Hurray, I finished!

This is me doing the dance o’ joy! See how I twirl around so gracefully, doing something akin to an Irish jig, or maybe it is more like southern clogging, naw, I think it is more like jumping up and down to music no one hears…but anyway, I finished my “fat book” pages. That is not to say I am fat, well, I am sort of, or that I made a book, well, no, I made 25 pages that will be coordinated by a “host” into a book, titled “The Flower Garden”. I spent hours doing my contribution. I know full well that others’ will have spent just as much time, or even less, and their work will look better than mine. But that said, mine will be just as sincere and true as theirs, and at this point when I make art, that is what I am striving for. In the works (read: in my head, in my sketchbook, protypes of set and puppet being worked on), is a puppet show about women. Well, not exactly about all women, or about women of every age, but let’s start with this woman. It is a three part show. Act I, will be on women’s cancers (not specified on which cancer, just the experience), Act II, will be on becoming invisible in our society as you get older, and Act III will be called “How to open a jar without a man” dedicated to all those women who are defined by society as “without a man” for whatever reason. I could have just as easily entitled it “No kids, what’s a woman to do?”, and that could be Act IV.  The puppet itself is what is called a “table top” puppet, manipulated on a table like surface, and in this case by three women. One works the head, one works the arms and the other works the legs. At this point my idea is to have us rotate who manipulates what, from act to act, but my volunteers can’t see past my sketches and preliminary puppet, or hear my voice as yet, because it is not a “whole” concept. The stage for the first act will be a white on white pop up book on a “lazy susan”, that the puppet will amble from one room to another as the floor spins. I think. At one point the stage was going to be a cart to mimic a hospital cart, and the “rooms” were going to be on the different levels of the cart, and the puppeteers would be in hospital gowns. That design left nothing to the imagination, so I went back to the drawing board. The first act is written in my head and heart because women’s cancers are always in the forefront, and I’m a survivor. I hope my puppet show will be able to speak to survivors, as one of my intents is to “take it on the road”. Yes, the acts can stand alone. Just like our life is divided up into segments, usually by social milestones: school, driving, college, marriage, birth, death, my show will have resonance to women in different stages in life. The second act has to do with being dismissed as a woman when you get older, the “yeah, yeah, we get it” refrain we usually get visually but also verbally. As if we are done. Well I’m not. The last act is on the struggle to maintain one’s identity and independence with or without a mate. Easier typed than actually lived. I have been lucky, or maybe the word shouldn’t be “lucky”, how about headstrong, or maybe stubborn, or forceful, but I have been able to stay true to who I am without getting sucked into what society thinks I should be. I’m hoping that I can make that option clear in the third act. So you see, dear Reader (a little Ann Landers), I am busy in my early stages of retirement. Oh, did I mention I have an interview Sunday to see if I should do scenic design at a local Community Theater?

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