Everywhere I look someone in the office is on the phone! Registrations for 2008 are coming in and we’re not even through posting all of our new sites and programs.
This is a busy time of the year. Craig and I are working on developing the final sites and programs for the coming summer. There’s a lot of telephone conferences, travel (more about that at another time), and ideas being batted back and forth with our directors.
Take a look at this picture. UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television is being true to its entrepreneurial reputation. The UCLA Arts Camp is offering a Puppetry Workshop for only 20 students. Last summer we experimented with some puppetry in the Musical Theater Conservatory because of the trend in using puppetry as character driven entities. Just take a look at Avenue Q, The Lion King, and the films Men in Black I and II. It was a huge hit with our students and more than that the faculty could see important growth in the students’ craft. Professor Myrl Schreibman has secured Greg Williams of the Puppet Studio in Hollywood and a TFT alumnus. Myrl and I both have a history of working with puppets so we keep comparing notes and I am convinced that what Greg and he have planned is going to make this one of our top workshops.
When I was a student at UCLA I was required to take a class in puppetry. As I remember most of us went into it kicking and screaming. Puppets just weren’t very “cool” then but within a couple of classes we were all believers in the importance of the character within the fabric. The funny thing is that without realizing it I was preparing for an audition that became an important part of my career. About four years later I successfully auditioned for a television show where the only other characters were puppets. Charlie Horse and Humphrey Hambone and their friends earned me some important honors over the years…and became some of my best friends!

Charlie & Humphrey