On September 17th, 2011, I was an assistant/puppeteer for Leslie Carrara-Rudolph on her performance, Wake Up Your Weird at the Cavern Club Theatre in Silverlake, Los Angeles. In Wake Up Your Weird 5-year-old Lolly weaves a magical musical tale about a girl, a brain named Doyle, a lizard, a Fairy Godmother and a flying Grandma. This show teaches kids how to overcome bullying by championing their own unique gifts. An adventure you’ll never forget.
The two performances were directed by Michele Spears, who I later went on to collaborate with on for Object of Her Affection. Wake Up Your Weird was developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT as part of the 2011 National Puppetry Conference. I was also involved in performances at the Lesher Center for the arts in Walnut Creek, CA, and a development residency at Geffen Playhouse Workshop in Culver City.
From the Wake Up Your Weird website
Wake Up Your Weird! is an energetic, hilarious show full of original songs, video shorts, puppetry, pink monkeys, and a Sasquatch followed by an interactive joy ride where you get to move, sing, and laugh your way through more of Leslie’s stories and songs.
Part 1 is a musical short story about a little girl named Lolly who gets bullied at a play date. Lolly turns to her imaginary friends in her “Thought Bubble” to “rethink her thinking” and tells a whimsical tale that includes a girl who walks her brain on a leash, a giant lizard, a fairy Godmother lamb, and a flying Grandma. Through art, music, and puppetry and with the help of the audience, Lolly learns how to follow her heart, know her truth, and find the power of being herself.
Part 2 is an interactive performance workshop that highlights the voice, the body, and the imagination as the three magic ingredients for “waking up your weird” and spreading joy. The audience literally becomes part of the show as they, sing, dance, improvise, and create a one-of-a-kind experience fueled by their input and inspiration. The length of the show can be modified to accommodate school assembly schedules.
From creator Leslie Carrara-Rudolph (an actress, puppeteer, voice actress, and artist best known for known for performing the fairy Abby Cadabby on Sesame Street):
I have spent a long time putting together an interactive theater piece that offers some creative tools for dealing with bullying and self-esteem issues. I believe Wake Up Your Weird! achieves this goal. It is a story and a workshop wrapped up into one theater presentation. I have combined my outreach work along with my love for musical theater and puppetry into this “show and tell” approach. The first act is a musical short story that follows a little girl’s emotional journey. In the second act, I show kids how easy it is to share their ideas by using the voice, the body, and the imagination, and how to express their thoughts through writing, music, puppetry, art, dance, and more. Wake Up Your Weird! takes an active approach to a very serious problem. My hope is that by championing what is unique and “weird” about each of us, that Lolly and I will not only “wake up some weird” but “wake up some humanity” as well.