Archives for the month of: November, 2013


Admittedly, communication between the Dedes and me hasn’t been so hot lately and I sensed there is a lot of uncertainty about what is going to happen; what I have lined up for them. I have a history of doing new things and just presenting them with what they have to do next. But I strongly believe somebody has to make the decisions around here. Personally, I am not a big fan of decisions by committee: when you try to please everybody you always end up with something boringly average. The majority of the Dedes, on the other hand, are a comfortable lot and are not very keen on change. So to debunk their fears I thought I would invite them to a full Dede puppet meeting and explain what I am up to, even though it only marginally affects them.

Would you believe it? A mere five puppets showed up. Out of how many? 63, 64. Isn’t it pathetic? Behind closed cupboard doors they whisper and complain. You would think they are planning a mutiny. But when they could come out and have their say, hardly anybody showed up.

They had their chance, and not showing up is not my fault. I still went ahead and told them what I have planned for next year and why all these strangely constructed actors have shown up. These are samples for a puppet workshop I am holding at a community artschool in Auckland in the beginning of next year. The course follows my own path into puppetry from the visual arts perspective, rather than from a theatrical point. I am keen to convey the self explorational properties of puppet making and it’s magical uses as a problem-solving tool. In one session I will use the Dedes, but ultimately I want the students to unleash their own creative thinking when it comes to puppet making. And by the end of the course we will have made a stop motion film. I am quite excited about this project.

But wait, there is more. I was invited by the manager of Estuary Arts Centre in Orewa (just north of Auckland) to co-curate a puppet month in July next year. We envisage a festival of puppet making, story telling and performance, and not just for children. This week I put an EOI note on Big Idea. It would be amazing to bring a bunch of puppeteers together and further object theatre in New Zealand. Needless to say I am equally excited about this project.

So, fingers crossed, I can find enough students for the course to run and enough puppeteers to make puppet month happen…

The Dedes didn’t say much. They just wandered off when they realised my plans really didn’t involve them. I guess they didn’t know what to think about all this and have to confer with the other lot that stayed in the cupboard.

biirdie and devil-4

On the weekend another new thingummy arrived on the scene. Of course, Devil came barging in and wanted to shoo the little thing away. He definitely wants to put a stop to all these new and strange creatures. The wonderful studio is supposed to be a Dede only space. Much to his surprise he’d found his equal this time. The Whateveritis was not intimidated by Devil‘s browbeating behaviour.

biirdie and devil-3

biirdie and devil

He was a bit shaken by the treatment he got, but I didn’t want to get involved. Let them fight it out. That will teach him a lesson!

alien office manThe Dedes are terribly upset with me again. They are still elated about our film making. We even have set the date for the next Dede Workshop. It will be on the 3oth of November. So we were on the road to happiness together and then this little man came along.

This is Office Man. The Dedes say he looks like an Alien. He is different and they don’t like him. End of story! They believe he will need too much attention and is far too difficult to work with. And then Devil demanded I explain why I spent time making him, when the Dedes were waiting for me to do things with them. I had to remind Devil, and all the others, that our relationship was never meant to be exclusive. I am so disappointed about the Dedes, as I had invited Office Man to announce some great news to them. But as he waived his friendly hello, the Dedes just took one look at him and scuttled back into their cupboard and left him standing there. No wonder Office Man is sad.

I went after them and said they won’t hear the news until they remember their manners and are a bit more welcoming towards the new arrival! I guess there will be a long period of silence again, unless their curiosity gets the better of them.

Cash Cow didn’t move from her place after Professor’s performance last week and has been pondering about the sense of Dada poems ever since. I now proudly present to you the sequel to the Dede Dada Do and yes, I can resist calling it Dede Dada Dodo. It is simply called Dede Dada Do 2, or Art for Art’s sake.


Special thanks to Miss Viwi, who kindly allowed me to use her Dada poem.

All the Dedes had so much fun doing the little films that they definitely want to continue doing more. We are not short of ideas. They were surprised to find out their art form even has a name. “Flash Drama”. I came across the term on Wikipedia and I thought it describes what the Dedes are doing to a tee. So I researched a bit more. A flash drama is a short play, as short as several seconds and up to 10 minutes in length. It is played out by a single character or very few characters. The drama genrally unfolds in one act, though blocking and lighting may be used to imply jumps in time or between locations. The set is minimal or non-existent. In German there is a similar thing called Mini Drama or Dramolett (I love the word Dramolett), but this can be up to 20 minutes. Does this mean the Germans are more longwinded? Just kidding!


Anyway, I will do something today that I usually steer clear of. I will explain the moral of the “Elephant in tutu” dramolett. It is sad, but the drama depicts the year I have had! Yes, apart from the Dedes I had a pretty shoddy year. I danced my little heart out, admittedly I  sometimes misjudged the situation and missed the beat, but in general I thought I did a relatively good job.  But the critiques didn’t like it. No explanation needed, just a simple and resounding NO! Like Push Push I felt like chucking it all in, but I know very well, when I drop my tutu, someone will pick it up and continue. Everybody is replaceable. Dropping the tutu should be a considered action. Generally you don’t get it back! Though sometimes it is worth chucking in the tutu and taking up singing instead.

Safe landing everybody!