For about six months, I lived with James out in a small township called Wizard Wells. Total population for Wizard Wells at the time was a whopping 15 people (16 if you count me). People didn’t really go to Wizard Wells for no reason. People barely passed through it. It was secluded and in the middle of nowhere. It was home though, for about six months and James was a good roommate for five of those months. That was because for the entire month of October he decided that he would pull scary prank after scary prank.
The first one started off while I was at work. I walked into my room and found that all of my stuff had been rearranged. When I questioned him, he stated that he didn’t know what I was talking about.
Then I was in my room reading at I heard something out of my window and he was just standing outside with a wolf mask on. Wasn’t really a jump scare, but good effort, I guess?
Then I came home after work one day and he had been waiting in my closet. I was sitting on my bed taking off my shoes when he jumped out from my closet. That one WAS a good jump scare. Though I don’t remember it completely, but I am sure that I did not scream in a high pitched voice.
By the end of October, I was now leaving shoes in specific spots to make sure that no one had come in my room while I was gone. I would set them up every morning as fail safe protections. However it didn’t help on Halloween night that year.
I had come home and the house was empty, which I was quite happy about. I walked to my room and turned on the light and the light had been replaced by a black-light. Everything in my room was in the same spot. The only thing that was different in my room was on my bed. The bed had been rearranged. The pillows were moved around to make it look like someone was in the bed. There was a dress laid out with a long, black wig that resembled the girl from The Ring. The problem was it was too hard to see anything in the room because of the black-light.
I laughed out loud, because I knew that it wouldn’t be James in a wig. I walked closer to the bed to remove the dress and wig and that was when the Alissa (a neighbor in Wizard Wells who had been riding with us to church each week) jumped up out of the bed and grabbed hold of my wrists. I don’t know how hard I screamed or how high I jumped, but we can just say it was a lot. I finally calmed down enough from the initial scare when James reached out from underneath the bed and grabbed my ankles. Once again, heart racing and screaming in the room. I juked back away from both of them quickly and placed my back up against the wall. I was trying to catch my breath when the closet doors burst open and another person jumped out at me. That was when I ran out of the room.
It took a while before I came back in the house. I made it another month before I found my own place…
Time for some new artwork for I Want A Pet Turkey. Our illustrator, J Zamora, is working hard to bring the story to life. In doing so, a range of emotions have to be created to make our main character jump off of the page. Part of J’s process is running through some character models to showcase the character with different emotions. This week’s is Sadness!
I am pretty sure that he is sad because he really needs a new pet / best friend.
Time for some new artwork for I Want A Pet Turkey. Our illustrator, J Zamora, is working hard to bring the story to life. In doing so, a range of emotions have to be created to make our main character jump off of the page. Part of J’s process is running through some character models to showcase the character with different emotions. This week’s is Happy!
Is it just me or is this little guy ready to be made into a puppet! Hmmm!
Today we are talking with someone who has an amazing job! I personally met David Manley at a puppet workshop a few years back called Beyond the Sock (http://www.beyondthesock.com). Each year, puppeteers (amateur and professional) come from all over the world to learn how to make and preform puppets and the workshop has connected so many people all with the same passion–puppets. I got to talk with David about his puppet work in New York.
Good morning, David! Let’s start off with you telling us about yourself and what do you do?
Good morning! I’m a puppeteer who travels to schools, theaters and libraries in New York and New Jersey mostly, but nationally as well. When I was young, I knew I wanted to be a puppeteer but peer pressure caused me to put it aside. I rediscovered it my adulthood and began my puppet company, Up In Arms, in 2012. I produce Broadway-style puppet musicals – the kind I wanted to see as a kid. Our shows include messages about learning, bullying (kindness and respect), health and wellness and our latest family musical “Pirate Song” about a young pirate princess searching the world for her song.
That is so cool that you get to teach children with puppets! What is your favorite part of being a puppeteer for school-age children?
I love the sense of wonder they have. We can hear them calling out from behind stage and their questions during our Q&A makes me feel like we’re imparting that same sense of magic I felt about puppetry when I was their age. As adults, it helps to remind us that magic still exists and to be producing it is amazing.
Out of all of your different programs you have done over the years, which one is your favorite?
Hands down, “Helping Drew”, our anti-bullying musical. As a kid who encountered some bullying, it was important for my own personal journey to experience being part of the solution instead of feeling like a victim. I’ve had so many comments from adults thanking me for the program having their own experiences being bullied.
What upcoming shows you do you have coming up? How can people come see the shows (say if they don’t go to one of the schools that your group preforms at)?
“Pirate Song” premiered October 13 in Newburgh, NY at a local library. One of our earlier shows, “Welcome Park” plays The Center for Performing Arts in Rhinebeck, NY in November 2018. We perform for libraries mostly in the summer in Northern New Jersey and the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York. Folks who are interested can follow us on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/upinarmspuppets) to find our public shows. We’ve played as far away as Las Vegas, NV and down the east coast to Maryland and Virginia as well so, you never know where we might be performing.
Alright, time for one last question! What Muppet / Sesame Street character best describes you and why?
I’m kind of a cheerful, organized Scooter type with a strong Cookie Monster sweet tooth and a Grover who just wants to share love.
Perfect answer! Thank you so much David for taking the time to talk to us today. It is so awesome to see someone following their dream and providing inspiration to children all over the country. If you want to keep up with Up In Arms please go to http://www.upinarms.biz or check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/upinarmspuppets. If you have seen an Up In Arms production, please leave a comment on how you liked it and if you are in the area check out Pirate Song David’s next big production!
I always feel like somebody’s watching me! Awesome new artwork for I Want A Pet Turkey.