All stage photos of “Last Voyage of the Sea Cow” are from by Christianna Fachin
Tim was done…
Making the BIG shows didn’t hold the same appeal. Tim was done.
“When I have a new idea I want to get it out there, out of my brain and explore it”, says Tim. “Large shows become mechanical far too easily. There is limited discovery; no experimentation, only urgency- because of the cost to mount. This is a small lab, for small shows, that one day might be big.”
After grumbling about the above for several months an Idea (with a capital ‘I’) came in a vision, “Make smaller, simpler, shorter shows” and “Keep your work zone clean of projects you’re not working on”.
Well, that seems simple enough. With enough storage bins and Sharpies.
“The Last Voyage of the Sea Cow” was the first small scale, big-ish idea show to come along because Mr. Giugni doesn’t like shadow puppetry. “It’s fixed nature and the actual a fourth wall between the audience and performer. It leaves a great deal to loathe. From people saying what a great movie it is. To the fricking wall between you and everyone. Video it and send it out. I also hate that I hate something. It was a great challenge to get over, under and around the wall.”
“At first the puppets were monstrously complex, with joints and sticks and colored bits of stuff.”, said Tim. “Because oh so many puppeteers, myself included, want little people with blinking eyes, moving mouth, or twitching eyebrows, when basic or, shocker, no movement is promotes the story.”
Looking at the complex mess he had created, he took a pair of scissors and lopped off the head of the Captain puppet and cut out a frowny mouth. “I then used my fingers as the arms, legs, guns or whatever fit my whims. Perfect and simple. Well, after I got the hang of it.”
He then made 300 tiny crew cut-outs to throw into the audience. With his company name on them- and website. It is quite the hit. Some of them you can color.
The piece is about the S. S. Seacow, a tugboat who’s Captain believes he’s dead and that the ship is constantly changing. The crew believes the opposite. They mutiny thinking the Captain is mad. The First Mate attempts to shoot the Captain, misses and the resulting hole causes the boat to take on water and peer into another universe.
Typical boat stuff.
The Captain then tears a giant hole in the ship and delivers a final line that makes you wonder if the ship was indeed haunted, or not.
“This show is also significant in that it was the last time that we used a four track to do any recording. “I now use all sorts of stuff to get the feelz for the show. Last time is was in surround sound.”
This is the last image of the piece. The screen is paper on string and carbon rod. Tim said, “Yes. It’s quite taut. Like a bow. When I cut the string. There is no longer a screen or boat. Just a pile of paper puppets and wreckage.”
The ship is mounted on two booms. The booms are on a backpack. The whole ship swings from side to side. “There are two articulated lights mounted to my head that gave off a bizarre double light. Two lights on my hands and sometimes a live streaming camera in my pocket.”
“I liked the piece, and then threw everything away. Some sort of spiritual purity thing, I think. I have since rebuilt it and toured it to near by slams and other small, personal venues.”
As to keeping his work zone clean. “I’m working on it.”