Theatre props: Let’ssss make a Snake!

You got to love having theatre friends. I got a text from my friend M the other day, saying “Hey! We need a puppet snake in a vase on a stick… Can you help?”

Well, of course! So this morning I whipped up a little snake pal from odds and ends I had lying around my studio. It’s pretty nifty being able to create on the fly because I have all my supplies in one space. (Which looks like a hurricane has gone through recently, but you’ll have that in a working space! All I’m saying is don’t judge me by my messy working conditions. I know where everything is!)

So, to start, assemble the snake materials needed…

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I had a leftover styrofoam egg from another project, as well as miscellaneous green fabric and tool. The khaki fabric I used was actually recycled from my fat pants. They no longer fit, so I washed them up, cut them off just above the knee, and cut the seams open. Ta-DAH! Reduce, reuse, recycle, folks!

I started by covering the top half of the egg with the green fabric. (I had cut a large square and started in a corner to cover the head.) I tacked the fabric to the egg with hot glue in a few places, but mostly secured it by pushing the fabric into the egg with an end of a spoon.

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So after the head was covered…

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I started working on the underside of the head and belly. This is the general shape I began with for the belly. Don’t worry that it looks big. We’ll trim it later.

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Then drew out a basic outline of the snake belly with a tan marker on the tabs fabric.

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I added a little more definition to the belly with Zentangles.

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And then finished it up with some shading.

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Now we need to attach the belly to the head. I used the same technique as attaching the green to the head. After attaching, I began trimming the excess fabric away.

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All that’s left now is to attach some eyes and connect the tan and green pieces with some hot glue. Since this is a theatre prop that is in about 30 seconds of one scene for one show, hot gluing the seams will work fine. If it was being used in a more close up venue, I would have sewn the seams.

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Attach the eyes with hot glue, do some artistic folding of the green to make a cobra good, and insert a stick into the styrofoam to hold up the head, and you’re good to go!

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Little Shop of Horrors – Call Me Maybe mashup

So, if you’re anywhere on YouTube, you’ve seen the many incarnations of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” lipsynch videos.  Our theatre couldn’t help but put our own spin on this phenomena, and thanks to the great directorial vision of Chad S. Roberts and the WONDERFUL video editing of jeandayfriday, we proudly present to you:

Little Shop of Horrors, Call Me Maybe edition

I am operating the first, third, and fourth puppets in the video (sometimes better than others, but I am just beginning, so cut me some slack, please!).  We rented the puppets from MTI in New York City and couldn’t be more pleased with them.

Enjoy! Comment! Link! 🙂 Share with your friends.

Don’t Feed The Plants!

Hello, loyal readers!  I’m back.  Perhaps you didn’t even notice I was gone.  But here I am, ready to blog again, at least for today.

Where have I been? Well, our local theatre is producing “Little Shop of Horrors,” and I am the lucky duck who gets to puppet Audrey II!  You can listen to our radio interview about the show at this link. (I’m not on this recording, but our Director, Seymore, and two Urchins, Crystal and Chiffon, are!)

Here I am, inside Audrey II Pod #4, puppeting for our PR event along a Boulevard in town. It was a GREAT event!

If you’re not familiar with the show, “Little Shop of Horrors” is a cult classic film-turned-musical about Seymore Krelborn and his discovery of a new “plant,” Audrey II, which is really an alien who feeds on human flesh and blood. The great challenge with this show is that, as a puppeteer, there is not one, but FOUR puppets to contend with!  Audrey II grows as the show progresses, so we get to see her as a little baby sprout, a two foot toddler, a six foot adolescent, and an eight foot mammoth monstrosity. As the puppeteer, I handle / wrangle / perform as 3 out of the 4 Audrey II’s.  (The second Audrey II is puppeted by the actor who portrays Seymore during a fabulous song-and-dance number.)  I get to have the finesse of using a hand puppet (Audrey II pod #1), a half-body puppet which uses my legs as the pod’s roots (Audrey II pod #3), and a full-body puppet where I’m lying on my back inside it and using my legs to help manipulate the jaw (Audrey II pod #4). This show has been a great learning experience for me as a puppeteer, and also for my friends and I have to a lot of fun!  We’ve shot a music video parody of “Call Me Maybe” which I will share the link to once it’s edited.  (Thanks, jeandayfriday! You are amazing! —  She filmed and is editing the video.  How’s that for talent!)  Also, the actor portraying Seymore and I are going to film some “Behind the Scenes” puppet videos with each puppet once the show opens and we have some free time.  Right now we’re in dress-rehearsal-tech-rehearsal mode, so there’s no time for extras! Here’s a few more views of Audrey II, pod #4, and stay tuned next week for more pictures and video links!  Thanks for reading! 

Perhaps my favorite shot I took — my view from inside the plant. (Provided you’re puppeting outside. If you’re inside, all you see are stage lights!)

Audrey II Pod #4. Isn’t she terrifying!? 🙂 (Yes, I’m in there. Yes, it’s hot.)