My friend Kevin White got an NPR media hit today when Josh Ritter’s video “Curse” premiered on “All Songs Considered.” Though he assisted, Kevin is credited as drummer/puppeteer Liam Hurley’s mentor in the transcript. Can’t embed the video, so here’s a pic of Kevin in a shoot, and here’s the link for the NPR video (a great video btw!).
ALSO: Here is a blog post I wrote in 2006 while spending a day with Kevin, and Liam, during their job with NYC Park and Rec.’s puppet roadshow.
Not enough time in the day for all the amazing things that can be experienced. Must figure out how to expand the concept of time to fit it all in. Wanting to share with you all the continued good times and amazing hospitality that I have received on the Southern leg of the California tour. And after sitting in the blazing car for six hours, driving to the Tempe, AZ burbs to meet up with Koleszar and see his mighty spray painted fortress (my room has stencil art on the walls), I am wondering if it is at all possible to dictate a blog entry to an application that can type it all out to post? While driving. Woah. That was a bit geeky on my part. Apologies, but I am sitting at the School of Spray Paint here in the urban sprawl. Thinking geeky thoughts. And thinking about Koleszar’s neighbors: cows and horses and cacti. Oh, and a scorpion or two….
So April 30 finds me saying goodbye Swiv Tackle and hello UC San Diego. I show up to find my very own parking space, reserved with my name on the sign. In all of my stencil geekdom, I think I have now achieved a level of uber-geek, thanks to my very own parking space.
I find Groundwork no problem and land into a group of energetic and active young college students there. Who have great books to look at and free pastries to munch on. The food coop next door closes and a group of workers there come to the presentation. Some artists are there too, one of which wanted us all to tag his skin with Sharpies (“You know you’re gonna soak up all the toxic ink, right?” “Sharpies say they aren’t toxic on the label.” “Yeah, right.”) Great crowd, even though they don’t get my sarcastic Swine Flu joke I told. And still a great crowd after the food coop people leave to see a friend snowboard on a hill of fake snow (sponsored by Red Bull), because I sold a pile of books at this stop. Best in a while. And the Groundwork crew hung out while I put up some stencils on their counter. And then I got invitations for dinner and invitations to check out UCSD’s Graff Hall. So humankind’s amazing capacity to host and be sweet and supportive continues on this tour. I think I love this experience more than anything (even stencils).
The Graff Hall is a stairwell of the UCSD Arts Building. Stencils are around this building too, so we wandered up the stairs hunting stencils. And found a bunch. I even found a cut stencil that said “Zeus,” which most likely fell out of an artists portfolio. Adding it to the Archives. Later, I found the Free School house no problem and met the great people there. While hanging out for my host Brian to show up, we watched/listened to YouTube (There’s a definite trend here). We watched a hilarious video as we waited. The guy speaking is supposedly in a dark closet on acid saying all this crazy, sometimes offensive stuff. I can deal with the offending bits because this guy goes into insane visions soon after. “No way!”
I first met Kevin White about 12 years ago in Atlanta, GA. At the time, Kevin toured the Southeast performing marionette shows with his brother Brian. They worked for a company named Vagabond and had a boss that mismanaged the business. I moved away from Atlanta a few years after meeting them and they had both quit working for that company due to the fact that their boss didn’t run things too well.
Kevin White behind the wheel of Puppet in the Park’s Puppet Mobile, NYC.
I lost touch with Kevin and found my own path to puppetry after moving to San Francisco in 1997. As I became an active member of the CELLspace Puppet Cluster (David Morely, Jonathan Youtt, and Joelle LaPlume were the main members, with Whitney Combs, Sam Bower, myself, and others as supporting cast) in 1999, I thought of Kevin often and wondered why I never felt drawn to puppetry in Atlanta. (more…)