Thursday, August 2, 2012

Huffington Post Article

The Huffington Post Blog ran an article about my take on puppetry and specifically, the most recent showing of the work in progress, The Eye Which We Do Not Have (produced by imnotlost).  The author, Daniel Maidman, attended our intimate presentation at Standard Toykraft in Williamsburg in June.

He has this to say, "Think about it. You and I are sitting in a cafe, having a cup of coffee, and I say to you, "All things are puppets." You consider it, and you say, "Okaaaay -- this coffee cup is a puppet. These little packs of sugar are puppets. This spoon is a puppet."
That's an intermediate step. It's broad, but it's not broader than, for instance, Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
The further step is to say: The size of this cafe is a puppet. The triangle between my eye, yours, and the coffee cup is a puppet. The mass of the table is a puppet. The division of space is a puppet. The rate at which time flows is a puppet.
This is how Kate Brehm thinks when she thinks about puppets."
I am pleased with his in depth analysis.  Read the entire article HERE.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Visual Thinking

Visual Thinking is a formative concept for me as a performing artist and thinker!

When I am generating ideas on paper the act of writing itself is a kind of thinking outside my body. The arrangement of words on the page says as much to me as the actual words themselves. This is why I use bullets and arrows, it is why I go back for a second swipe with a pencil or a different color ink to circle and underline words or whole paragraphs. This second layer of purely visual information tells me what is most important, what pieces of information go together, and which ones lead into each other.

It is the same with space itself. When I am developing a piece of theater my relationship to, and interactions with both the scenery and the empty space around me inform the actual “story”. My experience of a narrow hallway, or my attempts to navigate it or relate to it tell a visual story without words. Perhaps I breathe it in and walk firmly back and forth suggesting that I am in control of my tiny space. Perhaps I claw at the walls proposing that I cannot extend my person enough to feel free. Perhaps I do both, suggesting that I need a small space in order to be in control of it, but inherently feel trapped. This is all purely visual information that an audience can immediately understand.

Objects. Objects are my main method of making theater. When performing with an object there is the performer and there is the object. This means that as a performer you may be primary or you may be secondary to the object. This creates an opportunity for you, the creator, to choose which one is primary and at what moment. This changing relationship to the object, be it a chair, a book, or a dog puppet enables you to breathe a life force into a thing that exists outside of you, handle it, let it live, allow it to express power, and relate to it. You could even be encased within the object (a costume that extends or transforms the body of the performer) and become a chimera where you and the object are together one primary thing. These relationships between objects and humans are visual and visceral in nature. Audience see and understand. They do not rely on words, they are created through the craft of manipulating the rhythm, shapes, and energy of the body of the performer.

I teach the craft of movement in the body of the performer and how this craft can be used to breathe life into objects and space.

In addition to learning the workings of your own body in my practical classes, I also teach the importance of understanding and using the expectations of your audience. I teach how to set up what those expectations can be, whether it is in relation to your “story” or the environment of your performance.   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eye Lecture

I was very happy to write and present a short lecture on Deleuze Cinema 1 for the Puppetry and Postdramatic Performance Conference in April 2011. I have been a little obsessed with the book since realizing that film theory has 100 years of critical writing about visual storytelling. I've attempted to treat the book as something of a manual of techniques. This lecture discusses the book as well as how I personally am using it in the process of developing the live puppet show, The Eye Which We Do Not Have.

A PDF of my lecture is available here: (wow, its 11 MB)

and this is a link to the playlist of short videos referenced in the lecture:
(don't watch these videos without reading the lecture.... if you're looking for a preview of the puppet show watch this: )

Saturday, December 4, 2010

ZINE: Beep Beep Issue #1

I've made a zine of cultural commentary and a few comics. Though the thematic nature of the zine is perhaps a bit 'erratic,' I do feel that the overarching connector between almost all of the commentary is an interest I have in the relationship between REAL and PRETEND.

I recommend printing a copy for better reading and transport. Plus I have some sort of fetish for paper, and i think it's worth holding it in hard copy.

The Print version can be downloaded here:

1. Print pages 1 and 2 back to back, 3 and 4 back to back. etc.
2. (If your printer is capable of duplex printing it should automatically put the pages right.)
3. In my print settings I chose: "scale each page to fit" and "auto duplex" with "normal size printing" and "short side stapling (top)
4. Fold at center.
5. Staple subtly, just along the edge.

Or read it online as a PDF here: