I feel like I haven’t been home for 4 days! I’ve been doing this puppet gig non-stop. I appreciate all your comments about Vicki. Especially the ones like, “What the heck? Are you a freak?” Those were nice.
A little puppet background: When I was in 6th grade, I joined our church’s puppet team. We performed at church, at nursing homes, schools, camps and even the library. We also went to puppetry festivals/conferences every year to learn, compete and perform. When I got married, my dh and I traveled around to churches/camps/special kid’s events as guest speakers. We used puppets in our performance. We also worked for a puppetry company out of Denver. And of course, we’ve been children’s pastors for several years, so you have to know how to work a puppet.
My mom was one of the directors on my church’s team. She started it 20 years ago. This year, she was hosting a puppetry festival and decided to also host a reunion for our team!
It actually started about 8 weeks ago when a few of us got together to talk about the performance. Then every week after that we had practice in my basement. We costumed puppets, we made puppets, we made signs, we practiced choreography, we did it all! Lydia has been so excited about all those puppets in our basement, it makes it easy to go down and do the laundry, she just hangs out with the puppets while I wash!
Then we had to find all our old puppeteers. There were about 75-80 on our list. We made a myspace page for our team and started sending invites. It was amazing who came out of the woodwork for something like a church puppet team! Then last Thursday, was our big reunion dinner. We decorated, planned entertainment and even gifts for everyone! I made a slide show on my awesome macbook. Did I say awesome? Oh yeah, it was so awesome I had to call applecare in tears TWICE! Ugh. I don’t even want to go there. Anyway, it was so fun to see everyone at the dinner. I ate with friends I haven’t talked to in forever. I miss them!
After the dinner, the hard core puppeteers (aka, the crazy ones) stayed for the practice. This was our final practice before the big performance. We saved one song for any last minute puppeteers to perform in. We practiced until the wee hours of the night, then got up the next day to start the festival.
The festival is just workshops, performances and competitions. My husband and I taught 2 classes (Advanced Puppetry Techniques and Booking & Marketing Your Team…impressed?). Our performance was on Saturday morning and it was awesome.
The set up was a talk show a la David Letterman. Only it was set in Candy Land with Vicki as the host. Here’s Vicki and her co-host, Mr. Mint (me and my bro, Jason) introducing the first song.
We did 4 songs in the show. The first one was in honor of our very first competition song–an old medley of hymns reworked as 50′s doo-wop. This is me at the beginning of the 50′s Hymn Medley. (I’m doing the puppet…sorry, to whoever else is in the picture…)
We did 3 more songs–a rock-n-roll number with a live “singer” and a black light song (think Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney) and the last number was a big choir song. This is a bad picture for several reasons (mainly because of the ugly yellow haired puppet Staci insisted on using!) but here we are in our final song. I’m second. Look at how much we’re all concentrating!
I’m happy to say they loved our performance. In fact, we got a standing ovation!
Well, there it is. For those of you who never knew it existed, I’ve let you in on the inner workings of the Christian Puppetry sub-culture!
(for more pics than you’d ever want to see, click here, password puppets.)