Human Marionette?

Hello Everyone!

I've been watching this community for awhile now. I live in Somerville,MA and am in constant lust to perform. I don't really have time for rehearsals that go forever. I really just need to perform. Some of my friends busk around the more popular squares. 

My current idea is a human marionette and puppeteer. What do people think of that? I've never busked before, but have ample experience with audiences that are in close proximity. I'm a bit worried about safety, though. Any cautions anyone wants to share? 

Additionally, I am now looking for someone who has (and knows how to use) stilts who is interested in working with me around the Boston area. 
Buster Keaton

FILM is the LA Weekly 'Pick of the Week'!

LA Weekly calls FILM it's Pick of the Week!!

Watch the talkback with James Karen (longtime friend of Buster Keaton who was in the movie 'Film') here!

Full LA Weekly Review:

Failing Better
The Absurdists' convention

Local playwright Patrick McGowan's new play, Film, has no right to be as good as it is. The central character is the late theater director Alan Schneider (Bill Robens) -- known for staging some of the best plays by Absurdist authors, including Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? on Broadway, and introducing almost all of Samuel Beckett's plays to the American stage. Film has no right to be so good because Schneider, in this play, is an insufferable, flailing bully. The play is Schneider's nightmare -- an Absurdist nightmare, naturally -- a comedy and inexplicably scintillating entertainment about artistic failure. This biographical story, set in 1965 New York, features Schneider trying to make a film from a screenplay by Samuel Beckett (Phil Ward), who has come to New York to work with Schneider. Joining them to star in the slogging, portentous film, also named Film (now regarded by some historians as a "masterpiece") is Beckett's favorite comedian, Buster Keaton (Carl J. Johnson), long past his prime, spiritually at ease with his station in life, and willing to play along with the clueless intellectuals and a film crew whose patience gets sorely tested. Ward's Beckett is a delightfully rueful, awkward and solitary figure, aching in vain (of course) for the affections of the star-struck yet savvy prop mistress (the lovely Deana Barone). Johnson's Keaton (Mandi Moss handily plays the comedian in his younger days) has a pleasingly bemused perspective on Schneider's temper tantrums. Framing the story are slivers of Waiting for Godot in both French and English, and, in another nod to Beckett, a vaudeville in front of a curtain, featuring a kind of Mutt and Jeff routine, here played out by Schneider and the source of his envy, director Mike Nichols (who grabbed the job directing the movie of Virginia Woolf), portrayed here as a figure of rare competence by Trevor H. Olsen. Despite his production being slightly too long, director Trevor Biship knows exactly what he's doing, astutely staging the action (with supplementary archived film clips of Keaton in his prime) on Sarah Palmrose's emblematic set of a stage within a stage within a stage, each with its own curtain, and together depicting the multiple, clashing realities inside Schneider's tormented brain. Theatre of NOTE, 1517 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; through March 21. (323) 856-8611.

--Steven Leigh Morris

Or read the review here!

Buy Tickets Online here! Ask me about discount tickets we have available!

<3 - Mandi
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    bouncy bouncy


Hey guys!

So, I'm going to Sierra Leone, Africa in a couple of months to teach circus to kids in orpahanges and have created a blogspot account to document the process, and, to further document my career in street performing. If y'all are interested and have an account with them, please feel free to add me! :)

kate awesome

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    Lemon Jelly ~ Nice Weather for Ducks

(no subject)

Hi. I'm working on a new website devoted to what people can make possible and was wondering if any of you guys would be interested in helping me pre-seed the site with content. Any cool pantomime tips you want to show the world?

Here's what I need from you?
• Be 18-24 years old
• Tell me what your unique skills you want to share with the world
• Email them to possible at thaddus dot com
• Expect to hear back from me within the next 24 hours. I will choose which ones I want you to write up and pay you $25.

Feel free to repost, forward to friends.

Thank you.
ponderances, thinky thoughts


How old is too old to start training at the more physical arts to go beyond "hobby" in your opinion?

Our local juggling club has a man who started in circ skills at 37.  He is now 53.
He has been a professional circ arts performer for over a decade now.
He is an amazing object manipulator, and he's pretty spiffy on unicycle, stilts, rola, etc.
Every year he adds on a new skill as his birthday gift to himself.

He is constantly telling me he envies that I started younger than I did, but I think he's doing really well.
We know some people who want to *start* aerials, contortion, acrobatics, etc. and they are in their mid-30's to early 40's, with the goal of performance in mind. They are not in horrible shape, but could use some work (flexibility, strength, etc.).
He says they are not too old at all, but he doesn't do those arts.
I am honestly unsure.

What are your thoughts?


ponderances, thinky thoughts



An ever fun topic of performers every where.

I normally make mine but am getting a bit too busy to be able to do so.
There is only so much local and second hand retailers can offer! lol

If you buy, where do you prefer?
Who has good quality for a reasonable price?
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    curious curious

Stilt-Making instructions

A while back someone was looking for instructions to make stilts. My fiance and I are buskers in New Orleans and used These and These. (It's one set of instructions, but two pages.)

Total cost for 2 pairs of stilts: ~$120, which includes $20 to have a professional sew the velcro on to the straps. (depends on price of wood in your area and your access to tools)
Time spent: about 6 hours per pair of stilts. (depends on how handy you are with tools already... measure twice, cut once)
Adjustments we made:
We had to get 2x8 pine and have them rip it down into 2x2 chunks, 'cause they didn't sell 2x2 pine anywhere within a 50 mile radius of our Seattle home.
We made ours 2 feet tall
We used a plastic thingy to make it so we could tighten the straps with one pull.
We painted ours, then sprayed them with sealant to make them stand up in this humid NOLA weather.

I had some questions towards the end of the project, so I asked the creator of this design.

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Shields and Yarnell

Live marionettes are a gag that lots of people have done. It's a great walk-by character if done well and really adds to site animation. Plus, it's so versatile, you can do nifty stage show (I once did a live marionette striptease at a burlesque show maaaaaaaaaaany years ago).

This, has by far got to be the best example of a live marionette routine I've ever seen.
If you guys don't know who Shields and Yarnell are, I invite you to look them up! Robert Shields has definitely been an influence in my own performing arts career and interest in movement. They are a mime duo who are pretty famous for being "robot" folks. But, clearly as demonstrated in the link below, they are very versatile performers with an incredible corporeal repertoire.

here's the clip!

Hope you like it!
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    Max Webster ~ Diamonds Diamonds