File puptcrit/puptcrit.0801, message 60


Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2008 12:27:20 -0500
To: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] School Tours


To my knowledge, Rufus Rose never did school assemblies. His variety numbers
were usually done in conjunction with the big story shows.

It might have been a puppeteer from Chicago, Johnny Faust.


On 1/7/08, Rolande Duprey <puppetpro-AT-aol.com> wrote:
>
> Dear Steve,
> I could be wrong, but it sounds like you saw Rufus Rose. Ask the
> experts -- Fred Thompson may know.
>
> Rolande
>
> On Jan 6, 2008, at 8:44 PM, Steve Millward wrote:
>
> > All this talk of school tours has brought back great memories and a
> > question
> > to me.  Somewhere around 1955 or 56, I saw a wonderful marionette
> > show by a
> > traveling puppeteer (whom I suspect was with a national school
> > assemblies
> > program) at Alameda Jr. High School, in Pocatello, Idaho.  I had been
> > interested in puppets since I was very young, but this was my first
> > experience with a live marionette show.  I wonder if any
> > puppetcritters
> > might know who this artist was.  I obviously don't recall his name,
> > but I
> > vividly remember the following about him:  He had a trapeze clown, a
> > great
> > Elvis, and  a Minnie Pearl marionette.  Elvis was pretty new then,
> > but this
> > puppet's "Hound Dog" stole the show with his gyrating hips.  I still
> > remember one of the jokes the Minnie Pearl figure used:  "Here is
> > household
> > tip for you.  Have you ever gotten  postage stamps stuck together so
> > badly
> > that you can't use them?  The next time that happens to you, simply
> > run a
> > hot iron between them.  You can then mail that iron to anywhere in the
> > country!"    Funny how I still remember that over 50 years later
> > (especially
> > since I often forget where I laid my glasses 5 minutes ago)  Anyhow,
> > if
> > anyone has any idea of who this performer was, I would really
> > appreciate
> > hearing from you.  Thanks, and Happy New Year
> > Steve Millward
> > Pocatello, Idaho.
> >
> > On Jan 6, 2008 5:42 PM, Jim Menke <jim99jr-AT-gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> No one can imagine what it is like to do those school assembly
> >> tours until
> >> they have done one. I did 4 years of them back in the 50s and early
> >> 60s.Twowere in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, one was in the southwest -
> >> Florida, Georgia,
> >> N & S Carolina and Virginia and New York State (I was drafter in the
> >> middle
> >> of this last tour. All were with a full marionette stage and a
> >> partner.
> >> They
> >> were 45 minute story shows - Hansel and Gretel; Snow White and
> >> Sleeping
> >> Beauty.
> >>
> >> The agents had no concept of what it takes to do a full marionette
> >> show
> >> with
> >> the setting up, doing the show, taking down and then travel to the
> >> next
> >> school. We would be booked for 2 or 3 schools in a day, some times
> >> with a
> >> 75
> >> mile drive between shows. One agent told me that if we were running
> >> late
> >> to
> >> simple stop the show, go out in front of the stage and tell the
> >> audience
> >> how
> >> the story ended. I simply could not do that. The shows were done
> >> live - no
> >> tape recording except for music - so I worked up a short version of
> >> each
> >> show to fit the schedule.
> >>
> >> It was wonderful training for a performer, but was difficult on the
> >> body
> >> and
> >> social conditions. We were seldom in one town for a day. After the
> >> last
> >> show
> >> of the day we drove to the next town to be ready to get to a school
> >> at
> >> 7:30
> >> or 8 AM for the first show of the day.This made a social life
> >> impossible.
> >> The only rest was on a weekend and ofter we were booked into
> >> somspecial
> >> circumstance on a Sat. or Sunday. This would go on from September
> >> through
> >> the following May with a week and a half off at Christmas - 12 - 15
> >> shows
> >> per week.Travel was difficult especially in bad weather. There was
> >> one
> >> time
> >> when the grear shift handle (it was a manual transmission station
> >> wagon)
> >> broke off and we had to drive to the next show in first gear with no
> >> backing
> >> up. I got to a garage where the man drilled a hole in what was left
> >> of the
> >> shift handle and stuck a rod in it until we got to the show and
> >> then a
> >> repair shop.Anoother time in Florida we speent the weekend in Ft.
> >> Walton
> >> Beach while a hurricane blew around us. The agane insisted that we be
> >> there
> >> for Monday morning in case the school opened.
> >>
> >> Because of the physical hardships and hotel arrangements (we often
> >> got to
> >> a
> >> hotel and only one room would be available), it was not practical
> >> to have
> >> a
> >> female as the other puppeteer.
> >> This was the 50s and 60s so sharing a room was unthinkable.
> >>
> >> Of course working that closely and being with each other constantly
> >> led to
> >> some verbal fights and then we would have to do a show as if things
> >> were
> >> wonderful.
> >>
> >> Finally, I decided that I wanted a home life and no real travel. It
> >> was
> >> training I could not have gotten any other way so don't really
> >> regret it,
> >> but living at home was wonderful too.
> >>
> >> --
> >> JIM MENKE PUPPETS
> >> open your mind
> >> fantasies unwind
> >>
> >> www.jimmenkepuppets.com
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> List address: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
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> >>
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>
> _______________________________________________
> List address: puptcrit-AT-puptcrit.org
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>



-- 
JIM MENKE PUPPETS
open your mind
fantasies unwind

www.jimmenkepuppets.com
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