Artistic Director of The CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe, Inc.
What First Got Me Interested in Puppetry
In 1998 I attended the birthday party of a friend's boyfriend. I didn't really know anyone at the party, except my Friend, Sue; and the house I came to was kinda strange. It was decorated everywhere with rusty trinkets and old dolls. Small animal bones and sixties rock posters. There were children's toys from the nineteen fifties and a lot of candles, handmade and melted down to stubs stuck to the fireplace mantle and occasional tables around the living and dining rooms. It was a small place, and apartment in Berkeley Ca on the second floor. The carpet had been scavenged from an old theater by the landlord and it was an insane tangle of curling vine patterns with red flowers.
What made the party something special was the fact that someone had loaned the host a video camera. We were all poor artists from poor backgrounds. I had never even used a video camera before then. It was agreed that the opportunity shouldn't be wasted to do something with the thing. We set up the coffee table, which was an old gray crate, as a stage and began collecting objects from around the house to tell a story with. I tied strings to a teddy bear that was wearing a kilt. A pair of bic pens became the control and I instantly had a character with a high squeaky, accented voice. Other people at the party made more characters and we put on a show for the video camera. Totally off the top of our heads with no idea where we were going with it and had a blast.
My Puppetry (or Puppet) Hero
William Dwiggins, Ray Harryhausen, Ronnie Burkett
If I Were a Puppet, I'd Be...
Dr. Amiel Hadrian. Those in the know... KNOW.
More About Me:
I'm a St Johns based, Portland Puppeteer and artist. I have dabbled in a number of mediums from pencil drawing to clay sculpting. I've always been attracted to trying new mediums and new materials. I found I was unable to settle on any one material or art form. People always advised me to focus down and become a master of just one thing but found I couldn't. I was incapable of giving up all my var...ious interests.
Then I discovered Puppets. Every art that ever interested me could be applied to it. If I wanted to write a story, it could be used in a puppet show. If I wanted to paint, there were plenty of backdrops to do. I could build miniature furniture, machines, costumes and environments. It satisfied my interest in woodworking, joinery, sculpture, costume and models. Then I found it was an avenue into other art forms I had never considered: Sound Design, Lighting, even Film. I keep finding new things to play with and ways to create.
My world is now filled with puppet! I run a small non-profit marionette company which brings dark and beautiful, intimate shows to adult audiences. Our one of a kind company does small, elaborate shows filled with splendid set pieces and sinister characters populating complex and layered stories.
The CastIron Carousel is a Portland-local marionette troupe with a dark flavor and a twisted sense of style. Our focus is adult audiences, but our plays are suitable for families. The CastIron Carousel tells stories about things that clang, steam, whistle and go bump in the night. Tales to horrify and fascinate with beauty, tragedy and a wry sense of humor.
CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe is a nonprofit organization whose mission is two-fold: First, to inspire and entertain adult and family audiences with high-quality marionette theatre produced with contemporary themes. Second, to provide educational and performance opportunities for those individuals in the community interested in learning the stagecraft of marionette theatre.
The CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe, Inc. Beady Little Eyes LLC