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Ellis & Barnes: Serious Mothers!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My sister, MEAT, and a bloody boot

Hello PPPAers, tis I, Biz, slowly recovering from an exhausting and well worth the pain weekend of SketchFest NYC. As a producer I am happy and proud that our wonderful performers who came from around the country had a great time and great shows. It just isn't a festival with out them. As a performer in MEAT, I am happy our show went well, but we were totally the assholes of the fest in the sense that we had the show this year that was the biggest pain from a producer stand point.

It was an all horror sketch show....with a lot of blood and a GIANT boot that had to reside in a van the whole week till our show becuase there was no room for it in the ENTIRE THEATRE.

Did I mention we had over 56 cues for a 36 minute show. (jerks).

So we decided we were going to make this a super bloody show despite the giant clean up that would have to take place right after our show and right before the 3rd Floor who were starting 10 minutes later. Sorry 3rd Floor!

It was all fine, but what I would like to focus on is...The boot.

Livia wrote this brilliant sketch about a giant Paul Bunyon statue out west...you know one of those side of the road attractions. In the sketch, there is a guy hiding in one of the boots who keeps trying to get people to "sit on my boot". If he succeeds, a giant knife shoots out of the boot and kills that person. Of course most people avoid a talking boot. There is a bit more to the sketch than this, but the bottom line is, we wanted to do the sketch and we needed a giant boot.

So I call my sisiter who lives in NYC as well and has often offered to help with MEAT props. I have never taken her up on it, but last month we are out for our Sunday brunch and I say, "are you still interested in making props for MEAT?"
Helen: "Yes."

Me: "What about a giant boot that Livia could sit inside without being seen and from which a knife shoots out and squirts blood?"
pause

Helen: "Sure? Chicken wire and paper mache?"

God, i love a woman who can craft!
So Helen built us a boot. I don't think I was prepared for how BIG it was until we had to get it into the back of the U-Haul van. When we got it into the theatre we realized there was no place to put it except back in the van, but would HAVE to bring it out on Friday afternoon and it would have to sit on stage for all the shows that went on before us. So all day Friday I am going up to groups saying, "Hello, MEAT has a giant boot in our show and the only place we can store it is on the side of the stage with a black tarp over it. It won't be in your playing space, but it might be seen."

Groups: "A giant what?"

Me: A giant boot.
Groups: "Whatever." (I love sketch comedy and sketch comedians.)
When we finally got to our show, there had been so much talk about the boot that when the boot sketch took place and we unvieled it, the boot gots its own round of applause and people started yelling "BOOT, BOOT, BOOT!"
It was magical.
And here is my sister...making the boot.
Helen has bought the boot making materials!

Stage 1: Chicken Wire boot


Stage 2: Paper Mache boot

Stage 3: half painted black boot Stage 4: BOOT (she later added laces as a finishing touch)
The back side of the boot for Livia to sit inside
Just to show you that Helen was especially qualified for this project and that chicken wire and paper mache are no strangers to her....here is a hilairous picture of her and her friend back in high school working on the homecoming float. (notice my sister has not changed hair styles...)

Now, Helen will say this is embarrassing, but come on, she was totally hot in high school. Let us not forget me...on my best dressed day in high school:

2 pounds of Annie Potts

Thank you Helen Michelle for all you help on our show (she made all sorts of other great props, but the boot really deserved a special mention.)

2 Comments:

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Ted said...

And thank YOU Biz for the visual aids that will guide me in making your giant boot in Portland. Verrrry helpful.

Love,
Ted

PS
Any extra time we had to wait after your show was just payback for SF:NYC Year One, when we ended with Pink Slacks and covered the stage in silly string, candy, water, soda, baking soda and whatever else everyone dumped on the stage.

 
At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biz, your sister is HOT!!!!!

 

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