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Discussion in 'Fraggle Rock' started by The Count, Jul 15, 2013.
Here's a video posted by DragonCon.
Here's the full video of the DragonCon 2013 parade. The Fraggles appear at 18:32.
Hey, I see Slackbot in the parade, too! [20:28] Janken's with her as element 27--Colbalt, right? SLACKBOT, YOU'RE ON TV!!
All of this is just convincing me that I need to go to DragonCon before I die.
Here's another video of the panel.
Here's the full version of the panel if anyone is interested.
So cool. I still wonder how those two reacted to Slackbot's fraggle, Janken, but we'll see. I wish I was there though.
I nearly died laughing. That was great.
Thankfully, Kathy had no problem getting back into character. I hope she's willing to play Mokey and Cotterpin when the movie gets made.
I had so many great experiences at the con this year! It's not easy to assimilate them, but I'll post some here. It may help break me out of the funk I'm in now because the con is over and I just took my friend Kathy to the airport.
What I'm sure you'll want to hear about first: Fraggly/Muppetty things! I attended multiple events with Karen Prell, Kathy Mullen, and Michael Frith, and they were a pleasure to listen to. Frith was especially funny and informative on the subject of the development of the various shows, particularly the context of the times.
The first one was the Fraggle 30th anniversary panels, and the following meet & greet with Prell & Mullen & Mokey & Red. Janken and Boober got their pics taken with 'em! It was at the meet & Greet that I handed over the postcards. They were surprised to receive the little bundles, and at a later panel Prell thanked me for bringing them. Back to the panel, it was mostly the panelists talking about their involvement in the show, how they became puppeteers, and the like. Red and Mokey came out close to the end of the panel, and, heh, it took a minute for Mokey to get back into voice, but it was positively wonderful to see the gals again after so long.
I attended a panel of Frith's world-building, and he talked at length and very entertainingly about his work at Random House with Ted "Dr. Seuss" Giesel, Sesame Street, and other Henson projects. Because many of the Sesame street puppets only existed from the waist up, he had to make up the rest for the full-body illustration. So, he proclaimed, he can claim credit for designing Cookie Monster's bottom!
Next day there was an autograph session, and I got all three to sign my autograph/artbook. Prell drew a little Red for me. Hee hee. I also gathered my nerve and brought my Mokey puppet. I felt a little embarrassed showing her to Mullen, but she seemed genuinely impressed. Squee!
And then there was the Muppet Babies panel. It was in one of the small rooms, but dang if it wasn't packed. Kathy (my aforementioned friend, who came with me to all these panels and often was wiggling one of my puppets) and I were on the front row, me with my Skeeter puppet. Some people recognized Amy Mebberson's design, and Frith was amused by her. Squee #2. He had a fair bit to say about the context of the show's development, its supporters and obstacles, the context in which it was developed, and what their purpose was. He also showed a wonderful music video for I Will Always Love You that included references to a lot of other '80s video, and at points had the audience laughing out loud. Is that thing anywhere on the 'net?
The parade! The head of the Puppetry track told me that the puppetry section of the parade had been canceled because only eight people had signed up for it. I was bummed, but I was still gonna march. If there was no puppetry section, I'd march in the children's shows or "Everything Dragon*Con" or whatever other section they put me in. I would not be denied! When I got there, however, the parade folks guided me to spot #17, which was still Puppetry. And because of aforementioned track director, I was the only puppeteer there. Well, phooey, I'd march and have a ball anyway. But right in front of us was the Periodic Table of Elements group, which I've admired for years, and they had some slots open, so they added us to their section. Janken and I became Cobalt, and Kathy (who was not planning to march because of twice-aforementioned killjoy) became Oxygen. And we marched, and had a blast, and Janken's arm came off during one of the "atomic bonding" dances. No tragedy; I stuffed it back up his sleeve and kept his gestures very small after that. When I got back to the room I saw that the thread had merely parted, and sewed it back on, good as new.
The final event we attended was the Puppet Tea Party. They set up a room like a tea party, with round tables and chairs and prop tableware and stuff, and only people with puppets could attend. After the welcome (by a sheep puppet that sounded but did not look like Lambchop) we mingled for quite a while, puppets and puppeteers talking to each other. There were little kids with simple stick puppets they bought at the con, and people with crude puppets that they'd made themselves, and pro-quality puppets and puppeteers, and everything in between. (I was blown away by a wonderful marionette and his marionettist, and Janken was amazed when the marionette picked up a cup. ("I can't do that!") Then we played a game of charades, with the puppets acting out verbs, and we finished by all singing The Rainbow Connection. It was an absolute blast, and I hope to heck they make it a regular event.
The other major activity was simply walking around the Hyatt and Marriott, socializing, and posing for lots of photos. I brought five puppets (Janken, Boober, Mokey, Sage, and Skeeter) and Kathy and I put on who we felt like operating and went out to mingle. We gave out lots of smoothies are rollies and Doozer sticks (stick candy), and I gave out some business cards to people who wanted to see more of my work and might even want to commission me. The biggest kick was seeing people's faces light up when they saw Fraggles. There were little kids who didn't ever want to leave us, and adults who had to have photos and tell us about their childhood memories. And we had to repeat many times that, no, we are not the actual Muppeteers, and these are not puppets used on the show, but thank you for thinking we're that good!
I've got photos on my iPod, and I'll post some and share 'em here when I get my act together.
Oh, and I met Larry Niven, one of my two all-time fave authors, at an autograph session, and got him to sign a publication I can't mention here, but it contained an illustrated version of one of his funniest essays, Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. Squee #3.
You're telling the truth, Slackbot! I met you for realzies on Saturday! Remember, crazy girl with giraffe puppets?
Thanks Kim, I really enjoyed your thoughts and experiences from this year's Dragon*Con. The fact that you had Boober, Mokey, and Sage makes me light up with a big smile thinking them all together. Even more so with big brother Janken and Aunt Skeeter too. And when the Muppeteers expressed their excitement at your creations, that just makes me smile even more.
The puppet tea party, that's what needs to be recorded and uploaded, puppeteers and puppets all talking to each other like that analogy of how there were five people in any conversation with Jim and Frank and Kermit and Piggy.
It sounds like you guys had a great time (I'd quote the whole post but I don't want to make people scroll, hahaha). I can't wait to see pictures of stuff, and that is so cool that Kathy Mullen liked your Mokey puppet. It's so nice to hear that people had a great time there and were so impressed by your puppets.
I've created a little photo album. It's on Facebook, but it's public, so you don't have to be a member to see it.
Just to add some clarity: The last video posted in this thread was the press-only version of the Fraggle Rock panel. There was a general public version that lasted for closer to an hour.
I have full audio recordings from nearly every one of the panels. If anyone's interested, I could distribute those (and I'll take suggestions on the best way to do that). Here's what I have:
- Designing a World: The Work of Michael Frith
- Down In Fraggle Rock
- Puppetry with a Purpose: No Strings International
- Puppets, Pixels, and Portals: The Work of Karen Prell
- The Work of Kathryn Mullen
- Animating Portal's Wheatley (by Karen Prell)
- State of Puppetry Roundtable (six panelists, including Victor Yerrid and Paul McGinnis)
Unfortunately I did not go to the Muppet Babies presentation with Michael Frith. Michael is a great speaker (and a great guy!) and I would have loved to have gone to this, but Kathy's presentation was scheduled at the same time.
Karen was also 1 of 3 panelists for the "Art of Video Games". I did not go to this, but I assume a lot of what she had to say here was included in her Wheatley presentation.
Some of the presentations did include videos and photos, but I don't think any of that is necessary to enjoy the audio.
Wow gotta love me some fraggles
Hey Slackbot! I saw that same SkekSis costume, too! (the Chamberlain, I presume? ) Aw! We've should've taken pictures of each other! It was great meeting you at DragonCon!
Er, to clarify... "Skeksis" is thename for the race of creatures from The Dark Crystal. "SkekSil" is the name of and actual character titled as "The Chamberlain".
Hope this helps.
BTW: Kim, you should write an article about your experiences for either or both the Mindset and Toughpigs.
Murray, I'd love the audio from those panels. I missed some of them because there was just so dang much to do. We didn't even make it to the dealer's room, for crying out loud!
TheSHE124, yes, I believe that was the Chamberlain. SkekSil, IIRC. I remember him looking over when I did the "MmmmMMMMMMmmmmm" bit.
The Muppet Babies panel was as great as the other panels. Frith is fun to listen to, and he comes across as an utterly sweet man. Plus, heh heh, he does a pretty good impression of Frank Oz. After the end of the panel I went up to him (since I was in the front row, that involved taking two steps forward) and, after apologizing in advance for what I was about to say, asked about what happened in the last two seasons of Muppet Babies. In the first six seasons there was a sense of camaraderie and love between all the characters, even when they were exasperated with each other, and the show was about all the characters having group adventures. In the last two seasons all that changed--the characters spent much of their time bickering and squabbling; the stories often didn't use the whole group well, the characters became flanderized caricatures of her former selves, and even the animation and music were different. What happened between seasons 6 and 7? He looked a bit uncomfortable (hey, I did apologize!) and said that by that time it was about time to move on, the show had run its course, but there was no big change behind the scenes. The way he said it made me suspect that there were things he could not or did not want to talk about, which I can understand, so I left it there and thanked him for his work on a lot of great shows. We parted after a big hug. (Squee!)
Separate names with a comma.