The last weeks and days of X-Tink-Shun have been a whirlwind of activities and emotions. Saying goodbye to our ensemble, our crew, to our fans, to my favorite animals, and to our puppets has not been easy. What a unique dynamic we discovered at the zoo. We were able to create genuinely entertaining shows about environmentalism, and we were able to be genuinely weird and silly backstage. I doubt I’ll ever work a job again with such a high tolerance for goofing off, and kudos to the actual zoo staff who not only tolerated us, but were sometimes even crazier than us. But the crazy thing is that the goofing off turned out to be productive . Any crazy idea we’d claim that we’d do, we actually ended up doing. We made the video sketch we planned to make, and created the improv ensemble we said we would. FOPI, the Found Object Puppet Improv group, is going to premier in an upcoming puppet slam in Philly. I’ll be in New York preparing An Existential Sing-Along, and Liz will be moving from Philly to DC, but I expect Michel, Kevin and Lorna are going to do something that will be shockingly odd and truthful and funny.
Today, in addition to packing and seeing off Liz’s fox-dog, I captured x-tink-shun video clips that I’ll be using in my puppet reel (after I make my puppet reel, I’ll start my theatrical clown reel. Then after that I’ll start getting on camera for a legit reel), wrote some thank you notes “from Leo” to little fans, and started to write down Leo’s “script”, as it turned out over the seven months of development (the structured improv my show became doesn’t resemble what it started out as, in the slightest).
I’ve been filled with gratitude and reflecting on truly what a dream this summer was. I got to perform with Henson puppets, and I got to originate a character with one of them. Doing this kind of thing is a dream I’ve had since I was so young that I never thought of it as something that would happen, and the fact that it has fills me with new passion and inspiration. Not only that, it was for a project that’s goal was to try to make the world a better place, and therefore very much in the spirit of Jim Henson’s work. Between living that dream and getting to do Shakespeare in Vermont, my mother referred to this past season as my “summer of having your cake and eating it too”.
I’ll now have all my energy and time to focus on the upcoming performances of An Existential Sing-Along, and I will need it. In NY, I also want to audition for many new things, go back to hunting for a good agent, and pick up where I left off in my yoga practice and aerial antics.
In Philadelphia I found new skills; I also found love, kindness and support in so many places – from college friends, from family members, and from my new and dear friends and collaborators, my fellow X-Tink-Shun puppeteers. I wonder what I’ll find next.
Oh! I got to audition for War Horse! That was pretty cool.