DJ playing music and everyone was having fun. Then all of a sudden the lights went out and the band took the stage. There was sort of a Quentin Tarantino team to the party and the band was called the Tarantino’s. They played only songs from Quentin Tarantino movies. While I admired the concept, they totally killed the vibe of the party so, Patrick and I left.

And that will bring to an end our penultimate day here in Melbourne.


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Puppet Up Toronto Tour Diary – Epilogue – Puppet Up Playlist


I love music.  When people ask hypotheticals about if they’d rather lose sight or hearing I think I’d have to go with losing sight first because audio is so important to who I am as a person.  I love the way that something you hear can make you feel a certain way.  It’s one of the reasons I love producing audio dramas.  Finding the right sound effect or piece of music that fits perfectly for that part of the story will instantly put a smile on my face.

I also love music.  Music can just make you feel some many things.  The right song can make you feel incredibly happy or rip you to your very core.  Puppetry is, obviously, a visual medium but music plays and important part in it.  Puppet Up is no exception.  There’s our opening and closing numbers, there’s our new finale piece called The End and there’s Windy, Java and I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face that play a huge part of in the show.  Then there’s the underscoring that Dan, our accompanist, does.  I always get a big laugh when Dan finds just the right song to play after the blackout of a scene.

But there is other music that I really associate with Puppet Up and that’s the music I’m listening to at the time or that I hear while on the amazing trips.  For example, the first time I went on tour with the show was in 2011.  I joined up with the tour in Florida for a string of five shows.  Since I was meeting up with the tour I flew to Florida on my one and then got a taxi to the airport.  While in the cab, Foster The People’s Pumped Up Kicks was playing.  I’m not a terribly huge fan of the song, but when I hear it I always think of that feeling I felt, driving to meet up with the tour in Florida, ready for a week of adventure and shows.

I thought it might be of interest, to no one but me, to make sort of a record of some of the songs that I was listening to while on this recent Toronto Tour.  Here’s ome of the more notable selections complete with YouTube links.

The Hellacopters – I’m In The Band
This is my ‘show song.’  I listen to this before every show to get pupmed up and ready to go on stage.  This and Alcohol by Barenaked ladies really get me ready to puppet up.

Martin Solveig Feat. Dragonette – Hello
This one will always remind me of the Toronto tour, like Pumped Up Kicks will remind me of the Florida tour.  This run we got brand new pre-show and intermission music and this track plays during intermission.  Not really my type of song, but it’s poppy and fun.  Ted HATED this song with a passion and would constantly say, “I think there should be a video of this song where the girl is just running away from that noise.”  By the end of the run Brian had a whole dance routine worked out to it that he forcibly made me learn one night.  Several times we got our intermission ‘places’ call and this song would come on as were standing backstage, ready to go for Act 2.  Everyone would be dancing.  Ted even danced one night.

Neko Case – Calling Cards
Neko’s new album has been on heavy rotation on all my music paying devices.  So many great songs.  This one is my favorite.  From the first time I heard it.  While in Toronto, I heard an interview with her on NPR and she talked about how it’s about being on the road with a band and missing other bands you play with and wanting to be with them.  Love the line, “Looking like you just woke up from making songs.”  Kind of a perfect song for being out on the road and away from home.

Jonathan Coulton – Space Doggity
I love me some Jonathan Coulton. The David Bowie exhibit was in Toronto while we are there. I’m not a huge fan but several of our group are and they went and saw it. There was a lot of Bowie talk and it got me thinking about this song by Jonathan. Such a sad song and a sad story. I’ve talked about it elsewhere on this blog. Listening to it a few times on this trip got me thinking that, someday, when I have the time and inclination, I’d like to create a puppet piece based on this song.

Bleu – Could Be Worse
Blue is my ‘artist of the year.’  I’ve had a song by him in my collection for awhile.  A song I loved (Snow Day).  I rediscovered him through a Jellyfish fan group as a member of Jellyfish sang on one of Bleu’s songs.  Anyway, I love this song.  Rocking, great lyrics.  Good message.

Shawn Colvin – Wichita Skyline
While perusing my Twitter feed one morning I saw a tweet from Shawn Colvin with a picture of the real Wichita Skyline and it got this song in my head.  Great song about being stuck in you life and unable to break out.

Dar Williams – It’s Alright
Listening to Shawn Colvin got me thinking about Dar Williams and this song.  Listened to this several times while in Toronto.  In the hotel and walking around the streets.  THis is a great song and I’m glad I rediscovered now.  Has a lot of meaning for me in this point of my life and things going on around me.

It’s time and I am changing,
Into something good or bad
Well, that’s your guess.

Something about this song just really hooks me deep inside.  It’s about loss and moving on, changed, but “It’s Alright.”  Listening to this song also got me onto Dar’s I Saw A Bird Fly Away.  Another great tune.


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