Cameron Garrity with his creations. © 2014 Richard Termine
Hello blog, my good, trusted, now six-year-old friend. I know it has been awhile. I know I've unwillingly pushed you aside while my academic engagement has me doing a whole hell of a lot of teaching and a whole hell of a lot of meetings; and frankly, you are something I shouldn't have abandoned. Why? Well, I haven't been able to write, and in turn I have not been able to think. And so, due to my lack of blog attentiveness, my thinking has atrophied. I lament this, but maybe Thanksgiving break can not only help me realize how thankful I am to have my wits, but also help me nurture my brain and coax some bits of brilliance back into it.
Why do I bring up puppets? As promised, I said I'd write about the 2014 Puppet Conference. And frankly, I need to. Considering that Puppet Camp takes place in June, which also takes place during a NANOWorks production and another engagement that will have me wearing powder-blue polos daily,I may never be able to attend Puppet Conference again.
Okay, that's a bit drastic. Maybe the time will come when I meet the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center again, but until then, I can compose my thoughts and write some memories.
So, let me tell you a little about Cameron (T) Garrity, a puppeteer I met at this conference. He is the son of a bicycle maker and a teacher, and the grandson to a war veteran and an amateur chef, and the great-great grandson of a penny-less, leg-less, monkey-less organ grinder.
(Okay, okay, not really, but work with the narrative here.) Mr. Garrity created a Puppet PSA explaining mitochondrial disease. Well, not so much a Puppet PSA as much as a narrative about a kid growing up with mitochondrial disease. And from what I learned from this puppet play, it kinda sucks.
The music I created for this puppet play is incidental, at best. Much of the material was improvised; some of it was stolen. But ultimately, the music does not matter here—what matters is that I learned something from Cameron, in that we need more stories like this (and not the generic ones in our dramaturgy). We need theater that makes us think.