Saturday, September 12, 2009

Costuming: Little Shop of Horrors

I wanted to begin posting some information and images about my costumes, and thought I would start with Little Shop of Horrors. The costume includes me as Seymour Krelborn with a walk-around Audrey II puppet. The puppet is based on the design of Sesame Street Muppets performer Martin Robinson (Mr. Snuffle-Upagus and Telly). For the original off-broadway version of the play (and I think each version of the puppet thereafter) he created the designs.

The puppet is made with a pod seperate from the rest of the pot. The top and bottom parts of the pod are sculpted from 4" cushion foam, then the mouth was pinched out into shape (the tongue is part of the bottom 4" and was pinched around to get its shape). The top and bottom of the pod was painted with watered down acrylic, then the teeth were added. The teeth are torn from 1" white foam. Obviously, there are some faux leaves added.

The stem is made either for my arm to go up into the pod, or that there is a seperate stem (as you'll see in the video below) that attaches to my wrist at the back of the pod. Thus, there are holes in the back and bottom of the flower pot, or I can just ignore the flower pot altogether if I'm using the stem as seen in the video.

The Seymour costume has a red jacket with a fake arm, and my arm goes through the chest and into the puppet. The glasses were from some Rayban Wayfarers I had years ago, and the hat was supplied by my pal Lin Workman. The rest of the clothes came from Goodwill.

At the convention where the video was show, an old pal of mine, Tim Brown, doubled in the same clothes I had on as Seymour and I took over the voice of the plant. On some other websites where I posted the video, there were some who replied, "The plant's too small," or "His voice is horrible for this role." Well, I would delete those posts because 1) the plant puppet serves its purpose and 2) Tim is a great vocalist and trained even for classical opera, here he's doing that with a bit of soul to it and, if it wasn't good, he can't get that kind of audience reaction just anywhere. Folks should acknowledge good singing when they hear it and shut up.

Speaking of singing, we performed vocals live. Now, we asked for two microphones, but there was only the one that the show host had. The sound system worked for the CD we gave them, but we had to sing over all that. Tim's wife, Traci, shot the video and was sitting a good ways back, so you can tell we were having to be loud--a strain on my voice as the plant.

Audrey II was used only for this one performance so far, although the puppet has been put on display in art shows.

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