Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day #20: Moody Judy

Today was a busy day with two performances at two different libraries in Chesterfield County. We performed African Trickster Tales, which is a very high energy show! At the second show, the children were all very fixated on one of our characters: The Sky God.

The Sky God is an interesting puppet because he has a head that spins to show his current emotion. He is either very, very happy....or very, very angry! This is a character children react to very strongly. In fact, before the show began, I was talking with a mom and her daughter about the Sky God. The family had been to the show before, so they were familiar with the puppets and the story. The young girl had decided she was very afraid of the Sky God -- but she did end up watching the show and having a blast!

At the end of the show, we often do a show-and-tell with the puppets. My other performer, Melanie, and I take turns bringing puppets out in front of the stage. Today we were amused because every child wanted to see the Sky God above all other puppets. But we show him last -- the finale!

Today's puppet is inspired by the Sky God puppet whose head spins. To create our "Moody Judy," I started off with some basic household supplies: two paper plates, the paper tube part from a wire hanger, a marker, a chopstick, some rubber bands, and my husband's bright red Swingline stapler!

Step One: Take the paper tube (or you can use PVC), and cut a segment of it off. Rejoin it with a rubber band to form a "T" near the top.

Step Two: Cut the two paper plates into identical circles with necks.

Step Three: Secure the necks (from both plates) around the pointy part of the chopstick using rubber bands, a stapler or glue.

Step Four: Draw a face on each of the visible sides of the paper plate. Make sure each face looks like it's the same character -- just with a different mood. (The more drastic the change, the better!)

Step Five: Put some hair on her, too.

Step Six: Insert the chopstick with the paper plate head  into the "T" configuration. (Now there's a sentence you don't see every day!)

Step Seven: Find some fabric or thin paper to drape over the puppet's body. Cinch the waist with a piece of string.

Voila! Spin the chopstick at the bottom while holding the tube, and you can spin the puppet's head without moving the body along with it! If you really want to be clever (I'm not staying awake that late!), you can add arms!

Not bad for being away from the studio and having to search my home, eh? (I'm practicing my Canadian accent.)


  1. Not bad at all! Another wonderful post, Heidi.

    Moody Judy reminds me of how in one of Carrie Fisher's books she names her manic depressive moods Roy and Pam, because that's how different they were.

    I really enjoy seeing what you will come up with next and wish we lived near one another so that I could bring my children to one of your shows.

  2. Maybe we will trek it up in your direction sometime, Misha. We do travel a lot with our shows and have performed from Florida to Ontario and as far west as Minnesota.

    I'm glad you enjoy this blog -- I'm a big tree fan, so I enjoy yours a lot, too! (Wait 'til you see the trees I am working on...)

  3. ooooh, you're working on trees!