Posts Tagged ‘blood’

Said at work

So one of my favorite things on twitter is to tweet exactly what I’m doing, without giving any context. Usually this is something that I just said at work. So… for the people who have forgotten that I’m a puppeteer, here are a sampling of things said at work.

What we said.

  1. Do you know if the blood is still in the mini-fridge?
  2. It’s good in there. Warm, soft… padded rod.
  3. Can I stick my hand in him and feel him?
  4. Stop! Don’t go past the bunnies. Oh god. Whatever you do, don’t pass the bunnies.
  5. I’m about to put the ass of the dog through the sewing machine.

What it really means:

  1. Stage blood has a lot of sugar in it so we keep it in the fridge to discourage bugs.
  2. I’d just installed a rod in a puppet and the padding was still warm from the hot glue.
  3. My colleague wanted to test a puppet.
  4. I was shopping for a taxidermied animal and stumbled on a page that had pre-taxidermy animals. It was all fine until a series of horrific pictures after a set of very cute bunnies.
  5. Exactly what it sounds like, except the dog is made of cloth.

How to make entrails

To make entrails takes very few supplies. Your shopping list looks like this.

  • Unlubricated condoms
  • KY Jelly
  • Food coloring
  • Press and Seal wrap
  • Fake blood

supplies

Start by filling the condoms with KY Jelly. You’ll need about one tube of KY per condom. Add a little bit of food coloring, but don’t worry about mixing it evenly.  I use 1 drop green to 3 drops red, personally.  Tie each condom off making a whole bunch of individual of links.

Note: The KY usually makes really impressive farting noises.

I had a student helping me make these and she took some of the supplies home to finish up.  Her boyfriend came in while the room looked like this.

I think he was sad that he hadn’t been invited over earlier.

And you should see the people at the checkout line when you buy 20 boxes of KY jelly. It’s a fun job.

Lay the condoms out on the Press and Seal.  Normally, I don’t get specific about a brand, but this stuff is great for intestines. Because it’s self sticking, it adheres well to itself. The slight pebbly texture and the translucents can pass as viscera.

Notice how the condoms are all different colors. That helps create the illusion of food passing through.

Deckle the edges of wrap so that you eliminate a crisp line. Straight edges almost never occur in nature and certainly not in the human body.  Making the edge uneven also means that you’ll have varying degrees of overlap on the wrap so the opacity will vary.

Dip the entrails into stage blood, most of which has the lovely property of looking wet even when it’s dry.  Do test this and be aware that humidity will slow the drying down and make them sticky.  Once they’ve dried, they’ll look wet and freshly extracted but without all that messy residue.

If you leave them drying in the shower, as I did, I highly recommend that you leave a note so that no one, like say, your husband, is startled upon finding them. Highly, highly recommend this. Highly.

Short bits for today

  • 01:10 Just going to dip the entrails in blood and then go to bed. #
  • 01:20 I’ve hung the entrails in the shower to drip dry. Must remember to leave a note for Rob. #
  • 08:36 I gave Maggie her two pills this morning and one of them makes her foam. She is sitting on my lap looking rabid. Cat zombie. #
  • 23:56 Amazingly, I’ve arrived home before midnight. #

Disappearing ink and theater

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… The show I’m working on is in previews and I’m busily doing things like making foam tubes to turn a table into a wrestling ring– that’s hard to explain. I think it makes sense in the context of the show.  Maybe…

The really interesting bit is that I’ve been making disappearing ink for blood. We’ve got this scene where several people get shot and stabbed, spattering blood everywhere, but the next scene happens immediately after that, with no time for cleanup.  I remembered these squirt guns that my brother and I had had as kids, which had disppearing ink in them.  I told the director about this and he got excited.

So, I’ve been doing chemistry at home to adjust the basic disappearing ink recipe into something that a) still disappears b) looks like blood and c) won’t hurt anyone.  The challenge is that one of the ingredients is lye.  Yeah.  Even though the blood doesn’t go near any of the actors, just the walls, there’s only so much I can add before it becomes too caustic.

Right now, we’re trying to darken it because it is actually disappearing too quickly from the walls.  It is utterly fascinating to me and an area I don’t often go with puppetry.

By the way, if any of you happen to know a way to introduce opacity to the mix and still have it disappear, do let me know.

I have blood on my hands

Zesty, mint flavored blood. That’s right, it’s time for another show with blood. The effects in this show are significantly easier, which makes me a happy camper. One stabbing and one razor cut. All fairly run of the mill.

BUT. I’m in tech week for two different shows for the next week. I will be largely offline during this.

While I’m working, would you take a moment to share your favorite curses? It’ll come in handy. Remember that couch? Yeah… I’ve got stories to tell about it, once I get past this week.

Best of Apex 2006 collection

The Table of Contents for the Best of Apex 2006 anthology is out.

The list is final. The decision has been made. We are publishing the following stories in this year’s Best of Apex 2006 collection.

Blood Baby – Jennifer Pelland
The Queen of Stars – Bryn Sparks
That Old Sandlands Fever – Douglas F. Warrick
Cerbo en Vitro ujo – Mary Robinette Kowal
Genesis Six – Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Starfish – Steve Parker
Indigestion – Robby Sparks
How to Raise a Human – Deb Taber