File puptcrit/puptcrit.0612, message 8


To: puptcrit-AT-lists.driftline.org
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2006 09:56:38 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Douglas Christopher Burnham and his Carmen marionette on


I'm sorry my schedule was so full, that I could not report the repeat false attribution earlier. 

I met Douglas Christopher Burnham at a little theater play in Hollywood. He also worked as a dancer (performed at The Hollywood Bowl) and with Sid & Marty Krofft puppets at the Coca Cola Pavilion at Hemisfair (1968) in San Antonio, Texas. After the Fair closed he remained in San Antonio for at least a couple of years and ran a puppet workshop (mentioned in local newspapers at that time) located in a historic neighborhood,

He seemed like a nice guy. when his health gave out, and he died, friends sold his marionettes to help with final expenses. It was a sad ending.

It was a time when my own finances were particularly low, and I was not in a position to purchase any of his puppets to add to my collection. I have often wondered what happened to the other puppets.

At the end of his life he had been performing marionettes at a restaurant on Ventura Blvd in Studio City near Vineland, across from commercial tennis courts  and when he was not performing, the marionettes decorated the restaurant walls. After his death, for a short time they continued to be displayed at that location.

It was with some surprise that I saw Douglas Christopher Burnham's CARMEN listed on e-bay as being by Frank Paris, and the marionette was accompanied with a copy of Frank Paris' obituary from the Los Angeles Times....(I had a hand in that obit since I looked after Frank the last 3 months of his life, and held vigil until his passing.)

Looking after Frank was something of a roller coaster experience, but the puppetry community really came through with prayers, cards, notes, phone calls and in-person visits---making every single day of those three months worthwhile for Frank. Not all artists get the proper recognition for their artistry, but Frank did, and for that I remain most grateful.

It is important that we honor our own. Douglas Burnham may not have had as much impact on Amercan puppetry, but it is a disservice to deprive him credit for his own work.

When Douglas' Carmen was first offered on e-bay with the wrong attribution several puptcritters took note, and sadly we now must repeat that effort.  Same as we must repeat concerns of other repetiive bad behavior like Muppet rip-off efforts on e-bay and MySpace.

It needs be noted that the previous AND current sellers of Carmen have chosen NOT to acknowledge the error in attribution

And anyone in the Los Angeles area Sunday, December 17 is invited to Open House at The Conservatory of Puppetry Arts  (www.COPA-puppets.org) beginning at 2:30 p.m. at 1062 North Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena CA 91103 to see our new exhibit of toy puppets from many countries..   RSVPs are appreciated

I went to California Adventure and Disneyland Parks today and re-visited the Muppet 3-D movie which seems enjoyable as ever. The Disney Playhouse "Bear in the Big Blue House" uses many puppet characters aimed at the Parks' youngest visitors and the Aladdin stage show with a well-animated parrot puppet, a great large elephant and a nice camel marionette.

ALAN COOK


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