As many of you working in a creative industry will know, the work can be very sporadic, often coming in waves. Right now I am surfing the swell and the busier I get, the harder it becomes to write about what I am up to! So much has been happening of late that I would love to write about, but time has been getting away from me! And so, I have reached a compromise and will post this news update which will briefly cover what I have, am and will be up to!
- Peta and the Whale. A brand new show by Philip Millar, premerring in this years Melbourne Fringe, I am working with a fantastic group of artists. Victoria Osborne, Danny Miller, Joe Blanck, Fransiscus Henri, Philip and myself begin official rehearsals this weekend for what promises to be an amazing show. Featuring large scale puppetry, whales and sharks, it is a beautiful story with an amazing team behind it. Make sure you keep an eye out for updates. We will have an industry showing at the Melbourne Festival of Puppetry in July, and open in the Melbourne Fringe September 22.
- The Melbourne Festival of Puppetry. Brain child of Sarah Kriegler and Jacob Williams of Lemony S Theatre, this year marks the first ever Melbourne Festival of Puppetry, taking place at La Mama Theatre through July. An amazing collection of shows and performers it will be a spectacular event! On top of the industry showing for Peta and the Whale, I will also be doing some roving performance with Henri and Big Henri. Keep your eyes peeled for two cheeky orangutans running around Brunswick!! The Festival runs from July 7-12.
- Polyglot Ensemble. Earlier this week I attended a workshop audition for Polyglot Theatre. One of Australia's leaders in interactive children's entertainment, I am very happy to now be considered a part of their ensemble. Polyglot are in high demand for their work all over the world and being a part of their ensemble basically means that I will be on call for any opportunities that may arise - a very exciting prospect.
- Trash Puppets. Many of you may have been following the progress of this exciting new enterprise! It has been an absolute whirl wind. Working with my business partner Lucy Hedt, we have been so overwhelmed by the momentum this idea has had so early on. We had a highly successful all ages workshop last weekend at the Library at the Dock which was a blast. Far too much to cover, I will keep it brief for now and just say: We launch officially July first! Keep your eyes out for all the updates. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @trashpuppetsaus, plus you can find us on Facebook. Very exciting days ahead for Trash Puppets.
- Perch Creek Music Video. My lovely hand carved marionette Astrid and I are working on another music video! This time for Melbourne based "Perch Creek", we shoot on Monday! A beautiful track with a folk/ country feel, I think it will be a really lovely collaboration.
- Animate Your Vegetables. Last weekend Jenny Ellis and I ran a workshop for Black Hole Theatre at the Mulgrave VEG OUT Festival. Working with children and adults, we played with vegetables and explored how they can be animated. My favorite part of the day was the Veggie Battles. No physical contact, the veggies would throw a ball of energy at each other and react. Very Dragon Ball Z style. Sadly, none of the kids understood this reference. The workshop was a great success and a very fun way to spend my day!
- The Last Lighthouse Keeper. Still plugging away at this work in development with Phrankly Theatre. A beautiful story and an amazing team of artists, we are hoping to have a scratch performance ready to share by the end of this year. A two hander between an actor and a puppeteer, my role within this piece is focused on the puppetry. Working closely with director Rachel Baring and writer Katie Boon, I will be developing the set and the puppets with a heavy focus on shadow work.
- Training with Spare Parts. In August I will be heading to Perth for two weeks of intensive training with Spare Parts. One of Australia's leading Puppetry Theatre's, I will have the opportunity to work closely with some incredible artists such as Michael Barlow, Phillip Mitchell and Noriko Nishimoto. Having never visited Spare Parts or Perth in general, I am really looking forward to this trip!
- Penjelajahan Orang Hutan. This work with Newcastle based Curious Legends is still very much in the planning and development phase. Focused on conservation in Indonesia, this project will see our team heading to Indonesia for 3-5 weeks in November with Henri and Big Henri in tow.
And that my friends and followers is what has been keeping me away from my blog! So ferociously busy, I can not deny I have been having loads of fun. Hopefully many of the projects mentioned will have a dedicated blog post in the near future. Stay tuned!
A huge thank you to all of the artists involved in all of the above! You are responsible for the awesome, amazing chaos my life has become of late! I am so excited for everything that is to come.
For updates, keep your eyes on my Twitter and Instagram accounts @JhessPuppets, plus Facebook page Jhess Knight - Puppeteer and Puppetsmith. Also follow @trashpuppetsaus if you are interested in hearing all the trashy gossip!