Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Our recent intern,Taz Burns from Warwick University, recounts her time with us...

What made you apply to work with Blind Summit?

I chose to work with Blind Summit because my particular interests in puppetry come from wanting to work with puppetry for adults rather than children. I first came across them via the 2012 Olympics puppets, and had seen a good deal of Moses’ character.

Tell us about some of the things you did whilst you were working with us

One of the best things for me about doing a placement with Blind Summit was that I got the opportunity to try a bit of everything. I got to spend a good deal of time in their R&D sessions listening in to discussions about new work and seeing how it develops; do a bit of puppetry as and when an extra pair or hands were needed; and try my hands at making a Styrofoam puppet head myself – which I hadn't been expecting to try at all!

Who is your favourite Blind Summit Puppet and why?

My favourite now is definitely Tina, who can seamlessly switch from being an elegantly rude queen to a hilariously misinformed Scottish lady in a matter of seconds – my respect goes to anyone who puppeteers her though, it never occurred to me before I met her in person just how heavy she can be after a while!

How do you think the skills you've learnt here will help you in the future?

Working with Blind Summit has given me some great insight into how a small professional company works,  and regardless of which career path I stumble down in the future (my sincere hope is that I’ll find a way to mix them all up), the valuable skills I have learnt during this time will no doubt be put to good use

Taz's puppet head in the making process

Taz wrote about puppetry for her BA degree dissertation, and is now specialising her research in puppetry for her MA in International Performance.

Monday, 1 December 2014

We talk to Moses's "bum puppeteer" Sean Garratt about performing The Table 300 times...

Which was your favourite show out of all 300, where and why?
It would have to be in the 'Under The Radar' Festival in New York. Whilst performing in the venue 'La Mama', it proved then and there that this show has a real potential to be an hour of epic exciting puppetry!

 Who was the most memorable volunteer?
The little girl that chases Moses round the table for nearly 5 minutes in China

How do you think you've changed as a performer from show 1 to show 300?
In show one I was still estranged to so much repetition in a show, coming from a hugely improvised background. But now after 300 shows there comes a reassurance that as a performer I can say 'hey, yeah I can 'do' consistent"

What's the most challenging thing for you about performing the show?
Not letting myself analyse what I'm doing. If you do that you lose the syncopation between the group.

Where would you like to see the show tour to next?
Japan! It would be interesting to see how the audience responds to puppetry that has been inspired by their tradition.

What has been the most memorable place to visit and why?
Saint Petersburg. Talking to the audience and festival programmers after the show made me really appreciate the need to have art and culture reach all parts of the world regardless of their state.

What do you think is the funniest moment in the show?
Walking in the wind!

If Moses had clothes, what would they be?
Adidas tracksuit

What do you think Moses would like to get from Santa for Christmas?
Some teeth so that he can eat his carrots!

What's the best thing about working with Moses?

He's truly unpredictable!


Laura Caldow on being the "feet" of Moses

After a couple of months as Moses's new feet on The Table, I spoke to Laura Caldow to see how she was getting on...

"As Moses says, it's a very tough job on the feet. It's a role that takes all of my concentration, stamina and imagination. I've never worked so hard or sweated so much! It's quite a challenge being the new person surrounded by such expert, old hands, and I have to be prepared to boldly make some mistakes (and have Moses take the piss out of me when I do!) I'm learning to be brave and put his foot down when I believe in something. I really love how many different ways I have to use my brain and how determinedly I have to get into his character if I want to do a good job (and forget the pain of being bent double for an hour and more). I have to think really fast so I'm not running under the others, and be prepared to change gears all the time. One thing I'm learning is how to tell a third of his story in what his feet think, and let Mark and Sean tell the rest in their roles. I think people think that doing the feet is kind of a thankless job, but it actually gives you a lot of freedom and it definitely feels like we all three share responsibility for what happens on stage. It's great when we're really working together and improvising, when you can throw something new into the mix and surprise Moses. I think he quite likes it!"


Brittany says hello...

I'm Brittany! The new Administrator at Blind Summit.

As I get to know the ins and outs of life with Blind Summit, I want to share with you what I'm learning, and give you the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes. I'll be chatting to our puppet makers, the ensemble and the touring team to learn from them what goes on in the everyday life of the Blind Summit team. 

If there is anyone or anything you would like to hear about in particular, drop me a message at brittany@blindsummit.com

I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

B x