Friday, December 22, 2006

Best Wishes!

Hey all,

So this is my final post for 2006...what a year it has been. It's quite possibly been the most up and down year I have ever experienced.

The good stuff has been the absolute best....the bad stuff has really really sucked my butt.

However, tomorrow I go home to visit my family in New Hampshire, and then I am gonna spend new years in New York City with friends.

With everything that has happend, good and bad, I can truly say with no doubt that I have a wonderful life. I am proud of who I am and happy with where my life is going. I wish each and every one of you a safe and happy holiday season!

In a final note, I'd like to wish strength, love and light to all those mourning the loss of George Latshaw. George was a truly good and gentle soul. He was one of the first puppeteers to take time to talk with me when I was the young age of sixteen. I will never forget his generousity and kindness. His big booming voice echoing out from that smiling face.."Hi! I'm George Latshaw!"

Life gives us gifts in people. When those people leave us it makes us really take the time to appreciate those gifts. To realize how precious our time here is. I hope that I too can someday provide a young puppeteer the inspiration and kindness that George gave to me and countless others. He was a gift, and will be sorely missed.

Love to you all. Be safe and be happy. 2007 is going to be a wonderful year.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Beck Puppet's on Jimmy Kimmel Live Tonight!!!

Hey there kids,

So tonight they are airing the Jimmy Kimmel Live bit that we shot last week. I know what you are thinking..Rob...its called Jimmy Kimmel can you have possibly shot this last week?

Well..I leave that up to the magic of television...

JKL airs at like 12:15pm...or something like that...check your local listings.

Set your Tivo's.

Best to yall.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Defending UConn.

So on PuppetVisionBlog...Andrew did this article:

>>> Insulting UCONN

Someone sent me a link to an article called Can Puppetry Pay? It's a little pessimistic and written with aspiring Christian puppeteers in mind, but it does addresses some of the realities of being a professional puppeteer. The part that really jumped out for me was this:

"There is nothing of any value related to puppets and puppetry being sold at any university that you could not get at very little cost through instruction at workshops and festivals or free through your own study and experience. At this writing only the University of Connecticut is even offering a degree in puppetry and that degree is worthless in terms of improving your chances of being employed as a puppeteer."

It's very un-Christian of me, but I call bulls--t on that.

I do agree with the author that you don't need to have a degree in puppetry to be a puppeteer (I don't have one and most of the puppeteers I know don't either). I also agree that there are lots of great skills and information that can learned at festivals and workshops, but UCONN's Puppetry Program is almost universally recognized throughout the puppetry community as being exceptional. It may not be right for everyone, but calling its degree "worthless" is insulting to the school and reveals a real ignorance about not only it's program, but also the puppetry accomplishments of its alumni.

There's a long list of extremely talented UCONN alumni working as professional puppeteers today, including folks like Pam Arciero, Frankie Cordero, Tim Lagasse, Jim Napolitano and Jennifer Barnhart to name a few. In fact, possibly other than past employment with the Muppets, the biggest common denominator amongst the top tier of professional puppeteers in the United States is an association with UCONN.
Posted by Andrew at 1:58 PM

Thank you Andrew for correcting this guy. I am also a graduate of the UConn Puppet Arts Program, class of 1996, and I can say that it truly helped me shape and focus my ability and drive to be a puppeteer.

Bart. P. Roccoberton Jr., the Professor of Puppet Arts at UConn is a dear friend, teacher and mentor and the students who receive an education from him and from UConn come away not just with Puppet skills, but also skills in lighting, scenic and costume design, and real hand's on experience in Theatre. Oh, and a COLLEGE DEGREE...

Yes, you absolutely can learn to be a puppeteer from a million different avenues...but this article by whoever that guy was just proves he needs a better education.

Ultimately, it's up to the indivdual to push themselves to bigger and better things...but you can be a working puppeteer if you want it bad enough.

This guy makes my blood boil because instead of pushing younger inexperienced puppeteers by saying "'s hard but you can do it..." he basically says it's impossible.

I hate people like that...oh, and another thing....why have I never heard of this guy?! I mean NEVER....not through Unima or PofA or any other puppet links...makes me ask questions...especially of someone who claims thirty-two years of experience...

Anyway, rant is over...thanks Andrew for all your work on PuppetVisionBlog...your site rocks.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Nissan Yahoo Live Sessions, Jimmy Kimmel Live and the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas...

So it's been a busy week...and alot of fun.

First off on Wednesday, we did the fourth installment of the Nissan Live Sessions on Yahoo Music. A joint venture between Nissan and Yahoo, which tapes at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City. Very cool. It was my second time on that lot and I really love it...I need to get another movie gig soon so I can work on the lot again. That live session will air sometime in January...I'll keep you posted.

Then on Thursday, we did Jimmy Kimmel Live. Now, the funny part is that we are not airing until December 14th...this coming set your VCR's or Tivo's. It was a fun day...and I met the guy from Borat who is his producer...if you've seen the movie you know who i am talking about...He introduced himself to me and I said something like..."Um....I've seen your balls..."

So...then Sunday night we did the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas at the Gibson Auditorium at Universal Studios. Wow....what a show...lot's of celebrities...Dr. Drew from Loveline, Lindsay Lohan, The White Stripes, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, the Killers, Evanescence and others. The show was packed, and we did a short set...13 songs...but it was a great one...full of energy and really so much fun.

A nice way to spend a week, to be sure.

Also...I got interviewed for an online paper! You can read it all here:

Anywho...that is about it in regards to puppet stuff for now...

I had an interview today with a dog-adoption agency...met Farley...a 2 year old boxer/american bulldog mix...very cute...a bit defiant but that'll pass once he's in a safe and permanant home...well...mabey...

so anyway...i'm considering a dog...we shall see.

that's all for now...


Monday, December 4, 2006

well, it's been a while...

how time has flown.

let me play catch up with y'all, as i have neglected my blogging duties for far too long....

after we ended our tour playing saturday night live, i spent a few extra days in new york seeing friends and having a lovely time. then i took the train north to boston, and from there got a ride up to new hampshire to visit my folks for 10 days. it was pretty great. halloween was awesome, with my little brothers (my mom remarried and had twins, so i have seven year old twin bros) and it was great to be home and chill out for a bit.

well...after that fun i headed back home to los angeles...and it's been nice to be home. i have been working hard with several people to develop new projects, and it's now clear i have to start my own company if i want any of these things to happen.

it's a big step for me, as i've always been one of those guys who enjoys the ride, but not necessarily the business side of what i do...this would put me up front for sure...making a director and producer out of me...which i don't think would be a bad thing.

we shall see. i think 2007 is going to be a very life-altering year. i know that 2006 has been pretty incredible, with both good and bad changes.

i'm seriously considering getting a dog...never been a dog owner, so i have no idea how i'll do with it, but i think i am ready for it. i am considering adopting 1 or 2 year old...i don't know if i have the time or energy for a puppy. a slightly older dog already has his personality already established, so i could get a sense of who he is before i begin the adoption process....

something i am thinkin about anyway... for the news you've been waiting for....the beck tour.

beck has asked the puppeteers to appear with him on three dates this coming week. on wednesday, december 6th we will be doing a taping for Yahoo....a special recorded session for Yahoo...i don't really have more details on that at this time...

we will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on thursday night, so set your tivo's! yes this thursday night, the 7th of december.

and then sunday we will be doing a show at the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles.

so if you are in LA come check us out on sunday night!!!

after that we are once again done...they have not mentioned the puppets for anything else, but you never know!

so, i am sorry i have been out of touch with this blog, but as all of these wonderful things start to get going in the coming months, i am sure i'll have plenty more to share with you!

best to you all.