My friends and I made a giant puppet crane and then took it to the circus.
This is the life of an artist.
And yes, I’m serious, a GIANT crane puppet, which my friend animated by being entirely inside it, and walking around backwards. And apparently, being larger than a human might not actually be all that GIANT for a crane because ours is based on the Whooping Crane, which can grow to 5 feet tall. So our 9 foot monstrosity is still really big, but is is giant?
Why did we do this, you may be wondering… That’s a very good question!
We did this because we wanted to be part of the circus! Up Up Up Inc., a touring crane truck circus ensemble based in Bellingham, WA, came to our little town over the weekend and dazzled us with incredible acrobatics and hilarious clowning. Our group (we call ourselves the Goblin Theatre Troupe… I think?) were super lucky to get to check them out and warm up the crowd with our puppetry antics!
This was an incredible undertaking, and would you believe it, we put that big ol’ crane puppet together in just one week?! (It was a nuts week, I’ll tell you that for free).
The putting together of Haulie was intense, and often confusing. She’s made up of an old metal frame backpack, some really lovely fabric from Goodwill, some tubing, PVC pipe, foam core, paint, string, wire and love. Or whatever it is Haulie considers love, I guess.
Highlights: Christina and I dressed as scientists who are trying to help Haulie imprint on real cranes (she imprints instead on the aerial rig at the circus); Bryan’s INCREDIBLE impression of a British naturalist documentarian and totally hilarious improv; and then there’s of course Albert, the whole legs of the operation, who wished to share Haulie with the world and ended up being attacked by SO MANY CHILDREN when he had Haulie “poop” candy for them.
This is all real, I 100% promise.
If you’ve stayed for the end of this, that’s impressive, thanks! Definitely check out Up Up Up Inc., their summer tour has ended, but we’re looking forward to seeing them again throughout the PNW. Also, stay tuned here for more updates on the Goblin Theatre Troupe, maybe? We’re just a band of crafty, jokey misfits, but it sure is fun! Check out Mt. Caz for more community arts in the Mid-Willamette Valley!