Sunday, July 4, 2010

When in the course of puppet events

I am sure your Fourth of July holiday is being spent with friends: old friends, new friends, neighborhood friends, or family-type friends.*

And I am too. I’m spending lots of time this weekend with my new old friend, George. George has a German accent (at least today he has), but it's not making him hard to understand.

Some things we've been talking about:
  • He wonders why I appear to be mumbling when he talks. He says it's very rude. I try to tell him not to watch my lips, but he seems intent.
  • We are debating this: If they decided to produce reduced calorie m&ms, would they be n&ns, or would they just be ms?
  • There was a story about the new Universal Harry Potter Theme Park not allowing overweight people on one of the rides at the park if the restraint doesn't fit. Articles about it report:

Universal isn't the first theme-park operator to deal with issues raised by the growing rate of obesity in the United States. In 2007, Disney had to modify the "It's a Small World" ride after weighted-down boats began regularly getting stuck in the plume.
George's comment is, "Vell, I guess it essen't a small vorld afterhall, huh? ho,ho,ho,ho.
  • George and I are kicking around whether George Washington's fabled "wooden teeth" (historians say it isn't true) is actually a historical allusion to the Founding Father's interest in ventriloquism. I'm surprised and George is flummoxed that the connection is never addressed in history books.**
The German accent works pretty well for character development. I wish I knew whether it's typical for the first impressions "gut feel" character is usually the one that the puppet or dummy winds up being the keeper.

I am just so thrilled to have a puppet to work with. There really is no working on ventriloquism without one.  It's not just making noise without your lips moving, it's about making a character come to life.
From tonight's movies, here's some other options for voices:
John Wayne
Kirk Douglas
Bruce Dern
Percy Kilbride (Pa Kettle)
Desi Arnaz
George Kennedy

I can do impersonations of all of them. Pa Kettle is the only one that comes close to fitting the puppet, but it was fun experimenting.

Yes - I am driving my family crazy.
*Family-type friends are family that are actually friends, too.
** Did you know most history books wind up being written to appease the Texas education system, because they buy so many? Keep in mind, I said they buy a lot of books, not that they read them.
Sentimental Holiday Remembrance Warning!
I do miss this 4th of July party I went to every year when I was younger. Every year, my gang would play horseshoes with Tammy's dad at the party.  He'd let us get close to winning before he'd show us how it was done. Tammy and her cousin Gabby were horseshoe sharks too, if I remember right. And we guys were suckers for pretty faces, always wanting to show our prowess, and always getting beaten by girls. Thank God we never put money down.

That party still goes on every year. Wish I could be there. Hey Tammy - throw a shoe or two for me.

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