Puppets seem to have been creeping into my life a lot lately! Actually, now that I think of it, I have always had puppets in my life, as an Emmet Otter obsessed child to an adult sitting in a darkened theater basement in lower Manhattan watching Erik Sanko & Jessica Grindstaff's The Fortuneteller (probably the single best piece of art I've ever seen in New York), puppets have always been there I guess. Hell, I am even practically a puppet in Gravity, positioned frame by frame by the likes of puppetmaster Brent Green! And even a puppet in my own stop motion too!
Recently, while in California, puppets seemed to be omnipresent... Eating dinner in L.A. I sat with experimental filmmaker & artist Janie Geiser (whose work frequently employs the pliable puppet as character, but who also makes some haunting found footage/sound collage films) and Scott (whose amazing "kids" rock comedy show Pancake Mountain features alt music legends and a puppet host, Rufus Leaking, maybe he's a goat? or a sheep? either way, he's a puppet!). Even Will Vinton (who I actually got to meet after Brent ran into him in our hotel at the L.A. Animation Festival and asked him to say hello to me in my room where, to my surprise, I opened the door to the smiling, mustachioed, father of claymation!) basically employs puppets in his art as well!
L.A. was so puppet-centric we even spotted a tuxedo clad Kermit tipping his hat to us as we were stuck in the traffic that is L.A. This is a perfect segueway into a live show/residency that Brent is set to do on the Eastcoast next year- which will include a live performance of Gravity in February at the Silvermine Guild Art Center in Connecticut now under the direction of Leslee Asch....wait for it, wait for it....a former Jim Henson disciple! Puppets, they just make sense.