Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Puppet Show: The Puppet State Players

Puppet show

Interview plus extra scenes

Artists: The Puppet State Players – Noah Applemayer and Colin Hagendorf
Medium: Puppet theater
Location: Union Square by the Ghandi statue

And, in a thick Brooklyn accent, Barney says: “And so then, I’m standing there in my own living room and the repo man walks in and he just starts taking my stereo. And I was like, listen buddy, you can’t touch that. Next thing I know I wake up in a pile of my own blood and piss.” Can you imagine that? Well, you don’t have to because you can watch it (it’s in the middle of the show with an alternate version at the end of the interview vid).

This is the work of puppeteers and comedy writers Noah Applemayer and Colin Hagendorf. With little or no experience, Noah and Colin entered the world of comedy puppet theater during the 2004 RNC in New York. Here’s how it went down –

[a hotel in Italy]
*ring ring*
Noah: “Have you ever done a puppet show before?”
Colin: “No, I haven’t. I got no experience”
Noah: Well, okay, that’s good ‘cause we’re gonna do a puppet show together during the

Suprised that people actually stopped and watched, the duo stuck with their theatrical hobby. Now Noah and Colin have seven or eight different scripts under their belt along with a couple of hundred performances. Longtime veterans, the two can easily run off the reasons they enjoy performing on the street. For starters, they don’t have to solicit and audience, send out pamphlets, beg their friends to come all the time or any of that crap. Instead they say, “[our friends] come but we can get an audience of strangers which is nice.” For these reasons the puppeteers say working the street is “way more gratifying than performing in a venue.” Well, that and other things.

Noah and Colin also note that the street is better because it allows for feedback. In theaters, they explain, you don’t really get a lively response (compared to the street) and you don’t have to work for the audience. “If we bring a shitty show out on the street people split. The public is a fickle, fickle mistress.” Thus, when they first attempted their Guantanamo Prison Camp hot dog eating contest they thought they had a hit only to be met with the proverbial tumbleweed. Once they started throwing hot dogs at the audience, however, they really did have a hit. The growth and freedom the street provide are “addictive” in the words of Noah, and their benefits are only marginally diminished by the BS of permits and cops.

In case you were wondering, Noah and Colin do have real jobs and laughed at my question of whether street puppet theater is profitable. Noah, does a bunch of cool stuff but mainly paints houses for cash. Colin is a cook.

Noah Applemayer hails from Whitefield Maine and has been in New York for several years. Colin Hagendorf hails from New Rochelle and has also been in the city for several years.

Like what you see? Book a show

Really like what you see? Here are some of their influences
Pee Wee Herman, Mr. Shoe, Home Movies, Frisky Dingo, Venture Bros. (Cartoon Network, if you’re watching, pay me for my advertising)

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solomon grundy said...

lol very cool

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