Sunday, May 12, 2013

Feed Me (Git It)! - Little Shop of Horrors - My Obsession

Maybe because it beckons back to a soulful sound from STAX's days of recording original music, but I don't know what it is about this one song from a whole movie musical directed by Frank Oz, starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Steve Martin, and so many others with so many songs sung throughout.  What was it with all those characters and songs that made Feed Me stick?  Heck, in 2005 Feed Me was so embedded in my mind that sometimes it was the only song that kicked in (especially when I'm eating). 

A recent photo of me with my Audrey II.

There was one period of time when I could ABSOLUTELY not get the song out of my head.  It was in there when I woke up and went to sleep, it was there when I was at work, when I was at home, watching other shows or movies and listening to other songs.  I was either subconsciously obsessed by it, or it was just so ear-bugged in my ear that I was totally caught up in it.

Therefore, I decided, if I constructed the puppet of Audrey II then maybe it would go away.  I got two large 4" cushion foam pieces and carved the upper and lower piecesw of the pod from that.  I carved the pods with a sharp knife and scissors.  The interior of the mouth I pulled out, pinching the foam bit-by-bit until it took a form that I wanted it to have.  Including the tongue, I picked it out around the area that the tongue would be, and left it as a part of the bottom part of the pod.  I painted the pods with really watered-down acrylic and a piece of the leftover sponge (which I still use when painting sometimes).  The teeth were torn from white pieces of foam (and have yellowed since).  I used fake flower leaves for the remainder of the pod after I made a mouthplate so the two pods were stuck together and created a puppet.  (The different uses of the puppet follow).

I couldn't get that song out of my head still, so I decided I had to perform it.  One of my friends, Lin Workman, directed me and a buddy named Tim Brown, through the song that we planned to perform at Mid-South Con's costume and masquerade contest.  So, during the day, I walked around with the puppet, and that evening the costume went to Tim and I dressed all in black for the performance which Tim's wife, Traci, recorded for us.

That performance resulted in something pretty awesome.  First, nothing like this had ever been done at the convention before.  Second, you can tell from the audience reaction, they've never had a musical brought to them before much less with such a well-trained voice as Tim's for when he begins singing they are completely taken aback and applaud with wild fervor.  I think it changed how people performed during that contest from then on (before were people in costume monologuing).

March 2005 Mid-South Con Costume & Masquerade Contest
Click to see us perform "Feed Me (Git It)"
It had two different stems:
I could reach in from behind the pot and use the plant as a walk-around, and could come up from through a table, and perform the pod. The other arm from the red coat had a fake arm and hand under it.  And, yes, all my fingers (even on the fake hand) had Band-Aids on them. 

Me in the Walk-Around Audrey II Costume.
Or, a thinner stem behind which I could stand and perform as shown in this video which, in a cool way, someone has added us to their playlist of videos that they call "Awesome Audreys."

MptLvr on added us as 15/15 Awesome Audreys! Thanks!!
By the way, at the convention show, there were no microphones.  So, they put in the CD we had for Feed Me, and we had to scream the vocals out for everyone to hear it.  Needless to say, the Audrey II voice was painful, but I did it.  Why?  Because I love it.  And we performed it with all the gusto and the heart that the characters originally had in other stage shows and, hopefully, the movie. 

On a sad note, one of the three panel judges was Michael Sheard who performed Admiral Ozzel in the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and, as a joke, when Audrey II sang the line, "..a lot of folks deserve to die!"  I had Audrey II look at him (he died in the film).  However, he passed away in August 2005.  Since then, I don't look at anyone when singing that line!

One thing of note, after posting the video (which we did for fun) we got some negative feedback from people who aren't creative other than to post some "how to play this video game" videos--nothing of their own.  So, poo-poo on them; but, to answer the one statement I hear most:  The size of the plant is wrong.  Correct!  However, with all the Muley stuff I have going on there is nowhere for me to store/keep a 4' x 3' x 3' plant in my house (although it would be cool)!

So, after all of that back in 2005, what about that song that was so stuck in my head?  Well, it's in there but now with the catalog of other songs I love and doesn't overcome me as much as it once did back then.  Yet, when I'm hungry, and when I'm waiting to be served, I keep thinking ...


You can find the music here or here.

Anyway, if you're a theater local to me, I would LOVE to be 'on hand' to help train your puppeteers and perform the voice of Audrey II in the play.  So, am I for hire?  Yes.  Gimme a call...and I promise never to look at you singing that one line.