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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Puppet Jukebox II (point five?) – The Return of the Return of the Gaga

This past Friday, we were invited to the WhiteFire Theatre to do one more night of the show that we did in December. Since we already performed the show three times (and certain portions seven times) before, we didn’t really rehearse for this one. We just met up a few hours earlier for a review.

The show went well and it was pretty fun for me. I thought it was better than the ones we did six weeks ago. Not sure why. Perhaps it was because that everyone already knew full well what exactly was going to happen next. At least that was how I felt after the first performance of this show. I didn’t feel rushed with anything. I knew the order of the show by heart and I knew how much time (plenty) I would have to do costume changes and so on. I’d say most of the cast members had that too. Besides, I have performed with these people and I know I can trust them to improvise if something happens to go wrong. I was pretty relaxed overall. And the show went really smooth.

I did, however, flub my lines in one of the songs. I performed “Hound Dog” as performed by Elvis Presley, with a dog puppet, of course. This is a song that’s really repetitive. There’s very little to memorize but somehow I forget the lines all the time. I guess I just couldn’t get my head around how repetitive it was. Basically you sing the first verse. Let’s call that A. And then you sing the second verse. Let’s call that B. And then you sing A again. And then there’s an instrumental interlude (dance break!) and you sing B again. Really simple. But I guess this is what goes through my mind:

I would sing A correctly. I would then sing B correctly. And then I would want to sing A, but then I would second guess myself: “Wait, didn’t I sing that part already? Maybe I should sing the other one.” And then I would proceed to sing B, which I just sang like, two seconds ago. And then I would be thinking “ah, crap” and now I got a decision to make after the interlude. Do I sing A again, since I accidentally left it out? Or do I sing B again, since that’s what the lyrics said? But then I had just finished singing B twice. Maybe I shouldn’t do it a third time?

Maybe that’s why I often messed up there. So this time, I started singing B and thought “ah crap, I am just repeating myself”. And that’s when I started making up new lyrics while interacting with the audience. After the interlude, I actually forgot to resume singing, so I ended up making up more stuff. The audience seemed to really like it though, more than the original, since it became really silly. Oh well. Although that was kinda unprofessional, it somehow worked out for the better, in my opinion.

I had a lot of fun, but initially, I was somewhat ambivalent about doing the same show again. I was excited to see everyone together again, but didn’t care as much about what we would be doing. To me, I just feel like seeing and hanging out with these people. Everyone looked like they had fun at the end of the night, but before the show, some of us were feeling like “this again? can we do something else now?” I guess we will never make it in a professional theater career where we do the same show over, and over, and over, and over again. It seems to me that it’s time to shelf this one for now and do a new show. And then we shall be more excited to bring Puppet Jukebox back sometime down the line for Puppet Jukebox 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and to the infinity and beyond.

And it was always good to see friends swing by to see the show! 😀


  1. January 31st, 2012 | 8:48 am

    Kelvin — The battles of the left and right brain:~) I loved that you started making up things. It probably did entertain the audience even more. Plus, it’s an odd fact that unless you’re doing ballet or opera, the audience often enjoys a mistake here and there. It helps us to identify with the person on stage.

    I’m glad you had so much fun. It’s always nice to end a performance with a smile. Kuddos to you, kiddo:~)

    Sara’s last blog post..Picture Story: Odd Man Out

  2. January 31st, 2012 | 1:47 pm

    Yeah, I am sure it was entertaining. Just not quite what I was meant to do. Haha. Speaking of opera, we do have an “opera” at the end of the show singing fake Italian. It’s all gibberish but the audience loved it.

  3. May 28th, 2012 | 3:21 am

    Sounds like a lot of fun, even if you messed up some lines. I’ve also had friends who found the more repetitive lines harder to remember. I think the problem is that for some actors they think ahead, and certain lines are like swinging branches taking you to the next tree, and if they’re all the same you kind of lose your place and forget where that next tree is.

    As for doing show after show, I always found that no matter how many times you’ve seen or done it, there’s always something new – even if the ‘new’ is screwing up. I worked on a circus show where the lighting operator sat there playing with his palm pilot the whole time – didn’t even look up when he had a cue. His theory was “you’ve seen one circus act, you’ve seen them all”. Then a week into performances, one of the performers went and got himself injured and needed stitches. The only person on the lighting crew who noticed was me, because I was the only one watching the actual show. I can only imagine being so bored of the show that you don’t want to do it anymore if you’re not actually working on something you’re interested in, or people you like. There’s always something happening and something new to try.

    … Well, my 2 cents anyway :)

  4. May 30th, 2012 | 12:31 am

    I like the tree branch analogy! You know, in most musicals, there are a few melodies that are sung over and over in different ways. Sometimes I concoct them together.

    It’s not like we didn’t like the old stuff. It’s that we look forward to more new stuff. But yeah, I don’t understand someone not watching the show if they are running the lights. Bored or not, you can’t your job done that way!
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..I am on TV!My Profile

  5. January 2nd, 2013 | 12:52 am

    […] Puppet Jukebox II Reunited with the cast for an one night only performance of the show we did months ago. […]

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