For my Elton John "Crocodile Rock" number, we were really going for doing something special and over the top. Our audiences expect something wacky from me, and we had t
o have a puppet in my number because I'm married to the puppet guy.
We figured that we could take it over the top if we made little crocodile hand puppets for the audience to "sing along" at the appropriate points in the song. We had some leftover fabric from the giant croc, the birthday girl's custom Kermit puppet and some other croc-looking scraps. We decided to make twenty puppets.
Since we were giving them away and had plenty of costume and puppet stuff to do anyway, we created a pattern based on an oven mitt pattern we found online. They had to be simple to make so we could get them all done. It was three pieces per croc: top of body, bottom of body and mouth. They were so simple to cut that I wound up cutting 36 instead of 20. We still had more fabric to make them but Andrew mad
e me stop so we could eat dinner.
Because we didn't have all the time in the world and because we were giving them away, we hot glued the bodies together. It took a couple hours to get all the bodies and mouths done. We then turned them inside out so the seams were hidden. We glued a little tag inside each one so people knew they could take them home, and so they'd have my Myspace address. (Always trying to make fans, right?)
We started giving them features that night. To keep costs down, we only bought googly eyes and white ric rac for the teeth. The rest of the decoration for the crocs came from our fabric scraps and from Andrew's puppet box. We got a few decorated and took the rest to craft night.
Craft night, or "Stitch & Bitch," is the one night a month that the local burlesque people get together to work on costumes, props and bond. I think that craft night makes us stronger as a community. You get to know othe
r dancers, find out what other people are doing, learn what not to do, and spawn new act ideas. I've booked shows directly from my craft night participation. You can take your own projects to work on or help a friend.
We took glorified oven mitts with teeth to craft night. We gave everyone an opportunity to participate in the snapper madness and decorate a croc. Some made several. They were all so lovely and creative it was hard to pick a favorite. If I spent any more time with them, I wouldn't have wanted to give them away. I did pick one out to send to my nephew, so we only gave out 35.
I would love to do this number all the time because it was so fun, but I'd have to schedule it around a craft night so I could enlist the help of the troops on the crocodile embellishment end. The puppets were very popular. Everyone participated as if it had been rehearsed. No snapper was left behind at the end of the night. The crowd took them all.
Labels: burlesque, puppets, Red Snapper