Black light pleasures with Mr. Nobody et al.

Presenting Mr. Nobody’s Spookeasy. Looking forward to being part of the puppet cast for this run.

I was backing up my computer yesterday (you all back up your files, right???) and saw a great photo of some black light fun with the Professor at the 2013 Edwardian Ball. While paying more attention to this blog, I realized that I didn’t have any photos of my prop manipulations of the recent past….

Edwardian Ball puppet magic
Mystic Midway 2013 at the Edwardian Ball

This was an ensemble performance so I cannot recall which floating object is in my hand. This is a great photo though! Continue reading “Black light pleasures with Mr. Nobody et al.”

Halloween with Mr. Nobody

The Spookeasy Website is UP!

Mr. Nobody's Spookeasy, Halloween 2014!
Mr. Nobody’s Spookeasy, Halloween 2014!

Just a teaser for now: Over the past few years I’ve been working with Scott Levkoff making very fun adult-themed puppetry events. This is only a sliver of the fantastic vision that Scott has for interactive play, but I have been a minion for his swamp-god Mr. Nobody (black light puppetry… a dream fulfilled at last!), Mr. Nobody himself (and VERY hungry), as well as animated black-light objects, and part of an “animatronic” puppet fortune-telling bit. It’s always a pleasure to work with Scott, so always hard to say no to his invitations.

Coming up, I will be animating objects/puppets for Scott at :::: The first-ever San Francisco Spookeasy Halloween Extravaganza is a new, daring, bold and sophisticated multi-evening experiential destination party that will transform Chinatown’s Great Star Theatre into a scintillating circus-like, madcap seance soiree beckoning back to life ghosts, spirits, and specters from the raucous and rollicking red hot era of 1930’s Burlesque and Barbary Coast Vaudeville in a decadently opulent Max Fleischer-esque “ToonTown” parallel universe’s haunted Prohibition-era Speakeasy.

Sounds fun, right?! More details and pics coming in the following weeks….

More Crankie Fun

Just got an email from Sue Truman, a crankie creator and performer. I’ve been a fan of crankies for a while now, and am glad that she found my page here on the HappyFeet site. She’s got some great links on her site, along with her own work.

Here’s the intro for her site. Check it out!

What is a crankie?

Hello and welcome to my humble website dedicated to the proliferation of crankies! I am a fiddler, stepdancer and crankie artist living in Seattle, Washington.

What exactly is a crankie? I think of it as a panoramic scene, rolled up inside a box, then hand-cranked so that it scrolls across a viewing screen. If you haven’t seen one before, then a picture is worth a thousand words. Watch one by clicking on one of the titles to the left: Valse Bealieu, Mist Covered Mountians, A Murder of Crows, etc.

Some crankies are made from paper: painted, drawn, paper-cut or mixed-media collage. Some are sewn from fabric. Mine are made from felt, hand-stitched, using applique and reverse applique techniques.

I have posted links to other people’s crankies under the heading “Link 2 More Crankies”. You will find amazing and beautiful crankies by Anna and Elizabeth, Rose Diamond, Pete Sutherland, Dejah Leger and Katherine Fahey.

I hope you enjoy exploring this site. I will be changing the crankies to view every month or so, so stop by again.

Take good care,


Continue reading “More Crankie Fun”

It’s the Funky Puppet Supper 3

Here’s the final version of the show lineup. There are still volunteer opportunities available if anyone is interested…

See you there!


The CELLspace Puppet Cluster Presents
::: The Funky Puppet Supper 3: unJust Desserts :::

A Commedia Dell’Arte Cabaret Performance with
Three-Course Dinner & Puppet Mayhem

Celebrating the 7th Anniversary of CELLspace and benefiting their code compliance process

::: WHEN :::
Friday, March 21, 2003
Saturday, March 22
Sunday, March 23

Puppet crafting and appetizers at 6:30 pm (BYO puppet if you have one)
Food and cabaret begin at 8 pm

::: HOW MUCH :::
cabaret tables: $35
general seating: $25
Group rates available; donations above ticket price always encouraged.

::: WHERE :::
2050 Bryant St., SF between 18th and 19th Streets
:::wheelchair access, for special seating needs please call before show date:::

::: WHO :::
The CELLspace Commedia Family
The FPS Buffoons
All-Star Stilts and Comedy
The Fou Fou Ha! Dancers choreographed by Maya Culbertson

The puppetry of Jessica Binder, Ian Greeb, Jen Hirst, Matthew Hoffman, Russell Howze, Catherine Lynch, Christine Marie, David Morely, Mia Rovegno, Chacha Sikes, Aundi Taylor, and Jonathan Youtt

Music and Sound FX by Dr. Abacus

Featured Acts:
The puppetry of Glenn Allen
Trapeze delights of Emily Leap
The juggling feats of Temple Brady
Enchanting cello and aerial fabric duo of Amanda Starr and Alex Kelly
The antics of Chicken Monkey Butt

And a few more surprises

Prepared by Chef Justine Werfelman

unJust Desserts” is the creative response to Homeland Security’s dark shadow as it affects our local artistic community. Find out how the Commedia Family battles bureaucracy, and Little Dictators, with comedy, ingenuity…and puppet mayhem.

Continue reading “It’s the Funky Puppet Supper 3”

Big Tadoo Puppet Crew 2012

At the Friday assembly last week, the florescent lights in the multipurpose room made Emily Butterfly (dressed in black and operating Granny) magically disappear into the black fabric behind her. Granny is the first puppet to go on stage, much to the amazement of the children watching the show. Seeing that the human was invisible, I told the cast. We decided to snap pics after our second run. We only had cellphone cameras, but managed to snap some nice photos of the 2012 cast for the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew’s Safe Routes to School show. This is the puppet show I run sound and do pre-production for.

The 2012 Big Tadoo Puppet Crew Safe Routes cast.
The 2012 Big Tadoo Puppet Crew Safe Routes cast.

(from L to R: Jonathan Youtt as The Dancing Grandpa, Aima the Dreamer as DJ, Gina Rawgirl as Freeda, Emily Butterfly as Granny, Chatterbox as Jun)

Someone just asked me what the story of our show was about. I took a moment to write a synopsis of this assembly. It still makes me laugh sometimes!

Once upon a time…

… in a neighborhood, not too far from your elementary school, it is Walk and Roll to School Day. That’s the day when children walk, bike, scooter, or skate to school. Outside, in front of a porch, young June Rollalot gets ready for his ride to school.

Continue reading “Big Tadoo Puppet Crew 2012”

In Nov: Red Curtain Variety Show

I’ll be stage managing (and possibly DJ’ing) this gem of a weekend at CELLspace in November. Long-time collaborators from the Funky Puppet Supper and CELLspace will be on stage, thrilling the audience with top-notch entertainment.

Hope you all can make it!

Red Curtain Variety Show
One Weekend Only!

For one short weekend this November comes an astounding array of talent, housed in one of San Francisco’s most beloved community theatre spaces. A collaboration between some of SF’s finest aerialists, dancers, clowns, and other artists. An evening of the wittiest of wit, the silliest of silly, and a guy who can stack up 7 chairs and do a handstand on them. Don’t miss the Red Curtain Variety Show!

Featuring: Westley Fredenburg as MC, Aerial performances by Eve Diamond, Soprano Diva Dian Meechai, poplocking manipulation from Devinio, the crazy clown antics of Judy & Punchy, Paradizo dance, puppetry by Alison Daniels, and more!

November 10th-13th.
Doors 7:30pm, Show 8pm.
CELLspace at 2050 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
$15-$20 sliding scale, at the door Continue reading “In Nov: Red Curtain Variety Show”

Stencils, Shadows, and Death

The Tower of Transformation is an Installation/Interactive portable art piece for the Burning Man 2011 theme-Rites of Passage. Based on a Balinese cremation tower in form and intent, it will be modified for presentation in Black Rock City

In place of traditional Balinese gold leaf designs, the tower will be covered in stencils by contemporary street artists from Bali, Java, the U.S. and Europe. It will also contain a contemporary shadow puppet theater

Participants will be invited to join the Tower in procession around Burning Man, adding their sentiments about the Rites of Passage in their own experience to the piece through writing on or artistic modification to the tower.

CELLtv: Funky Puppet Supper I Video

Back in 2000, Dave X, Charles Gadeken, Skot Kuiper, Jonathan Youtt, and a pile of other artists and volunteers cooked up an idea of video-taping CELLspace events and putting it on a Public Cable channel every week. CELLtv ran for a few years before the project lost steam (these people worked real hard on cranking out the episodes). Skot posted the episodes on his YouTube channel last month.

Here is the episode that aired Jonathan’s Funky Puppet Supper video edit.

I was pulled into this project as a producer, so with no budget and only a few weeks time, I helped an amazing group of artists pull together a show that included circus, puppets, Commedia dellarte, and food! There was little rehearsal, but ringer acts came in and filled the void. Foam master sculptor Ian Greeb showed up and helped craft the huge head and did pre-show walk around. Dan Chumley and Temple Brady educated the commedia actors and fleshed out a sketch of a story line with the other players. Stephen Bass and All Star Stilts added a bit of buffoon to the whole mix. About two dozen people in all made this thing happen, and Jonathan Youtt gets props for even thinking up the idea (based upon a Clown Cafe that happened at CELL some years earlier).

The FPS segment is towards the end of this episode of CELLtv. Here’s the link for FPS via this site (the only archive of the shows).

Mar 5: Big Tadoo Puppet Crew at Freight n Salvage

In a rare public appearance, the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew will perform its “Safe Routes to School” show for children of all ages. Spend the morning with the Patchwork Series and see how Jun Rollalot and Freeda Walkaton get to school during “Walk and Roll to School Day”. Oh, the adventures they have and the songs they sing!

Patchwork Series

at the Freight and Salvage

featuring Charity & the Jam Band, Rudy Trubitt, Big Tadoo Puppet Crew

Saturday, March 05, 10:30 am (doors open at 10:00 am)
afternoon kids show
$8.00 advance / $9.00 at door
Purchase tickets online

A Colorado Thanksgiving with Spearhead

This will be the third or fourth time the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew has opened up for Michael Franti and Spearhead’s Harvest Ball (I have a Fillmore poster from 2005’s Ball hanging in my room) and the second time they have flown the show to Colorado. BUT…. this is the first time they have flown out the WHOLE show, which includes the two pedal-powered crankies and the whole six-member cast! The family show is already sold out, so this should be a great adventure indeed (which I will probably blog about). Fly there, perform, fly back…. the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.


The harvest season is approaching and, in true tradition, Michael Franti, KBCO and AEG are set to present the 7th Annual Michael Franti & Spearhead Harvest Ball at 1st Bank Center in Broomfield (Denver), CO on Saturday, November 27th, 2010. Combining music, art and action, Michael Franti & Spearhead will perform two live shows in the spirit of sharing abundance and inspiring sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyles. Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 2nd at 10am and can be purchased by visting KBCO will hold a presale for interactive members on Friday, October 1st from 10am to 10pm. Please visit for details.

The early afternoon show will be a Family Matinee (SOLD OUT) with kids activities including local kids bands, puppet shows, organic food samples, a kids recycled costume show, contest and parade, eco-friendly painting and much more. The fun and games will be followed by a Michael Franti & Spearhead kids concert with Special Guests The Big Tadoo Puppet Crew, Jaden, and Conscious Carnival Games. The doors for the matinee show will open at 1:00 P.M. and the show will begin at 2:00 P.M. The evening show will be a harvest celebration like no other with Michael and the band performing songs from their new album The Sound of Sunshine and some surprises for the big kids, too! The doors for the evening show will open at 7:00 P.M. and the show will begin at 8:00P.M. The Harvest Ball will also include a food drive and all attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods to the shows.

Ground to Cloud: REDCAT Video

Director/Creator Christine Marie has put together a clip of scenes from her work “Ground to Cloud”. I was fortunate enough to join in on this production as “lead puppeteer” this past August and September and was part of the cast for all three different runs (SF, LA, and NYC). REDCAT’s NOWfest had a pro videographer shoot the last two performances in LA, of which Christine Marie used for this great clip.

Ground To Cloud from christine marie on Vimeo.