Sunday, June 26, 2011

Winkie Convention Countdown: 12 Days to Go

I'm going to backtrack a bit here, and tell you about my experiences at one of the early '90s conventions, but I'm not sure which one. I was tapped to play the Comfortable Camel in a production of The Yellow Knight of Oz. This was a fun show because it was part people and part puppets! Since I don't look much like a camel, I decided I'd better perform him as a puppet. The handy part about my puppet is that I didn't have to duck my head down. Instead, I had a somewhat-see-through purple cloth thrown over my head, and it became the hump. (Robin Hess, observing that a camel's hump is made up mostly of fat, started calling me a fathead.) The camel puppet was pretty cool, but after the show was over, my arm felt like it had been stuck in a real camel for a couple of hours — or so I would imagine. Anyway, I had fun trying to stick in all kinds of business, and some of it even got into the show. My favorite, and the one that got the biggest laugh, was when all of the other characters were asleep, and the Camel says to himself, "Oh, well, I guess I'll get some sleep, too." He looks straight out at the audience, waits a beat, then his head crashes down onto the stage with a resounding *KLUNK* and starts up with some of the most improbable snoring you're ever likely to hear. So, the show was a hit, everyone had fun, and I even got to go into Asilomar a day early for rehearsal. Why doesn't the convention do more shows like that any more?

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