Archives for the month of: October, 2013

pig camera

Last year when Pig was on stage at the Super Dede competitiion, he got terrible stage fright. I am happy that he has finally found his calling: He loves to work the camera and vowed to leave the stage in future to his mate Professor. Now that they both have found something to do, I hope they will move out of my liquor cabinet and find another place to live. Having them squatting there got rather expensive for me.

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Here it is: The film of the Dede Dada do!

First the link and then I’ll tell you all about it.

The film is dedicated to fellow blogger Tony who has the blog x-raypics.  Tony kindly sent me a Dada poem when I first floated the idea back in June. He works in radiography and uses a speech recognition program to convert his spoken notes into written text. He found out that when you feed this program with real poems it spits out Dada type text. So he kindly provided me with a sample called Dada Jack and Jill. (Figure out the original text :))

On Saturday, finally, a few people gathered in my studio to create a short film around the poem. Professor loves the arts and held his hand up to perform. A good disscussion ensued as not all the Dedes share his enthusiasm for this type of art. While Cash Cow is also fond of the arts, for her it has to be accessible and make sense. (Only the initiated will know why she is wearing a feather boa). I don’t know how many of the other puppets clapped and cheered only because that’s what you do when you watch a performance. Needless to say we had a lot of fun on and off the stage and thank you Tony for your wonderful poem.

We ran out of time on Saturday to record the spoken words, but I always thought it might be nice to do the full circle and use a TTS (text to speech) program to read out the text. I spent yesterday afternoon putting the film together and the first program I used was difficult to understand. Originally I considered it wasn’t important that the conversion back into voice was turned into unrecognisable mumble jumble and uploaded the file last night. But then, if you watch the film without knowing the background story, it might be viewed as poor quality. That irked me all night. This morning I found a new program and replaced Professor’s voice. Apologies to all the people I have sent the link to already. I really owed it to my collaborators to make the best possible film out of the material we’d produced on Saturday.

And now I have the sequal in my head, I guess I have to run another workshop. Any takers?

 

 

Yesterday was the big day. The official opening of the Dede studio space! And what a wonderful day it was. I am not one for big parties and hadn’t invited many. Even thought the Dedes want to pull a big crowd, I prefer it when everybody can talk to everybody and rather have a few little parties than one big one. Much to the dissappointment of the Dedes there was just a handful of us to watch them perform their Dada poems. Of course, there was a long discussion about the sense and non-sense of Dada poems and in the end we ran out of time. Therefore I can’t show you the film of the show yet :), but it is in the making. Watch this space.

action

I really should have had the camera out in the run up to the event. Then you could have seen Witch throwing her wooden spoon a couple of times while she was preparing the food for the guests, Nothing seemed to work for her. Thankfully, one of the Dede fans brought some tiny muffins that we were going to eat after the show. Guess what? By the time we wanted to have some they were all gone! We suspect Pig can’t read.

pig pigging out

mouse and push push

This morning Mouse walked up to Push Push, tutu in hand, and said “You shouldn’t give up. I had a go, it is not as easy as it looks.”

“I try and try and try so hard. I don’t seem to get anywhere” Push Push replied. “You know, at one stage you just run out of steam.”

“That is a common, but true tale. If you do something unusual, you get knocked back more often. You have to admit we are more used to dancing fairies than elephants” said Mouse when she handed over the dress. “I’d say, stick to your guns girl! And maybe compare yourself with elephants, not fairies, for now.”

I had a hard time last night convincing Push Push to publish her video. After all, it is her performance and she has to okay it. (Note to self: Ask for signature before start of recording!). Last night she was exhausted and utterly dissappointed by the reaction of the audience. “They’re Philistines! All of them!” she exclaimed.

When I showed her the film, she had to admit, that she was slightly out of time. She turned round and blamed me for this. Could you believe it? She had in fact practised with a totally different and very nice classical piece. It was me who made her change it at the last minute as her first choice was copyrighted. Note by Push Push: Never let anybody bully you into last minute changes!

She lamented that you get judged by the result, and the result only. The viewers have no idea how much time and hard work goes into practise, practise, practise. And worst are the critics. They sit on their silly red sofa and with one shake of their head they can knock your confidence for good.

I tried to console her. It wasn’t that bad at all… but judge for yourself.

critiques

This weekend I have invited friends to the Dede Dada Do. Unfortunately I wasn’t very thoughtful selecting he weekend, as it is Labour Weekend here in New Zealand. This is usually the start of the summer and everybody is out and about after the long winter. So a few people I’ve invited won’t be able to make it.

Still, the Dedes are all excited. They love visitors and Push Push has been practising a dance routine for some time. Today she was brave enough to step out in front of an audience for a dress rehearsal. Though the reaction wasn’t quite what she expected. I’ve made a video and I hope I can talk to her tomorrow, to find out whether she is okay if I put it up on youtube.

 

mouse monster

Halloween is coming up and Devil is practising his tricks. He mustered a few ghosts from around the house and was keen to try them out on whoever walked past next. It was poor Mouse who came along the bookshelf, minding her own business, when all of a sudden a pair of giant eyes popped up on the wall. Devil was hiding behind the filing cabinet as he wanted to see if Mouse would get a big fright. But she is such a welcoming little thing. She only stopped for a second and gave a friendly wave to the newcomer. Guess who got the fright?

mouse monster-2

cash cow corriander

Cash Cow is good mates with Witch and I see them hanging out in the kitchen together a lot. Cash Cow loves watching Witch trying out new recipes and of course she doesn’t mind doing the quality control when a batch is finished. Yesterday I overheard Cash Cow saying, “You really should have your own cooking show on the blog”. If Witch was listening, she wasn’t interested. “We could do something together,” Cash Cow carried on. “I could do gardening tips on the blog and you could do some recipes. Let’s talk to her. Maybe she could give us a day each week, where we can show off our skills!” Witch continued concentrating on her work. She is not one for the lime light. Cash Cow chose to ignore that Witch obviously wasn’t interested in her proposal and went on and on about how successful cooking shows seem to be and she would like to have a piece of that cake. Together they would be such a good team and Witch would be such a draw card with all her knowlege about herbal potions.

Finally Witch turned around and said, “Gardening tips, eh! No way,… you only have to look at the poor corriander, it  looks just as sad as you, love.”  Then she quietly continued her work. Even though she was sort of right, I thought it was uncalled for when I saw good old Cash Cow fighting back her tears.

lil princess and naughty boy

Since Lil’ Piggy and Farmer John were sold so quickly, the manager of the gallery asked me to bring some more puppets in. I like to keep them in pairs so they can tell a good story and I hope they find a new home together. When I told the manager I brought Lil’Princess and Naughty Boy along, she replied without looking, “Oh, I know those two”. Yes, I am sure they can tell a story!

philosopher sofa

Our famous red sofa in the studio is operational again. It didn’t take long for Philosopher to settle there and take in the goings-on with his eyes shut. “So what is your plan then?” I asked him as I value his opinion.

“Do you always have to have a plan?”

“If you don’t have a plan, nothing ever happens.”

“I beg to differe here, love. The world goes on regardless of plans”

“But don’t you want to be the master of your own destiny like all the others?”

“So you have noticed that all the Dedes who revealed their plans were themselves at the centre?”

“Except for Witch or course who cooked this lovely pudding for me ”

“Yes, except for the wicked Witch! What would we do without Dedes like her?”

Why can’t Philosopher ever give me a straight answer?